Trout Whisperer - One lump, or two

Where is he? He is in the garage, he’s working on the boat. Something wrong with it. I doubt it, but that’s what he said, working on the boat.
I finish my coffee; she offers me another steaming cup. I sip at it, thinking, it’s kinda cold to be in the shop this early, I’ll nurse this cup, then head out there to see what he’s up to.
She tells me about the grandkids, some gardening she has been able to do and then I’m offered yet another cup, and so with it, out to the garage I go to find him, legs sticking out of the bow like two thick oars flailing, and he is howling.
I ask if he is okay, he shouts, “No, I’m not okay, get in here and get me right side up. “


Dry spell took a detour in April but might come back in May

Somewhere, legendary shop teachers Bud Adamic and Steve Smrekar Senior must be shedding a tear. It’s too bad such a historic structure as the Industrial Arts Building has to come down later this month. When I was an ISD 696 custodian 40 years ago, I got to know every secret place on campus from the heating tunnels under Kennedy Elementary to the crawl spaces above Memorial High School. The basement of the Industrial Building had plenty as well.


Hook and Bullet Club

Saturday we joined a group of ATVers on a ride up the Echo Trail. It was a beautiful day and the ride turned out to be a great way to get outside this spring.
We started with nine machines and picked up four more along the Echo Trail at the Keen residence. All told we had 23 people and two puppies on the ride. The pups were a big hit.
Our first stop was just past North Arm Road where a puppy needed to be transferred to a warmer rig. With that accomplished, the group loaded back up and headed north. Next stop was at Ed Shave Lake.
We didn’t have a meeting place for Bruce and Tracy, who had left Crane Lake about the same time we left Ely. Ed Shave turned out to the meeting point and our group grew to 14 machines with 11 side by sides and three traditional ATVs.


From the miscellaneous drawer

To a pre-teen girl, there were challenges everywhere. Across the street an old macadam two lane highway led to what had become the outer limits to my environment.
In the 1950s, the lure to walk there was three fold. On the north side of the highway was the area airport and many small planes. Further south was the Oriental waterpark - a forgotten dream of some past homeowner.
Alongside the road on the left was a small unnamed creek. One could wade through mud to the cool, sandy bottom and catch tadpoles in the moving water. My best friend Bobby was usually along for the outing too.
My mother, a nurse, did not approve. Polio was taking children by death and sorrow and one of my cousins was in an iron lung at the time. Doctors Salk and Sabine created an immunization to stop mother’s fears.
We were inoculated.


Hook and Bullet Club - Earl the Pearl

The local music world is going to miss Earl Bulinski, who passed away suddenly on April 3, 2021.
We talked on the phone the other day and Earl said he would be playing with a band in South Padre and that I could tune in on Facebook.
“I’ll be sure to listen,” I said.
“These guys are really good,” said Earl. “They even make me look good!”
That was Earl, self-deprecating, always with a joke and a smile. Our conversations were marked by laughter.
During his March 30 set in South Padre at Lobo Del Mar Cafe, Earl told the story of being born in Chicago in 1948 and his dad, Emery, buying Snowbank Lodge in Ely in 1956.
“We went back and forth to Ely, Minnesota which is eight miles from the Canadian border,” said Earl. “It’s a little woodsy up there.
“After four years my dad bought a house and that’s where I actually grew up. And started our first band, The Electras, in 1962 in Ely, Minnesota.


Hook and Bullet Club

Being a grandparent of a soon to be five year-old girl brings with it a flurry of emotions with every visit.
Out in Moorhead last weekend Kinlee was a non-stop bundle of energy.
She served us meals from her toy kitchen and even had McDonald’s items to choose from. Based on our stop in Chisholm on the way over, I’m thinking Kinlee’s pretend food was as good or better.
She even wrote down our orders with an apron around her waist - first class service, no doubt.
On Saturday she had a play date at Sky Zone, a trampoline park in Fargo.
We got there at 9 a.m., which is a time set aside for the younger kids. After putting on special socks, Kinlee and her two friends were off and running.
First they climbed up several steps under the watchful eye of a teenage worker and jumped to a large trampoline below.


Calling for artists and ideas for Children’s Art Camp

by Muffin Nelson
The Annual Ely Children’s Summer Art Camp run under the auspices of the Ely Arts & Heritage Center at Ely’s historic Miners Dry is scheduled for 2021.
It will begin Monday, June 7 and end Wednesday, June 9 from 9 - Noon each day. Mark your calendars now.
A community Art Show showcasing student art work is featured at the end of camp at noon on Wednesday.
Up to 50 children in grades one through sixth are welcomed to new projects each year for a fee of $50 each. We are looking for new teachers and projects in any medium.
Teachers are paid and all supply costs are covered. Do you have a hobby, craft, or skill you’d enjoy sharing with young students?
There are four 40 minute class sessions each day with students rotating in groups to each teacher. Projects can be completed in one day or might require two or three days. You may bring a helper or Art Camp can supply adult assistants.


Ely Police Report for March 1-15, 2021

• Medical- Individual arrested for Domestic Assault.
• Traffic Stop- Individual issued a citation for Driving After Suspension.


Hook and Bullet Club

From the perspective of a four-year old there can’t be too many slides at a park. Mary and I took our granddaughter Kinlee to both playgrounds on Saturday while her parents were out snowmobiling on the North Shore.
We went to the school playground first and Kinlee was bound and determined to try every slide, no matter what the obstacle was to get to the top. In the old days, there was just a steep ladder and a metal slide for kids. Today there are slides with a rope climb to get to the top.
Kinlee has no fear. Heights? Forget about it. She’s fearless which can leave grandma and grandpa fretting she would tumble and we would have to explain a trip to the emergency room. Instead there were tons of smiles and giggles, and not just from the four year-old.
At the school Kinlee liked the units that ran on a rail and she could ride back and forth with the help of a push. And, of course, the slides.


The polar vortex ruined February’s forecast, will March be next?

Vermilion Community College sure has been an asset to Ely since its founding in 1922. In my parents’ day, tuition for local kids was free and paid for by the Oliver Mining Company. By the time my turn came in the early 80’s, it was no longer free but still quite a bargain and I was able to pay for it with two year’s work as a janitor at the high school.
All these years later, I still have the “stop acid rain” button I was given as a VCC freshman. The whole campus was on a crusade to fight that environmental problem. According to a BBC article titled “The Bittersweet Story of How We Stopped Acid Rain”, joint efforts between the U.S. and Canada have put a big dent in the trouble.


Subscribe to RSS - Columnists