Duane grew up in Rushford, MN. He is one of six children, alongside siblings: Terry, Kenny, Dennis, Nancy, and Sheila. His oldest brother, Terry, lives in Boston. Duane recalls that his first airplane trip occurred on a visit to see Terry, where he also took in a Red Sox game and visited the zoo. Kenny lives in Rushford, where the family still spends their holidays. Duane’s twin brother, Dennis, lives in Fountain City, and Nancy lives in Winona. Their youngest sister, Sheila, passed away in 2016.
Growing up, he and his siblings had a dog, three cats, and twelve rabbits. Duane remembers his father buying two rabbits, a male and a female, and pretty soon there were fifteen baby rabbits, which soon evened out to twelve. He has a picture of himself with his brothers, Kenny and Dennis, each of them with a cat. When asked their names, he said, “Steve, Mike, and Jeff.”
Duane played sports growing up, and physical education was his favorite time of the school day. He liked playing basketball, and once played on a baseball team that went 20 games without a loss! Though he says he’s too old to play sports now, he is still an avid fan and follows the Twins and the Vikings closely. He enjoys collecting memorabilia, has been to numerous Twins games, and is planning another trip there soon. He also likes to watch the Super Bowl and then order the DVD to watch it again.
But as much as he likes sports, there is something he likes even more. In fact, “like” might be too tame a word. Duane loves country music and especially is a fan of Elvis Presley. He has traveled to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee 17 times, and sports Elvis shirts, pins, bracelets, and rings. His favorite Elvis tune is “Blue Hawaii.” He has also been to Nashville, where he has seen Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, George Strait, and more recently, Kenny Chesney.
Closer to home, Duane has been to Country Fest in Cadott, Wisconsin, and Ashley for the Arts in Arcadia. Another Wisconsin draw is The Dells, where he likes to go on the duck boats.
He has lived at Iverson Court since 1989. He’s trying to do more of his own cooking and can make a mean tuna noodle hot dish, but he also likes TV dinners and is part of a meal prep program once a week. His HCO staff member, Victoria, jokes that if bubble gum could be considered food, it would be his first choice. His favorite brand of bubble gum is not carried at Kwik Trip any longer, he says, so he will have to go to Walmart.
He has quite a few friends at Iverson, some of whom work with him at ORC. Duane takes the bus to ORC, where he works in shredding papers and folding towels, the number of which he keeps track of with a hand counter.
In his free time, he likes to watch sports events, the Country Channel, and the news. He and his friends go out to dinner, his favorite being Bub’s and Jefferson’s, and then to the movies. He also participates in fun events sponsored by HCO.
He is quite religious and was raised in the Catholic Church. He has a photo he took out the window of the plane on his way to Boston. It shows God the Father, he says, walking on the clouds, hand upraised in a friendly wave.
Duane says that he will be retiring from ORC next year, and he is looking forward to having more free time.
Iverson Court recently celebrated its 35th year in the Winona Community.