Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at http://lagniappe.areavoices.com/.
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WORTHINGTON -- As we stood in the early dawn Wednesday and waved goodbye as a busload of German visitors pulled out of the parking lot, I experienced déj? vu. Hadn't I done this before? Ah, yes -- the year was 1981, and I was a senior in high school (go ahead, do the math). It was the second leg of the first choir exchange between Worthington and sister city Crailsheim, Germany. I and my fellow choir members visited Crailsheim the previous spring and spent the previous week renewing acquaintances and entertaining our counterparts.
WORTHINGTON -- It's a rare occasion when Hardy Rickbeil takes the elevator at The Meadows senior complex where he lives or in any other building. He prefers the stairs and demonstrates for a visitor how he makes the most of both the ascent and descent, taking each step deliberately to stretch and hone his muscles. It's just one example of how Hardy continually exercises -- body, mind and soul -- and perhaps the secret behind his longevity. Today Hardy celebrates his 100th birthday. "I'm living much longer than I expected," he reflected.
WORTHINGTON -- The delegation from Crailsheim, Germany, includes two "first-generation" exchange students from Germany -- Roland Hilt, who lived in Worthington from 1964-1965, and Guenter Metzger, 1967-1968. They have both returned several times to Worthington in the interim; Hilt last visited in 1980 and Metzger in 1993. "It's very impressive to come back to my hometown," said Metzger, who plans to return again in September for his 40th Worthington High School class reunion at King Turkey Day. "Very quickly, you feel at home." "It's exciting to experience the spirit here," Hilt said.
WORTHINGTON -- Cowboys and Indians. Pioneer life and vintage trains. The delegation from Worthington's sister city, Crailsheim, Germany, got a glimpse of what life was once like on the prairie during visits to several southwest Minnesota historical sights Tuesday. The visitors started the day at the End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum in Currie, where they took a ride on the only manually operated train turntable in Minnesota. "One more time, please," shouted one of the Germans as the half-revolution was completed.
WORTHINGTON -- A balloon inadvertently released during the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival was found 520 miles away, near Lake City, Mich. Aileen Davenport called Monday morning to report that she and her husband, Keith, found the balloon Saturday on their farm about 75 miles east of Lake Michigan in Missaukee County, Mich. The balloons were handed out at the Daily Globe tent at the festival beginning on Thursday. Filled with helium, they were easily yanked by the wind from children's hands and carried high into the sky.
WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Regional Hospital Board of Trustees met for a final time Monday afternoon.
WORTHINGTON -- It's been a few years since Ride has taken the stage at the Unvarnished Music Festival, but Randy Johnson and his musical cohorts will ride again in 2008. Ride will be the headlining band from 8 to 10 p.m. tonight. It's no coincidence that Ride, in its current form, has been performing for nine years and the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta is in its ninth year, too. The inspiration for the Unvarnished Music Festival portion of the event came from the band's members, many of whom also windsurf, during one of the early years of the Regatta.
WORTHINGTON -- Last year, more than 40 bicyclists took to the roads around Worthington for the first Regatta Bike Ride. Although pleased with the turnout, organizers would like to improve on those numbers the second time around. "We're hoping to build on that," said Kenton Meier, Worthington. The bike ride is sponsored by the Sports and Rec Committee of the Worthington Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, of which Meier is a member. Bicyclists can preregister at the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, or registration will be from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday at Centennial Park.
WORTHINGTON -- Since the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta is also the site this year of the U.S. Windsurfing National Championships -- the most prestigious annual event in the windsurfing race tour -- it is expected to draw competitors from across the nation, and perhaps a few international sailors as well. There will certainly be a few windsurfers coming from north of the border, as a group of Canadians has become Regatta regulars.
WORTHINGTON -- What will the best-dressed attendees of the Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival be wearing this year? A Regatta T-shirt, of course. The official event T-shirt goes on sale today at the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce office and will also be available throughout the festival, June 11-15, at the Daily Globe tent on Sailboard beach. This year's design features a screened picture of a windsurfer with bright blue and yellow lettering on a white shirt.