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Flanagan Memo: Franken gets an A+; tales of recuperation

  • Article by: Barbara Flanagan
  • June 4, 2010 - 3:25 PM

Re: Is the politician a food fanatic? Well, why not; and some fond memories from last month.

• • •

Rarely do I report on things political, but then I heard about Sen. Al Franken -- from two sources, actually two servers -- and I could not resist. The word is that he loves Kabeelo Lodge walleye at the Green Mill on 26th Street and Hennepin. I understand, it is fabulous. My husband, also a Kabeelo Lodge addict, says so. Let's give the senator an A-plus. He is trying.

• • •

I had a knee replaced on April 20 -- the first surgery of my life! All went well and I spent 10 days recuperating at the Jones-Harrison complex overlooking Cedar Lake. It was truly a gratifying experience.

Why? It was the people, the incredible people from all over the world who cared for me. In the middle of the night there was Sarah, with her serene smile and soft voice telling me to "be careful" as I used a walker to get to the bathroom. And Anne, the stalwart who stuck to the rules, but had a soft side that would show up in her charming smile,

Jared, a former farmer from Kenya with a wife and four children, would rout us out early in the morning and tease us into walking or trying to walk down the long hall to breakfast. David was an athlete who loved soccer, but was learning to appreciate the American game of basketball. He was studying to be a nurse and played basketball on the side.

There were great nurses and therapists at JH, plus my cozy and comfortable roommate, Ruth, who had a broken hip, but never let it stop her. She turns 90 next week and I wish her well. She was a delight.

And there were other patients we met. One, Louise, was a New Yorker with a broken hip, She had moved to Minnesota to be with her son and said she really liked it. Before her accident, she said, she ate at the Galaxy drive-in on Highway 7 in St Louis Park. "I had the best veggie-burger ever," she said. I told her I would pass that along to Galaxy owner Steve Schussler. He's a Brooklyn boy, by the way.

Now I have moved from the walker to a cane and am improving daily. One of these days I will tap dance again. Thank you, JH.

• • •

Good grief, Don Shelby is retiring. Is that possible?

Unlike Dave Moore, whom he succeeded, Shelby was originally a newsman and a good one. Moore, whom we all loved, was an actor who became a news reader and did it well. Shelby, however, was the ideal guy to take over. He has a news background and an excellent speaking and/or reading voice. Now we are losing him to the world. But I bet he will do something.

Succeeding Don at WCCO won't be easy, and I do not plan to watch what will probably be a mix-up. My plan is to go with KARE, a station with a good news team designed to win us all.

And, who knows? 'CCO's Dennis Douda may still eventually take over Don's chair.

• • •

Nicollet Island, perhaps Minneapolis' No. 1 neighborhood, has hung in there since the beginning more than 100 years ago, but nobody has done a decent job of telling its story until now.

Chris and Rushika Hage, a husband-and-wife writing team, are completing a book on the island to be published this fall. I have read parts of it and am amazed at the digging through history they have done. It is a good one.

• • •

Suddenly -- and it seemed very sudden -- the Legislature adjourned and summer arrived.

It was a lovely surprise, but there are a couple of rough edges to worry about.

What, for example, is anybody doing about all of the adults -- yes, the grownups -- who continue to roar around town stuck to a cell phone when they should be concentrating on driving the car. Isn't it time to prohibit that?

And what about the folks who drive without ever or rarely using their turn signals?

And, of course, there is the question about the Minnesota Vikings. Money is needed.

Say, maybe the U should make a deal to share its facility. It would work.

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