Player: Adam Berkhoel
Hometown: Woodbury, Minn.
Population: 46,463 (2000 U.S. Census)
Type: Suburb of St. Paul
The place where Adam Berkhoel grew up no longer exists. When Berkhoel was a kid, Woodbury, Minn. was a small town surrounded by woods and farms. His friends lived far away so Berkhoel had to make his own fun. That meant spending time on his grandparents’ farm, shooting pucks at garage doors and raising pheasants. Today, housing developments have gobbled up the rural character of Woodbury, but Berkhoel fondly remembers when the town was a little less populated.
“It used to be a small town in the country with nothing around. You would have to drive 15 minutes to go to the store or see your friends. But now it’s completely blown up. They just started putting up houses and retail shops left and right. My wife and I have a town home there and the conveniences are nice, but it’s overpopulated.”
“My grandparents had a big farm and I’d always go there. We played in the woods and rode four wheelers. But my grandparents got old and sold the farm. We also raised pheasants, about 100 or so. We would sell them to hunters.”
“We played on ponds and outdoor rinks. Once I tried to make a rink in the yard. I dug out a little area and filled it with water, but it didn’t work. When we had a (concrete) slab poured in front of the garage, we played there a lot. My parents didn’t like it though because when you missed the net you put dents in the garage doors.”
“Yeah. We had a five-car garage with aluminum doors and they would dent. We’d have to pound out the dents and repaint the doors. Before that it was wood doors and they just had to be replaced.”
“In St. Paul. That’s where everything was. The Best Buy headquarters was there, so was 3M, General Mills and Anderson Windows.”
“The Twins, Vikings and Wild. The North Stars were huge before they moved.”
“A little bit. We go back every summer. When I went to school in Denver I fell in love with that place, so I miss that area, too. But Minnesota is great. I love it.”