“Duets” is an occasional feature that celebrates unique relationships between two people. Gail Rosenblum writes the words, and Jim Gehrz takes the pictures. Send ideas to gail.rosenblum@startribune.com, or call 612-673-7350. Please put "Duets" in the subject field.

November 20

Duets: Natalie and Stephanie redefine 'good neighbors'

Natalie Hecker and Stephanie Soderling lived two houses apart for years, but differing ages and circumstances kept them on different paths.
October 23

Duets: Mary Ann and Maureen revel in their musical play dates

Nine years ago, Maureen was directing the Papkes’ church choir when she and Mary Ann discovered their shared passion for piano.
August 17

Duets: Two Minneapolis women preserve Holocaust memories through art

“I really think we were supposed to meet,” Susan Weinberg, 61, says of Dora Zaidenweber, 91. “It really felt like beshert, the Yiddish word for fate.”
July 17

Duets: Cedric and Sam have good, clean fun at St. Olaf Church

One hundred thousand square feet. Three floors. Twelve bathrooms. Five kitchens. Daunting to clean? Not if you have the right right-hand man.
June 5

Duets: Kobe and Chontavious united by a college dream

For the past year, eighth-graders Kobe Petrus and Chontavious Vazquez have playfully competed for prizes doled out for academic excellence.
April 25

Duets: Gary and Mark make beautiful music together

A gospel-infused Jewish prayer service? Have a little faith, won’t you? The idea’s no surprise when you meet the musicians bringing it to life.
April 14

Duets: Elsie and Elsie span generations

One day, Amy and little Elsie caught the eye of a resident at the assisted-living facility.
April 6

Duets: Betsy Peak and Lisa Marie Borchert

Betsy Peak’s husband of 47 years died six years ago, just as Lisa Marie Borchert was planning a vacation to London. Come along, Lisa Marie…
April 6

Duets: Piyali and Bev cook up a friendship

Pumpkin pie is one of many culinary comforts drawing together 67-year-old Bev and 33-year-old Piyali week after week. Their repertoire has grown as their friendship has deepened, a sweet surprise to both.
April 6

Duets: Chris and Aaron

Chris Henningsen was hoping that Aaron Kaercher would join his extended family for Christmas brunch this year , and Aaron knows why. “Chris,” Aaron says with a laugh, “wanted one more holiday with his liver.”
April 6

Duets: Matthew and Bruce

Bruce Kramer took his first yoga class with Matthew Sanford in January of 2012, waiting reverentially for his teacher to arrive. “Matt rolls in,” Bruce,…
April 6

Duets: Betty and Shirley celebrate 90 years together

On Feb. 15, Betty and Shirley, born four days apart in 1924, celebrated their respective 90th birthdays with homemade birthday cakes and a room filled with relatives and friends from as far away as Texas.
April 6

Duets: Years apart, they won't let this friendship get away

Sam Ringstad has been hooked on darkhouse spearfishing for about a dozen years, thanks to family friend Bill Vogel. More than 65 years separate Sam, 25, and Bill, 91, but they’re just friends pursuing a shared passion.
April 6

Duets: Caroline and Leni

They began as an 8th-grade reading buddy and a budding kindergarten reader, but as the year wraps up at Carondolet Catholic School, Leni Kuhn and Caroline Monchamp have become far greater buddies.
April 6

Duets: David and Allison

Since meeting through friends a few years ago, thirty-something Allison and 59-year-old David are comically in sync in nearly every race they run.
April 6

Duets: Peggy and Don

As a freshman at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights four years ago, Don Kim dropped by Peggy Mansur’s office three times a week. Or five.
April 6

Duets: Mike and David deliver

Nothing keeps Mike White from his daily dairy deliveries — not even surgery. He knew he needed David Nelson.
April 6

Duets: Wilbur and Melanie woven together across continents

Wandering down an alleyway in the poor village of Ayacucho, Melanie Ebertz of Stillwater spotted Wilbur Quispe weaving through an open doorway. Shortly after, their lives became forever entwined.
April 6

Duets: Noah and Diana

Brad Johnson knew that his son, Noah, was musically gifted. That buoyed Brad and his wife, Melissa, as they sought to give their son — born 15 weeks premature and legally blind — every opportunity.
April 6

Duets: Ed Crozier and Dick Duerre

Ed Crozier glanced up from his coffee mug on a winter morning and noticed a man cross-country skiing on a lake behind his home. Ed…
April 6

Duets: Lee and Jim move on

Lee Blons was “an outsider” when she moved to the Twin Cities for college. Now firmly rooted, she’s readying to move forward without the partner who bolstered her remarkable transition.
April 6

Erik and Penny, skating away

Penny Jacobs, 88, and Erik Wardenaar, 54, of Golden Valley meet regularly to share the sport they’ve loved since childhood: ice skating.
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