The lure of a kind gift to youth

by Anne Swenson
Answering phone calls at the Echo is generally a special treat. A chance to welcome home summer residents, connect staff members to inquirers. And sometimes the unexpected happens.
A fellow called recently to ask if we could suggest some area youth group who might benefit from his handmade lures. He said he had tried giving some away last year to a group elsewhere but they didn’t seem very appreciative. Were there any youth in the Ely area who could benefit, he asked.
While there are a number of youth camps in the area, one seemed to fit his request, and it had been a favorite of a former Echo editor - Sommers Canoe Boy Scout Base. He agreed.
In due time, a box arrived with neatly packaged lures of several varieties along with this letter:

Dear Anne,
The total of these lures is $325.00. The only reason I mention it is in case the Internal Revenue questions me at the end of the year.
I hope they all enjoy them; they are very good lures. For some reason I am just snake bit and no one will buy them. It is like I have been black-balled.
I do have a few good customers, but I cannot survive like that. So if I cannot get my name out there, telling people about them, this will be my last year.
After we get back from our Ely trip in July at LaTourells’ I will probably make the decision.
This year will make our 33rd year of coming up to Ely and I have loved every one of them. I am 74 now and each year gets a little harder.
Well, anyhow, I hope the Scouts enjoy the lures.
Ray Jackson
Cincinnati, Ohio

A call to the Scout Base and director Leslie Thibodeaux told me that Scouts going out on trips have free access to fishing gear for their trip. The lures will be put to good use!