Archive - Jul 2014


July 30th

Community preparedness for Alzheimer's

The ACT program is an innovative and important way communities can prepare for those in their midst with dementia. First, the stigma of "losing it" has to go. Alzheimer's is common, and of course it is tragic, but with a few strategies in place, people with dementia can live rewarding lives in their homes for a lot longer than assumed. 

July 28th


Had the longest day of door-knocking yet today. Perfect weather for it. Part of the reason: the houses were far apart and some were difficult to find. Another: People were in a talkative mood, which is fun. I learned a lot.  

Tomorrow, I travel to Alexandria for a screening interview with the state nurses organization. 

A particular delight today: a 92-year-old woman who thinks old people live too long, including herself. She's just tired. Company all weekend. But she's doomed by genes: Her father lived to be 100, and her mother 98. She's not in the least depressed, and had great humor. But she's just had enough.

I said, "well, it is great that you're still living on your own."

"Great?" she said, with a roll of the eyes. "It is a lot of work!"

She just finished washing clothes, weeding the garden and doing the dishes from the weekend. 

I said well, if you're still around in November, I sure would appreciate your vote. 

"Oh, I'll be around," with a sigh. "And you'll have my support!" 

We parted with a good laugh. 



July 26th

More parades

Today, I rode in a parade in Red Lake Falls. A few days ago, I rode in a massive parade in Warren. We were unit #108. The parade started at 6 p.m. Our unit started moving at 7 p.m.

That parade was a test for me as I was the only candidate in the back of the pickup. The others had previous engagements. So there I was, waving to the hundreds upon hundreds of people, only roughly half or less who are in my district. To identify myself, I pulled my magnetic sign off the side of the pickup, where it was amongst the signs of other candidates, and held it up so people knew who I was.

Made it through. It was a beautiful night, and really, the colors in the late evening with the hundreds of people lining the streets of Warren were a sight to behold. 


July 18th



Spent some time at the Pennington County Fair in Thief River Falls today and ran into our long-time congressman Collin Peterson. He had just finished singing and playing with the band on stage.  

July 17th

At the lake...


This is already a favorite photo, taken by Michele Anderson and posted on Facebook.

It tells so many stories.

On the right is Bunny Anderson, who is wheel-chair bound due to a spinal injury. He has a lake home which is completely accessible. He loves to entertain nursing home residents by having them into his house, then rolling them out on the dock, onto the pontoon, and then going for a ride around the lake. For the past seven years, the trip to Bunny's place has been a highlight of Aunt Olla's summer.

Then, of course, a romance developed. Aunt Olla "took to" Bunny. Although that notion has receded from her mind a bit in recent months, it is obvious that it was quite a thing for her to see Bunny again. Here they are bidding farewell with a kiss on the hand. Bunny has done so much for Olla, sending her flowers, cards, and so on. 

In so many ways, Bunny has been Olla's angel... 

July 14th

More parade pictures


Aunt Olive had her own float in the parade, along with Director of Nursing Peggy Erickson.


My somewhat less impressive took a beating in the wind, but it was still fun.  

July 13th



Parade day at the Polk County Fair. I lined up to march right behind the Senior Citizen of the Year, Dean Vikan of Fosston, seen here waiting for the parade to start. It was very windy, as you can see from the flags, and we had to do some reinforcing of my float in order for it to make it through the parade upright. Picture upcoming.  

July 7th

Remy's tooth

This is what mid-summer baseball broadcasting should be like.  

Incidentally, the only foul ball I have ever claimed came off the bat of Jerry Remy, then the Angel's second baseman. The year: 1976. The game: A meaningless affair between two non-contending teams which eventually had so many rain delays that we left. The pitcher: The Twins' Vic Albury. 

The foul ball hit off the chest of a man next to us. My mother reached down and grabbed the ball. I snatched it from her and showed it to the guys in the announcer's booth--at that time, Herb Carneal and Frank Quilici. 


I have been campaigning this past week. A little of everything. I am sending out a fund-raising letter, which has taken some time. I rode in a parade in McIntosh, which was more fun than I anticipated. I attended a "Breakfast on the Farm" event, the sort of thing I would never go to ordinarily as I am not one to be in crowds unless I am up front speaking to the whole shebang. I knocked doors, including the door of somebody who was later found dead. 

"It is lonely out there," a couple of veteran campaigners have told me. That truth was evident at the breakfast, where I felt out of sorts. Eventually, because the garbage was a long ways from benches where people ate, I collected paper plates and took them to the dumpster. That made me feel useful. 

But the real battle is internal: I am basically shy, and this experience is forcing me to examine the underlying reasons for my shyness, and to get less self-conscious. 

Example: At the breakfast was a man who I recognized. I attempted to catch his eye, but he looked the other way. Oh, sure, I thought, somebody who doesn't like me now that I am a politician. I walked away. 

That afternoon in the parade, the same man shouted at me and waved: "There's Bergeson!" 

So, he just didn't recognize me that morning. 

The parade was an adventure as there was a screw-up (partly my fault) and there was no vehicle to carry Senator Stumpf and me. With five minutes before the parade started, we had no vehicle and we weren't about to walk. Sure enough, somebody offered their pickup. We stuck our magnetic signs to the side and were off as if nothing had happened. 

I think there were more people in the parade than watching the parade. But it was fun. 

My opponent is a good parade campaigner. She was a few units ahead, running around putting stickers on everybody. So, everybody had one of her stickers one before I went by, which was kind of funny--especially with some of the people I knew!

I can't bring myself to order stickers, buttons, or other pariphenalia that one might see in the garbage at the fairgrounds. 




This story is wonderful, but it shouldn't be exceptional. And it probably isn't. But the way we herd our age groups into separate parts of the city, the town and the neighborhood isn't good. There is simply less chance for serendipity, the magic of what is in this video.