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

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

The Face of Moose Lake/Willow River Sports

Wick's World


One rarely saw a game in Moose Lake/Willow without Al Rose on the sidelines. As a sports reporter, Al was always talking to the kids. Not necessarily taking sides for the home team, but talking up the kids, cheering them on to do their best and that’s when Al was always at his personal best. Yes, Al was in love with sports, all sports. But the Moose Lake Star Gazette sports reporter’s face was shining the brightest was when he was around kids. Just ask his family. He loved his own kids and he relished the role of grandfather. And he loved all the kids on all of the sports teams, both boys and girls. Our community will always remember Al Rose as the tall bearded guy on the sidelines taking notes.

As a former Arrowhead Leader and Star Gazette sports writer, Al sometimes was accused of being too long-winded. I have been accused of the same thing myself. I eventually realized Al’s sports columns were not too wordy. They were just right. They were perfect in the sense that Al included every kid he possibly could in his stories. Who cared that Little Joey/Sally contributed a single in a baseball/softball game or scored two points off the bench in varsity basketball? Little Joey/Sally’s mom and dad, that’s who…and the little kids’ aunts and uncles and cousins, and so on.

Al gave recognition to the unrecognized and all of us parents whose kids participated in Moose Lake/Willow River sports over the past three decades will be forever grateful to Al Rose for those fifteen minutes of fame we all seek for our children. This is what Al was best at. When I told my three sons of Al’s passing, they all remembered him just as I did; the passionate sports reporter from Moose Lake.

Al and I had a lot in common. As native South Dakotans, we were both college students in the 70s. We sometimes talked of his time in Aberdeen, South Dakota, the home of Northern State College where he got his degree. I don’t think it was in journalism which was his passion. I believe it was a psychology major that got him to Moose Lake and a job at the State Hospital. I myself have a minor in Psychology from the University of South Dakota at Vermillion. It got me to Moose Lake and a job as Postmaster. I guess that’s what minors from college get you. Did we talk about the science of human behavior? In a roundabout way, I guess we did. We often talked (and agreed) about politics which is about as psychological a subject as any.

Sometimes Al and I would talk about pheasant hunting trips back to the old home state. We both grew up in the heart of pheasant country. In the fall, I would gravitate back to my hometown of Chamberlain in a vain attempt to slaughter one of the most beautiful birds ever to don a coat of feathers.

Way too often I made the excuse, “They’re too pretty to kill. That’s why I missed!”

Of course no one believed me, as was perfectly correct. Once in a while, Al would comment or even compliment me on my column, Wick’s World. I can’t ever remember him disagreeing with anything I wrote. That’s a rarity. I like to think that made him a very wise man. But, far and away, what Al Rose and I talked about most was sports. Every time we saw each other, sports entered the conversation. Let’s remember Al for what he was: The face of Moose Lake/Willow River sports.


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