TMC Administration Notes - June/July 2015

Letter from the Chair

My friend Rob from Chicago was visiting Minneapolis recently on business, and for a variety of reasons, we weren't able to spend much time together until the day he flew back home. I was free at noon, his plane left at 7, so we had a few hours to ourselves.

We decided to take a walking tour of taco spots on Lake Street. We parked, then started walking, stopping wherever it looked like we could get a taco. At one taco truck, Rob imprudently asked for "the hottest sauce you've got", then spread it liberally over his tacos without tasting it. After two bites, the color of his face made it obvious he was in pain, so I helpfully asked if he needed any habaneros. In between tacos and jokes, we talked about all of the things we had lost touch on living in different states - family, relationships, jobs, shared history, and goals for the future were all discussed, along with weird dreams about cows and an incredibly inappropriate men's room painting we found at one stop. It was a lot of fun, and I had no notion of time passing, we were both just absorbed in the flow of the moment. And I don't think either of us were aware that we were "processing our issues", but in reality we were.

At one point, we were talking about TCMC, which reminded me that my next column for Men Talk was due soon, so I asked Rob if he had any ideas for a column I could write. He thought for a second, then said, "Write about the importance of men having male friends. Write about how male friends give you the space to be yourself while processing problems or asking for advice." Hearing this, I think I may have actually smacked myself in the forehead Homer Simpson style. Of course!

So thanks for the idea Rob, and here it is. I think men face some obstacles to having long-standing, close male friends in their lives. For one thing, our society tries to tell men that they should be rugged individualists who don't need help or friends. For another, men sometimes feel like it's cheating to actively seek out male companionship. If you meet a guy when you're both reaching for the last officially logoed jersey of your favorite football player, that's OK, but admitting that you're lonely and would like to find a good friend is somehow seen as weak.

Having close male friends in your life won't solve all your problems, but it may give you the space and the support you need to better tackle them yourself. And having a close male friend in your life might do something else for you - it might reassure you that the challenges you face are not unique, and that if your friend can handle them, then maybe you can too.

Joe Szurszewski
Board Chair


Library Corner

–– Jim Heaney, Librarian

We have a unique and extensive collection of books on men's and general topics which can be checked out by members of the Men's Center. Our periodicals include:

  • Fathering Today
  • Men's Health
  • Men's Journal
  • Lavender
  • Transitions
  • Voice Male.

The books in the Men’s Center Library are sectioned off into 14 categories.  These categories are: Fathers, Children & Families, Fiction, Gay & Lesbian, Health & Therapy, Humor, Men’s Movement & Masculinity, Men’s Stories & Poetry, Miscellaneous, Relationships & Friendships, Reference, Relationships & Friendships, Sexuality, Spirituality, Valued Elders, Women. 

The Men's Center is proud to have a signed copy of Timothy Young's recently published To the Palace of Kings. Timothy is very active in the mens movement. This is the book which was referenced in the last Men Talk.

The Men's Center Staff and Key Volunteers

Office Manager -- Randy Genrich
Office Assistant Mgr-- Bryon Wistrom
Anger Mgmt Director-- John Hesch
Office Volunteers -- Rick Charlson, Jim Heaney, Dick Madigan
Librarian -- Jim Heaney
Donation Pick-up Volunteers --
See chart in kitchen area

Board Chair -- Joe Szurszewski
Board Vice Chair -- Tom Weaver
Board Secretary -- Norm Petrik
Board Treasurer -- Rick Charlson
Board Member -- Jim Heaney
Board Member -- Ken Knoll
Board Member -- Andy Mickel
Board Member -- Damon Starks
Alternate -- Todd Fogelberg
Alternate -- Harry Greenberg
Alternate -- Malik Holt
Alternate -- Dave Webb

MenTalk Editor -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Production -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Here/There -- Andy Mickel
MenTalk Advertising -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Mailing Coord -- Scott Benson
MenTalk Labels/Database -- Scott Benson

Program Committee, Chair -- Norm Petrick
Wednesday Present Coord --Randy Genrich

Wednesday Present Publicity -- Rick Charlson

Finance Committee, Chair -- Rick Charlson
Finance Committee Chair -- Rick Charlson
Fin Comm Grant Writer -- Malik Holt-Shabazz
Fin Comm Memberships -- Andy Mickel

Outreach Committee, Chair -- Rick Charlson
Pride Festival Coord -- Damon S and Dave W
Media Publicity Coord -- Rick Charlson
Outreach Booth at Shows -- Randy Genrich, Andy Mickel, Malik Holt-Shabazz
Librarian -- Jim Heaney
Web Site/Technology -- Bill Dobbs, Andy Mickel, Ken Knoll, Joe Szurszewski
E-mail Responders -- Scott Benson, Rick Charlson, Bill Dobbs, John Hesch, Andy Mickel, Joe Szurszewski

Anger Mgmt Director -- John Hesch
Anger Mgmt Grant Writer -- Bob Anderson
Anger Mgmt Publicity -- John Hesch
Anger Mgmt Steer Commit -- Bob Lundberg, John Hersch, David Giancristforo
Anger Mgmt Facilitators -- Tom M, Michael K, Jim K, John H, Art H, Bryce K, Pat G, Dean G, David E, Hoske R, Cory C, Michael I, John C, Lee C, Norm P, Bob L, Bob A, Harry G, Howard B, Tom F

Support Group Coord -- Norm Petrik
Support Group Database -- Dave Webb
General Men's Issues -- Randy G, Jerry O
Addiction Busters -- Tommy J
Gay Issues -- Pat K, Bruce K, Ranslow Z
Transitions --Scott, Richard S.
Divorce/Uncouplng -- John M, Greg D, Gerry W
Sexual Trauma & Abuse Survivors -- Jerry B, Kathleen M
Bi-Men & Gay Issues -- Leo P, David W, Damon S.
Healthy Sexual Boundaries -- Bobby S, Tommy J
Healthy Sexual Boundaries East -- Bobby S
Healthy Sexual Boundaries Tues -- Rich P, Bobby S, Tommy J
Retirement -- Norm P

Call our Office Manager at 612-822-5892 and ask how you can help.
We have been a vital part of the Twin Cities community for decades,
and almost all of our services have been provided by volunteers like you.