CMW - JulyAug15

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Find services you need in MARKETPLACE | Get STEPPIN’ OUT | Fun awaits in MUST-DO’S THANK the businesses that support CMW by supporting them! Hut chinson Cover Story Linda Why we should add humor to our daily diet Phenomenal Under 40 Willow Sweeney Flaherty, Trainer Extraordinaire Call-To-Action Crystal Clancy, Helping Others Overcome Postpartum Organic Food Explorer Mexican Food, Organic-Style One Woman at a Time The Power of Stories What’s He Thinking? She’s Always Right! Robin’s Journey Celebrating Courage

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Transcript of CMW - JulyAug15

  • Find services you need in MARKETPLACE | Get STEPPIN OUT | Fun awaits in MUST-DOSThank the businesses that support CMW by supporting them!

    HutchinsonCover Story Linda

    Why we should add humor to our daily diet

    Phenomenal Under 40

    Willow Sweeney Flaherty,Trainer Extraordinaire

    Call-To-ActionCrystal Clancy, Helping Others

    Overcome Postpartum

    Organic Food ExplorerMexican Food,


    One Woman at a TimeThe Power of Stories

    Whats He Thinking?Shes Always Right!

    Robins JourneyCelebrating Courage

  • July/August 2015 3


  • 4 July/August 2015

    Central Minnesota Women is published six times per year by Central Minnesota Women L.L.C. PO Box 485, Waite Park, MN 56387. Please do not send unsolicited manuscripts, contact the publisher. Central Minnesota Women L.L.C. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Central Minnesota Women does not necessarily endorse the claims or contents of advertising or editorial materials. Printed in the U.S.A.

    P u b l i s h e r s

    P u b l i s h e r - e d i t o r - s a l e s

    d e s i g n

    P h o t o g r a P h e r s

    s a l e s

    Contributor - sales - soCial Media

    C o n t r i b u t o r s

    E board of advisors

    Dr. Cheri CarlsonOwner, Synergy Chiropractic and Wellness [email protected]

    Sheila BurskiREALTOR, Premier Real Estate Services, [email protected]

    Lisa BartonOperations Manager, Sears, St. [email protected]

    Sonja GidlowExecutive Leadership in Business & Higher [email protected]

    Sandy HansenOwner, AgVenture Feed and [email protected]

    Julie LunningExecutive Director, Granite [email protected]

    Geri RandallNursing, Centracare Family [email protected]

    Sue PoserOwner, Grubers Quilt [email protected]

    Lori SteinhoferOwner/Escrow OfficerQuarry Title & Closing, [email protected]

    E July/august 2015 Contributors E Board of Advisors Tamera Farrand: Tamera has been supporting women through local magazine publishing for over 11 years. She and part-ner Doug Solinger have published CMW for six years. She understands the importance of raising awarenessof the work that wom-en do in our community. Edoug Solinger: Doug has vastpublish-ing, printing, and technology experience. For the past six years, he has supported the St. Cloud community through his involve-ment with CMW. He publishes other maga-zines in the Rochester area.

    naTalie m. roTunda: Natalie is a busi-ness writer and nonfiction ebook editor. The mom and grandmom studies and writes about herbs and organic food. Contact her at [email protected] E

    Tina gunderSon: Tina, wife and mother to four, travels whenever possible, reads, and spends time with family and friends oh, and she dazzles clients with her cre-ative graphic design work. Visit her at, or email her at [email protected] E

    Sue dropp: Throughout her career, Sue has received numerous awards for her photography. Her new business venture, Dropp Visual, promotes Twin Cities corporate events, weddings, and all aspects of visual and video. Sue enjoys travel, photography, organic gardening, bird watching and grandparenting! Contact [email protected] ECindy kay: Cindy has been a photographer for 12 years and loves what she does! Why? Because photography is about you, your personality, your style. Her goal is to capture you as you are right at this very moment. Contact Cindy at pederSon: Petes foundation in photography began in college, but the love and art blossomed when he and his former spouse went into business. Polishing

    his skills behind the lens doing primarily weddings, Petes resume now includes photojournalism and advertising. His goal? National Geographic! Contact Pete at [email protected]

    CynThia STeinke: Cindys diverse back-ground handcrafted jewelry sales, former flight attendant, & degree in Interior Deco-rating lends itself to working with a variety of people and businesses. She enjoys travel-ing and spending time with her husband and daughter. Contact her at (320) 333-6487, or [email protected] E

    heaTher roTunda: When shes not in the kitchen baking or cooking up something delicious (and writing about either or both), Heather crochets, knits, cross-stitches, watches pro-hockey, or old movies. Contact her at (320) 223-8979, or [email protected]

    Taleiza Calloway-appleTon: TaLeiza is a lover of the written word. The freelance writer & journalist enjoys writing about di-versity issues and spending time with her family. Contact her at [email protected] lynn FiSher: Lynn is a writer and photog-rapher from Champlin, Minnesota. Covering the lives and interestsof central Minnesota women has been a dream realized.Visit her website: helmberger: Sheila is a central Minnesota freelance writer. She has a jour-nalism degree and uses her love of words to share the stories of others. As a wife, mother, & grandmother, she often writes about humor in her own life. Visit her blog, hilSgen: Cori is a central Min-nesota freelance writer with a bachelors degree in Organizational Management and Communication. She enjoys sharing stories that help and benefit others. Cori is a wife, mother, and grandmother who cherishes spending time with family and friends.

    Char hopela: Char has been a contributor to CMW since 2009, and also enjoys making art from recycled leather belts. She lives in St. Joseph, a cultural mecca with a great meat market. Contact her at [email protected]

    loiS JohnSon: Lois is a freelance writer from St. Cloud. She enjoys European travel, outdoor adventures, gardening, and healthy cooking. Her current project is an internationally themed family meals cookbook.

