Fick played to RTC patients for 35 yearsPublished 11:29am Friday, September 27, 2013
It was more than 80 years ago when an employee at the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center noticed that some of the patients were restless. So he decided to put musical instruments in their hands.
What followed was a group called the “Happy Ramblers,” which played weekly at the RTC for 35 years.
The man who started it all was Elmer Fick, who started working at the RTC in 1927, first as a nurse and then in the occupational therapy department. His daughter, Arleen Nycklemoe, 83, recalled how her dad played the saxophone and banjo by ear. He had no formal musical training.
“No education,” Nycklemoe said. “He just had an ear for music.”
Fick played barn dances to earn a little money and used it to build up a good amount of sheet music that was then used by the