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

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

The year 2016 according to Wick

Wick's World


I generally finish out each year dedicating my column to worthy people (often local) or major events (often global). I will begin with a few of the many people important to me to whom I said bon voyage in 2016. Prince and Bowie; The Hag, The Greatest (Ali), The Georges, Michael and Martin; Just Say No to Nancy, Halleluiah to Leonard Cohen. The years’ final farewells ended with mother Debbie Reynolds and daughter Carrie Fisher. Carrie is survived by her French Bulldog named after a local Moose Lake celebrity, Gary Fisher.

For me, personally, the greatest loss to the celebrity world came from a local boy made good, a young man from Kettle River named Monty Lee Wilkes. His career began on the LA Freeway (the road from Lawyler to Automba) when he became the sound man for his dad’s band, The Leisure Brothers. That humble beginning morphed into a career as an internationally famous audio engineer who worked for some of the most incredible musical acts the world has known. From Prince at The First Avenue to band-handling, and at times man-handling, The Replacements and Nirvana, Monty was a legend in the musical world of sound. He could assuage the ego of Brittany Spears, or make sure Kurt Cobain found his way home carried on Monty’s back. He learned rock and roll was not all glory and glitter. Compassion and humanity had its place and Monty was there when it was needed. For that, I make Monty Lee Wilkes the Hero of the Lost Legends of 2016.

I wish the very absolute best of luck to the world and especially to our country that we may survive 2017. I wish a safe, rational, reasonable and commonsensical year to the President–elect. Can Trump be a kind amalgamator who will provide justice for all Americans? Or will he be as so many Americans fear, the con man who stole an entire country? Donald Trump, we are in the throes of the final days of 2016 and you hold the world in the palm of your hand. Take our hand and lead us together to be a kind-hearted united nation, the likes of which the world has never seen. The alternative is indefensible, unsustainable and untenable.

I thank our outgoing president, who took over a country deep in the throes of a recession, divided by wars and despised by much of the world, emerged eight years later bringing a healthy recovery to our nation. All of this despite full resistance from the opposition party who vowed from the day he entered office to do everything possible to assure his failure. Again, the political climate in America is suffering from the same ferocious opposition, albeit in reverse. I wish for 2017 to find the collaboration and teamwork not to make America white again, but Keep America Great as the slogan should have stated. We can do this by working together for the common good to unify our country.

Let 2017 bring us a GMO-free cornfield and an unbleached coral reef. Let us remove Zika from the mosquito. Eradication for malaria is in sight. May we continue to make progress in the battle against AIDS and cancer. Amazingly, we are still fighting the common cold. Could 2017 be the year of its demise?

The year 2016 was great for marijuana legalization, both for medicinal and recreational. Revenue in marijuana sales in Colorado alone passed $1 billion in the first 10 months of the year. That is correct, I said $1 billion! Despite the incoming Director for the Department of Justice known for strongly being against legality, I am afraid once the cat is out of the bag, this one may be very difficult to put back in. Some Republicans may be against pot, but they are undoubtedly very revenue oriented, so I think it is here to stay. I personally have no opinion on recreational legalization. I strongly endorse legalization for medical use and research. I feel the plant has a tremendous potential for treatments and cures from epilepsy to cancer.

Do as you wish, just be nice to each other. Get a grip and have a great 2017!


Reader Comments

Wiggy writes:

As usual a great article and happy new year to you Wick


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