Columnists

Mon
17
Oct

Words from a burning heart

The musky scent of damp leaves greets us each morning as we leave the new warmth of our houses behind and hit the sidewalks of Ely. Crunching softly on the way to work and crunching loudly on the way home. The failing summer sun has still been strong enough to warm things up during the day and dry out the leaves. The smell of freshly raked lawns is rich and loamy.<BR><BR>We’ve been playing baseball at my house, chasing the ball through the leaves, losing one and beginning again with a tennis ball or an old wiffle ball. Getting in one last hurrah with our gloves. The cars go by and the people smile and wave. Lucy and Simon will connect with the bat every once in a while and I’ll have to chase one down to the end of the block.<BR><BR>The intermingling yellows of the syrup maples and the birch shake in the breeze above us.

Sat
06
Aug

IN THE FAIRWAY......with a happy hacker

We know Richard Olson reported his “Hole in one on #7” a week ago; what we don’t know is the club used to nestle that little white pill snugly into the hole. Nor do we know his lucky friends in the foursome who witnessed the happy event. We don’t know Richard, but do certainly offer our congratulations to him! <BR><BR>To be sure, a lot of luck comes into play; but the golfer still has to select the right club for the weather conditions of the day. It isn’t all just luck, by any means! <BR><BR>Future ‘acers,’ remember a detailed report at the desk! It’s what USGA needs - plus it makes for a more interesting read!            <BR><BR> Jeong Jang certainly declared her intentions at the Weetabix British Open last week, leading the field after each round: 68, 66, 69, 69=272. Jang’s nearest competitor was four strokes off. Michelle Wie, amateur, used only six more strokes.

Sat
30
Jul

IN THE FAIRWAY......with a happy hacker

We open with a somber note, bidding a final farewell to fellow “golf-nut” Gus Cheeney. Gus was partnered with Adair Thompson in the Friday night league and according to Adair never once lost his happy, friendly, demeanor - not even if she made a shot that put him in the woods. Gus was a friend to all, on and off the course, we knew him as a square shooter. “Fairways and Greens,” Gus and a scorecard dotted with birdies and eagles! <BR><BR>We cannot even imagine what it would be like to be 18 and have a $375,000 check with your name on it in your hand. Paula Creamer claimed her second LPGA title - the Evian Masters in France - as well as finding herself second on the LPGA money list. At 18, mind you! Again, it makes us happy to read her words, when asked if Annika was her arch-rival: “I don’t really see it as a rivalry.

Sun
24
Jul

Mary Ann Lekatz tells a survivor’s story

Mary Ann (Vidmar) Lekatz is a survivor. She did not spend 40 days on an island with TV cameras following her. Her story is the quiet struggle and courageous victory over the dreaded “C” word. Cancer.<BR><BR>Mary Ann and her husband John had their version of the good life going in rural Ely. Both in their 50s and looking forward to retirement, their three children were grown and thriving. There were three grandkids. Great family get togethers that included Mary Ann’s latest culinary endeavors. And the trips. “John and I did the traveling,” says Mary Ann. “It saved them having to bring a lot of ‘kid’ furniture. We had all the discarded toys here. When the kids came, they thought they had all new toys.<BR><BR>“I loved to cook and they knew it. I made anything they wanted. Meatballs wrapped in dough and baked was a favorite. The grandchildren like M and M cookies.

Sat
16
Jul

From the miscellaneous drawer

It’s odd how others respond to changes in one’s personal situations.<BR><BR>When a friend was moving away from Ely she found that people didn’t invite her to gatherings in which she had previously been included. It was as if she had already departed and they had replaced her with other, newer friends.<BR><BR>It seemed that unconsciously they chose to neglect or reject her as she appeared to be rejecting them by moving. <BR><BR>We do strange things unconsciously.<BR><BR>There seemed to be two reactions to me when I had cancer a long time ago. I’ve heard those reactions are common. <BR><BR>Some people avoided me or spoke about me as if I had suddenly stopped being able to hear them. “How is she doing now?” was whispered sotto voce to those around me as if I no longer had my senses.<BR><BR>Others tried to discuss my condition with me as if that was my only current interest.

