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Detective work comes with seeing a familiar face

February 20, 2011
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

When people use the same face, you just can't be surprised when someone knows who you are.

Stick with me here because this will take a while.

Donna Miller, of Eagle Grove, was being released from Trinity Regional Medical Center on Valentine's Day after about a week fighting pneumonia. Her son-in-law, Monte Erickson, was taking her home. They'd just about gotten out of the hospital when they saw a group of high school students at the information desk asking for directions.

"Timing is everything," Erickson said. "I just asked them, 'would you mind singing for this fine lady who is leaving the hospital after a week's stay?' And they readily did. My mother-in-law was grinning from ear to ear, and other patients were around. It was just a real happy situation."

"You Are the Sunshine of My Life" was one of the songs sung; Erickson doesn't remember the other.

He said he offered to pay them, but an adult chaperone stepped forward and said it was "on the house."

Still, Erickson said, he wanted to do something, and though he didn't know for sure who the singing students were, he had a pretty good idea.

"They were wearing green, and one of the boys looked just like Dan and David Flattery, who went to high school at St. Ed's and I know their kids still go there."

So he called St. Edmond and talked to someone in the office, who confirmed that a Flattery was wearing the heart for one group of singers.

He's not sure which Flattery it was, either. It could be Neil, son of David and Debbie, or Anthony, son of Terry and Jean, but Erickson doesn't know. He does know, however, he wanted to donate something to the cause - students were offering singing valentines to raise money for the school musical coming up.

"I decided I was going to donate to the program, just for making my mother-in-law's day," he said. "Just something to help with their production."

So, you're wondering, aren't you, about the same face idea. There is a reason.

Erickson went to school in Eagle Grove with twins David and Dan Flattery way back when, before the boys started high school at St. Edmond in Fort Dodge. The boy with the heart draped over him looked so much like the twins, Erickson felt he had to be in the family. And the wearing o' the green further convinced him he was right. That's when he called St. Edmond.

Instead of farming, the man should be a private detective. He could find a Flattery with no problem.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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