From the miscellaneous drawer - Lucky?

Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect in 1918 at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day.”
The U.S. holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. As a Federal holiday, it will be observed this year on Monday instead.
At the outset of World War I, Harry S. Truman served in the U.S. Army as an artillery battery commander in France. He served later as President.
Starting in May, 1917 when the U.S. entered the war, over 4.7 million men and women served in the regular U.S. forces, national guard units, and draft units with about 2.8 million serving overseas. There were 53,402 killed in action, 63,114 deaths from disease and other causes, and about 205,000 wounded, according to sources.


Home on the Range - A mighty oak has fallen

One of my clearest and most consistent memories of Grandpa Kuehl would be him coming home from work. In from the cold, pulling heavy boots off, gloves and coat hung to dry near the stove in the porch, thermos and lunch pail on the steps.
Up to the kitchen to take his place at the head of the dining room table. Gram would feed him and then off to his chair in the living room to read the Duluth paper, or if it was Saturday, the Ely Echo. Larry King blaring on the TV…
Grandpa was a picture of a hard worker. He didn’t know how to not work! As a kid, driving out to see him at his latest logging site was a frequent outing. I’d bet there are photos of each of the grandkids climbing a woodpile Grandpa had cut … maybe even a few of the Great Grandkids too!


From the miscellaneous drawer - Rushing to get things done

On the weekends I make up an imaginary set of “to do” lists for the days. Sometimes I write it all down, but sometimes it is short enough that I think I can handle it without a paper reminder.
And so it was last Saturday. A friend was coming over for lunch, so I planned my morning: Start the laundry, stop at the office for the mail, stop to see my friend Betty, pick up a couple things at the grocery store, buy some wine, set the table, straighten up the cascade of newspapers in the living room and get the cooking started.
My garage is also my laundry room, so I dressed, grabbed the laundry basket - briefly self-checking that I had emptied all the Kleenex out of the pockets of the grey jacket to be washed. Yes, I remembered doing that...
Got the machine load started after again questioning why the elderly aren’t considered when opening a child-proof soap container that requires the strength of a teenager or more.


Native son: The Witch of Wall Street

When I first heard about Hetty Green I thought she was a myth. Years went by before her name came up again which intrigued me enough to do some research.
Her family members were Quakers. Her real name was Henrietta Howland Robinson. In 1867 at the age of 33 she married Edward Henry Green and went by the name of Hetty Green. She made her husband renounce all rights to her money before the wedding.
She was born In New Medford, Massachusetts on November 21, 1834. By the time she was fifteen she knew more about finance then many professional brokers. She became the first woman to make a fortune on Wall Street. She managed her own funds and invested in stocks, bonds, railroads, mines and real estate. She owned dozens of buildings in New York, Chicago, St Louis and Boston.


Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum - Company

Open a sandwich bag in the woods and you’re bound to have company. We had two Canadian jays join us in second.
My buddy Jim Ronn named them Larry and Bob and they were more than happy to share our sandwiches.
Jim’s daughter Kaitlyn had joined us for a day of working on deer stands and wanted to see if the jays would pick a piece of bread out of her hand.
She put a cloth glove on to be assured we met all safety standards and plopped down on a log.
Larry and Bob decided this was better than hunting for the pieces of bread we had been throwing in their direction.
Kaitlyn held out her hand and in came the camp robbers. I’ve heard them called gray jays, Canada jays and whiskey jack but camp robber seems to be the most appropriate.
The first jay stopped just short of Kaitlyn’s hand and checked out the situation, hopping ever closer. Kaitlyn held her ground and looked out of the corner of her eye.


Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum

Time in the woods during the fall is food for the soul. No matter if you’re swinging a brush saw in the rain or righting a deer stand that tumbled in a summer windstorm.
Having a day off to sight in rifles turned into a change of plans with rain again falling in the Ely area.
Deciding not to give in, I fired up the brush saw to re-open some of our trails by the shack. Since I didn’t have Megan’s golden retrievers Millie and Maverick with me, this seemed like a good plan. At least there would be no three-legged dogs when I was done.
The tag elders grow like weeds and in my mind that’s what they are. You cut them and they grow back. Rinse and repeat.
By the time I had run through two tanks of gas, hit 15 rocks and was soaked to the bone, it was time to call it a day. But it was a day away from work, spent out in the woods.
On Saturday I headed to my buddy Rob Wilmunen’s shack to help him return an elevated stand to its original location.


From the miscellaneous drawer - Baskets ready?

Over the past weekend, there were visits from family and friends. It’s the end of the summer season, leaves have turned to bright colors and the snowbirds, both avian and human are on their way to winter grounds.
Some will be back for Thanksgiving or Christmas visits and here’s a suggestion to make those and all visits even more memorable at your house: Keep a small basket by the front door.
As visitors arrive, explain the necessity to deposit therein all electronic devices, especially ubiquitous flat screen phones. Homeowners’ phones should go in too.
Here’s something to think about: You’re with family or friends that you don’t see often and the conversation is interesting. You’re conversing, exchanging information. Then one supposed listener takes out a phone and starts tapping it, fiddling with it, stops paying attention, perhaps even walking away from the group.
How does the person speaking or part of the group sense the situation?


Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum -ATV rides

Next week is October and fall is fast upon us. We’ve spent the past few weekends on ATV rides in the great outdoors.
This past weekend Mary and I took part in the ATV Minnesota annual Ride and Rally in Willow River, MN. This is just down the road from Moose Lake, not far from Sturgeon Lake.
The event was held in a renovated barn, giving it a country-type feel. We took part in the VIP Ride on Friday and even brought an elected official with us, Ely school board member Rochelle Sjoberg.
She and her husband John toughed it out, riding two up on a regular ATV while Mary and I were in our side by side on a chilly morning.
The day warmed up, we had a cookout type lunch in the woods and we put another 48 miles on by the end of the day.
Saturday was the main day of the rally so we put some miles on. We were joined by Ron and Kristin Potter along with Neil and Terri Olson from Ely, plus Crane Lakers Bruce Beste, Traci Bak and Tom Baumchen.


From the miscellaneous drawer - R-e-s-p-e-c-t

The Emmys for 2018 winners list was announced and I had not seen even one of these programs. Guess I don’t watch as much TV as I thought, even before the DISH fracas in Duluth.
* * *
Now here’s food for thought:
“Within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history,” said Jonathan Vespa, a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau. “By 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million under the age of 18.”
I think the elderly have generally earned this thought, but I noted in Aretha Franklin’s passing, her song Respect has the words: “I’m about to give you all of my money, And all I’m askin’ in return, honey, Is to give me my propers...”


Native son: Let’s talk

Aretha Franklin is dead at the age of 76. I saw her perform in San Francisco when I lived there. Her show was scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. but she didn’t come on stage until well after midnight. No excuses were given for the delay.
She sang her heart out until three in the morning. There wasn’t a sleepy eye in the theater. It was one of the most memorable performances I have ever seen. Her voice had a range for all kinds of music including opera. May she rest in peace.
I had three more churches to review in my series of visiting all the churches in Ely. Unfortunately Laurie who drove me to all these religious services and I both had medical issues which prevented us from completing this mission. I would like to say the ten we attended were absolutely wonderful and uplifting experiences.


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