Fri
01
Jul

An ocean away - Elyites get together on American airbase in Iraq

Hello from Balad Air Base, Iraq, located approximately 40 miles north of Baghdad along the banks of the Tigris River, in the heart of the Sunni Triangle. <BR><BR>I am deployed with my wife SMSgt Kris Saari and Senior Airman Silas Simone, another former Elyite. We are here helping fight the Global War on Terrorism, helping the Iraqi people, and specifically flying Close Air Support missions for the US Marines/US Army and Iraqi Security Forces. <BR><BR>Unless you are here, you wouldn’t realize the positive difference our Armed Forces have made and are making for the Iraqi people. We are helping to weed out the insurgents, protect the national infrastructure like power lines, oil pipelines, water storage, etc. We are helping to train the new Iraqi Army, Air Force, Security Police, rebuild schools, hospitals, etc. It is an extremely difficult task and will take a lot of time and will.

Fri
24
Jun

An airman’s letters from Iraq

Now that summer is in full swing, I hope everyone is finding time to enjoy themselves and really appreciate the good weather. I understand there has been a lot of rain recently. Tiffany didn't bother to tell me, but the Red River near our home in North Dakota is only about 10 feet short of the record crest we had in 1997 that devastated the town.<BR><BR>Not surprising, to check the latest in the Echo online and find that fishing is picking up. I am sure by now the walleyes have turned over from minnows to leeches, and tails of the 12 pound monster taken not too long ago are abound.<BR><BR>Good to see Kurt Mattila out and about with his son getting things together for some family fun. Kurt has always been one to really put effort into having a good time. I haven’t seen him or talked to him in a long time, but I'm glad that I can still recognize a few familiar faces and names. <BR><BR>I hope everyone enjoyed Memorial Day weekend.

Sun
19
Jun

Slice of life - No sun in Ely?

Dear Slice of Life Lady, <BR><BR>I am 6 years old. Some of my friends and say there is no sun in Ely. Mama says, “If you see it mentioned in The Echo, it’s so.” But I have not seen the sun for a long time. Please tell me the truth: Is there sun in Ely?<BR><BR>Dear Joshua, <BR><BR>Your friends are wrong. They have been affected by the cynicism of a technical age. They do not believe except what they see on the Weather Channel. Their little minds think nothing can be which is not seen on a monitor screen. <BR><BR>All minds, Joshua, whether they be in the little heads of big people or the big heads of little people, are little. In this great northwoods of ours, we are mere insects, wood ticks, in so far as our imagination.

Sat
11
Jun

In the front row

In high school sports, reaching a state tournament or state meet is the pinnacle of success.<BR><BR>So to say it’s been a successful 2004-2005 for Ely athletes Jenna Klein, Casey Sovil and Carolyn Freeman would be an understatement.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves ran the table, so to speak, in athletic competition this year, reaching state competition in all three seasons.<BR><BR>All three were part of the Wolves’ Section 7A high school girls cross country team.<BR><BR>They traded their running shoes for skis and poles in the winter, forming a solid nucleus on the Ely Nordic ski team that finished third in the state and captured another section championship.<BR><BR>And even though school has been out for more than a week, the Ely trio remained immersed in high school competition heading into this weekend, when they take part in the state Class A girls track meet.<BR><BR>Klein, Sovil and Freeman formed three-fourths of

Sun
05
Jun

Baby Boomer echoes

Most Boomer kids grew up in houses with porches. Your house might have sported one in the front and the back too. We took them for granted back then.<BR><BR>Porches served a lot of purposes and provided some history too.<BR><BR>Seems to me most houses in Ely, while we were growing up, had open porches - meaning no windows, open to the elements, with a few steps leading to the main doors of the house.<BR><BR>Kids liked porches. They were probably your first playground of sorts. Boomer Moms or Grandmas put the kids on one of the porches knowing it was a safe haven to play – a place still close to her checking eye without worry that the kids might venture into the street or wander into other neighbors’ territory.<BR><BR>A kid could occupy a lot of time on the porch.

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