Columnists

Sun
20
Nov

In the front row

Section champion Kelly Bruels, who competes Monday at the state high school girls diving competition in Minneapolis, is the latest in what has become a long line of successful Ely divers.<BR><BR>When the Timberwolves’ sophomore steps on to the diving board at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, she’ll be following in the footsteps of several other Ely athletes who have been among the state’s best.<BR><BR>Candice Smrekar advanced to state last fall and in 2003, and six other Wolves have qualified since 1995.<BR><BR>They in clude:<BR><BR>• Dylan Scott, a four-time state meet qualifier with three top-six finishes, including a third-place finish in 1997;<BR><BR>• Three-time state qualifier Alison Schiefelbein, whose highest finish was third (1997);<BR><BR>• Wade Pucel, who made three trips to state and was fifth in 2000;<BR><BR>• Crystal Dusich, who advanced each year from 1994-1996;<BR><

Sat
12
Nov

From the miscellaneous drawer

How cluttered is your life? If you’re my age, it seems clutter has become a monster I’ve been feeding for way too long. Of late it has threatened to take over my house and force me out. <BR><BR>But then, I’ve been the enabler of the ever mounting clutter. Maybe tomorrow, this weekend, next week, some future vacation days, I try to fool myself, will provide the chance to dig through the clutter and banish it. Procrastination is an art I need to lose.<BR><BR>Stuff is lost in the clutter. Not just this year’s clutter but the stuff of a lifetime of clutter. The doll arm that someday was going to be repaired is found but now the doll is lost. The chair leg which just needed a bit a glue to make it serviceable again no longer has the three-legged chair that went with it. <BR><BR>Stuff. Opening the miscellaneous drawer (or almost any other drawer in the house) yields more stuff.

Sun
06
Nov

In the front row

Visiting Rochester has a lot going in its favor in today’s community college football state semifinal matchup against Vermilion, but don’t count out an upset by the host Ironmen.<BR><BR>Rochester has a 7-2 record, the aura of being the defending state champions and a 59-20, opening week rout of Vermilion to its credit.<BR><BR>But there’s no doubt that Vermilion Head Coach Keith Turner is right when he says the Ironmen squad that takes the field this afternoon is a lot different than the one that got trounced back in late-August.<BR><BR>For starters, a quarterback position that was unsettled at the start of the season is now firmly in the hands of freshman Willie Johnson.<BR><BR>The Florida native has thrown for 23 scores in six starts and a pair of relief appearances, and run for several more.<BR><BR>He has several good targets in receivers Kirby Mayle, Patrick O’Malley, Isaiah Osborne and the emerging Harold Fannin.

Sat
29
Oct

Birdshot and backlashes

Hoo, boy! It pays to watch the roadways and drive slow at night. There are deer all over the place - on the roads, in the ditches, everywhere. Big deer, little deer, deer with antlers and deer without. But they can all put a heck of dent in a car. There are something like 16,000 deer-car collisions in Minnesota every year and 2005 ought to set a new record. If you have to drive to Wisconsin, be extra careful. They had over 20,000 deer-car collisions in 2004.<BR><BR>There doesn’t seem to be much anyone can do except throttle down and drive slowly. Especially at night. A few years back, some guy came up with a “deer whistle,” what was termed a high frequency sound device that only deer could hear. It was fastened to the front bumper of the car. There were a lot of them sold and some drivers swore by them. <BR><BR>“I put one on the front of the car and I never hit a deer,” was often said.

Sun
23
Oct

From the miscellaneous drawer

I don’t understand women. Not all women of course, after all I am a woman. <BR><BR>First maybe I should explain about women I do understand.