    CrySTal nuTT: Crystal is Development Director at Stearns History Museum, and a freelance writer. She has a strong passion for community and is intrigued with people from all walks of life. Crystal lives in Monticello with her family.

    kelly radi: Kelly is a freelance writer and owner of Radi to Write, LLC, specializing in public relations copywriting. Contact Kelly at [email protected]

    robin robaTCek: Robin is seasoned with successful educational experiences in con-sulting, training, and administration. She holds her undergraduate degree in Organi-zational Management and Communication from Concordia University, Saint Paul, MN, and Masters Degree in Higher Education Administration from St. Cloud State Univer-sity.Robinhas worked extensively with aca-demia, healthcare industry, governmental agencies, small businesses, and corporate environments. Edebra SChroeder: Debra is Coordinator of Community Education and Outreach for Anna Maries Alliance. Since 2000, she has worked to increase awareness and prevention of relationship violence in central Minnesota with presentations and professional trainings. Contact Debra at [email protected] Edoug Vagle: Doug and his wife Peggy live in Sartell. They have three children, Abby, Nathaniel, and Sophie. Doug loves spending time with his family, and is the pastor at The Waters Church in Sartell,

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]ailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]://lynn-fisher.comhttp://emptyhousecreationsbysheilahelmberger.blogspot.com

  • Printed Words

    Tamera Farrand, Publisher

    Natalie M. Rotunda, Editor

    childhood; from Robin Robatcek -- an update on her wellness journey (speaking of the attitude of gratitude!); from Cori Hilsgen -- fun outdoor happenings to attend with family and friends.

    Our attitude of gratitude runs deep as we put these stories and fun or thought-provoking pieces before you. When

    it comes to gratitude, though, any day of the year is a good day to practice it. Have you discovered the warm benefits that come with being grateful, every day, for at least one thing in your life? Its empowering!

    If you were to peek into our grateful hearts, youd see that, topping our list is you, our gentle and faithful readers and advertisers. We love how weve been part of one anothers lives for these last seven years. Were also grateful for Doug, our co-publisher, who has been a part of the St. Cloud community through CMW. Our storytellers, columnists, photographers, our graphic designer and account managers all come in for their share of our gratitude. These marvelously creative, dedicated individuals have all added their special talents to bring CMW to you.

    But all good things and wed like to think weve been a good thing for you! eventually come to an end. So it is with Central Minnesota Women

    Magazine. With this issue, were saying goodbye.

    Remember The Mary Tyler Moore series-closing scene? For the last time, Mary turns out the lights in the WJM newsroom, then, wistfully, looks back one more time. Thats us. Wistful as we shut off the lights of CMW. But also like Mary, were looking forward to what lies ahead, our next great adventure.

    We hope you agree its been a great run! Lets all wish one another the best life has to offercentral Minnesota women! f

    Its always been our tradition to inform you, to inspire you, through stories and essays of the women you may know or want to know in and around our community. We believe weve done that in this issue, too. Like Linda Hutchinsons story. The author and native Minnesotan shows us how to live a healthier life by finding our humor heritage. Like postpartum depression sufferer Crystal Clancys story. She overcame her depression and heads up an organization that offers hope to others. And Willow Sweeney Flahertys story. Youll want to know why shes into teaching life-changing positive habits to parents, students, and educators. If given the opportunity to attend one of her sessions, go!

    Theres more. From columnist Debra Schroeder -- safe ways to help someone in the throes of a violent situation; from Doug Vagle -- a lighthearted look at life; from Heather Rotunda -- going Mexican because of a happy connection to her

    By Tamera and Natalie July/August 2015 5

  • 6 July/August 2015

    5 PRINTED WORDSThe Attitude of GratitudeBy Tamera and Natalie

    8 MUST-DOSBy Cori HilgsenCoris choices for summertime outdoor fun.

    10 ONE WOMAN AT A TIMEThe Power of StoriesBy Debra Schroeder, Anna Maries Alliance

    11 COVER STORY: CLEAN LIVINGEmbrace Your Funny Bone: Author Shares Health Benefits of HumorStory by TaLeiza CallowayPhotos by CK PhotographyHair and Makeup by Michelle Kenric Hair & Spa

    Author Linda Hutchinson lets us in on how we can enjoy better health.

    16 FEATURE STORY: CALL-TO-ACTIONSomeone to Talk ToStory by Sheila HelmbergerPhotos by CK PhotographyCrystal Clancy survived postpartum depression. Now she and the organization she works with help others.

    20 ROBINS JOURNEYCelebrating the Courage in Each of UsBy Robin Robatcek

    21 FEATURE STORY: PHENOMENAL UNDER 40Willow Sweeney Flaherty:

    Cultivating KindnessStory by Crystal NuttPhotos by Pete Pederson, Northern Star PhotoBecoming a household name in social and emotional intelligence is the goal educator and trainer Willow Sweeney Flaherty has set for herself and her company.

    24 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION: Local Womens Network

    26 ORGANIC FOOD EXPLORERMexican Food, Organic-StyleBy Heather RotundaPhotos by Sue DroppRaise your hand if you love Mexican food! Bite into these tastebud-wowing dishes, made in your home kitchen.

    28 WHATS HE THINKING?Shes Always Right!By Doug Vagle

    29 STEPPIN OUTBy Natalie M. RotundaIn partnership with

    30 GROWING AS I LEARNJim Rohn and Cousin JuniorBy Natalie M. Rotunda





    IN T





    Table of ContentsJuly/August 2015

  • July/August 2015 7

    Circle of Women

    If you read and love our magazine, we invite you to become part of our Circle of Women!

    We are offering an opportunity to show your personal connection with your magazine - Central Minnesota Women!

    SponSor your magazine today!

    Lori Steinhofer: I support CMW because it

    supports and empowers LOCAL business women. The articles written are well thought out and provide good reading. I

    have advertised with this magazine since I started my business 6-1/2 years ago and

    get the most ROI than any other form of advertising.

    To sTarT your sponsorship, conTacT:Heather Rotunda | [email protected] | (320) 223-8979

    of Women

    mailto:[email protected]://

  • 8 July/August 2015

    Years of Sinatra! With Andrew Walesch and his Big Band at the Paramount Theatre. Songs featured include Fly Me to the Moon, New York, New York, and others. Performances are at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on July16th. For additional information, visit the art-ist website, and, or call (320) 259-5463.

