Life in the Valley of Riches

I had known Jim Frick was dealing with health issues, but like many of you, news of his death left me stunned.
When I first moved here, I frequently ate lunch at Michelle’s which is now Caves Pharmacy. There was an older couple that would sit on the same side of a booth and each would have a cup of soup and split a sandwich. That was Jim’s parents, Leonard and Millie Frick. Seeing this gave great insight into what kind of man Frick was.
If you were lucky enough to have gotten to know Frick, you had no choice but to like him.
I used to stop in his office and chat about things. We disagreed on most things from a political stance, but we accepted that while the other had no clue what they were talking about, we did agree that we shared a love for the outdoors and the Illinois Valley.
Frick was generally a gregarious man. I always looked forward to seeing him at Labor Day and other community events that he would play emcee and auctioneer.
Before his death I received a call from the arts council asking if I could be the auctioneer. I was second choice as they called Frick first and he said he was retiring, and that they should contact me. That was one of the greatest compliments I have received in years.
During the 2023 Labor Day event, Frick hosted both the Tuff Trucks and the parade, but in hindsight Frick didn’t seem as “on” as he usually was. When I heard the news Wednesday that he died on Tuesday, I called his phone. Certainly, what I was hearing was a rumor and I wanted to hear him say it wasn’t true; but alas, it went to voicemail. I asked him to call me back as I wanted to dispel the rumor.
Now, Frick wasn’t always an angel, but he gave a lot to this community and I have tried to follow in his foot steps when it comes to community involvement. I hope I can live up to that.
I plan to run a larger piece about Frick that includes stories from our readers. Please feel free to email your story to dan@theivnews.com.
Lastly, I have filed to run for commissioner again in 2024. If you still have signs, I hope you use them.
It’s time our county has leadership that cares about the Valley and the other rural areas as well. It’s time for leadership that isn’t looking to enrich themselves or their friends. It’s time for leadership that will lookout for the interests of all residents of Josephine County.
Thank you for picking up this week’s paper. Enjoy!