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Gary A. Ficek

Community Involvement

I've found that much of my community involvement had been a natural outgrowth of being a parent. I've coached baseball and served on the Babe Ruth Baseball board as well as the Fargo North High School Baseball Board. Several years ago I started and coached an elementary chess team. In my third year we took the state championship. The team at the school continued to win state championships after I left and I believe they have won the last six or seven in a row.

My wife and I also enjoyed working with the high school tennis team and developing an end of the year slide show with music for them.

I am the proud copyright holder for the phrase The Record is Still 61. As a fervent baseball fan, I was outraged when facts seemed to indicate that ballplayers who had hit more than 61 homeruns in a single season were implicated in one way or another in the use of steroids or other illegal performance enhancing drugs. The last legitimate holder of the single season homerun record would therefore be Roger Maris, who of course grew up here in Fargo. Like many baseball purists and many Fargoans, we no longer think Roger's record was broken, but rather stolen.

If you happen to attend a baseball game at beautiful Newman Outdoor Field here in Fargo, to watch the local minor league team Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks, chances are you'll see a few folks wearing The Record is Still 61 t-shirts and caps.

Now that my two oldest sons are on their own and my youngest is off attending college, my wife and I are adjusting to being empty- nesters. We find that our schedules are no longer driven by school activities and sport travel teams.

We are finding a lot more time to simply read, go to movies and cater to the needs of our very spoiled dog, Yogi.

I have a signed copy of Beyond The Bedroom Wall, by Larry Woiwode, a North Dakota Native. It is one of my favorite novels along with Brothers Karamazov and David Copperfield. I do tend to read more nonfiction, particularly military strategies, true crime and biographies.