    Firefest ConcertOnce again, the Cold Spring Fire and Rescue Department Relief Association is hosting a flaming Firefest concert on Saturday, July 25th. Performing artists include Darius Rucker, Chris Young, Clay Walker, and Neal McCoy. Gates open at 4 p.m. and music begins at 5 p.m. For ticket prices and other information, visit the website,

    Rock out inSt. JoeThe annual JoeTown Rocks con-cert July 3rd and St. Joseph Parish Festival July 4th draws thousands. The free outdoor concert begins at 6 p.m. on July 3rd and features many performances including The Graduates, Jeremiah James Ko-rfe, Ricky Nelson Remembered, and Maiden Dixie. Fireworks are also planned. July 4th includes a 10 a.m. parade, many food and game stands, an afternoon quilt auction, raffle, and more to do and see. For additional informa-tion, visit the websites, and

    100 Yearsof SinatraIf you are looking for an indoor performance, check out 100

    By Cori Hilsgen

    Why not spend the warm and hot days of July and August gathering with friends and family for outdoor picnics,

    camping, concerts, fairs, and more? There are many hap-penings in the area for us to enjoy and put on sunscreen and hats for. Here are a few

    ideas to check out.



  • July/August 2015 9

    Walk through the GardensFree concerts by the gazebo continue in July and August at Munsinger Gardens. Why not enjoy a traditional root beer float, listening to the music, sitting by the Mississippi River? The Music in the Gardens concerts are at 3 p.m. on alternating Sundays. The July 26th concert includes a memo-rial release of butterflies. The 21 acres of Munsinger and Clemens Gardens are open 7 a.m. to 10

    p.m. daily. For more informa-tion about the concerts and other events, visit the website,

    Fair timeMinnesotans do love their fairs! Most include a variety of foods to sample, live entertainment, midway rides, 4-H projects, and so much more. Two in our area include the Stearns County and Benton County fairs. The Stearns County Fair takes place in Sauk Centre and runs July 29th through August 2nd. The Benton County Fair takes place in Sauk Rapids and runs August 4th through 9th. A traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located in Washington DC -- The Wall That Heals -- will be on display at this fair. Military Day is August 9th.

    If you want to take in the big fair, the Minnesota State Fair takes

    place in St. Paul and runs August 27th through September 7th. According to their website, daily State Fair attendance totals for last year were 1,824,830. For more information, visit, or

    Picnics and camping funWhy not check out some of Min-nesotas state parks? Perhaps you could pack a picnic lunch and sit by a beach on an especially hot day, or maybe you could spend a weekend hiking, biking, and camping. For information about state parks, visit the website, f



  • 10 July/August 2015

    pushing her repeatedly against a brick wall. Cecilia pulled up to the woman and asked if she wanted a ride. The woman said yes and jumped into the Jeep. Angry, the man headed toward the car, at which point Cecilia quickly drove away. He did not follow as the two women drove to the hospital to get help for the victim.

    These are three examples of the different levels of assistance people have provided when theyve come across varying sit-uations. Cecilia was well-trained in defense and felt comfortable putting herself in the situation, while the others assisted as they could under the circumstances. The moral of these stories is, help however you can and not stand by while others suffer.

    Call Anna Maries Alliance anytime if you or someone you know is in an abusive relation-ship, (320) 253-6900. f

    when he saw a young man yell-ing and gesturing wildly at an older woman. If he had been by himself, he said he would

    have gone over, but he had his children with him and had to think of their safety. He decided to stand outside his car and watch the situation. Soon, other observers joined him, and the young man re-

    alized he was being watched and left the area. At this point,

    my friend went over to the woman to see if she was all right and gave her the phone num-ber to Anna Maries Alliance.

    Story ThreeCecilia went into the Coast Guard right out of high school. She spent the next six years defending the shores of Key West and Florida against smug-glers and terrorists. Not long after leaving the Coast Guard, she was heading home and saw a man hitting a woman and

    The Power of Stories

    By Debra Schroeder, Anna Maries Alliance

    Since the power of stories can turn a lecture into something that raises it to a more meaning-ful level of learning, I turn to my bag of stories when people ask what they can do to make a dif-ference.

    Story OneAfter a trip to a local retail mall, I headed back to the parking lot. Several cars down from mine, I noticed a couple arguing in their car. He was screaming and had her pinned against the passen-ger door. I truly felt she was in danger, but wasnt sure if I should approach the car. If he would attack me, I knew I didnt have the strength or training to fend him off. So, I reported it to securi-ty and had them call the police, as well. I stayed in the mall until the situation was secured. Its important to know your limita-tions and look for ways you can help without putting yourself into a situation you dont know how to handle.

    Story TwoA friend of mine had just finished putting his groceries in the trunk of his car and buckling his two children into their booster seats

    10 July/August 2015

    One Woman at a Time

  • July/August 2015 11

    Cover Story

    Embrace Your Funny Bone: Author shares health

    benefits of humor

  • 12 July/August 2015

    Cover Story

    is a collection of stories, quotes and tips on why adding more humor to our daily diet is one of the best things for us.

    Its really about spreading joy in the world, says Linda of why she wrote the book. I loved hearing the stories, even the sto-

    ries that you had to be there (to get). People light up.

    It was a gift to me to hear the stories, and it feels like it was a gift to them

    to share the stories.

    Sharing laughsLinda learned about the

    power of humor in the fourth grade and hasnt looked


    As a young girl, the Min-nesota native often looked forward to the sharing and telling time in class. The stories were so good she would come home and share

    what she had heard at the dinner table. She

    enjoyed the positive at-tention she received from

    her stories then, and still seeks this positive attention through

    humor, she says. Laugh Yourself Happy is the first in a series of books about humor and differ-ent aspects of daily life. The next installment will be a book about laughter and spirituality.

    Linda has been working in the humor business for more than 20 years. She is a national key-note speaker, adult educator, consultant, and author. She leads workshops and trainings on humor for corporations, non-profit organizations, and professional associations as the owner of Hutchinson Asso-ciates, ha!. Her first published book, Laugh and Live: Re-claiming your Sense of Humor, was published 10 years ago.

    A young couple discovered they were pregnant for the fourth time. This was back in the day when people were more concerned about ZPG (zero population growth). They decided they did not want to tell anyone until it was obvious. They failed to notice their six-year-old who ran out the back door. Soon, the neighbor was at the front door congratulating them. He added, I understand that, after this child is born, you are going to get your boobs tied.

    This is just one of many funny stories that can be found in Linda Hutchinsons book, Laugh Yourself Happy: Kids Say Delightful Things. The book

    By TaleizaCalloway-Appleton

    Photos byCK Photography

    Hair and Makeup by Michelle Kenric Hair & Spa

  • Cover Storybook.

    Research also continues to show the positive effects of humor. In the article, Stress relief from laughter? Its no joke, Mayo Clinic staff list multiple benefits of laughter. Laughter can en-hance your intake of oxygen-rich air and stimulate your heart and lungs, soothe tension by stimulating muscle relaxation, relieve pain, and laughter can make it easier to cope with dif-ficult situations.

