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

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Who was Gary Fisher?

Wick's World


June 28, 2018

I recently received a request from my home town’s newspaper if I would kindly sit for an interview.

“Dear Rita, this is my answer to your quest to interview me for your column 'What Ever Happened to Gary Fisher?' I have the inclination to decline. As you already know, I have my own column called 'Wick’s World' in which I tell my readers just what the little runt formerly from Chamberlain, South Dakota and once known as Gary Fisher, is up to. I call my column 'Wick’s World' for a reason: It’s always about me because, quite frankly, I consider myself one of the most interesting people I know. Not really; it's simply easier writing about your own stories than it is writing about others such as the one you have requested from me. Since you have volunteered to take this on, I will acquiesce and allow you to interview the boy-child from Chamberlain once known as Gary Fisher. This is what you can use in your column.”

After giving Rita due warning, I wrote a 3,000 word column of some of the more interesting stories in my life. Unfortunately, the most interesting ones never made print and it was not for lack of ink. This how my life’s story began:

In the beginning (February 25, 1947), Mom’s water broke, even though that’s a physical impossibility. Ice can break; water, I don’t think so. Anyway, Mom and Dad and Sis jumped in our old Plymouth and high-tailed it to our closest hospital, which was in Mitchell, South Dakota. We arrived in the middle of a blizzard and I arrived shortly after Dr. Bobb (his real name) finished shaving. According to Mom, she wasn’t sure what she hated worse, the slow doctor or the towel soaked in ether.

I thought the nurse was talking to me when she ordered Mom to “take a deep breath,” so I sucked up as much ether as a newborn can and entirely forgot the next two years of my life …until I sat on a car battery. I remember Mom screaming something about getting my butt burned and Dad saying something about me getting a hole in my pants. For the next 19 years, that was the only time anyone showed much interest in my butt until I was drafted by good old Uncle Sam. Then it was chewed out and kicked enough to know I wanted out of the military faster than I was drafted into it.

But that was much later in my life. I still have to tell about my school days in Chamberlain. At age four I was coloring books and playing with army men at St. Joseph’s Indian School while Mom worked at the clothing store. One day a nun had the idea of putting me in first grade. Had they taught the nuns math in those days she might have figured out that by starting me in first grade at age four, I would be a 16-year-old high school graduate. But, by golly, I was smart enough, cute enough and people liked me, so off to school I went, the only white kid at St. Joe’s. To this day, I wear that as a badge of honor.

The following year I joined the white kids at the old school on the other side of Highway 16. Like every old-timer over age seventy, I walked uphill both ways to that school and every day we had a blizzard with ten foot snow drifts.

When I was attending first grade at St. Joe's the previous year, it left a huge impact on my life. I have dedicated my life studying indigenous ways ever since. I was the first person in the state of South Dakota to graduate with a degree in anthropology. I learned a lot about the white man’s perspective of Native American history. In 1994, Robert Bly, the internationally famous poet and founder of The Men’s Movement, introduced me to arguably the most powerful Mayan Shaman in the Western Hemisphere. For the next 20 years, I became the shaman’s student and right hand man. Among other things, I learned the indigenous version of Native American history. That is all I will say about that.

However, I do have a lot to say about growing up in Chamberlain and making lifelong friends and memories. Rita, I hope you have saved a lot of space in your newspaper. You will have to decide which parts of my story I give you are printable and which are not. Your readers will have to decide which parts are believable and which are not. My story may be much shorter than I think. 


Reader Comments

Wiggy writes:

Wick you lead a very interesting life and am looking forward to the parts I do not know. Keep writing


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