Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

A good week

Wick's World


I always admire how the radio show "Prairie Home Companion" sets a positive tone with Garrison Keillor stating, “It’s been a good week in Lake Wobegon.” It not only puts the listener in a good mood, it sets the stage for the fun-loving entertainment that follows. I also had a good week — only mine was at the State Fair in Saint Paul and, of all places, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

My week began at four in the morning on Monday. I had seven Mayo appoints to squeeze in, the last with my cardiologist who would be reading the day’s results and informing me of the possible lifespan remaining in my reconstructed heart. I will gladly share what Doctor Heart had to say. He not only shook my hand, three times he said to me “Congratulations!” In essence, the test results concluded my heart had not only healed, it read “performs above average” for a person of my age. That even includes the people in my age bracket who have never experienced a heart attack or surgery.

“I never dreamt we would get your heart ejection fraction rate to 55 percent,” he exclaimed.

A more normal rate for me would have been somewhere in the 40 percent range; the goal we were seeking following the meager 10 percent I had that originally put me on the operating table. Functioning with an EFR of 10 percent, a heart transplant is often called for. So, as you can see, on Monday I received the best medical news in my life. I would call that a good day.

Although I was fairly tired when I arose Tuesday morning, I not only felt pumped up with my new heart reading, I was also pumped up for my annual day at the Minnesota State Fair. Each year, my friend from McGregor brings along his brother’s Medal of Honor to be put on display in honor of Military Appreciation Day at the fair. We often see some of the same people manning the booths and maintain contact with veterans, active duty servicemen and women and several mothers, like my friend's, who have made the ultimate sacrifice in losing a child in service to their country.

A lot of people give him thanks for bringing the medal for display. For many, it brings to their lives the reality of bravery, heroism and loss of life in a meaningful way.

One woman spoke for many when she said, “When I held that in my hand, I got goose bumps all over me.”

By far, the most common testimonial went something like this: “This is the first time I have ever actually seen one of these.”

The best food I had this year was a seafood combination, which like much of the fair’s fare was called “seafood combination on a stick.” You got one small piece each of breaded walleye, scallop, oyster, coconut shrimp, calamari and lobster; all for over 10 bucks. Considering I waited to eat until the end of my 10-hour day on the fairgrounds, the price was worth it.

The best ride at the fair? I don’t know. I never took one and never will. There is no doubt as to what the best music performance was at the fair. I have to give a special acknowledgement to the 34th Infantry Division’s “Red Bull” band. They did a knock out version of a Joe Cocker hit song called “The Letter.” The song speaks rather appropriately for a returning soldier. The last lines of the chorus read

“Oh the lonely days are gone

I’m a goin’ home

My baby wrote me a letter.”

As the song faded away, the conductor said, "I bet you didn’t see that coming!”

That was only part of my great week. Tonight I get my first introduction to the St. Paul Saints' brand new baseball stadium.


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