    In addition to being a keynote speaker and author, Linda is also a laughter yoga instructor. Laughter yoga is a type of yoga that uses breathing and relax-ation techniques that incorpo-rate laughter. About 10 years ago, she discovered Dr. Madan Kataria of India who created laughter clubs and laughter yoga.

    Initially, Madan brought people

    together to laugh via joke-tell-ing, but later added yoga to the gatherings, Linda says.

    The first laughter club was cre-ated in 1995 as an experiment. Madan invited a few people to a local public park to start the club. They laughed together and eventually the group grew, according to his website,

    After two weeks, the jokes and funny storytelling began to dwindle, so he asked the participants to act out their laughter. They did, and genuine laughter resulted. Madan discovered that our body cannot differentiate between acted and genuine laughter. Both produced the same happy chemistry, his site states. Realizing there are ways other than humor to spark laughter, Madan developed laughter exercises and created July/August 2015 13

    Lindas many faces.

    She often asks workshop participants what makes them laugh. The most common answer is children. Its the safest source of humor. Children happen to be her favorite source of humor, too. This response, coupled with a feeling theres a need for more healthy humor, is what inspired her book. Her hope is youll read it and at least do one thing: laugh.

    Healthy humorLinda explains that healthy humor is the connection between humility and being human.

    We all want to belong. We all want to contribute, says Linda. We all want to laugh, play, and have fun. We all want to love and be loved. That, to me, is healthy humor.

    Humor makes a difference in all these areas, and having a sense of belonging contributes to our health and well-being. Often, when we think of a good laugh, health is not the first thing that comes to mind, but they are related.

    Interestingly, humor is an indicator (of changing health), says Linda. When were losing our sense of humor, its an indicator that our health is going to go.

    Linda also reminds us that, when considering the health benefits of laughter and humor, the physical act of laughing is aerobic.

    Laughter has been known to offer multiple health benefits. It can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and help people remember the natural hilarity of life, says Linda. Laughter and humor can also enhance relationships, build self-esteem, inspire creativity, and promote well-being of the mind, body, and spirit, she explains in her

  • laughter yoga.

    While traditional yoga can offer fitness benefits, laughter yoga can offer additional health benefits. They include helping to strengthen the immune system, keeping you in a good mood throughout the day, providing oxygen to the brain, and mak-ing you feel more energetic.

    One exercise Linda uses in her laughter yoga sessions is the three tones of laughter. Theres hee, hee, hee, where the focus is on the relaxation of your face. Ha, ha, ha focuses on the heart, and what is known as the Santa Claus laugh, ho, ho, ho, for example, focuses on the belly/core area.

    Humor is more about being lighthearted. When I was be-ing trained as a laughter yoga leader, I learned that 10 percent

    Benefits of Laughter Reduces stress Helps lower blood pressure Stimulates circulation and relaxation Enhances intake of oxygen-rich air Improves immune system Soothes tensionSource: Mayo Clinic

    The book, Laugh Yourself happy, is $14.95. The bestseller is available at some St. Cloud area bookstores and via her website: Linda also offers a workshop that incorporates the book and humor in the workplace.

    of our humor comes from jokes, says Linda. I try to get people to pay attention to the other 90 percent. And not only what makes you laugh but what light-ens your heart.

    That 90 percent also includes exploring our source of laughter, how often we laugh, and how we can increase it. Children are believed to laugh a few hun-dred times a day. Adults laugh about a dozen. The numbers fluctuate, says Linda.

    What can we do to increase our laughter quotient? I encour-age people to do the research and see what makes other people laugh. Get a laughter buddy, says Linda. Add a laughter break to your calendar. We need to be more deliberate about it. One thing Ive learned is that the key to humor is hu-

    What if the hokey pokey is what its all about.


    Linda HutchinsonHometown: Recently moved to Richfield from St. Joseph, Minnesota Family: Six siblings, many nieces, one son, Jesse, and one grand-dog.Website:

    14 July/August 2015

    Cover Story


  • Cover Story

    mility...It involves being able to laugh at ourselves in a good way.

    Other suggestions for adding humor to our daily diet include giving the gift of humor. This can be done via a humor basket, a basket of items that someone likes or might find funny, Linda says.

    When Lindas friend was ill, she made her a humor basket and filled it with things she knew would make her friend smile. Her friend liked animals and come-dian Lily Tomlin. With this in mind, Linda made sure her basket included a funny animal video, a stuffed animal, and an Edith Ann book.

    I promote giving the gift of humor, says Linda. If some-bodys not feeling well and you give them a basket of fun and laughter, they can use it as they feel like it.

    We can also add more humor by simply looking and listening for it daily, adding more play to our life and exploring what Linda calls humor heritage.

    Humor heritageLaughter and humor have a cause-and-effect relationship. A sense of humor is something that is often developed, for instance, knowing when its appropriate to laugh or tell a joke. The mes-sages and meanings we experi-ence about humor are what shape our humor heritage.

    Growing up, we inherit a variety of messages from our parents. The standing message from Lindas mother was, Life is hard work, she says. This message fu-els Lindas work ethic. However, when it comes to humor, there are many myths, and these be-liefs are what can keep people from sharing a joke or believing that laughter and learning dont go together. They do.

    Linda says that, often, when we think about these myths or what was learned as a youth about humor, the messages tend to be negative. She encourages readers as they delve into their humor heritage to seek positive experiences.

    Too often, we focus on what we didnt get growing up in our families, says Linda. We forget the good stuff. Im hoping when people (look at their humor heritage), they can find the fun funny stuff.

    One way to explore your hu-mor heritage is through writing down memories and collecting stories from family members. This can be done through personal conversations or by interviewing older family members at family gatherings, Linda says. People tend to remember more as they listen to others.

    When Lindas mother turned 95, Linda created a binder of funny stories for her. The process of gathering stories can provide a good laugh, too. When her fa-ther passed away, she also col-lected stories from her siblings, thus showing the healing power of humor as it relates to the grieving process. Humor can also be thera-peutic.

    Linda has heard a lot of good stories along the way. Sometimes, its hard to keep track of them all, but now she re-members to record the really good ones on her cell-phone, she says with a chuckle.

