From the miscellaneous drawer - Learning to live life in Ely through its history

It takes a while to adjust to life in Ely. Coming from an urban area years ago, I tried to mold the Ely area in the image I carried with me.
Many of the those things, ideas and mores, reflected the harshness of big cities and an entirely different way of life - with crime, occasional violence, traffic congestion, pollution and population density - driving my thought processes.
I was a card member of the Sierra Club as a result, and somewhat bitter about the world, past and present, as I viewed it. That membership, I came to understand, was part of the urban view generalizing all places unknown. It was generated by the industrial excesses in urban areas especially during WWII. City dwellers were known to trash their environment and there was a naive belief that rural dwellers must (or might) also be doing the same.
That wasn’t the case, I came to find out in the Ely area.
Here there is a much stronger identification with the land and a much stronger bond to caring for it.
Moving here, my family and I were immersed and surrounded by lovely, kind, intelligent people who were patient through my acquaintanceship with this different lifestyle and mind set.
The Winton ladies, where we first settled, especially offered friendship and support as I was learning. And my children were soon learning the freedom and safety of childhood as it should be. That replaced the fears associated with urban life.
Above all, the neighborhood women and men offered practical advice and shared their attitudes and thoughts while I absorbed what this life has to offer. The new-to-me viewpoints were, and are, more practical, more realistic for the climate, the times and this interesting, multi-faceted place.
Instead of previous doom and gloom, it became easier to perceive brighter skies in the realities of the area. One way was to become aware of the uniqueness of the history of the land and its people. And, with that, came respect and understanding.
It seems so many newcomers settling in the area bring their urban likes and dislikes with them and remain staunchly close-minded about accepting their newfound neighbors. That seems to me to be unintelligent and self-defeating.
I have listened to the rants which oppose traditional ways of Ely and I think - how unchristian and egocentric. That is the way of closed minds. More than just unfriendly - the attitude is bigoted and full of prejudice.

With all the do-good efforts to improve Ely’s future, perhaps some manual could be established for adapting to Ely - Past, Present and Future. The learning curve is important. But with it, the hostility proffered by the vocal few, might be diminished for the good of all.
* * *
In the Ely Echo for Dec. 7, 1977, 40 years ago, the headlines were:
• Steel Strike Settled;
• Merchants, Echo start “Shop Ely” promotion;
• Grader goes through ice;
• Ely cagers dump Biwabik;
• In fiery meeting, union proposals presented to city.