Columnists

Sat
16
Apr

Baby Boomer echoes

A couple of weeks ago I reminisced about Ms. Delores Wood and I could have said more about her in tribute. <BR><BR>She exemplified her profession and probably shot the mark of that tough job dealing with young minds, seeking out potential thinkers, doing her best to expose us to the world beyond Ely.<BR><BR>While most Ely Boomers remember Ms. Wood we can’t forget the rest of the teaching staff.<BR><BR>Most of us grew up under the tutelage of teachers who taught our folks or older siblings.<BR><BR>We probably started kindergarten with Ms. Call or Ms. Merril - if you attended the Ely Elementary School.

Sun
10
Apr

Baby Boomer echoes

It appears the Boomer generation has lived through years of noise.<BR><BR>Boomer moms and dads would be the first to testify our generation played the radio or phonograph “way too loud” or the vehicles we drove around had a bit much noise due to nonexistent mufflers or lack of the proper parts.<BR><BR>If it wasn’t music or cars, maybe ma or pa complained of constant ringing telephones, for we were the first generation spending hours conversing with our pals on the important matters of crushes, gossip, rock and roll groups, and yes, how to decipher an algebra problem.<BR><BR>Now we live in a world of different noises and I guess we’ve adapted to them.<BR><BR>Unlike the old phonographs or phones we’re now used to “beeps” - those coming from cell phones, household appliances, baby monitors, computer printers and car safety devices.

Sun
03
Apr

Slice of life

There are days when things seem to fall in place and others when nothing goes as planned. I had a few days in a row of the latter. <BR><BR>Nevertheless, this day was almost over, and the remaining plans I’d made were simple. What could go wrong? <BR><BR>Driving home from a half hour south of town, my thoughts were of food. It was two hours past dinner, and my stomach had been rumbling for a while, trying to bring this to my attention. At home, I knew there was a pot of split pea soup made by my mother-in-law with the bone from our Easter ham waiting. When I got home, I planned to heat a big bowl of soup for myself. Soon, soon, I comforted my stomach.<BR><BR>Driving home 15 minutes south of town, my thoughts were of a hot bath. It was raining, the first rain of the calendar year, and low temperatures and a low-hanging sky made the day chilling. When I got home, I planned to run a hot bath for myself.

Mon
28
Mar

Slice of life

Yesterday, I drove past a young man wearing cutoff shorts. He was driving a snowmobile on the side of the road. <BR><BR>In front of me were two motorcycle riders without helmets, their hair blowing helter-skelter in the wind. <BR><BR>I turned onto a side road and picked up my six-year old son at daycare. His clothes were soaking wet. He and his buddies had been puddle hopping, barefoot. <BR><BR>As we drove through town, I noticed the bank’s time and temperature sign. The bright warm sun caused me to squint. At 3:19 p.m, the temperature read 29 degrees. <BR><BR>Halleluiah! It’s spring in Ely.<BR><BR>I continued to drive, slowly and carefully, not so much to avoid potholes as to avoid colliding with the person driving in front of me who was trying to avoid potholes. <BR><BR>My window was most of the way down so that I could see clearly my side-view mirror.

Sun
20
Mar

Echo building has a colorful history

To young folks, The Ely Echo has always been at 2 East Sheridan Street. And so it has been since 1975 when the Ely Echo’s parent company Milestones, Inc. purchased the building from Howard Stauffenecker.<BR><BR>Known as Lot One, Block 11, Ely, the two story stucco building has had a varied past. When it didn’t sit empty as the fortunes of Ely rose and fell, it was rented out for a dress shop, shoe store and had a television repair shop on its Central Avenue side entrance. <BR><BR>The building’s deed records all the money-changing events which have occurred over the years. Edward A. Taylor homesteaded the area and got the deed from the United States government. Then he sold it to his attorney Edward D. Brown who in turn sold Ely to James Sheridan.