    One of the most re-warding experiences for Linda happened in 2009 while present-ing at a conference presented by the Center

    for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota.

    After her session, one of the participants, who was a mother, said her daughter was always telling her to laugh. The mother wouldnt because she thought she needed a reason to laugh. The woman thanked Linda for showing her that she didnt always need a reason to laugh. Neither do we.

    Whether you grew up in a household where laughter was encouraged or restricted, Linda encourages us to look back at our experiences of humor and try to create more. Share sto-ries among family members, or have younger family members interview elders to see what funny stories they recall.

    Being the funny one is no easy task. And some situations are just not funny. However, Linda explains that much of the ap-prehensions surrounding adding humor to our lives come from fear.

    She writes: Strangely, it takes courage to risk adding humor to

    life. At the same time, it is ironic to note that humor has the ability to trans-form fear. Do you see a

    cycle here? Underneath it all, I believe the problem is

    a fear of losing control. What would happen if

    we laughed so hard we lost control, cried or, worse yet, wet our pants?

    No matter the case, throughout

    the collection of funny anecdotes and quotes, the books message is clear: humor is good for us and its never

    too late to develop our funny bone. f July/August 2015 15

  • 16 July/August 2015

    By Sheila Helmberger

    Photos by CK Photography

    Having a new baby should be one of the happiest times in a womans life. When it isnt, it can mean feeling guilty, ashamed,

    and lonely. It might seem like there isnt any place to go, or anyone to talk to.

    Crystal Clancy is a licensed marriage and family therapist and family/divorce mediator who knows a little bit about the feelings of postpartum. She has helped start Pregnancy & Post-

    partum Support Minnesota to give mothers, who felt like she did, a place to go for help.

    I was just not meWhen Crystal married in 2000, the new couple was excited to start their family right away.


    Someone to talkto Helping

    mothers through pregnancy and postpartum

    with Crystal Clancy

    Riley, Crystal and kira Clancy, enjoying their photo shoot.

  • I would nurse her and put her back in her bouncy seat. I re-member with my son I would have rocked him and done a lot more of those types of things.

    On the outside, she was very well-cared for. She was growing, she was clean, she wasnt physi-cally neglected.

    Crystals friends started to tell her they were worried about her. Her husband could tell she wasnt herself, but she says she may have been in denial and lied to all of them. Even at her six-week postpartum checkup, she told her OB that everything was fine.

    Around the three-month mark, Crystal hit rock bottom. She was up for the fourth night in a row trying to nurse her daughter, who was still having problems. Crystal debated whether she should just stay up because her son would be up soon and if it was even worth going back to bed if her daughter did fall asleep. She re-members taking the pacifier and kind of jamming it into her daughters mouth.

    That was a sign of, Oh, my gosh! What is wrong with me?

    Call-To-ActionAfter trying for nearly two years, they began fertility treatments. Shortly after, to her delight, Crystal became pregnant. The pregnancy went smoothly and she delivered her son without any complications.

    When they decided to have an-other baby, Crystal got pregnant easily without any additional help. In 2005, she delivered her daughter.

    This time, something felt very dif-ferent.

    I noticed pretty quickly I was just not me. I wasnt really con-nected to her. I felt like I was just meeting her basic needs and that was about it. Both Crystal and the baby had some frustrat-ing things to work through that added to her feelings of helpless-ness.

    I got mastitis the first couple of weeks, and the baby had a lot of reflux issues, says Crystal. She was dairy intolerant. She had a lot of skin issues. She was fussy and constipated and just not an easy baby to be around, and I had to take care of my son at the same time.

    Depression doesnt always look classic, she says, I wasnt sad and weepy. I didnt think about hurting myself. I was more ir-ritated, angry, and detached.

    she says. I woke my husband and told him he needed to get up and help me, and he did. No questions asked.

    At one point, Crystal had even thought up a plan to take her son and leave for a few months until things got easier and her daughter was older. That seemed like a solution for me at the time. I felt like I was failing.

    She never told her husband about her plan, and, somehow, she talked herself through it.

    Back on trackRelief came during a visit from her mother-in-law.

    I was able to open up to her July/August 2015 17

    Become a VolunteerVolunteers are a key to the success of PPSM. The non-profit is always looking to train additional volunteers and will send representatives to your community for the day-long training. The group is looking to become more visible in the outstate area, and to reach moms who might not know about the organization, so that they can benefit from their services, also.

    The session includes information on the group and your role as a volunteer, and education on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. A small fee is charged, because it can be used in some professions for con-tinuing education.

  • and tell her how hard things were and the problems my daughter was having.

    After watching the baby for a while, she told me, Crystal, Ive had four kids, and this is not normal. I had already taken my daughter to the pediatrician and had been totally dismissed as nothing being wrong. They told me babies spit up. Babies get gas. I thought it must just be me. I must have had a super-easy baby the first time. I felt like I had to be making a big deal out of nothing.

    Finally, the couple got some answers. Crystal eliminated dairy from her diet (she was nursing), and her daughter was put on medicine for acid reflux. Once the baby wasnt so fussy, Crystal was able to bond with her and things got a lot better. By the time she returned to work, she was no longer struggling with depression as severely.

    Even if I would have talked with someone, I didnt think there was anywhere for me to go, she says. There werent ads, as far as I knew, for any therapists who worked with this. I learned about postpartum by developing it.

    When Crystal, whose children are now 12 and 9, found out a non-profit was being started to help mothers, she knew right away she wanted to be a part of it. The group started in 2007. In 2013, Crystal became the co-director of Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Minnesota.

    Call-To-ActionPregnancy & Postpartum Sup-port Minnesota (PPSM) is made up of mental health and peri-natal practitioners who have their own practices. They meet monthly and schedule trainings for volunteers who are interested in working with moms who call in for help. The group has a help

    line, a free resource for anyone looking for information on preg-nancy and postpartum.

    In addition to calls from mothers, calls have come in from doctors and others concerned for fam-ily members. Calls are initially triaged by mental health profes-sionals, and then moms can be paired with peer volunteers who offer invaluable support.

    Whether the experience is prob-lems with breastfeeding, a loss, or a preemie, well find a volun-teer to give them a call. They wont be judged by anyone. Crystal says that, sometimes, a mom just needs a pep talk once or twice. And sometimes, longer relationships develop between a volunteer and a mom. They just need to hear that they are not bad moms, and they need to hear theyre not alone and that things will get better.

