From the miscellaneous drawer by Anne Swenson

The Norge Ski Club’s international winter ski jumping tournament returns for its 115th year. According to the Chicago Daily Herald, those years “included shipping snow to the site when area snowfall was scarce.”
The Fox River Grove club is known as “the oldest, continuously open ski club in the United States. The club was started in 1905 by a group of Norwegian men. Most lived in Chicago.” To make ski jumping available year around the club “purchased a new ski tower from Ely, Minnesota.”
Those were the days in Ely when ski jumping was a popular sport and attracted competitors from Canada and beyond.
It all makes sense to me.
My dad was a ski jumper growing up in the Glenwood/Starbuck area. He didn’t jump in Illinois, but he followed the sport. After WWII he bought Army-surplus cross country skis, but I don’t remember him or my siblings using them.
Ice skating was a different matter. We had our own winter rink in the side yard and we all skated.
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Thinking of old times, Shirley Britton stopped by the Echo and reminded me of the late night we startled each other at 3 a.m. in the alley behind and between the old Echo building and Britton’s. She was coming in to work and I was leaving work. Since nearby bars emptied of patrons by then, some were sometimes still about. That’s why we were startled to see each other that dark night.
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Thanks to Lawrence Aho for answering the never ending snow question with his poem at the right.
In the Ely Echo for January 28, 1980, 40 years ago, the headlines were:
• Presidential candidate and Echo editor Jackpine Bob appears on national TV show,
• Ely-Tower ski race set for February,
• USFS to purchase Canadian Waters’ Fall Lake landing.