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 -- It was the fall of 1974, and Keith Towne was prepared to sign a contract to practice medicine in Red Wing. But a trip to visit his grandmothers -- and interview in Worthington to justify the trip to southwest Minnesota -- changed his mind. "Both my grandmothers lived in Garvin, and I wanted to visit, but I was dirt poor at the time, and it was a way for somebody else to pay for the trip," he said of his initial visit.
WORTHINGTON -- In the midst of talking about World Vision, a Christian relief organization he supports as part of his ministry, Jason Gray throws in this little tidbit about one of his lesser-known talents. "I can blow balloons up with my nose," he said. "It comes in handy at camp. You get a lot of respect if you can blow balloons up with your nose." In fact, on his Web site Gray claims to be able to blow up two balloons at a time with his nose. Impressive as that may be, Gray's true talent is in sharing his faith through words and music as a Christian singer-songwriter.
WORTHINGTON -- The Harvey boys -- not to be confused with the Hardy Boys of teen sleuth fame -- have been reunited under one roof. Roger Harvey, owner of Harvey's Upholstery for the last 21 years, has moved his business from its longtime East 12th Street location to the former Martin's Antiques building on Kragness Avenue on the east beltline of Worthington. Joining him at the location is brother Rod Harvey, who owned and operated Harvey's Signs until selling the business in 2002. "I've been in California and Minneapolis, the last couple of years in Minneapolis.
WORTHINGTON -- Thanks to online tracking of her application, Jody Johnson knew she would receive her invitation to join the Peace Corps on Nov. 29, 2004. It arrived, as expected, via overnight courier. "I rip it open, and it says, 'Congratulations. You've been invited to serve as a youth volunteer in the Philippines,'" Jody recalled about that momentous occasion. "I thought, 'The Philippines?
WORTHINGTON -- For a number of years, Dawn Kinsman has put her music ministry on the back burner. There just really hasn't been time for much other than the occasional church performance or retreat. Married since 1991, she and husband Dave have five children -- all boys. Dave is director of Catholic Life Outreach at Worthington's St. Mary's parish, while Dawn is employed part-time as director of the Faith Formation program. Dawn's primary focus has been her family. "Being at home, taking care of the kids, brought about a real change in my spiritual life," she reflected.
WORTHINGTON -- Jamie Wright, a member of the 2006 and 2007 Turkey Race Teams from Cuero, Texas, is renowned for racing down Worthington's 10th Street without any shoes on his feet during the King Turkey Day celebration. But there were no bare feet for Wright when he and his girlfriend, Michele Pargmann, visited Worthington over the weekend. The activities they were involved in required snowboots and bowling shoes.
WORTHINGTON -- Most Wednesday nights at this time of the year find Chris Nowatzki in the Fine Arts Building at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington campus. For the last three years, he has taught a ceramic class during the spring semester. This Wednesday, he will take a little time off from that class to attend a showing of his own work in the Fine Arts Building gallery. "There are a few pots there. There are a few paintings there," Nowatzki detailed.
PIPESTONE -- The late Betty Rickerman had retired and moved away from Pipestone before the Pipestone Performing Arts Center existed. But because she was an avid supporter of the arts, her niece, Deeann Griebel, has started an endowment in her memory to benefit PPAC. "Betty Rickerman was a lifelong Pipestone resident. She worked at First National Bank and was vice president at the time she retired," explained Dennis Hansen, PPAC managing director, adding that Rickerman moved to Hawaii in her retirement.
HERON LAKE -- For Joleen Plotz Koopman, baking isn't just an enjoyable pastime or a means of keeping her family and friends in delectable treats. It's therapy. "It helps keep the stress away," she said. "I'm in my own world then. My world is baking and cooking." For years, Joleen has been plagued by double vision, a disability that resulted from brain traumas earlier in her life.
WORTHINGTON -- Country singer Rick Monroe has performed across the country and around the world, including three tours to Europe as well as visits to Russia, Honduras, Cuba, Hong Kong, the Bahamas and many points in between. He performed the national anthem at a ceremony in Vietnam celebrating the re-opening of diplomatic relations and did a command performance for former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. And on Friday night, he'll perform for southwest Minnesota folk at Stephanie's Lounge in the Travelodge, 2015 N. Humiston Ave.