Mon
17
Oct

Words from a burning heart

The musky scent of damp leaves greets us each morning as we leave the new warmth of our houses behind and hit the sidewalks of Ely. Crunching softly on the way to work and crunching loudly on the way home. The failing summer sun has still been strong enough to warm things up during the day and dry out the leaves. The smell of freshly raked lawns is rich and loamy.<BR><BR>We’ve been playing baseball at my house, chasing the ball through the leaves, losing one and beginning again with a tennis ball or an old wiffle ball. Getting in one last hurrah with our gloves. The cars go by and the people smile and wave. Lucy and Simon will connect with the bat every once in a while and I’ll have to chase one down to the end of the block.<BR><BR>The intermingling yellows of the syrup maples and the birch shake in the breeze above us.

Sat
06
Aug

IN THE FAIRWAY......with a happy hacker

We know Richard Olson reported his “Hole in one on #7” a week ago; what we don’t know is the club used to nestle that little white pill snugly into the hole. Nor do we know his lucky friends in the foursome who witnessed the happy event. We don’t know Richard, but do certainly offer our congratulations to him! <BR><BR>To be sure, a lot of luck comes into play; but the golfer still has to select the right club for the weather conditions of the day. It isn’t all just luck, by any means! <BR><BR>Future ‘acers,’ remember a detailed report at the desk! It’s what USGA needs - plus it makes for a more interesting read!            <BR><BR> Jeong Jang certainly declared her intentions at the Weetabix British Open last week, leading the field after each round: 68, 66, 69, 69=272. Jang’s nearest competitor was four strokes off. Michelle Wie, amateur, used only six more strokes.

Sat
30
Jul

IN THE FAIRWAY......with a happy hacker

We open with a somber note, bidding a final farewell to fellow “golf-nut” Gus Cheeney. Gus was partnered with Adair Thompson in the Friday night league and according to Adair never once lost his happy, friendly, demeanor - not even if she made a shot that put him in the woods. Gus was a friend to all, on and off the course, we knew him as a square shooter. “Fairways and Greens,” Gus and a scorecard dotted with birdies and eagles! <BR><BR>We cannot even imagine what it would be like to be 18 and have a $375,000 check with your name on it in your hand. Paula Creamer claimed her second LPGA title - the Evian Masters in France - as well as finding herself second on the LPGA money list. At 18, mind you! Again, it makes us happy to read her words, when asked if Annika was her arch-rival: “I don’t really see it as a rivalry.

Sun
24
Jul

Mary Ann Lekatz tells a survivor’s story

Mary Ann (Vidmar) Lekatz is a survivor. She did not spend 40 days on an island with TV cameras following her. Her story is the quiet struggle and courageous victory over the dreaded “C” word. Cancer.<BR><BR>Mary Ann and her husband John had their version of the good life going in rural Ely. Both in their 50s and looking forward to retirement, their three children were grown and thriving. There were three grandkids. Great family get togethers that included Mary Ann’s latest culinary endeavors. And the trips. “John and I did the traveling,” says Mary Ann. “It saved them having to bring a lot of ‘kid’ furniture. We had all the discarded toys here. When the kids came, they thought they had all new toys.<BR><BR>“I loved to cook and they knew it. I made anything they wanted. Meatballs wrapped in dough and baked was a favorite. The grandchildren like M and M cookies.

Sat
16
Jul

From the miscellaneous drawer

It’s odd how others respond to changes in one’s personal situations.<BR><BR>When a friend was moving away from Ely she found that people didn’t invite her to gatherings in which she had previously been included. It was as if she had already departed and they had replaced her with other, newer friends.<BR><BR>It seemed that unconsciously they chose to neglect or reject her as she appeared to be rejecting them by moving. <BR><BR>We do strange things unconsciously.<BR><BR>There seemed to be two reactions to me when I had cancer a long time ago. I’ve heard those reactions are common. <BR><BR>Some people avoided me or spoke about me as if I had suddenly stopped being able to hear them. “How is she doing now?” was whispered sotto voce to those around me as if I no longer had my senses.<BR><BR>Others tried to discuss my condition with me as if that was my only current interest.

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