January 2016 White Bear Lake Magazine

In the January issue find out how Johnny Kass keeps vinyl alive at his local record shop, get snuggly with soothing comfort food from Lake area eateries and meet a teacher who still makes the grade after 50 years.

The Hippodrome, or the “Hipp,” where most of our young hockey players learn to skate, was constructed as the County Fair Exhibition Building in 1926. The building was originally 100 feet by 200 feet and was constructed by local contractor W.H.


Music may soothe the savage breast, but we’d choose a nice bowl of buttered noodles over Mozart any day. The therapeutic effects of food are real, and “comfort food” has become a category in its own right ever since savvy restaurateurs noticed that the mac ’n’ cheese outsold the filet mignon.


Fabulous food, great friends and a stunning backdrop were just a few of the high points at the low-country boil, put on by the Sailing Division of the White Bear Yacht Club.

Photos 2 & 7 by Jenn Barnett; All other photos by Debbie Johnson-Hill


It was fun on the water as folks took in a boat cruise organized by the Mahtomedi Liquor Barrel.


The Polar Plunge serves as the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Special Olympics of Minnesota. There are 20 plunges across the state, and last year alone, 15,000 people raised nearly $4 million.


When Robert Bergstrom began teaching, computers were the size of whole rooms, and cell phones were a mere idea in science fiction movies. Fifty-plus years later in the field, technology has changed, but he’s still there.


On the surface, the idea of racing a boat across frozen waters at up to 60 miles per hour in subzero temperatures sounds crazy. Dig a little deeper . . . and it still sounds pretty crazy.


“When everyone is running one way, I go the other,” says Johnny Kass, the 54-year-old proprietor of White Bear Lake’s only record store. “In a world as square as it is today, sticking out like a sore thumb is easy. All you need to do is exist, be yourself, do something original.”


We all know it’s January, but you might want to get your golf clubs out of storage and start warming up your swing. Why? Because the first weekend in February will mark the ninth year of White Bear Lake’s Bear’ly Open, a charity golf event—on the ice.


As an All-American athlete, Brant Luehman, owner of 3:12 Fitness, knows a thing or two about sports. And as a personal trainer and coach, he knows how to motivate others to get the job done.


What started out as Rebecca Zimmerman’s hobby 27 years ago has transformed into a bustling business called White Bear Soap Company. “Soap was something that clicked with me,” Zimmerman says.


Ava Kraemer of White Bear Lake is deep in thought as she pores over a recent issue of White Bear Lake Magazine.


In 1990, Ellen Bruner, president of the Wildwood Artist Series, set out to use Mahtomedi’s fine arts center as a space to share the performing arts with the entire community.


David Swanson, a certified consulting hypnotist and owner of Hypnotic Progressions, has had his business in White Bear Lake for over five years.


The Hippodrome, the ice arena built in 1926 and owned by the White Bear Lake school district, recently underwent updates altering the building’s flooring foundation. The school district went to Kyle Gillespie, co-owner of Rink-Tec International Inc., to do the work on the project.