Truth be told, Loren Lindstrom’s song — the Mosquito Song — isn’t that good, except that the story of how it came to be is one of those tales that’ll never make a big-city newscast, but which is a gentle reminder of the everyday decency of common folk.
According to the Detroit Lakes Tribune, Lindstrom was a lifelong inventor. “He was especially known for inventing a huge rolling pin that had the ability to spread out five lefse at one time, a conveyor belt that automatically brushes the excess flour off the lefse, and a small device that divides dough into 40 pieces at one time in one smooth operation. He also invented a huge mixing machine for stirring the lefse dough.”
He and his wife ran a lefse plant in Washington state for 10 years before they retired to Arizona. She died a few years ago and his health began to deteriorate not long after. His family brought him north, and eventually to the Sunnyside Care Center.
He talked a lot about home but over time the staff learned of his interest in music, and that he’d written the words to a song. “Let someone else put a melody to my words,” he said.
His Hospice care team took care of it. Social workers, nurses, chaplains and volunteers wrote the music and performed it for him. He liked that, so they found a volunteer in town to record it and put it on a CD for him.
But he died a week ago Friday, just a few hours before it was done. He had a final wish: that the song be played on the local radio station. And on Wednesday, it was — a testament to the people who cared about an old man, and a radio station that understood why that’s still news.