Columnists

Sat
30
Sep

Letters from Ely - Little Weenies

A few weeks ago I shared with you my recipe for fried, cheddar-cheese toquitos - a delicious and nutritious snack that even the most pantry-challenged husband can prepare for himself and his family - or maybe just himself - at halftime or between innings.<BR><BR>The response to that recipe was impressive. Six readers e-mailed to thank me for introducing them to this tasty treat. Four more had suggestions on how to jazz up the original recipe with chives and ham and cilantro and celery. Two wrote in accusing me of creating an evil witch's brew . . . and then asked if I'd like to attend their regular incantation and potluck next Thursday evening. (Sheesh!) <BR><BR>But my favorite was from a sports fan who said he throws a hot dog in the center of the bubbling mixture just before he begins to turn it. Oh. My. Gawd . . .

Fri
22
Sep

In the front row - Reasons to cheer

Sports fans in Minnesota haven't had it this good in quite a while.<BR><BR>Barring a collapse that would be even more stunning than their meteoric rise from a sub-.500 April and May, the Minnesota Twins will wrap up a playoff berth sometime this week.<BR><BR>And to top it off, the Minnesota Vikings are a surprising 2-0 after narrow wins over a pair of preseason NFC contenders - Carolina and Washington - and are gearing up for a Metrodome showdown tomorrow against the defending division champion Chicago Bears.<BR><BR>Three months ago, these scenarios seemed implausible, if not impossible, given the Twins terrible start and a boatload of doubts about the Vikes, including the trade of quarterback Daunte Culpepper and the brand-new coaching staff headed by Brad Childress.<BR><BR>But fortunes change quickly in the world of professional sports and Minnesota fans should enjoy it while it lasts.<BR><BR>A run to the World Serie

Sun
17
Sep

Bush pilot - Dad

My Father Part 2 <BR><BR>When he returned from Cornwall everything was going along nicely for about five years, and then, in October of 1929, the roof fell in. Millions of people were left without anything. The mines shut down and my dad worked as a night watchman for four days a month for $20. That didn't do much for seven people even though prices were very low. <BR><BR>All the yards at Calumet had gardens so, in the summer, I often ate right out of the garden. I couldn't be bothered to eat in the house and waste all that playing and swimming time.<BR><BR>We would have relatives over for stew, on occasion, when we could afford meat. Dad didn't approve of poaching so there never was deer meat or fish. <BR><BR>Where he came from, they would have dove shoots, so he was good at that with his double-barreled, rabbit ear, Damascus steel 12 gauge. The gunner would stand in the center of a 75 foot circle with a box of birds.

Sun
10
Sep

Bush Pilot: My father

My Father<BR><BR>Dad was born in Cornwall, England on December 20, 1884. First, some geography and history. <BR><BR>Cornwall is in the southwest of England and narrows down to a point. The Scilly Islands are 25 miles further to the southwest. Cornwall is the land of King Arthur, Tintagel Castle, Camelot, the Knights of the Round Table and the Pirates of Penzance. The ruins of a castle still remain at Tintagel.<BR><BR>Tin was mined here since BC. Other metals included copper, tungsten, zinc and silver. 200 years ago much of the world's copper came from Cornwall. It has been suggested that anywhere in the world that a mine exists, you will find some Cornishmen at work. (Information on the mines is from "This England," published by The National Geographic Society).

Sun
03
Sep

From the miscellaneous drawer - End of summer

Some weeks there just is NO TIME. This summer was often like that. <BR><BR>We, all Elyites, put on a good show. We welcome visitors. We embrace visitors' need for the escape which they find here. We create events. We are open in our friendliness. We are concerned for the visitors' welfare and their entertainment. We yield to visitors' need for peace and quiet.<BR><BR>We want every meal eaten here to be tasty and memorable. We want every night under the stars or in lodging to be comfortable and of good value. Where necessary, we hook people up with all the accoutrements of city life - computers, cell phones, fax and whatever else it takes for someone to get away and still stay in touch with the office. <BR><BR>We want visitors to come back and try our fall, winter and early spring environments when we have even more time to share, more concern to give them.

