Saturday, March 30, 2013


First, this isn't going to be a religious post.  Depending upon ones religious perspective, Easter can mean a lot of things.   But there is a theme, a red thread, that can broadly be used to describe Easter:  Re-birth.  

As I thought about today's post, my mind went to my past. My past that is MUCH beyond my life.

So, for the first time in this blog, I am posting a couple of photos that I didn't take.

This is my paternal grandfather when he was about 18.  He came to this country alone, as something like an indentured servant.  He worked a farm for 7 years, fulfilling his contract and then, he began his life in a new country as a free man.

He worked hard.  Farming in that area he settled wasn't easy.  They spent more time picking rocks out of the fields than crops.  But, he made his living by working hard.  He was a strong and proud man.  He also knew that the future of his legacy depended upon education.  He dug the footings in the local school with that team of horses.   He didn't get paid to do it.  He did it because he knew it was right.  He sacrificed his own time and energy for his legacy.

And, this was his legacy.  My father is there, the youngest.  My grandfather was 72 when my dad graduated high school.  Now, with the exception of my father, they are gone.  Gladys was the last to go.  There she is, third from the right, behind my dad.

In those days, the small towns played 9 man football.  They didn't have enough people to have an offensive team and an defensive team.  You played the entire game.  That's my dad on the right.

So, thinking about this, I spent last night putting small chocolates and coins in plastic Easter eggs and hiding them for my legacy.  The Big D and Little H will find their treasures in the morning.  I will quietly know that I am doing what I can to watch over them, guide them, and protect them.

There is little more important that this role that I have.  There is little more imporant than this role that we all ensure our legacy carries on the hopes and dreams of those who paved the way for them. 

Happy Easter all.  Happy re-birth.  And, never forget your past.  That, and your legacy, is all you really have.

The Dura Pro Team

Meet Andrew:

Andrew is from Costa Rica and  has been in the US for 20 years. 

And meet Drina:

Drina grew up in the cities locally and, besides working with DuraPro, is a Zumba instructor!    I didn't really know what Zumba was so I looked it up.  There is this very amazing thing called the internet that you can look stuff up on.   ANYWAY, I decided that I was much too old for it and would probably just hurt myself!

It was delightful having a chance to meet you both.  And, my sincere thanks!

Friday, March 29, 2013


Sitting next to Vicki (yesterday's post) was Chris.

Meet Chris!

She was histerically funny.  And, she wasn't shy!  She wanted to know what I was doing with that camera and how she could be involved!   So, after finishing my dialog with Vicki, I moved next door to Chris!

She is the founder of Rot-Not, a company that makes small plastic stands to lift melons, squash, pumpkins, etc. off the ground to eliminate ground rot. 

A fantastic, green idea! 

Thanks Chris! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Delivery Express

In the business world, one often needs to get something delivered overnight.  In my case, I remember getting on an airplane to Colorado with computer tapes in my carry on.   In my pocket was a USB drive with encryption keys! 

Meet Vicki of Delivery Express.

She founded DE over 12 years ago and has seen the company grow every since.  She specializes in getting things delivered quickly all over the US and, if memory servers me correctly, Canada, as well!

I loved hearing her entrepreneurial story.  She saw a need and decided to meet that need. 

Well done, Vicki!  And, thanks!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Japanese Gardens and Space

I find Japanese gardens quite fascinating.  They are ordered, manicured, sculpted, and peaceful.   Perfect for sitting and contemplating life.

Meet Scott:

He takes my delight in such gardens to a new level!  He runs a company called Living Space Landscapes where he works with both small spaces and large spaces to create beautiful landscapes.

If you are interested in rain gardens, boulders, Japanese gardens, ponds, etc. give him a call and mention the crazy guy with a camera referred you!

Thanks Scott.  Your passion was evident.  And, I thoroughly enjoyed our visit!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Master Stonemen

My father was a general contractor.  I worked for him during summer vacations from school.  So, I learned about handling tools and building things.

At that time, houses were dwellings.  They often looked nice from the outside.  But, there were also builders that just built tracks of homes that looked pretty much the same.

I really like that over years, many of the tradesmen have taken their skills to a new level.  Many are wonderful artists.   And, they are finding a niche in the home improvement business where people decide to upgrade rather than to move.

Meet Dan:

And meet Ben:

They are the owners of Stoneman Masonry and they tout themselves as "Urban Craftsmen".  They are, in fact, artists, as well.

This is one of the displays they brought into the show.

