Hook and Bullet Club

We never know when it will be the last trip out to the shack by truck due to snow. With the muzzleloader season over, Evan and I went out last weekend to take down deer stands and cameras.
Evan and Nella’s black lab Hank was in the back seat of the truck. Well, he was half in the back and half in the front. I’m not sure he knew where we were going but he sure was excited to be along for the ride.
There really wasn’t much snow so driving in was easy. We pulled the side-by-side on a trailer and unloaded at the top of the hill by the shack.
We went inside to grab a pack and then hopped in the side-by-side with Hank in the middle. At each stop along the way Hank would hop out and zoom through the woods, sniffing out all the smells. Deer, wolf, beaver, snowshoe hare and more had him running steady.


From the miscellaneous drawer

I was in the office one morning recently, picking up my mail and adding some old photos of Ely’s olden days to the Echo’s collection. And I became more aware of the Echo team.
They have good leadership in Nick Wognum, now listed as General Manager, but there’s no doubt that his crew plays an important part in keeping things running smoothly.
Lisa, the ad designer, helps customers in many ways as she has for over 20 years.
And for some time since we have enlarged our print section and camera output, Cameron has been front and center to answer customers’ needs.
He also takes care of getting the Echos after they are printed in Duluth, and has had some help recently from Evan Wognum, Nick’s youngest on the road.
Tom does a great job of seeming to be everywhere. And the Echo also has the talents of Pam Roberts and all the columnists, and readers who share photos and letters with the Echo. And Brad is back to help with store sales.


From the miscellaneous drawer

I’m a collector of old telephone books and I recently set out to see what secrets the 1979 phone book held. Since it was just a few years prior to that I had purchased the Echo and things (businesses) were already changing.
There were 16 canoe outfitters listed in the ’79 Ely area at the time and four bait suppliers.(21 outfitters in 1980) .
And since it was the height of the tourism boom there were 35 resorts in the 1979 Ely area and 16 in Tower. Perhaps as a prelude to the new retirement people arriving there were 14 Realtors that served the area (11 in 2018).
Ten restaurants served ’79 hungry diners.
Four bars or night clubs provided thirst quenchers. And six liquor stores provided take-home brews. Also in 1979 seven car dealers serviced the area. Five grocery stores and four hardware stores held forth.


From the miscellaneous drawer

Longtime readers of the Ely Echo know that I’m a fan of Anu Garg (words at
People from all over the world who want something helpful daily in their mailbox look for strange words or the quote of the day like the following:
If I can do no more, let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth’s sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won. -Louisa May Alcott, writer and reformist (29 Nov 1832-1888).
We have been lucky at the Echo since its beginning almost 50 years ago. Among the recognized writers and columnists besides Bob Cary were Sam Cook, Doug Smith, Jim Dale Vickery, Nick Wognum, Walt McElderry, David Krikorian, Pam Roberts, Trout Whisperer, Ken Hupila, Diana Mavetz Petrich and some who have been forgotten over time.


The Spirit of Thanksgiving…

Waking up on Thanksgiving morning when I was a kid was the best. Our parents were up for hours before we were because we ate the banquet around the noon hour. Thanksgiving was one of the only days of the year we were allowed to sleep in.
The smell of the food being prepared was incredible. My parents always prepared a capon. I always assumed it was a young castrated turkey until I looked it up and found out a capon is a special type of chicken created to make the meat more tender and less gamey. It is a rooster that has been castrated before reaching sexual maturity, which improves the quality of the meat. It is fed a rich diet of milk or porridge. The lack of testosterone makes for a more tender, buttery and flavorful meat that is better than a regular chicken.


Hook and Bullet Club

This year at Camp Cholesterol there are four hunters hanging their orange hats on the wall. My three kids and me. We’re keeping it all in the family.
We’ve had years with twice as many and that’s fine too. One nice thing with just four is there’s a bit more room in the shack.
There are two sets of full size double bunks but none of us are interested in taking the top bunks due to the wood stove.
So we have couches and recliners to lay our heads on at night. This year we upgraded one of our couches and this one has a hideabed. Big upgrade there. With the bed hidden, we have a lot more room to walk around and that’s nice.
Maybe if we had more hunters we’d have something hanging on the meat pole. So far there’s only been one buck that we’ve seen during shooting hours.
It was after lunch and in the fresh snow were a pair of tracks crossing our wheeler trail. The tracks were big and it was worth a look.


Update from Ely Public Schools Superintendent Erik Erie

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our school community in many ways that have been difficult for students, parents, teachers and support staff to contend with.
I want to thank everyone for doing their part in getting us through the first quarter of school with students still able to attend school in person (including Hybrid), rather than full time Distance Learning as other districts have moved to, and a situation we all experienced last spring.
We’ve had three smaller groups and a number of individuals having to quarantine, but through it all have been able to keep the schools open.
Every week our Ely Safe Learning Plan Advisory Council meets to discuss COVID-19 issues, look at new data, and make recommendations on what Safe Learning Model the schools should be in.


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.


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