Sun
13
Mar

From The Desk of the Old Timer

Our Crumbling Culture<BR><BR>Critics of American society are quick to point out what they feel are obvious cultural shortcomings such as our lack of community cohesion, poor sense of history and a decline in family values. To many this matter is starkly apparent with the approach of St. Urho’s Day, Wednesday, March 16, with nary a celebration nor any type of observance.<BR><BR>Once, a significant annual holiday in the northland, rivaling or even surpassing the observance of St. Patrick’s Day, it has now all but vanished from the public consciousness. Even the Finns, known for their long memories, hardly give Urho a nod in passing.<BR><BR>The Irish, may they be ever blessed, have never wavered in honoring St. Patrick, that noble cleric who drove the snakes from the Emerald Isle. Once, those of Finnish decent had similar strong allegiance to the patron saint of Finland.

Mon
07
Mar

In the front row

Last Friday night, the Tower-Soudan Golden Eagles were back in familiar territory: playing for a section championship.<BR><BR>A pair of gutsy wins in the Section 7A high school girls basketball playoffs returned a talented group of Golden Eagles to the same spot they were during the fall, when they swept their way to the section volleyball crown and a trip to the state tournament.<BR><BR>They also played for a section title in the 2003-2004 school year, falling short in the volleyball finals against Cook.<BR><BR>Previous success and the experience of playing in big games served the Golden Eagles well in both a come-from-behind quarterfinal win over Littlefork-Big Falls and in Tuesday night’s 55-46 victory over Barnum.<BR><BR>In both games, the Golden Eagles were matched up against teams that relied heavily on young players participating for the first time in crucial tournament games.<BR><BR>For Tower-Soudan, it was old hat.

Sat
26
Feb

Slice of Life

It had been a full day, a leave-the-house-before-eight-and-return-home-after-eight kind of day. But fuller than the day was the moon. And stronger than my tiredness was the moon’s pull. After helping the kids with homework and getting them in bed, I slipped into snow pants and a coat instead of pajamas and stepped outside with my husband and two dogs. <BR><BR>The moon was brilliant. It attracted notice initially because it shone so brightly. We could see clearly down our driveway and through the woods. We were delighted. I ran back inside to grab a scarf and we headed down the driveway for a late night walk.<BR><BR>The stillness of a winter’s night is tangible. We heard nothing but the sound of our breathing and the crunch of our boots in the snow. As we walked a couple miles down our rural road, passing a handful of houses, most whose seasonal occupants left them empty, we talked in whispered voices.

Fri
18
Feb

From the miscellaneous drawer

Someone said it Friday: With the passing of Mary Catherine Brown one of Ely’s well known characters is gone.<BR><BR>Someone added: She never saw a performance in Ely that she didn’t like and write about. <BR><BR>Boosterism at its best, another remarked.<BR><BR>Her life was also commented on before the city council meeting when it was noted that car drivers will no longer have to part the avenue as they did when Mary’s little red car appeared in the vicinity. Just a few dents peppered her vehicle.<BR><BR>For me, I remember Mary Catherine (as she liked to be called) not so much from her working at the Echo. She had been hired by Miles Aakhus, the Echo’s original owner (1972-1977), and wrote a piece about the history of Winton among others.

Mon
14
Feb

Baby Boomer echoes

<BR><BR>There’s something about the month of February, especially to those of us living in the northern sphere.<BR><BR>First off, it’s a shorter month, one full of holidays, longer daylight, (called spring is coming - there’s hope.)<BR><BR>A Boomer kid looked forward to February. Christmas seemed a long ways past, but February brought on new incentive. <BR><BR>How could we pass up the first holiday of February - Groundhog Day?<BR><BR>A kid living in Ely didn’t quite get the national trend of that one. We understood if the groundhog saw his shadow, we’d have six more weeks of winter. They make a big deal out of that in Philadelphia, but Ely kids back then envisioned winter going on into April or maybe May.<BR><BR>We didn’t have groundhogs up here to forecast for us, but if you remember you might have stepped out at daylight on February 2 every year, watching for your own shadow.

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