    To contact Pregnancy & Post-

    partum Support Minnesota, call (612)787-PPSM (7776), or email [email protected] Or visit their website, The group is also active on Facebook and Twitter. f

    The Daisy DashThis year, PPSM hosted its second Daisy Dash, a fundraiser Crystal or-ganized. The group was looking for a way to bring in money they could use for education, to spread the word about their services, and to expand their reach within the state. Volunteers thought a 5K would be a fun event, and the Daisy Dash was born. Id run in a few, but never planned one, says Crystal who agreed to spearhead the ambitious undertaking. In 2014, the first Daisy Dash registered 250 participants, and raised $12,000. The event is held in May and is PPSMs largest fundraiser.


    18 July/August 2015

    mailto:[email protected]://ppsupportmn.org

  • titleCall-To-Action July/August 2015 19

    Silly Miss Tilly beating on her drums.

    Silly Miss Tilly making awesome balloon animalsContestants running the 5k.

    Contestants running the 5k.

    Last minute instructions.

    Stretching before the race.

    his cuteness won the race!

    Children warming up for the race!

    Workers conferring.

    how adorable can you get?

  • 20 July/August 2015

    Celebrating the Courage in Each of Us!You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

    I believe we live fearlessly through an attitude of gratitude and by shining light on the darkness. Witnessing the courage of others inspires me to live fearlessly.

    During a consult with my oncologist in July 2014, my treatment plan and side affects of chemotherapy were described, including I would lose my hair. I responded, I am ready for a new do. Intrinsically, I knew I had to

    choose my battles and attitude. The courage of my sister and niece accompanying me to my first chemo treatment provided me strength. My heart sang with our ability to find humor and wonderment amidst the terror of that experience, which was eased by the incredible nurse guiding us through it.

    In August 2014, my sister accompanied me in meeting my stylist, who compassionately cut my hair short in preparation of hair loss. In what could have been a dark occasion, I experienced empowerment, and also found amusement when my stylist found a scar on the back of my head a detail learned amid this life experience. I took delight in solving the mystery in identifying the origin of the scar. At the completion of my haircut, my sister was in tears and expressed,

    Now, its even more evident that you are really sick. Embracing and transcending through the fear and vulnerability of the circumstance strengthened us both. I prepared my parents and stepdaughter about my new do in advance of a visit to the cabin. The scar mystery was a great icebreaker as I removed my Life is Good hat to reveal my new look. My mother solved the mystery in an instant, explaining the scar was the result of a fall during a boat ride.

    I am grateful for the experiences in life that have provided me greater self-awareness and gift of possessing a positive perspective amidst adverse circumstances.

    Light & gratitude,

    Robin f

    Robins Journey By Robin Robatcek

    20 July/August 2015

    Equal Opportunity Employer

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    Robins Journey

  • Phenomenal Under 40

    Willow Sweeney Flaherty:


    Passion, energy, fun, and kindness are just a few words that come to mind after seeing Willow Sweeney Flaherty inspire a large crowd. And after a follow-up interview, it doesnt take long for the 38-year-old to tell me that her goal, and that of her colleagues, is to transform American education. The Madison, Wisconsin native and University of St. Thomas (UST) graduate is co-founder of Top 20 Training, a company that focuses on making positive change in the lives of educators, parents, and students by providing live trainings and products that teach social and emotional skills.

    Getting startedHer story begins in April 1999 when reflecting upon the tragic Columbine school shooting. As a young social studies teacher at Cretin-Derham Hall (CDH) in St.

    Paul, Willow began examining the nations school system and how we treat one another. What I started thinking about is that we should be purposefully kind to one another. That you need to go out of your way to do kind things for one another, in order to build a positive community, says Willow.

    That renewed awareness motivated Willow to teach a 45-minute class to her students about purposefully being kind. It seems like the kind of thing you wouldnt have to teach to kids, but it made a huge impact, adds Willow.

    Another teacher at CDH, Tom Cody, had recently started a program called Thinking, Learning and Communicating (TLC) to help students develop their own excellence. After Willows success in teaching

    2015 Top 20 Training Happening Locally Annandale School District

    Area Catholic School Teachers

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    St. Cloud Times

    Stearns County

    WACOSA July/August 2015 21

    By Crystal NuttPhotos by Pete Pederson, Northern Star Photo

  • kindness, he asked her to join him as a co-teacher. Paul Bernebei, a fellow Twin Cities teacher, had been a guest speaker in the class, and the three teamed up to create a program for students.

    And Top 20 was born then. We wrote books together. We wrote curriculum together. Weve been at this for about 14, [almost] 15 years, says Willow.

    With the initial intent to sell the curriculum to other schools to develop students, Willow, Tom, and Paul, along with their two business partners, quickly recognized that teachers could also benefit from the social and emotional training material. And thats when it rolled into a program for kids and adults.

    Today, the company is run by Willow Sweeney Flaherty, Tom Cody, and Paul Bernebei. They provide training and materials on social and emotional intelligence, and theyve worked

    with about 400,000 people across the country and Canada.

    Live trainingsAttending a live training by Willow is very different from most professional development sessions. Willow uses personal stories, dramatizations, and improv to make the content come alive. The sessions are engaging and use humor to get the point across. Many people in my industry either have good content, or are really entertaining. I think a good professional development experience must have both, says Willow.

    Willow and her team train on about eighteen different topics, but the most popular is the foundational piece called Above and Below the Line. Its about becoming aware of our thinking. It invites the crowd to identify those times when their thinking is positive and healthy

    About Top 20 TrainingIts mission is to help people develop their potential by providing highly effective training and materials as part of a unique character development and emotional intelligence program. It provides students, teachers, and parents with a common language, easily understood concepts, and practical tools for dealing with everyday situations and problems. To learn more, visit

    By email at:[email protected]

    By phone at:(651) 308-4876

    By postal mail at:Top 20 Training1873 Stanford Ave.Saint Paul, MN 55105

    22 July/August 2015

    Willow at a speaking engagment. Phenomenal Under 40

    mailto:[email protected]

  • Phenomenal Under 40

    (Above the Line), and when it is negative and unhealthy (Below the Line).

    The path to successSince marrying Brian Flaherty, a St. Cloud native, and moving to the area in the mid-2000s, Willow has become entrenched in all things central Minnesota. But her foundation for success started long before that. Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, Willow often spent time with family, enjoyed the sense of community that Madison offers, and had strong role models, including teachers. Later, Willow attended UST where she received the education that helped land her dream job -- teaching at CDH.

