Already Gone

barnPeople work and then retire; it happens every day. Friday stuck out as something special as two significant men left work for good.
First off, Friday morning was Mick Kjar’s last day at his job at KVLY television. Kjar has been the high water mark for news, weather and agricultural reporting during his 27 years in Fargo. No matter what was going on in my life, Mick Kjar was always a presence during that whole time. It would be difficult to live in the area and not know Kjar’s body of work. We will all miss his agricultural reporting and the education that came with it.
Friday afternoon, Dave Carlson left the building. Carlson has been employed at the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office for the last 31 years, much of that time as Dispatch Coordinator. Dave’s my friend and co-worker so his exit is pretty personal. Dave started at a time when many police departments would use a police officer, often a Sargent or shift commander, to dispatch the calls. A Sheriff’s office would keep someone in the building to take phone calls during the day; sometimes it was the Sheriff’s wife who did the work for little pay. Dave is one of the people who has made this job into a profession.
Carlson is one of the first dispatchers I have known to retire. The State Patrol adopted full-time dispatchers early on so a few of those folks have retired, but Carlson is the first retiree in my world. Carlson has broken trail like that a lot during his career. He created a lot of the procedures that we follow still today. Dave was also a Thief River Falls city councilman for several years. This experience made him the sort of person who understood the motivation for certain policies and actions taken within government. I went to Dave several times when I needed interpretation and historical perspective of local government.
Carlson will be missed. Dave is an excellent dispatcher but he will be missed as a person. I like Dave’s sense of humor and his ability to view a situation from more than one perspective. I always like to ask myself how I feel when someone walks into the room or what is my emotional reaction to their physical presence. With Dave, it was always good. Dave typically added light to dark situations and a healthy perspective to toxic situations.
We all have a little less after Friday. Mick Kjar left the television and Dave Carlson left the Sheriff’s Office. It is our loss but hopefully these two men will both find something in retirement that will cause ripples that we can all feel in our everyday lives. I would like to thank them both and congratulate them on finishing a job well performed. It would be nice to re-live some of the good times but maybe that is the lesson here. Those people you work with or the people who make a difference in your life create the memories that one day will be your only treasures. I would like to work with Dave Carlson or watch Mick Kjar once more but the truth is, at day’s end, they are both already gone.

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