Around town

by Irene Grahek

Small Town USA... The most American thing about America (now there’s a profound statement). Where else will you run into a situation that could put labels such as caring, nosy, interested, big mouth, phoney, gossip, mean, lazy, ambitious, cheap, generous, quiet, happy, crabby - all describing one person! Depends on your point of view.<BR><BR>But because everyone knows everyone else, at least by family or maiden name (and in Ely by nickname), a mental picture immediately forms when a name comes up. Of course, this could also include the “big town” presidential candidates who are calling each other every name in the book. <BR><BR>Granted, someone moving from a metropolitan center would have a few adjustments to make, but those who choose to live in a village or community find the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages and soon fall into a pattern of living that is quite comfortable. <BR><BR>I found this anonymous article in the Sioux City, Iowa Journal. It is a humorous take-off on small town living that will allow us to laugh at ourselves. <BR><BR>“How Small is small?” <BR><BR>You know you are in a small town when... <BR><BR>• You are born June 13 and your family receives gifts from local merchants because you are the first baby of the year.<BR><BR>• The editor and publisher of the newspaper carries a camera at all times. (I think I’ve seen Nick and Anne point a camera now and again.)<BR><BR>• You don’t use your turn signals because everyone knows where you are going.<BR><BR>• You speak to each dog you pass by name, and he wags at you. <BR><BR>• You drive into the ditch five miles out of town and the word gets back to town before you do. <BR><BR>• You miss a Sunday at church and receive a get well card. <BR><BR>• You write a check on the wrong bank and it covers it for you.<BR><BR>• Everyone knows you are either a Democrat or Republican. <BR><BR>• Church dinners are attended by all faiths. <BR><BR>• The main street is roped off from traffic at All Class Reunion time. <BR><BR>• Digging a street or changing a street light draws a crowd. <BR><BR>• A march to the cemetery is a must on Memorial Day or 4th of July.<BR><BR>• Someone asks how you feel, then listens to what you say.<BR><BR>Yes, there is humor as well as real thought in defining how small is small, but it is all marvelously wrapped up in this unknown author’s conclusion: “Thank God for small towns ... and the people who live in them.”<BR><BR>------<BR><BR>As promised last week, I have another edition of nicknames, courtesy of Bill Rom, and it also proves the point that “everyone knows your nickname in a small town.” <BR><BR>Bill compiled quite a number of names “mostly of the older generation and residents of Smuk’s Farm (site of present day cemetery).”<BR><BR>Now for people new to Ely, you may wonder, what is Smuk’s Farm? That name goes back to the 1880s when the first Ely cemetery was on a hill north of the present day golf course and forest service. The area next to the cemetery was owned by a fellow named Joseph or John Smok, and because of that people began referring to the cemetery as “Smok’s Farm.” This family eventually moved away from Ely, and were never buried here. The spelling of the name changed to Smuk, and has remained the same since that time. <BR><BR>The graves from that first cemetery were moved to the present day location and old timers still refer to the cemetery as Smuk’s Farm. Just another one of Ely’s legends, and another lesson in Ely’s history. (Thanks to Leona Janezich for the background information.) <BR><BR>And away we go... Steepo Golovich, Flathead Hutar, Pete Poot Hutar, Skinny Wee Hutar, Bobo Hutar, Peck Pechaver, Little Stan Pechaver, Lindy Louie Pechaver, Bony Sever, Still Sayovitz, Howie Sayovitz, Corky Musich, Dinky Musich, Dingles Stukel, Boomba Seme, Greany Markovich (the speed cop), Fatty Markovich, Juice Markovich, Schmony Marholic, Shorty Pucel, Iggy Pucel, Cubby Jershe, Krubna Kernecher, Fuzzy Mihelic, Mausty Mosnik, Jiggs Hegfors, Unch Hegfors, Chick Lindbeck, Yonko Popovich, Tonk Lenich, Shorty Lenich, Willy Lobe, Schmurdy Mayerle, Wang Mayerle, Buckshot Chosa, Gusto Mondati, Gabe Rom, Bishop Rom, Dogie Kapsch, Muskrat Moravitz, Boiler Moravitz, Barney Banks, Fritz Banks, Bum Slogar, Teeds Slogar, Bunny Slogar, Sparky Grahek, Fargo Skala, Merks Skala, Gege Tome, Teeny Krall, Sinky Prosen, Fuzzy Ferderber, Hawk Ferderber, Hardy Novak, Tupee Carpenter, Marts Marolt, Iggy Hren, Pada Tomsich, Judge Skradski, Friday Petek, Yetter Petek, Buckles Petek, and Scwugs Schwegel. <BR><BR>He also added one final name - the legendary Father Mike!