    And that teaching experience not only led her to her current work, it also led her to her mentors, Tom and Paul. They gave me a great key. I opened the door with it, and Ive been running ever since. But nothing would have happened for me without those two.

    For me, almost all of my success has been based on when I put July/August 2015 23

    energy into good relationships. Thats it.

    Finding joyWhen asked what excites her about her work, Willow responds, I connect strongly with human energy, and whenever that combines with the best interest of other humans or themselves, I get really excited by that.

    She adds, What really excites me about it is that people keep saying over and over and over, Im going to use this, or This is going to change things for me. And then, when we hear back from them over time, it has.

    Overcoming challengesWhile shes always had a natural knack for being in front of people, Willow has had to hone her skills, and says shes leaps and bounds better than when she first started.

    That was really one of my breakthroughs. To really, truly stop having such a huge connection to what the crowds opinion of me was, says Willow. As soon as I got to that point, my potential in speaking just kind of exploded.

    Willow also notes that work travel is difficult while raising young children, sons Cooper, 9, and Barrett, 5. Her mother moved to St. Cloud in 2007 to be closer to Willow and her family, and

    Willow acknowledges, The only way I am able to do what I do is because my husband and my mom handle everything for me at home while Im on the road.

    Just for funWillow values connecting with people outside of work, too, and says that, socially, the activities she is most involved with have been womens golf league and the theatre.

    I golf at the St. Cloud Country Club. Its really such a socially beneficial place because its so much more than golf. Its community; its family.

    Willow adds that GREAT Theatre offers a similar sense of community.

    GREAT Theatre is the most incredible thing Ive ever been a part of in my adult life. It allows people to come together and make something. In most areas of life, there isnt a lot of opportunity for that kind of thing.

    Future plansWhen asked about her five-year plan, Willow responds, I would like to be a household name in social and emotional intelligence. And after recently expanding their company by adding 11 new national trainers, it seems Top 20 Training is on its way to being just that. f

    Willow connecting with others.

  • title

    CMW Local Womens Network

    24 July/August 2015


  • July/August 2015 25


  • Organic Food Explorer

    It happens to most of us: we see or hear something that triggers a strong memory. For me, that trig-ger is oftentimes food. The food that instantly transports me to summers with my sister, Robin, is tacos, or, more generally, Mexi-can food.

    When I was little, Robin, older by many years, had to babysit me on summer days. Im sure she wasnt always very happy about that, but we had fun, with the usual amount of excep-tions youd expect with siblings. The one day we always looked forward to most was Thursdays. Thursday was Robins payday, and after picking up her check and stopping at the bank, wed make tracks for our favorite taco chain. We usually placed the same order -- soft shell tacos and potato oles. On the way home, Id dig through the bag for a few oles, holding them out the window to cool them off quicker. Sometimes, wed change things up, go to the other taco chain and order Mexican pizzas, or order the best nachos in town from one of the pizzerias. It was guaranteed, though, that when we got something special, it was

    By Heather Rotunda

    Photos by Sue Dropp, Dropp Visual

    Mexican Food, Organic-Style

    going to be Mexican.

    Its been several years since we were able to enjoy those Mex-ican-food Thursdays. We live in different states now and only see each other once a year, if were lucky. Trips to taco chains have also all but stopped since switch-ing to as organic and GMO-free a diet as possible. That doesnt mean we cant relive those fun times when Robin visits this year, though. We can recreate those favorites with fresh, healthier ingredients and start a new tradition.

    Youll see that most of the recipes this time dont include amounts. For these dishes, its more of an individual thing. You may want less meat, more veggies or cheese, so specific amounts arent vital. One of the best things about building your own taco and/or nacho bar? Most of us have these ingredients in our fridges. Its also a great way to use up leftover meat or those veggies that should be used before they take a turn for the worst. Feel free to change up the ingredients to suit your tastes or what you have on hand.

    Taco and Nacho Bar

    Soft Shell Taco

    26 July/August 2015

  • Organic Food Explorer

    DO-IT-YOURSELF TACO AND NACHO BAR Cooked chicken Cooked ground beef Diced tomato Diced avocado Shredded lettuce Shredded cheddar Flour or corn tortillas Tortilla chips Sour cream SalsaLay out all the ingredients, buf-fet-style, and let everyone build their own tacos or nachos.

    CHEESE SAUCE 2 Tablespoons butter 2 Tablespoons flour 1 cup milk 1/4 teaspoon chili powder 2 cups shredded cheddar

    Melt butter in a medium sauce-

    pan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking, for about a minute. Add milk, whisking continuously, until thickened. Add chili powder. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the ched-dar until melted. If you need to reheat the sauce, add a small amount of water and reheat over low heat.

    MEXICAN PIzzA Olive oil Flour tortillas Refried beans Ground beef Salsa Shredded cheddar Chopped green onions

    Preheat oven to 350. Set aside a rimmed cookie sheet.

    In a medium skillet, heat just enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Heat a tortilla

    on both sides until it begins to develop a little color; remove from pan and place on cookie sheet. Spread refried beans on heated tortilla, going almost to the edges. Top with ground beef. Heat a second tortilla and cover with the ground beef layer. Top the second tortilla with salsa, cheddar, and green onions. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the tortilla edges are crisp. Remove from oven, cut in fourths and serve.

    Sue Dropp says: Oh my gosh... I look down and see Ive pol-ished off all of Heathers Chicken Nachos during the taste test!! Oops! Well, Mexican cuisine is my ultimate favorite, and these three dishes were Muy Bueno! The tacos, nachos, and Mexican pizza were composed of organic fresh veggies, free-range meats, and delicate seasonings! I just cant stop eating. Great job, Heather! July/August 2015 27

  • 28 July/August 2015

    everywhere. So, lets sally forth.

    With great revelation comes great restraint..and

    explanation! Ill be the first to admit that my wife is always right, especially in the major things of life, but Im still a valuable part of the team -- sometimes.

    Here, let me explain it this way. When it comes to

    the major decisions about people, places, or things, my

    wife, with her inner compass, has the uncanny ability to know the inevitable outcome or destination. The best way I can describe this is, its like putting a final destination in a GPS. Its no accident that every GPS has a womans voice! The final destination is where I know we will end up.

