From the miscellaneous drawer - We get letters

We get letters and notes...
A friend in the Seattle area wrote to say thank you for sending the Echo and noted: “It is read and enjoyed every week and just seems to get better and better.” She congratulated all the Ely high school athletes who went on to State!
Bonnie Curnow wrote from Pennsylvania: “Just a note to let you know how much I look forward to receiving the Ely Echo - Ely will always be ‘My Home.’”
A 91-year old gentleman in North Carolina “keeps perking along” and “enjoys looking at the Echo’s pictures” although he no longer reads much. His wife says, “He isn’t sure where he lives, but he knows it isn’t Ely. Miss everyone there.”
A fellow from Indiana writes, “Thanks for all you do. Ely is my favorite place on earth.”
A note from a subscriber in downstate Minnesota said that she used to get the Echo on Saturday (the day after it was placed in the Ely Post Office), but now is getting it “later and later.”


From the miscellaneous drawer - Have times changed? Not much

The Guardian (London) newspaper called 1956, “The year that changed the world.” It noted that in October and November of that year, “The Hungarian uprising and the Suez crisis sparked the rise of the Soviets - you turned on the radio, and listened with horror to the news from Budapest and Suez.”
What preceded that time? In 1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower (from a family of strict pacifist Mennonites) became President, Senator Joseph McCarthy whipped up a Red scare, Stalin died, the Cold War began and some feared the start of World War III.
Writer Dominic Sandbrook compared 1956 to September 2001, as a time “when history hangs in the balance - and afterwards, things are never the same again.”
I remember 1956 vividly. I had moved to Rome, Italy from Chicago, Illinois in September and lived there a year. I was age 20. It was long before the rapid visual communication available today, but the aura of war surrounded us.
. . .


From the miscellaneous drawer - Cook books

Did you ever start to look for a recipe that you told someone about and were amazed by the number of cookbooks you own?
Just a few of the titles, and the years published, I found on my kitchen bookshelf included: 1999 - Gundel’s Hungarian Cookbook, 1986 - Minnesota Ethnic Cookbook, 1978 - Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls, 1953 - The Joy Book of Cooking and 1884 - Mrs Owen’s Cookbook.
1884? Yep and my great-great grandmother made a note inside that she paid $2.25 for it in 1888. It is complete with home remedies, one of which says that boracic acid is good for bruises and cuts and “the best remedy for horses and men.” (or roaches.)
Among the advice given is “Quantities for Church Lunches” for 150 persons (includes: 2 hams and 150 doughnuts).


Minnesota…. is a funny place for deer hunting

Minnesota…. is a funny place for deer hunting
Sven and Ole left before sunrise on the Minnesota deer opener. Lina had packed them both a fine bag lunch and she wished them boys both good luck as they headed out into the woods.
Later that night, well after dark, Ole came staggering to the front door of the deer shack dragging a huge buck. Lina said to Ole: ‘Ole, why isn’t Sven helping you? Where is Sven?”
Ole said, “Lina, just before dark, I shot this big old buck and Sven said that was the biggest deer he’d ever seen. Then, right then and there, he had a heart attack and died.”
Lina said: “You left Sven in the woods and brought back the deer?”
Ole said, “Yeah, it was a tough call, but I figured nobody was gonna steal Sven laying there.”


Searching for the meaning of green

Considering the Meaning of Halloween
This week our children will celebrate Halloween and parents will preserve their parental prerogative of pilfering. However, in much of the world, the season surrounding the end of October culminates on November 1, with All Saints Day.
All Saints Day is a quiet holiday, an occasion to consider those people who have gone before us, especially those deceased in the past year. This weekend as you get your little ones dressed up in their costumes or prepare to hand out candy to happy trick-or-treating urchins, pause for a moment to consider those who have left us only our memories of them to inspire us to live better lives. I would like to offer a few thoughts on one inspiring person who passed this year.


Hook and Bullet Club - At the shack

Sunday at the shack I was able to pay forward a debt before the thermometer hit 84 degrees.
This started when we arrived in Aitkin County the weekend before. Missing from my pack were three key items: shotgun shells, a glove and my portable music player.
Hoping that I didn’t just join Bob Cary’s band of Al Z. Heimer and the Forget Me Nots, I dug through my pack and the totes we brought. Nope not there.
So I had one glove ala Michael Jackson, no shells and no tunes. Ugh. And to be honest, I didn’t even think of bringing goggles for eye protection when riding on dusty trails.
Luckily for me I was able to do some hunting. Mark’s buddy Jeff stopped by and gave me five 20-gauge shells.
So back to Sunday and when I ran into Mike Jaeger and he told me that after he unloaded his wheeler he realized his shells were still back at home.


Favorite time of year

Most summer people have headed home or will do so soon. Too bad.
The fantastic fall colors have just begun and unlike more southern locations, the area holds a variety of surprises along each roadside.
In Illinois we lived in an oak grove where the hues were of deep red and brown. And as the leaves fell, the winter’s grimness set in.
Here there are splashes of bright yellow and bright red which contrast with the dark greens of firs and pines.
And in a few weeks when the leaves of the deciduous trees have departed which cloaked the understory throughout the summer, new vistas open and are unfurled.
How lucky we are to be here to see it all.
* * *
In the Ely Echo of October 2, 1995, twenty years ago, the headlines were:
• Many issues, few participants at city comprehensive plan hearing; population 3,941
• Zoning issues bring out large audiences


Hook and Bullet Club - Grouse season

From the shack, it was a tie. The fall colors and grouse hunting were both in poor supply.
Usually those two go hand-in-hand but on the grouse opener, it can make for tough hunting. With the leaves still clinging to the trees we were fortunate to have fresh grouse on the grill Saturday night.
My nephew Mitch was the provider, bagging two birds in the first 15 minutes after he left the shack.
His brother Justin had been talking big about getting his limit over the weekend but he finished with the same number as Evan and his friend Spencer. Zippo.
As for the shack daddy, I did see three birds but as far as I know, they are still roaming the woods.
After riding wheelers and walking through the woods, it would figure that two of three birds I saw were standing on the edge of a blacktopped road on my way home.
We had a full house at the shack Saturday - good thing I stocked up at the grocery store before making the trip out.


Words from a burning heart - Jen

by Tim Stouffer


Trout Whisperer - Tax forfeit

Tax forfeit
He stares at the lake surface. I ask him what he is thinking. He begins by telling me that over there, and he points to the distant shore, that, that, is too much. How could it happen?
He leans forward in his lawn chair; he looks tired.
A lone white gull floats past in the sunshine; I can see his eyes track its flight. He says when he was a kid, this lake was covered with ducks and geese from spring thaw until freeze up and herons all summer. Now he’s lucky to see just the occasional gull. Last summer a loon was here, but it didn’t stay for long.
He tells me the fishing here has been awful for the last twenty years. He sips some tea. He says in two weeks he will leave for the summer, that he won’t come back until fall when most of the people leave for the winter. It’s quieter then.


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