On the Road: Behind Closed Doors

Updated: 10/21/2013 4:45 PM KSTP.com By: Jason Davis

They often go about their business or hobby for years without any of us knowing about it. It's truly amazing what we found "Behind Closed Doors."

Now we reveal some of these secrets; like the couple who bought an old gas station in Dawson, Minn., and without making any major structural changes, turned it into a cozy home. In fact there's still an old gas pump outside their front door. People still stop and knock hoping to get a fill of gas at the price on the pump, which is stuck at 27 cents a gallon.

At the other end of the scale is a home in Luverne, Minn., that was an old abandoned hotel. It is huge! Bill and Nancy Frakes bought the 110-year-old building more than ten years ago and set to work to turn the rambling building into a home fit for a king. Today their pad measures more than 23,000 square feet. It includes 15 bedrooms, more than 130 windows and it takes six furnaces to keep it all warm, and all this is just for two people.

Don Bruno built his little printing business on a quiet street in St Joseph using ancient equipment that produced classical pages of type set one page at a time. When Don suddenly passed away, his daughter Mary reluctantly took over, and a whole new line of weird and wonderful printing appeared on the market. Mary's sense of humor is evident in the cards and posters she turns out on the old presses.

In southwestern Minnesota, they grow a lot of corn. Most of it is processed into food products, fuel or animal feed, but a fraction is being woven into cloth. A new process turns corn into a fine silk-like thread that Paul and Peg Mjoness turn into yarn that is hard wearing, can be dyed into vibrant colors and never shrinks. Amazingly, Peg says, the more you wash this new fabric, the stronger it gets.

In a little, old home near St. Cloud, Minn., Gail Ripley has a problem. She can't move for all the works of art her husband Mike created before he died a few years ago. Mike Ripley was as talented as he was productive. Every nook and cranny of the home is packed with his work. This prolific artist worked as a school janitor during the day and spent his nights and weekends making things. He never gave away or sold anything. And that's Gail's problem. She wants to move but can't figure out what to do with what he husband created