Sun
27
Aug

In the front row - Football

Ely's high school football team won't have any time to get its feet wet during the 2006 season.<BR><BR>A Class A team, the Wolves face two Section 7AA contenders in their first three games, starting with Friday night's opener at Greenway (Coleraine) and continuing with a Sept. 15 home date against defending 7AA champion Esko.<BR><BR>Sandwiched in between is a Sept. 8 visit by Carlton - like Ely, a Class A team - at Ely School Stadium.<BR><BR>That's quite a tall order for an Ely team trying to bounce back after an 0-9 season last fall, but head coach Darren Visser and the Wolves seem primed for the challenge.<BR><BR>"We start off with Greenway and they're always going to be a powerhouse and follow up with Carlton and they're improved, and then you follow that up with Esko," said Visser.

Sun
20
Aug

In the front row - New coach

As little as six weeks ago, Steve Crittenden had no idea he'd be leading a community college football program.<BR><BR>But the sudden resignation of Vermilion Head Coach Keith Turner changed all of that, and Crittenden, a VCC assistant since 1997, was tapped as the school's new head coach without much advance warning and with precious little time to prepare for the 2006 season.<BR><BR>Crittenden has had to do some adjusting on the fly, but he - and the Ironmen - are anxious to kick off the fall campaign.<BR><BR>"It's been exciting, challenging and at the same time a little nervewracking," Crittenden said Tuesday.<BR><BR>Vermilion, which opened practice Aug. 12, makes its regular season debut at 8 p.m. Friday in St.

Sun
13
Aug

Letters from Ely - Just one second

Just One Second<BR><BR>Ely merchants are dishonest, and I have proof. <BR><BR>Over at J&L Hardware Hank, a new White power mower caught my eye. Although I could have done it myself, Jerry insisted on taking time from his busy day to replace the original blade with the mulching blade I wanted, saying "It'll just take a second!" <BR><BR>It actually took 10 minutes, a broken box-end wrench and some barely audible (yet interesting!) new words. But he stayed with it and got it done, and if the original blade was that tight, maybe I couldn't have done it myself. Thanks, Jerry. <BR><BR>Down the street, there was a line at the Ace Hardware counter. When it was my turn, I sadly noted I hadn't been able to find a special tooling bit I needed.

Sun
06
Aug

From the miscellaneous drawer - Of journalists past

It was difficult to believe the enthusiasm for the Ely Echo spouted by those friendly, knowledgeable faces in the 1980s. He came from a journalism background and his wife was an Ely girl who became an attorney and Realtor. They were a striking couple, articulate and vivacious.<BR><BR>"Slabs Slabodnik was my dad," Pidge told me when explaining why they come to Ely from the Twin Cities. "We have a place on White Iron."<BR><BR>Their love of visiting Ely during the summer conflicted with husband John Hodowanic's job as executive director of the World Press Institute. Summer is when the 10 world journalists arrive in St. Paul to spend four months learning about the United States.<BR><BR>The Echo and the Hodowanics combined our interests and the WPI-Ely connection began.<BR><BR>The first year the Echo held the public forum in the JFK Cafeteria and lunch was at Vertin's.

Sat
29
Jul

From the miscellaneous drawer - Lesson learned

In the long ago summer when the old homestead burned on the other side of the hill, I learned a life lesson which stayed with me. As usual I was staying with my aunt (my mother's sister) and uncle for part of the summer.<BR><BR>The farm house which burned had been my uncle's childhood home but had long since been abandoned. It was reached by walking from their newer farm home, through the meadow with fields of corn and hay on either side. <BR><BR>The old homestead's windmill still drew water for the milking cows and sheep grazed in the front yard which had a long time past had been the playground for my uncle. Did he have siblings? Perhaps a sister. I didn't know his family well. <BR><BR>There was a bad storm the night of the fire and I had awakened in my small room under the eaves of the white clapboard house to see the flames rise over the hill, not far from Spoon River where the cows grazed in the timber.

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