Jeff Rouse

Jeff Rouse

Executive Producer—OUR STORY TV
Publisher—The Road to OUR STORY magazine

Raised on a farm outside a small town in Northern Iowa Jeff found life not limited by its size, but instructive in becoming part of a community! He found with neighbors and friend sharing a common history and memories it creates a bond not found in larger communities! But with entertainment options limited, like so many of his generation he watched a lot of TV, not to date him, but Jeff will be the first person to tell you that he only got two black-and-white channels on TV on the farm unless he climbed up onto the roof and changed the direction of the antenna. His fascination with movie history really began at age 10 when he switched channels from the Lawrence Welk Show to find the classic film, The Invisible Man, playing on the other. He was instantly hooked on old movies. From then on, Jeff has developed such an expansive knowledge about showbiz trivia that his wife calls him, "A constant source of useless information!" Jeff used this knowledge to develop several businesses. In 1984 he opened his first retail store in Denver Colorado specializing in Hollywood memorabilia called Cinema Graphics. Building upon that venture, Jeff formed Star Struck Enterprises that included additional stores in the well-known resort community of Okoboji, Iowa and Fairmont MN.

After developing a wholesale division that took him on the road throughout the Midwest he visited many small towns and was amazed to discover the lifestyle he grew up with was still there!

The need presented itself that the small towns he was visiting had businesses and points of interest that needed to be shared! So in the summer of 2007 he invited his fellow business owners and citizens from his community to volunteer to form OUR STORY PRODUCTIONS. Through a variety of TV programs and a website called “Destination Small Town”

OSP highlights the lifestyles we share in rural America, promoting the idea “It's not just the past but the present that becomes OUR STORY”

For OUR STORY is just that—the story about us, the people of the Midwest.


 

Denise Rouse

Denise Rouse 

Costume and Set Designer—OUR STORY TV
Style & Entertainment Editor—The Road to OUR STORY magazine

Denise Rouse brings razzle-dazzle to every facet of life! Raised on a farm in Southern Minnesota, Denise parlayed her farm-girl sensibilities into creative small-town business ventures that garner admiration far and wide. As a mother of five children and grandmother to six, Denise’s favorite mantra is, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!” There can be little rest for someone with so many hobbies that include gardening, thrift-store shopping, embellishing used vehicles, repurposing old furniture, belly dancing, entertaining, practicing Reiki, and, and, and. In to this mix, Denise combines the operation of her two very popular consignment shops in Fairmont, Minnesota called, “Hollywood Babe” and “The Giddy-up Boutique.” Before opening those stores, Denise owned an antique and gift store for 15 years. Denise also writes the local monthly newspaper column “Inhale Fashion&ellip;Exhale Style”

Fans of the soap opera, As The Corn Grows, recognize Denise as portraying the character of Prairie Ann, who also is a host of the hit talk show, The Women of Sweet Swine County. Off-stage as a co-producer to the TV show Destination Small Town Denise takes on many duties including designing and decorating the sets at OUR STORY Studios, and still finds time to produce the much-publicized local annual summertime events—the Fairy Ball and Mad Hatter Tea Party. When she was younger, Denise thought maybe a career in politics was in the cards. But it didn’t take long for her to discover that being a mother and a wife is much the same as a being a politician, except you don’t travel as much! Denise will be the first one to tell you that life isn’t about the number of breaths you take, it’s about the moments that take your breath away! Her innate spiritual connectedness and joie de vivre radiate within her ability not to take herself too seriously. As Denise Rouse tells everyone within earshot, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been!”


 

Shelly Abitz

Shelly Abitz

Camerawoman, Film Editor, Program Writer—OUR STORY TV

As a principal at Gemini Studios—a video production and media education studio in Fairmont, Minnesota—Shelly Abitz is the behind-the-camera wizard for OUR STORY TV.  Shelly’s technical background in graphic layout, commericials production, instructional DVDs, athletic event capture and broadcast, book illustration, and logo design, has creatively expanded into writing, filming and editing a gamut of OUR STORY’s programs.  If you see it on OUR STORY, Shelly probably shot it!  In her world, there is little rest!

Shelly has illustrated two wonderful children’s books—Bushy Tail Squirrel’s First Day Out and Jenny and Me.  She also serves as executive producer of a local cable-access show called, “Close to Home.”  While accomplishing all of this, Shelly also writes, directs, shoots and acts in the role of “wife and mother” in her own family.