    My value comes in the fact that Im good at recalculating. Ever

    Whats He Thinking?


    right!By Doug Vagle

    So the title of this article could be greatly misconstrued and used as a weapon of mass destruction against men, everywhere, if taken out of context. Its an extremely dangerous thing to flippantly say, and while it is absolutely trueit also needs some clarification.

    Call it intuition, call it good sense, call it a gut feeling, call it whatever you want, because, when it comes to women, your inner compass is almost always correct. Personally speaking, Ive found this to be the case, over and over again, through my years of marriage. Ill also never forget it, because Im frequently reminded of this fact, over and over..but thats an issue for another issue!

    If I just stopped here, quite possibly I could do irreparable damage to relationships,

    heard the woman on your GPS say that word? Sometimes, a recalculation is necessary, because we need gas or I know about construction or even a possible better route to our destination. Sometimes, a recalculation is necessary, because I need to hit a drive-thru. See, one of my special talents is rolling with the flow of life. That is exactly why my wife and I make such a great team! She knows WHERE we need to get to, and I am good at figuring out all the grinding details of HOW to get there amongst all the obstacles and detours that life throws our way. Together, we can get ANYwhere.

    Well, I have to run because she asked me to pick up some milk., which store should I go to? What route should I take?

    Until next time! f


    Whats He


  • Steppin' Out!July

    Steppin Out

    ARTS4: St. Cloud Municipal Band, Independence Day, Hester Park, 8 p.m.

    9,16,23,30: St. Cloud Munici-pal Band, Barden Park, 7:30 p.m. Free concert!

    9-10;16-18;23-24: Avenue, Pio-neer Place on Fifth Main Stage, 7:30 p.m. Tickets:

    12: Music in the Gardens, Munsinger-Clemens Gardens, Twin Cities Trio, 3 p.m. Info:

    16: 100 Years of Sinatra! With Andrew Walesh & His Big Band, Paramount, 1:30 and 7 p.m. Info/Tickets:, or (320) 259-5463.

    16: Art Fair in the Gardens, Munsinger-Clemens Gardens, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Info:

    17: Reynold Philipsek, Pioneer Place on Fifth In the Lounge, 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Free!

    24: Anthony Perry, Pioneer Place on Fifth In the Lounge, 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Free!

    26: Music in the Gardens, Munsinger-Clemens Gardens, 3 p.m., Laura Cavianni. Info:

    31: Chris Laumb, Pioneer Place on Fifth In the Lounge, 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Free!

    COMMUNITYSt. Cloud Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to noon. Location: Lady Slipper Parking Lot (between Perkins and Fitzharris in Down-town St. Cloud).

    St. Joseph Farmers Market, 3 to 6:30 p.m. Location: Res-urrection Lutheran Church grounds, under the water tower.

    1,8,15,22,29: Summertime by George, Lake George, Down-town St. Cloud, 5 to 9 p.m. Contact: [email protected]

    3-4: St. Joseph Church Par-ish Festival, parish grounds, begins at 5 p.m. Info:

    4: 68th Annual Fireworks, Hester & Wilson Parks, 10 p.m. St. Cloud Municipal Band plays at 8 p.m.

    11: Clearwater Graniteman Triathlon, Warner Lake. Info:

    12: 35th Annual Tour of the Saints Bike Ride. Check-in, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Starts/ends at College of St. Benedict. Info:

    14: Lap the Lake Family Re-lay & Ice Cream Social, Lake George, 6:30 p.m. Register at 5:30 p.m. In celebration of Minser Chiropractic Clinics 25th anniversary. All proceeds benefit Oklahaven Childrens Chiropractic Center. Info:

    18: Sports Cards & Collect-ibles Show, Stearns History Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free! Info:

    23-25: Halfway Jam. Info:, or 1-(877)HALF-JAM.

    24-25: Cold Spring Hometown Pride Festival. Info:

    By natalie M. Rotunda

    For Arts and Community Events, visit cmwomen.comAugust

    Halfway JamJULY 23-25

    Four days of rock in Central MN, featuring

    over 25 bands on two stages.

    Feat. Night Ranger July/August 2015 29

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  • Market


    CMW MarketplaCe representatives: CIndy SteInke (320) 333-6487 [email protected]

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    Member FDICJim Rohn and Cousin JuniorBy Natalie M. Rotunda

    I collect meaningful quotes. Jim Rohns are among my favorites. But the one that eclipses all the others is, Wherever you are, be there.

    It took reading the quote a few times before the wisdom of those five words hit me. I began seeing it as the all-occasion quote that fits just about any situa-tion. Be there. Be 100% present.

    I try to be that person who lives in the mo-ment, but Ive never known anyone who personifies the Jim Rohn quote better than Sam, Jr., a favorite cousin. Liv-ing the writer life in So-Cal, he did everything with flair and style. No shortcuts, no half mea-sures. All you needed to know about him was this: Whoever he was with, nothing else mat-tered for that stretch of time.

    Junior came home to visit periodically, and you always made time to spend time with him. Walk in the door of his parents home, and bam! He was there to greet you. For at least the next half hour, Junior was laser-focused on you, asking all about what you were doing. But the questions never seemed intrusive. You knew he really cared and wanted to know, because Junior was like this with everyone. He was the real deal, noth-ing plastic or inauthentic about him. More than

    one of us wanted to be just like him.

    Wherever you are, be there. Yep, that fit Junior to a T.

    During my three-year presidency of a writers group, I issued two invitations to Junior to speak to us. I was proud of the man and of his accomplishments and wanted to show him off to my writer-friends, who were all in various stag-es of writing success. But Junior turned down both invites. I said earlier that hes the real-deal. That was never more evident than when he told me why hed said no (then asked for a rain check). He didnt have anything big to talk about just then, and he did not want to trade on his past suc-cesses. He wanted to have something fresh, something current, to share with us that might help us further our ca-reers.

    Our timing was never right. And then he was gone.

    I miss Junior. Hes one of the most real people Ive ever known. Jim Rohns quote is taped to my desk. Sometimes when I read it, my mind time-travels to his be-loved moms and my aunts funeral. It was the last time I saw him. Even then, through his grief, Junior was Junior.

    Throughout his writing career, Junior knew Big Names in the entertain-ment industry. Wouldnt it be crazy if Jim Rohn was one of them -- and he coined the quote with Junior in mind? f

    Growing As I Learn/MarketPlace

    30 July/August 2015

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