I loved the tree over the fireplace mantel.  Nicely done gentlemen!

My sincere thanks to you both!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Chicago Visitor, I Think

Meet Bethany!

I really need to start checking my iPhone when I take notes about people I photograph.  When I look at the notes for Bethany I found, " Bethany:  Chicago works I.A coming school and loves to cook."

About all I can really make out of that, is that she possibly lives in Chicago and is coming to MN to school.    But, that could be totally wrong!

I am pretty sure the "loves to cook" verbiage is right!

Sorry Bethany.  You deserved better than my fat fingers misstyping and a funky auto-correction!
If you email me, I will update the post!  I promise!

Thank you!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Crazy Wraps Team

I was wondering around the Minneapolis Home and Garden show a while ago and saw this group.

Meet Krystal, Ronda, Kathryn, and Natilie.

They were in a booth selling something called It Works Body Wraps.  I have no idea whether it works.  But, the ladies were delightful and charming and graciously let me take their photograph.

My sincere thanks to you all!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fire Buggz

Meet Bob!

I liked Bob the minute I saw him.  Not only was he passionate about his company and what he had created, he was funny and was enjoying life!  He is the owner of FireBuggz.   His company makes smaller backyard fire pits and many of the toys that go with them. 

I particularly loved the fire fishing poles.    Check it out if you have time.  

Thanks Bob.  Awesome products!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Valentines Day at Sawatdee's Again!

As I was leaving, I noticed a two couples that were sitting across from me at the bar.  They obviously knew one another.  So, on the way out, I stopped to chat with them.

Meet Linda and Dennis!

I had a great visit with them.  Their friends pawned them off on me!   They were celebrating 39 years of marriage.  And, they were thoroughly enjoying the band.

Thanks Linda and Dennis!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Valentines Day at Sawatdee

It was the Saturday after Valentines Day and my guitar teacher let me know the band was playing at Sawatdee again.
So, I showed up.   I really like the colored glass there. 

As usual, the place was crowded.  I had a seat at the end of the bar.  It wasn't a great place to try and scan the room for photos.  But, it was nice and close to the music. 

Then, this couple showed up and sat next to me!

Meet Melissa and James!  They were first timers to the restaurant and were having a very nice time.  It turns out that Melissa and I had something in common.  We had each worked at the same camp in our past.  My past was just a lot longer ago than hers!

Thanks for taking the time to visit with me and for letting me take the photo!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Classic Hat!

I noticed the woman below almost instantly.  First, I like hats.  I notice them.  Second, she was the only woman in the place that was wearing a dressy hat.  Sure, there were a lot of stocking hats.  But, this is different!

Meet Jean:

Thanks Jean!  You are STYL'N!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Fighter!

Meet Alex!

He had seen me photographing a few people and trying some other images (see below).  So, he graciously voluneered to let me photograph him.  When I asked about the hat, he said he had no particular affiliation with the Indians.  He just likes baseball hats! 

He is an amature boxer in Vegas!  We chatted about when his next fights were scheduled with the idea that I could do photos.  But, I don't think it will work out.

He works with a team of 5 or 6 people that travel all over the country for shows like the Home and Garden Show.   They sell a variety of things such as bed sheets and lights.

Here are some of the lights they sell.

Thanks Alex!   By the way, I did leave him some advice about his boxing vocation:  DUCK!  He thought that was very funny.  But, I have been hit.  It hurts!   I meant it!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Gardening Magazines

Meet Danielle!

She noticed me wandering around with the camera and asked about the photography interest.  It turns out that she works for a magazine that looking for photographers to submit garden photos!  So, I have her card (somewhere!).    She is originally from New York but now makes her home in the midwest!
Thanks Danielle!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Home and Garden Show Vendors

These people each gave me a card for their booths and businesses, and I cannot find them!

I typically keep notes about each person I photograph.  But, all my notes say are:

Heather:  She gave me a card.   HA!

Meet Heather! 

As I recall, she had a farm that specialized in.....something!  :)  Sorry Heather!

The gentleman below was in a vendor booth very near Heather.  But, I don't even have a note about him!

My sincere thanks to you both!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Home and Garden Show: Thinking of Spring

It's nice to start thinking of spring.  About the end of January, winter starts getting LONG.  And, there is a long ways to go.

Meet Mike from KCS Lawn Care.  He was the first person I ran into and he had this great, warm smile.    When I asked him what he wanted me to say about him, he said, "GO VIKES!".

Alas, the Vikes are something like the Cubs to Chicago. 

