Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.
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"Humans associate music with time and people in their lives. I guess, I've done that and I figured everyone does," Suzanne Fabian-West says. A lifetime of singing and a few years of guitar-playing have given her the tools not only to make her world go round, but also to give others a glimpse of a sometimes forgotten world. Originally from Elyria, Ohio, Fabian-West has been surrounded by music since her youth. "My mother sang in church choir and my sister played piano," she said, "I was in chorus, church choir and school plays.
HAGER CITY -- From the familiar aromas of Red Wing to the oddly recognizable whiffs of dog food, my five-minute trip to Hager City opened my eyes and nasal passages. Just a jog from the border, the unincorporated census-designated village is located in the township of Trenton in Pierce County. From the passersby perspective, the city amounts to an industrial playground as Thomas & Betts Corporation and Nestle Purina Petcare Company line the each scenic highway.
BAY CITY - "Over the river and through the wood to grandmother's house we go" starts the holiday croon - and, on this sublime day, the beginning of an afternoon trip. With Barn Bluff reflecting in my rear view mirror and eastbound eyes on the road, I traveled, and as poet Lydia Maria Child put it best, over the river and through the woods. Although grandmother's house was not my intended destination, the loved lyric sums up the simple cruise. The river town lies on Lake Pepin's curves.
Editor's note: This is the third part in a series about extreme sports. WACOUTA - Nestled in between the lush valleys of the Mississippi River lives Lake Pepin. Glimpses of the past merge with modern-day thrills, making the lake a lifelong oasis for visitors and residents alike. The self-proclaimed "birthplace of waterskiing" holds a massive history of tall tales, tragedy, triumphs and, for the aqua-crazed, water sports. Lake Pepin dweller Kyle Mehrkens has resided in Wacouta his entire life.
DIAMOND BLUFF, Wis. - Unincorporated communities have always intrigued me. Sometimes mistaken for a old-fashioned ghost town, the non-city's mysterious components and complex characters - surviving in the smallest of numbers - gives passersby a glimpse of communal kinship. Traveling over the Mississippi River past the bluffs of Red Wing, I cruised northbound on the Great River Road of Wisconsin Highway 35. Limestone-lined bluffs reflecting a cloudless sky's sun captivated my photographic eye on the easy 10-minute drive to Diamond Bluff.
Midwest summers are short - too short for most water-crazed river worshipers.
A half marathon is equivalent to the 52.4 laps on a track, 230.6 lengths of a football field or 432.2 laps in a swimming pool or, for my liking, 30.9 rounds of disc golf at Memorial Park. However you measure the distance, one thing is for sure: 13.1 miles is a hefty distance for any human to conquer. This past weekend I had the pleasure of partaking in the annual Red Wing River City Ramble. Established in 1983, the race began as a 5K and 10K event, managed and developed by the Red Wing YMCA as a fundraiser for various youth programs.
From hockey player to country singer, Chad Brownlee's surprising resume and ties to Red Wing will all come together this weekend. The Canadian-born singer started a career on the ice rather than the stage. Brownlee was the sixth-round draft pick by the Vancouver Canucks in 2003.
Not many people can take a trip to Madison, Wis., for lunch and be back in time for dinner - unless you're traveling by air. For Red Wing native and licensed pilot Josh Bauer, the short trip was made when he and a friend were bored and hungry. A strong interest in aviation began when Bauer was young. "I remember taking family trips when I was younger and thought that the idea of being a pilot was extremely fascinating," he said, "I was amazed that people could actually make a career out of being a pilot" Childhood fantasies turned into attainable dreams when Bauer became a teenager.
With River City Days right around the corner, take a sneak peek at the art and entertainment opportunities available for the festive weekend Aug. 4-7. The annual arts and crafts fair will open Saturday Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. 6 p.m. at the Levee Park and continue Sunday until 4 p.m. Featuring regional and local vendors with wall-to-wall tents, the event offers everything from eclectic lawn ornaments, handmade jewelry, tie-die clothing, children's toys and savory scents and mouth-watering food items. Calling all young artists ... to the Kids Kraft Tent at the Bay Point Park.