 

Chelsea Theobald

Chelsea Theobald

Chelsea Theobald, the ultimate multi-tasker keeps Our Story office running smooth with a bit of sass! Raised in southern Minnesota, Chelsea has long been making things happen! Taking care of her grandmother from the age of 14 while working and going to high school, Chelsea graduated from school with high honors and still found time to get into some trouble, talk about your multi-tasker! Inspired by her grandmother and some other mentors along the way, Chelsea worked nights and weekends enabling her to get a degree at Rasmussen College in Mankato! Throughout all of this Chelsea has found time to be a mother to Zoey 17, Carter 13 and Gwen 4 and a baby coming in June of 2014 Chelsea and her man Tom Garman enjoy fishing, hunting and all things outdoorsish!


 

Our Volunteers

Our Volunteers

OUR STORY wishes to acknowledge all of the incredible volunteer actors who give of their time to portray the loveable, zany, and unforgettable characters on our various TV programs.  Their belief in this Midwestern way of life we call “small-town living at its best” is evident in the excitement they eagerly exhibit in front of the camera!  True “hams,” everyone of them—right here in Sweet Swine County!


  • Mark Anderson (Cousin John) (Daniel) (Boris)
  • Denise Rouse (Prairie Ann) (Willow Brook) (Mystic Ray)
  • Tom Dodge (Ronnie P. Silage) (Stanley Crockett)
  • Bonnie Fjelstad (Mrs. Swanson)
  • Dan Mensing (Elmer Plow)
  • Dianna Anderson (Aunt Minnie) (State Fire Marshall) (Aunt Ella) (Annie Bouleguard Lee)
  • Chuck Hounshell (Lawyer Ed)
  • Joan Suhr (Betty Thompson)
  • Sarah Morphew (Daisy May)
  • Al Morphew (Garrett Dawson)
  • Ed Powers (Sergio Ferleone)
  • Jenne Abitz (Bonnie P. Silage)
  • Dave Alm (Willy Odum) also plays (Abraham Nicester)
  • Kerry Hodnefield (Lorraine)
  • Dale Hansen (Dr. Cornel)
  • Betty Wiederhoeft (Betty Plow)
  • Shelly Abitz (Wilma)
  • David McKnight (Dr. Gus)
  • Archie Farnham (Agent Gabriel) also plays (Clemson Ride)
  • Sam Hillmer (Paris Richie)
  • Danielle Kainz (Destiny Disaster)
  • Leo May (Nicole Hilton)
  • Kim Hansen (Ingrid) (Barbara Waters) (Mary Ann Chapel)
  • John Grimm (Stone Fox)
  • Steve Fisher (Earl Silo) also plays (Big Louie)
  • Randy Martinson (Chief Randy)
  • Michelle Ehlers (Cassadee Davis) also plays (Ellen Seesmore)
  • Wanda Nelson (Clarice Plow)
  • Michele Bisbee (Carolyn)
  • John Sorenson (Johnny Happening) (Billie Gates)
  • Norma Conn (Waitress Norma)
  • Betsy Landsteiner (Abby Appetite)
  • Benjamin Landsteiner (Lenny Leftover)
  • Kathy Franzen (Inga)
  • Jeff Rouse (Cousin Jeff)
  • Jeff Hagen (Lars, Spinning Wheels Host) also plays (Charles Cornralt)
  • Lonesome Ron (himself)
  • Kati Powell (Urban Katie) (Natasha)
  • Logan VonFeldt (Little John)
  • Keith Kenney (Bobby Ray) (Colonel Van Bragger) (Ricky Ray)
  • Alice Nowicki (Sally Sue)
  • Bill Busse (Prosecutor Kent Kingsley/Reverend Bill)
  • Doug Wollam (Doug Dougan)
  • Jerry Schimmel (Office Dave)
  • Jerry VonFeldt (Valdimer)
  • Leonard Anderson (Clem Johnson)
  • Stacie Gerhardt (Lola Leftover)
  • Haley Welker (Tara Paige)
  • Chelsea Theobald (Ima Looker)
  • Jenny Sorenson (Jessica Monroe)
  • Chris Bauman (Myra Bittersweet)
  • Beverly Gerhardt (Harriet Olson)
  • Jude Edling (Ms. Judith Van Derswine)
  • Carol Carlson (Helga)
  • Jodi Edlin  (Johanna)
  • Kathy Fransen  (Edna)
  • Linda Roggow (Marta)