Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
I’m pretty sure it was 1984, though you’re welcome to correct me after I divulge more details.
At the time I was the morning anchor at WUWM, Milwaukee Public Radio. I think at least a dozen liberals reading my blog (and yes, liberals do read this blog), just passed out at the very thought of me, me, working in ultra-liberal, taxpayer-bought off public radio.
Back in those days, WUWM studios were housed in the bowels (very appropriate word) of the Fine Arts Music Building on the campus of UWM, unlike the beautiful Taj Mahal, state of the art facilities taxpayers are subsidizing today, whether they want to or not.
It was either December 22 or 23, definitely a few days before Christmas, a chilly yet snowless morning. I parked my car about a block away from my workplace and proceeded to make my walk to the Fine Arts Music Building to begin another day’s work on the radio.
And then it happened on the dark, desolate sidewalk on the street of Downer Avenue. I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks. I felt something actually go wrong in my back forcing me to halt immediately.
It was 4:00 am. You know what they say about 4:00 am. Nothing good happens at 4:00 am.
I was frozen, and not because of the rather mild December weather. I was frozen because walking for that instant wasn’t an option.
I’m pretty sure umpteen years later that at that moment frozen in time I said out loud or something to this effect, “Oh my God, what was that?”
Seconds later, I told myself, Kev, don’t be a fool. Just start walking again. And so I did.
The next thing I remember, I fall, and I’m face down on the pavement.
It’s pitch black. There’s no one around, not even a UWM cop or homeless person, or at that time, Sentinel delivery person. I’m face down in concrete and I can’t move because of the excruciating pain.
I recall even this many years later attempting to move. Dumb. Foolish.
The screams could be heard in Wauwatosa.
Realizing I was helpless, meaning I had no help, I told myself since I had no help, I basically had to …
Buck up and get up on my own.
And yes, I yelled like hell in order to get to my feet. No one heard me. No one. Not even the early morning city of Milwaukee Police and UWM parking checkers. Where the hell were you when I needed you!
Now I’m on my feet. A burglar would have had a field day, although I’m not sure how much I was carrying that day. After all, I worked for public radio long before it was lucrative to do so.
After I woke up several homes on Downer Avenue, I made my way into the Fine Arts Music Building.
Any UWM copper around to help me?
Are you kidding?
I’m literally walking, struggling, using both hands on the sides of buildings to get me to the door of where I need to be.
I did my shift, never leaving my chair as my fellow staffers ran scripts down to the studio, allowing me to survive. What next?
Arrangements were made at WUWM to have someone fill in. Meanwhile, I was suffering big time. I basically could do nothing without yelling out in a volume that shook the Richter scale.
The Fischer family was chaotic.
What do we do?
Our family doctor was not available, on vacation for the Christmas holiday.
This was a treasure of a man, the quintessential Norman Rockwell physician.
Puzzled looks in the Fischer household.
Kevin was almost in tears from the pain.
Dad, who was a hero many times, spoke up.
It wasn't good.
Dad suggested I call his chiropractor.
Yes, a chiropractor.
My Dad's chiropractor. In her late 20's at the most.
As loving and respectful our entire family was, we somehow knew that while Dad was seeing a chiropractor, that was akin to visiting a witch doctor with a dead chicken. Not only that. If word got out to our tremendous, and he was, revered family doctor, Doctor Chester Warth, he’d have our skins.
I recall vividly visiting the chiropractor’s office the next day after my mishap on the east side. She had me stand up straight up, and then visually examined me. I looked like the letter “S.”
There were many of these simple one word proclamations from her as she gazed at me.
With every “Oh,” her anxiety intensified.
I was terrified.
Then came the prognosis.
I should go to the hospital and be put in traction.
I should go to the hospital and be put in traction.
But if you’ve been paying attention, the time of year came into play.
My chiropractor would have none of it. A treatment and a schedule to return and I was on my way.
Christmas Day morning, I was there as always ushering at St. Anthony’s. I sat in the back of church on a folding chair, unable to do my weekly duties. Outside it was 65 degrees. Inside, I sat there, feeling sorry for myself, helpless.
Turns out I had a slipped disc. Dr. Warth never found out. And I’ve never, never had a back issue since.
Almost 30 years later, my wife, Jennifer, lifted daughter Kyla the wrong way. In a second she was almost paralyzed.
We called my old chiropractor just a few miles away and got Jennifer in. Within minutes, Jennifer was on the road to recovery.
Last year, I actually heard my neck crack staring at the computer at work. Stubborn as I was, I called an old friend. That was March of 2012. Haven’t had a neck issue since, I still go back for monthly “maintenance.”
My chiropractor is Dr. Christine Krsko, located at 7000 S. 76th Street, near 76th and Rawson in Franklin.
She’s terrific. Her staff is terrific.
Her entire office gets my highest recommendation.
If you go, please tell them I sent you.