Columnists

Fri
01
Jul

Pank Aches Swimming and Kisting on the 4th

In the 50s and 60s in Ely on Independence Day there’d be organized contests with meaningful prizes in Whiteside Park for us kids. I can still see Joe Folio shinnying up a greased pole to claim the 20 dollar note (or was it a 100?) at the top. Joe cleverly covered his hands, pants legs, and chest with sand to provide the winning friction. The finale to that incident, his arriving home and sneaking his garb into the hamper, has never been revealed. Glenn Lindroos and I won the three-legged race prize -- but we cheated. We practiced for weeks before and secured our legs together with two straps, one at our ankles and the other just above our knees. With this Olympic gear and training we developed a coordinated lope that was unbeatable. Too bad college athletic departments didn’t award scholarships for three-legged racing.
Of course in those days there was a large parade in Ely. And there still is -- a tradition that I hope continues.

Fri
24
Jun

Northwoods Pride – An Agenda Looking Forward

Look around at our community and what do you see. Where are the boundaries of what you see as community? What is the geographical distance to the edge of your community? Is the community you recognize a social community, an ecological community, or both included in one?
Community is a group of common interests. With that in mind, the describing the characteristics of our community becomes complicated. History, beliefs, current needs, future interests and potential, available resources, leadership, social framework, environmental conditions etc. factor into the evolution, stability, and potential of communities to be sustainable. Any or all of these are important factors. Looking at your perception of your community, what do you see as its strengths?

Sun
19
Jun

Miscellaneous Musings by FunGirlDi

by Diana Mavetz Petrich
Many of us have a favorite time of year where we love everything about that treasured time, season, month, or holiday. We have our reasons of why we like that time which may be influenced by the weather, nature, sports, or hobbies. Mine is June.
June is my birthday month, and I just celebrated my 61st. Every year that passes is, of course, a celebration, but I am also stunned that I don’t feel older and keep waiting to grow up or start to feel like an adult. Maybe, at this point, it may never happen.
I haven’t written my column for a few months as I was engaged in a legal fiasco for the past four years. I’m happy to say it is in the rear view mirror and the relief is joyous. There are so many things wrong with the legal system in this country. My summation of the entire ordeal was we were forced to participate in a game of legal extortion. It’s over and I am grateful.

Fri
10
Jun

Rants from the Relic

Have you ever heard the word “tump?” It’s used as a verb in parts of the country where I’ve lived -- a portmanteau combining “tip” and “dump.” “We canoed down the Waxa-Woo-Much River last weekend and tumped over in the rapids -- you know, the one just downstream of that tavern south of Kudzu Holler.”
The first time I heard it, the meaning was obvious from its sound and the context. I thought it was quaint and descriptive -- a cute neologism.
Tump. When I first heard it, I thought of similar word that, as far as I know, is unique to Ely. It may have been unique to the time when I grew up in our mining town. I don’t know if it’s still used. But, let’s return to the days of radio dramas, to six-volt car systems, to walking home for lunch on school days, riding our bikes to Germik’s Creek to catch brook trout, getting kicked out of the State Theater by Mrs Swanson for giggling too much, and to squeezing the little red pill to turn the lard into oleo.

Fri
27
May

Northwoods Pride – Starts and Grows

I was born in 1947 and spent my childhood and school years living less that a small-town block from the banks of the St. Joseph River in Michigan. The river, the town, my family, and the people were and are an integral part of who I am today. Next month I will return to Michigan to connect as one of the older community members of my family, the town, the river, and the people.
Next month, the river will provide my paddle connection from its headwaters to my hometown and on to my brother’s family before reaching Lake Michigan. I have lived in many watersheds and explored the rivers there during my life before living the past 45 years of my life in Ely. Exploring St. Joseph River is connecting to over 200 plus miles of its natural history and cultural history.

Fri
20
May

Northwoods Pride – An Invitation

Sometimes I can’t see the forest for the trees and at other times, I can’t see the trees for the forest. But this morning, I can see and appreciate all the environments that I lived in during my life - especially the small rural communities with a history closely connected to the land surrounding them.
The most valuable resources in those areas are the people that bring their independent nature, work ethic, community mindedness, proud heritage, and willingness to give for the common good. I am nearing the end of my 75th year, 45 of those years living in Ely. Among my friends and acquaintances are those who have connections to this area for generations, over their lifetime, intermittently, only recently, or having never been here. Ely’s history spans over one hundred years and the regions physical landscape, human heritage and all other lifeforms have led to what find here today.

Fri
13
May

Hacks for Remembering Hacks

Did you know that ketchup can clean copper and that mustard can be used as an exfoliating face mask? Also, they’re both really good on hot dogs.
And did you know that you can keep carryout pizza warm on the way home by setting it on the passenger seat and turning on the seat warmer? If you have a passenger and they resent having to sit in the backseat just tell them the pizza called shotgun.
These are all valuable tips I learned in an online article called 200 Hacks to Make Life Easier. If you waste as much time online as I do, you’ve noticed that what we once called “tips” or “hints from Heloise” are now called hacks. And there are a lot of them. There are life hacks, travel hacks, cooking hacks and personal finance hacks. There are car maintenance hacks, ballroom dancing hacks and rock climbing hacks. And there are hacks to burgle proof your home, hacks to prevent your computer from being hacked and writing hacks to keep you from being a hack.

Fri
06
May

Hook and Bullet Club - Meeting Bridger

Getting to meet a new member of the family is a pretty big deal. My oldest son Jacob and his wife Kyah made Kinlee a big sister when Bridger was born on April 24.
Weighing in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces he was a joy to hold when we were out in the Fargo area last weekend. There’s something about a human being so small, with all the baby smells that melts your heart.
We took turns and each got in some Bridger time during our visit. Those minutes were treasured. And watching Kinlee hold her baby brother was heart warming as well.
This has certainly been an interesting emotional time in life after losing my mother. There are many times when I think I can ask her a question or let her know what’s going on.
But now there’s a hole where for my whole life there was a mom. I thought how nice it would have been to have her hold her great-grandson. It was a similar scenario when my dad passed.

Fri
22
Apr

Hook and Bullet Club

We’ve been busy every weekend cleaning out a house after my mother passed away. Luckily the weather has cooperated with us, and we can look outside to see snow, rain or a mix of the two.
This has been a difficult task, not just because of the amount of things to go through but because, for me, this is the last house I will be cleaning out.
I remember traveling to Hazel Crest, Illinois when I was a teenager to clean out my grandparents’ house. This was a tough time to leave home since I had just gotten my driver’s license and there was a pretty girl who was willing to cruise Sheridan with me.
Instead I was the youngest one in a group of family members trying to decide what to do with furniture, photos, tools, dishes and a variety of other items.

Fri
15
Apr

Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum

Finally there was a Saturday with nice weather in our forlorn spring of 2022. We piled in the truck, Mary, Bev, Steve and I and headed for Giants Ridge.
Jim, Kelsey, Brad and Coleman were going to meet us there along with Nella. We would make up a large cheering section for Evan.
This was a snowmobile race where sleds head uphill through gates, winding back and forth over bumps and jumps until they get to the top of the hill.
Evan’s buddy Kael Richards had convinced him this was a fun thing to do and he was right.
Mary and I went over Friday night to watch practice and get a lay of the land. We hadn’t been there since Kael’s grandpa Mark drag raced up the hill back in 2004.

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