By Alan Sorensen
Im here to say that Im terribly sorry if anyone concluded from my recent police report that staff at Northern Montana Care Center are stealing their residents blind.
The police report was written as a lost property call from NMH Care Center. Somehow, I managed to transpose the letters and come up with stolen property. That was my first mistake.
My second mistake was reading the letters NMH and coming up with Northern Montana Health instead of Northern Montana Hospital. To my mind, Northern Montana Health Care means the whole bunch of buildings and businesses surrounding the hospital. It also includes the rest home in Harlem.
So, instead of writing a street address, because I was unsure if the incident occurred in the 100 block or 10 block of 13th Street or the 10 block of West 13th Street, I just wrote Northern Montana Health Care, and then added the word Center because it was there and my brain obviously wasnt.
There are a number of very good reasons, I believe, for publishing a complete and thorough police report daily. One is to allow the public the chance to help police solve crimes by providing details. Published reports also let people know why a police car, fire truck or ambulance was in a certain neighborhood at a certain time.
Sometimes people can check their own homes and vehicles after reading about a break-in in their area. The report of their stolen items could help break a burglary ring. And as Ive found, its nearly impossible to recover lost or stolen items until after youve discovered that they are lost or stolen.
I lost some sleep over my blunders, partly because they were my blunders and partly because of the high regard I have for all the care givers who looked after my mom when she was a resident.
After Moms hip surgery, she was expected to spend a few weeks at most recovering in the hospitals fourth floor rehab and long-term care wing. She ended up spending the rest of her life there.
While she never accepted it as home, she did come to consider many of the staff family. She even went so far, on those occasions when I was a little late with her strawberry ice cream, to offer one or more of the staff my inheritance.
To their credit, none of the CNAs, housekeepers, food servers, nurses or visitors took her up on the offer. And to their credit, Im sure none of my lawyer friends would have, either.
So, for any harm my carelessness may have caused the good people who surely get paid too little for taking excellent care of our beloved elders, I am forever sorry.
And to my friends who pointed out that people who dont make mistakes probably arent doing anything, thank you.
Im serious about this mystery book project, folks. I know there are dozens if not hundreds of people in our reading area (about 10,000 square miles rather than the 50 I reported earlier) who are aspiring authors.
The beauty of doing a mystery is that dirty words and graphic sex arent necessary. Even the violence doesnt have to be overt.
To get us going, Ill try to publish a sample chapter in this space next week. (Remember, we also have missile silos in our neighborhood.)
Once chapter contributions start rolling in, we can consider setting up an editorial board.
Did John F. Kennedy Jr. deserve all the media attention his death attracted?
(As sixth-graders at Lincoln-McKinley School in 1960, we held a mock presidential election. Dan Hulett was Kennedys campaign manager and I managed Richard Nixons campaign another mistake for which Im still apologizing.)
What John-Johns dad, uncle Robert, aunt Eunice and family meant to the Indians of Montana, the mentally handicapped, and the physically disabled cant be measured in hours of TV coverage. Kennedys address in Manhattan gave testament to his heritage and to Camelot.
The prince is dead. Long live the prince.