Meet Kory from BlueGreen Resorts in Wisconsin Dells!
He was just getting set up and was hoping to get a lot of interest in summer vacationers!   Good thing Mike (Go VIKES) and Kory (Go Pack) were not THAT close to one another!

My thanks to you both!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Polar Bear Plunge: Wrapping Up

Just to calm your fears, this little one was NOT a jumper.  She cheered Dad on.

Finally, is there anything better than a roaring fire on a cold winter day?  Well, yes...a lot, actually.  But, this was pretty nice!

This wraps up the photos of the Polar Bear Plunge.  It was a great time.  The weather cooperated for Minnesota.  It was a tropical 25 F.  It could easily have been -10F!  To all the people who jumped for this worthwhile cause, I thank you.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my aunt Gladys who passed away.  She and her husband had a Down's Syndrome child named Loring.  I remember him well.  He died in 2002 when he was in his 40's.  I was one of the pall bearers.  When Gladys passed away, she was buried next to Loring.  I was, again, one of the pall bearers.  I need to visit Loring more often.

I think this is a wonderful cause. 

Thank you, all. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Polar Bear Plunge: Mans Best Friend was there, too!

Jacob was there to watch the festivities.  And, he brought his bud, Kloe along.

Meet Jacob's hand..and Kloe's cute face!

Kloe's was having a great time around all the people.  With all the commotion, it was a bit difficult getting a good shot of her.  I took a few.  This wasn't bad at all. 

Thanks Jacob and Kloe!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Polar Bear Plunge: Jumpers and Costumes

Meet David:

Meet Freddy:

David and Freddy were in the warming tent waiting their turn. 

The woman below had just gotten out of the water and was walking/running back up the hill to the hot tubs and warm tents!

It was worth it!

My sincere thanks to you all!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Polar Bear Plunge: Yes..MORE Jumpers

I thought the Christmas tree costume was great!

If this isn't a distinctly Minnesotan look, I don't know what is.  DKNY, pay attention!

This guy didn't bother with the shirt.  And, I applaud him for it!   He was one of a few that didn't try to keep some warmth with a shirt.  But, at 25 or so degrees air temp, that shirt wasn't helping anyway.

I didn't notice when I took the photo the guy with the horse head in the background.   I don't exactly get the significance.  But, it was fun!

 My sincere thanks to all of you for your passion with this wonderful cause!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Polar Bear Plunge: More Jumpers Again!

When it is time to jump...just jump.

I give the master of ceremonies, the clown, a great compliment.  He jumped three different times while I was there.  I can't imagine how he stood it. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Polar Bear Plunge: More Jumpers!

Not much to say about these folks except they were:
  • having fun, and
  • are dedicated to this cause.
Holding hands helps!

The jumping styles are entertaining!   The guy in the red shirt is praying he can walk on the water!  The guy in the blue shirt is going with style!
Even Federal Cartridge was respresented!  Cute..dressed as a shotgun shell!
Ohhh..and white legs.  A definite midwest winter characteristic!

But, hard to swim dressed as a shotgun shell!   Hold on to your hat!  I think the gentlemen on the left and the right are hoping they can run across!

Thanks all!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Polar Bear Plunge: JUMPERS

For your weekend enjoyment.

I didn't have time to get anyone's name.  They jumpers were in a hurry to get it over with.  So, after they jumped, they didn't hang around waiting to chat.

Enjoy.  And, my sincere thanks the jumpers!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Polar Bear Plunge: It Begins

At the designated time, people began emerging from the warm tents, marching down the hill, in preparation for the jump. 

Costumes were in vogue!

And, some decided to go in cognito!

Finally, the master of ceremonies, a local TV personality made the first jump!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Polar Bear Plunge: Family Volunteers!

As I walked into the main tent, the first stop for people who were volunteers and jumpers, I saw long rows of tables and chairs.  I picked this group at random because I liked how they interacted with one another.  They were having a nice time chatting and smiling/laughing.

Meet Peggy, Lisa, and Sandy!

I introduced myself and, to my surprise, Peggy said, "I know that name!"  We had graduated from high school together over 100 years ago.  I know that Peggy doesn't look that old.  But, I do!

Lisa is Peggy's daughter.  And, Sandy is Lisa's mother-in-law!  They were a family supporting Lisa's daughter, who has Downs Syndrome. 

They even had a granddaughter jumping! 

It was lovely to run into you again Peggy!  And, my sincere thanks to all of you!