Some people are just natural-born storytellers. Such is the case with Pat Ryan.

I sat down with Pat the other day for an episode of FreepCast, the podcast we’ve been doing that is quickly becoming my favorite part of my job. I knew he’d be a great guest. What I didn’t know was just how difficult it would be to get to all the interesting stuff he’s done in Mankato.

Don’t fret; we got to a lot.

Pat Ryan was born and raised in Rochester but has spent the majority of his life in Mankato. And during that time he’s made the most of his time here.

Among the things we talked about on the pod:

  • His recovery from alcoholism and how the disease affected his work.
  • His Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.
  • The perils of adult-league hockey.
  • Working with the legendary Ted Paul at Minnesota State University’s theater department.
  • Performing a one-man show at the Fringe Festival in the Twin Cities.
  • Writing books and plays.
  • Teaching at Mankato West and pulling pranks with Tim Walz (yep, that Tim Walz, who I’d LOVE to have on the pod some day.)

One of the things I love about Pat is his zeal for creating, even at an age when many creatives are content to relax. He’s still writing plays, he’s still producing “Tony and Tina’s Wedding,” still writing books.

Pat gives me hope that the middle-aged me who still feels fire inside for creating will still feel that fire in 20 or 25 more years.

You can find FreepCast wherever you get podcasts, including iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher.

Robb Murray is the Features Editor for The Free Press. He can be reached at 344-6386 or rmurray@mankatofreepress.com. Follow Robb on Twitter

@FreePressRobb

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Features Editor, Mankato Free Press Associate Editor, Mankato Magazine