Tuesday, 27 December 2011

valentines flowers men - 2011: The people we met

valentines flowers men
Harry Trowbridge: A life in nine holes
Harry Trowbridge, 93, first golfed in his late 30s. He was just looking for something to do. Now he plays almost every day. And he never uses a motorized cart.
“I enjoy being out here in God’s creation,” he says. “I love being outdoors.”
With his first swing during an August outing at a nine-hole course in Arcadia, his lean, tan arms send the ball nearly 100 yards down the middle of the fairway.
“I didn’t hit a very good one,” he says.
On the sixth green, Harry misses a short putt, then puts the ball in the hole and looks up.
“I very seldom have what I’d call a bad day,” he says.
After multiple putts on the ninth green, he finishes with a few more strokes than usual. Harry doesn’t stop. He doesn’t even slow down. He picks up his ball and heads for the first tee.
Jacob Finke, Michael Hoepner and Alex Butenhoff: Hope Lutheran’s three-man pep band
What do you do when most pep bands have more members than your school has students?
Suffer in silence?
Not at Hope Lutheran High School, where Jacob Finke is on lead guitar, Michael Hoepner on bass and Alex Butenhoff on drums — a power trio as a pep band.
“We’re the only one we know of,” Alex said.
The school tried to put together a more traditional pep band last year, “with trumpets and stuff,” Jacob said. “But it didn’t get off the ground.”
The repertoire isn’t John Philip Sousa — there’s no arrangement of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” for electric bass — but the boys get the crowd going with covers of classic rock ‘n’ roll tunes.
“I definitely enjoy Jimi Hendrix covers,” Alex said.
Jim and Ollie Anderson: 64 years of lovely Valentine’s Day dates
For Jim, 89, and Ollie Anderson, 86, Valentine’s Day isn’t just about flowers and chocolate — it’s their wedding anniversary.
Jim was on his way home from Germany in 1945 to the tiny map dot of Newfolden, Minn., when he stopped in St. Paul to visit friends at Macalester College. It was in the school’s library that a pretty girl named Ollie caught the 24-year-old World War II veteran’s eye.
He was smitten.
Once Ollie graduated, Jim decided to move north and finish his degree at Moorhead. They wanted their wedding to take place before he started spring-term classes. Valentine’s Day 1947 seemed like the best choice.
After 64 years of marriage, they still look forward to planning activities they can do together.
“You’ve always got a date,” Ollie said. “Someone you can share your life with.”
J.D. Allen and the Music of Mercy choir: Singing for joy
For J.D. Allen, leading the Music of Mercy choir — composed of special-needs men and women ages 21 to 50 — represents a long journey back to one of the major loves of his life: music.
J.D., a working songwriter in California since the 1960s, was on the verge of signing a record deal in 1995.
Then Lyme disease robbed him of most of his muscle tone and ended his career. Four years later, he lost his wife and his parents. He moved to Illinois, where he joined a disability ministry. It changed his life.
For choir members, singing is not just about hitting every note, J.D. said. Rather, it’s about the love of singing together.
“It’s not about perfection,” he said. “It’s an example of how they can be creative and involved.
“Their joy is just infectious.”
Larry Cortez: Grave deeds
Larry Cortez has been restoring bits and pieces of the Crow Creek Reservation cemetery in South Dakota for much of his life, having visited the cemetery nearly every Easter since he was in diapers.
In 2007, Cortez joined a group that spent time setting, gluing and cleaning the cemetery’s monuments, work that sometimes included moving 400-pound bricks.
That fall, when Cortez enrolled in Southeast Technical College’s welding program, he discovered an opportunity to do more: welding new crosses for the cemetery. Crosses that wouldn’t rot, wouldn’t decay and wouldn’t burn in the grass fires routinely used to clear the cemetery grounds.
“I’m not trying to get something out of it,” he said. “It just gives you a good feeling to help your community.”
Ricky Becher: Duct tape kid
Duct-tape folders, duct-tape wallets and duct-tape purses — Ricky Becher makes them all. Sometimes for class, sometimes for friends. Duct-tape masks, flags, pennants for sports teams. A blue-green globe, a chicken, a pair of shoes. A duct-tape boat.
He started tinkering with duct tape four years ago, fashioning wallets like his friends were. Then, on a request from a teacher, Becher made a folder — and the project kicked his creativity into gear.
“He’d go to the store and buy 10 to 15 rolls at a time,” said his mother, Kathy Becher. “He could do a six-hour Saturday doing duct tape.”
Becher can’t quite explain his propensity to create, to take a common adhesive and turn it into art. But like the shoes, the boat, the purses and all the pieces in his repertoire, once the idea takes hold, he brings it to life.
Ashley Kruse and Dain McDonald: A black, orange and white wedding
When Ashley Kruse, 23, and Dain McDonald, 24, met six years ago on a social-networking site, Dain immediately sparked Ashley’s interest with a picture of the hearse he bought at 16. “I’ve always loved hearses,” Ashley said.
Ten months later, they were living together. One summer, Dain gave Ashley a Christmas present: a hearse, wrapped in multiple tarps and with a bow on top.
The two married Oct. 15 at Watkins Manor in a ceremony and celebration that featured costumes and black-and-orange decor. The Halloween lovers and hearse owners knew they didn’t want a typical wedding.
“It boiled down to being original without going overboard,” Dain said.
Donna Portner: Tracing the family tree back to Adam
On a 24-foot scroll containing names, locations and birthdates of her ancestors, Donna Portner’s name takes up only inches.
The scroll details the complicated lineage of the Galesville resident’s ancestors, from Underground Railroad activists and American pioneers to royalty. As she looks over names like Henry Hudson, Charlemagne the Great and Adam — yes, that Adam — she’s filled with pride.
“I’m a sum total of all my ancestors,” she said. “There are seeds of greatness in me that I didn’t know I had.”
Portner began researching her family tree nearly 50 years ago as a way of discovering herself and finding a link to the past. The tree eventually narrowed into one long, thin branch that reached into biblical records — and ended with Adam in the Garden of Eden.
Portner knows the root of her record sounds farfetched. But she doesn’t let the doubts faze her.
“All I can do is write down what I’ve discovered and researched,” she said. “If people choose to question it, they can.”
Junior Ferguson: Stories from Winona’s music industry insider
Junior Ferguson is part legend, part legendary.
He brought George Jones, Patsy Cline, Porter Wagoner and Eddie Cochran to Winona 50 years ago.
His radio programs were broadcast live from the old Winona Opera Hall, long since destroyed by fire.
But the past collides with the present every Wednesday night at Wellington’s Pub in Winona. That’s when the 86-year-old Ferguson takes the microphone.
With brown hair slicked back, his voice landing somewhere between a tremolo and a rasp and a wallet full of black-and-white pictures, he resurrects a musical career that began when country music and rock ‘n’ roll were both at a zenith.
Sylvia Palbicki: Dishing out samples at Midtown Foods
Three days each week Sylvia Palbicki does what she has been doing since Midtown Foods opened in 1983: she hands out samples and sells like a pro.
Palbicki talks with everyone who passes by, particularly with those who stop to try a sample.
“People tell me I am a good salesman and that I should be selling cars. I tell them, no, I should be selling food. It’s my middle name: Sylvia Food.
“I’m 89. Big deal! I’m still kicking, too, but not so hard.
“If (customers) come in every day, I know what they need, or I tell them what they need.”
“I know how to get them all the bargains.”
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