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Cheyenne Elder Stories

Harold Fisher, Father Emmett's Good Friend

Father Emmett with Harold Fisher
Father Emmett with Harold Fisher
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Father Emmett with Harold Fisher - Harold Fisher grew old but he still liked to drive to town for supplies. He couldn't afford an engine heater so during the winter when it was freezing cold, he got up every now and then and went out to start his car to make sure the engine didn't freeze. One morning, they found Harold a few feet from his back door. He had frozen to death.
I can tell you in all seriousness that winter weather changes in Montana can be swift and treacherous. Every year grisly deaths are attributed to icy, frigid winds and most of the victims are elderly people. Last year, for example, a very good friend of mine, Harold Fisher, got sick. His wife, Mabel, took a leave of absence from work to care for him. She died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving Harold on kidney dialysis and living alone. One night the temperature dropped to 40 degrees below zero. Harold knew his car wouldn't start the next morning unless he went out several times during the night to warm up the engine, something he had done so many times in the past. He did not want to be late for the dialysis.

He trudged through the snow to start the car a couple of times, and near morning he went out again, leaving the backdoor of his house open for his return. Later that morning they found Harold frozen to death just a few feet from his back door. In wind and cold of 40 degrees below zero, exposed flesh freezes in less than a minute.

Which brings me to my point, Cheyenne elders shouldn't have to suffer during the long Montana winters alone, uncared for, often sick and weakened from lack of nourishing food, warm clothing and fuel. The Heritage Living Center will answer these needs and allow them to live out their lives in dignity, free from fear.

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