A message from the American Legion for Veterans Day

Seven decades ago, in 1950, brave Americans defended a far-off land that was under attack. For three years they fought what many still call, “the Forgotten war.”
We are here to remember. We are here to honor not just those brave Korean War veterans, but ALL who have served in the U.S. military since our country’s founding.
Jack Sauter served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Many years later, he wrote in The American Legion Magazine that he had doubts whether the outcome of the war was worth the cost of lives and treasure.
But after the war he was greeted in his New York insurance office by a Korean immigrant. “I was very young when the war started,” she told him in an emotionally cracked voice. “We lived on the Han River, just south of Seoul. My family walked to Pusan! Thank you for saving my country!”
Sauter said his encounter with that woman put his last doubt to rest. It WAS worth it.


Sew Many Halloween Memories…

Dress up, walk around as somebody else and get free candy? Any holiday that had candy involved was my favorite – especially Halloween.

Halloween in Ely was terrific during the 1960s and 1970s. There were so many kids born during the Baby Boom time period and the city streets were filled with kids trick-or-treating. It was safe to go out without your parents and I’m sure most parents enjoyed being at home for a couple of hours without the kids minus the doorbell ringing incessantly.

On Halloween in 1970, my sisters and I went trick-or-treating. We were going door to door on the east end of Ely. We went to each house, screamed, “Trick or Treat,” and lined up single file while holding our bags open for the drop.


Franklin Lawrence Kuhar

Franklin Lawrence Kuhar
November 24, 1956 – October 6, 2020
Franklin (Frank) Lawrence Kuhar died at home surrounded by family on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. He was born in Ely, MN on November 24, 1956 to Lawrence and Esther Kuhar. He graduated from Ely High School, class of 1975. Frank then attended the University of St. Thomas and graduated with a degree in accounting.
Frank married his high school sweetheart, Jacinta(Cindy) Braun on June 30, 1979, they recently celebrated their 41st year of marriage. Frank started his career at Ernst and Young and ended his career at Accenture.
Frank loved sports, especially golf. He was an avid MN Twins and Vikings fan despite their track records. He had a great sense of humor and was very charismatic.


From the miscellaneous drawer by Anne Swenson

Saturday started with small snow drops pelting the trees. It hardly covered any part of the driveway and woods.
Now at 3 p.m. the snow is heavier and only a small bit of grass remains showing under the towering trees. Bare branches are now snow laden as are the feathery fronds on pines.
The barn roof may have two inches of snow and road traffic has slowed to a standstill.
If only the emails received from the various politcal parties and individuals would also stop. All are now filed under Junk and tossed away. They makeup about 80 percent of the daily email.
After November 3 will they cease and desist? Is it just me or does this election seem different from others? Truthfully I voted by mail some weeks ago. However, that didn’t stop the political messages nor the plethora of television statements.


From the miscellaneous drawer

You wake up to the sun streaming through the woods and the golden leaves of a deciduous tree brightens the scene.
Are these really the golden years? Although the mind is alert and the self-words of encouragement remain, times have changed.
Dimmed now are days, moments of the past. Memories, once so real, are hard to retrieve.
Did you ever surprise your parents when you were but a child? Did you live in or hide in some place special to you?
There are so many instances which were golden, and are still part of your being. There are people you recall who reached out to you and perhaps your neighborly good deed brightened someone’s day.
Each time of our lives is golden and should generate pride in ourselves. Don’t forget yourself in this perilous time. You have survived and golden moments continue to be recognized. Perhaps in the achievement of a friend or a child. Perhaps in yourself.


SHORE LUNCH “A Tale of Two Campsites”

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.


Update from Ely Public Schools Superintendent Erik Erie

Our Ely Safe Learning Plan Advisory Council is meeting weekly to examine the latest COVID-19 data from St. Louis County Public Health. Local COVID-19 data and conditions are also considered.
This data is used to make decisions on staying in our current learning model or moving to another model. Currently, students in our Memorial building are in the hybrid model which splits the students into two groups where students are in school two days a week and distance learning the other three days.
The Washington Elementary remains with in-person learning where students are in school every day.
The decision to move the Memorial students to hybrid was based on data provided by St. Louis County Public Health and guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Education which recommends hybrid learning for secondary students when the greater St. Louis County bi-weekly case rate reaches 10.


From the miscellaneous drawer by Anne Swenson

The roads, most of them two lane, were bumpy and at times treacherous. It was wartime and army base buses and trucks carried soldiers to their future assignments.
Minnesota wasn’t much better. No carriers of military, but gravel was part of the two-lane road. It was all new to an Illinois child.
Activity in the mine pits around Virginia had no relationship to the rock pits left so far beyond near home.
The man spoke of Lake Vermilion as the place their pastor lived on an island in the summertime. They had chosen his Illinois church in which to be married.
During the gold rush in the area, his sister had stayed with local families while teaching school in the Tower area.
As they progressed toward there journey, they saw glimpses of lakes and resort signs.
Finally the car reached Ely and the road was filled with laden logging trucks on their way to mills. They were so big that it looked like they would be unable to stop suddenly if need be.


Thoughts of, and with, Carefree

by Tom Coombe
Echo editor
Pull into the parking lot. Punch the code. Open the door and walk through the dining area. Take a left down the hallway to my grandma Dolly’s door.
For about four months last year, it became a regular and familiar drill.
And it was my first and lasting experience with Ely’s Carefee Living.
Often armed with a strawberry shake for 95-year-old Dolly and sometimes bringing a sundae for her sister-in-law and my great aunt Marcella, stops at the southern-most building in the community’s assisted living complex were part of my routine.
Hollee and the kids would make weekend visits, but during the week I had the responsibility - and now I remember it as a privilege - to spend some quality time as my grandma reached the end of her time with us.


Hook and Bullet Club - The Saxeruds

We’re looking for a little normal right now.
Last weekend we looked at the shack. Former Ely eye doc Mike Saxerud moved out west 16 years ago. He’s been back a few times and on this trip he brought his 17 year-old daughter Lily.
While she may not remember her birth place, she has heard many stories of Ely and wanted to meet those her father talks about.
I was fortunate enough to be on the list. Mike and Lily were only in town for a few days so we tried to make the best of our time together.
Our first task was to get Lily driving a wheeler. She did great, first we stopped by the lake and had the landing to ourselves. Mike and I caught up on life while Lily took to catching a frog on the shoreline.
Mike said Lily won a lottery in the fourth grade when she was one of the students chosen for a classroom in the forest. The school district has a forest where a teacher takes a group of fourth graders out in the woods for real world learning.


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