Columnists

Fri
06
Apr

The ultimate family heirloom

According to the Zillow.com website, nearly 14 million households, say the reason they’re not planning to move ever is because they plan to pass down their home to a family member.
Whereas in the past, it might be some fond memento passed down as an heirloom, increasingly now it is the family home.
I understand. Although the Antiques Roadshow is still one of my favorite television programs, it is easy to see that values of antiques have changed dramatically from 15-20 years ago.
Even now, when an appraiser of some object says it has a value in the thousands, it would be difficult to sell it that high in the Midwest, even in area auction houses or on eBay. Those big bucks must come from appraiser connections out East if at all.
The problem is: old things just aren’t valued currently even though they may be better crafted, sturdier and more attractive than contemporary objects.

Tue
03
Apr

Native son: Let’s talk some more

AUTOGRAPHS – There is an unwritten protocol about how to get autographs from celebrities. Running up to these talented people furiously waving your autograph book or a piece of paper in their face is not good manners.
How do they know you aren’t trying to hurt them? The safest and sanest way would be to write them a letter in care of the theater where they are performing and ask them to kindly send you an autographed picture. The downside to this is how will you know if the signature is that of the celebrity or their secretary or assistant.
If you are trying to get an autograph from a Broadway star in person don’t wait at the stage door BEFORE the performance. Celebrities want to start focusing on their role. They want to get to their dressing room as quickly as possible to turn themselves into the character they are playing on the stage. There is also the makeup and costume fitting to be done.

Fri
30
Mar

From the miscellaneous drawer - by Anne Swenson

I had occasion this week to reflect on my world and the people within it.
Like you, my life isn’t perfect. I’ve watched my friends suffer, watching their loved ones die. I’ve said goodbye to many myself.
And back when this was turning into a new millennium, so much changed in my life. In one brief year so much happened, so much beyond my ken occurred that I could no longer cry. Weeping became that which might cloud my visage, but never erupt in its fullest.
That was a hard time, steeling me to continue on with life.
And that’s what I have continued ever since.
There has been no separation from life ever since then and I have learned to survive.
I emerged from my 82nd birthday this week with some pleasure and joy. To share a meal with Megan, Nick and Mary was one. To hear from old friends, Sharon, Judy and Sue was another. To share lunch with Claire, Barb and Emily was another.

Tue
20
Mar

East of Ely - The strange story why Ely, Minnesota isn’t in Canada

The northeast region of the future State of Minnesota became part of the newly formed United States because of a horse trader’s opportunity to take advantage of an empire’s conceit. This happened during the negotiations concluding the Revolutionary War in Paris, France in 1783, when the horse trader, Benjamin Franklin became aware that the map used by the British had an error.

Fri
16
Mar

Friday at 13°, then +40? From the miscellaneous drawer

What is cold? For someone living in Washington DC, it’s 36 below on January 31 in Ely.
For a fellow thinking of retiring to Ely from Chicago, he wonders. “My immediate question concerns ‘25 miles East of Ely.’ This description appeared again yesterday on the Chicago Tribune’s Weather Center page which daily cites the warmest and coldest spots in the U.S. I don’t recall the Ely area ever being cited as the warmest spot, although I could have missed it, but ‘25 miles East of Ely’ has been cited (frequently) as being the coldest including yesterday’s paper, which cited -16.
“Exactly where is this garden spot, and when it’s -16 there, how cold is it in Ely proper? It seems its getting a little late in the season for these temperatures. Or is it that I am not Ely-Tough and should drop my relocation plans? Either way I will see you in August, when the mosquito population is down. I think I just answered my own toughness question.”

Fri
09
Mar

East of Ely - How Samuel Ely raised the bar as Ely’s namesake

In 1857, the first Northern Michigan iron mine was built near Marquette around a pig iron smelter named the “Pioneer Furnace.” Rather than naming the mine after some old European city, one of the mine’s founders insisted that it be named by a local council of native Ojibwe. This was a little unusual for the Industrial Age in the U.S. at the time, but the mine chairman had been raised in Iroquois country, a region where people had respect for the tribe’s democratic way of life.

Fri
02
Mar

East of Ely - Rolling with the rock of ages

My life can be divided into two parts, the first where I looked to the ground, and the second where I looked up through tree limbs toward the sky. The second half was spurred by my love of birds, while the first had its foundation in rock.
No surprise I was so focused on looking down since I started life with my childhood eyes much closer to the ground.
My grandparents had a cabin in eastern Ontario, where most of the rocks I found had been blasted along the roadsides, exposing minerals that looked like solid gold to a young boy. I had no idea then that the earth beneath my feet was comprised of a solid mass of magmatic rock that stretched from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean. All I knew at my young age was that the ground had a feel that was oddly comforting.
My family moved to the Midwest where a vast underlayment of limestone called “Karst” formed when ancient oceans covered the plains.

Sun
25
Feb

Native Son: The good old days in Ely

Simply put, Ely is a great place to live especially if you are retired.
I was sitting in my living room window watching them turn blocks of ice into fantastic sculptures for the Winter Carnival at Whiteside Park. The ECHO had a full page of pictures showing these beautiful creations. My favorites were Guardian of the North, Summer Sift and From Ear to Ear.
We also have a Blueberry Festival, Harvest Moon Festival along with some toe tapping parades.

Fri
23
Feb

Native son: The good old days in Ely

Simply put, Ely is a great place to live especially if you are retired.
I was sitting in my living room window watching them turn blocks of ice into fantastic sculptures for the Winter Carnival at Whiteside Park. The ECHO had a full page of pictures showing these beautiful creations. My favorites were Guardian of the North, Summer Sift and From Ear to Ear.
We also have a Blueberry Festival, Harvest Moon Festival along with some toe tapping parades.

Sun
18
Feb

East of Ely - Five stages of being lost in the woods

Many of us have been lost and obviously survived. But how many are familiar with a web article floating around that relates Kubler-Ross’s five stages of death to the experience? I read this recently and decided to test it out by recalling a day where I totally lost my way in the woods east of Ely.
I’ll begin by relaying one of the most dangerous things you can do in the border lakes region. It seems harmless yet the action nearly rendered me dead. So here it goes.
Never, ever try to locate a secret trout lake while portaging a canoe. Though carrying a canoe over time-trodden portages can be a no-brainer, trying to blaze a trail with a canoe is the same as having a blindfold over your eyes. Don’t try it unless you have some other person leading the way. Back to the five stages.
1. Depression. Stage one set in as soon as I realized I wasn’t going to reel in any fat brook trout that day. I’d have to agree with the article on that.

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