From the miscellaneous drawer

by Anne Swenson

As winter cold arrives in the northland, folks reach out to friends and acquaintances to share the settling early darkness.
In 2002 a group of musicians gathered to light up an evening with music. Some listeners joined the evening affair to provide the audience.
Musicians in Ely can change with the seasons, as snowbirds come and go. Fortunately, there are a number of Ely musicians around.
Many years ago, Bob Cary’s Starlighters band practiced at my home for its summer appearances at Burntside Lodge at the time.
Over time, the music room had also hosted a reggae group, Canadian and Russian performers, and others.
This particular evening was by request of a spouse. He had been ailing and his piano playing wife, Carol Brude prescribed the evening. That night Dan Erzar was on drums and Byron Moren fulfilled the role for stand up bass. The year that followed was not kind to all, with health issues hitting two of them.
Over the years other musicians have included Bill Lynott, Charlie Erdman, Madeleine Tessier, Bill Godlin, Irene Hartfield, Mike Frazier on piano, with Dick Mitchell and Fred Godec, and assorted friends of Bob Cary’s sitting in on occasion.
Now the room is silent, although Pam Roberts adds some piano work at times. The memories stretch out over miles and are fondly recalled.
Carol had a wooden plaque which I now treasure: “It takes a long time to grow old friends.”
The memories are never forgotten.
* * *
In the Ely Echo for December 13, 1999, 20 years ago, the headlines were:
• Leustek’s re-zoning vote delayed;
• Lake County says ‘No’ in school vote;
• Bear project goes on-line;
• Fall Lake looks to secede from Lake County district;
• Joe Struna says, “It’s never too late to learn;”
• 13% city levy hike less than anticipated;
• Linda Aylsworth chosen as executive director of D.G. Gardner Trust.