Videographer Bob Caccamise captures diners’ recollections of Dennis Valstad, inset, while shooting Tuesday morning at Kristina’s Family Cafe.
Videographer Bob Caccamise captures diners’ recollections of Dennis Valstad, inset, while shooting Tuesday morning at Kristina’s Family Cafe.

   Sssshhh!

   A Ripon man’s secret is about to be shared with 8.9 million Americans.

   The story of the late Dennis Valstad’s decision to split a half-million dollar estate with those who attended his funeral will be aired at the end of this Friday’s “CBS Evening News.”

   Correspondent Steve Hartman — who resembles Ripon College President Zach Messitte in appearance and height — was in Ripon Monday and Tuesday to talk to Don Jorgensen, the estate’s trustee, and other local people about the half-millionaire who quietly lived among them.

   In addition to airing during this Friday’s newscast’s “On the Road with Steve Hartman,” the story also may be rerun on a future episode of “CBS Sunday Morning.”

   Among the people who on Monday visited with Hartman, his producer Roxanne Feitel and cameraman Bob Caccamise, were Lyn Herriot, Louis Bock, Judson “Rik” Rikkers, several of Valstad’s neighbors and, on Tuesday morning, Valstad’s coffee klatsch at Kristina’s. They included Bob Mathia, Chet Fenner and Dave Brink.

   The crew also drove to Waunakee, Wis., to talk to one of Valstad’s sisters, Delores Swedlund.

   Excerpts from those interviews will appear on a segment that typically lasts no more than 3 minutes, producer Feitel explained.

Read the full story in the Oct. 3, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.