Columnists

Sun
25
Dec

In the front row

Ely area resident Ben Mauser watched Tuesday’s high school boys basketball game between Ely and Tower-Soudan with plenty of interest, and a good deal of pride and satisfaction.<BR><BR>It was thanks to nearly two years of effort by the 80-year-old Mauser, a retired Ely teacher, that the Timberwolves and Golden Eagles played for more than position in the Arrowhead Conference standings.<BR><BR>Tuesday’s contest at Tower, won by the Timberwolves 64-57, was for the Gold Brick, a traveling trophy brought back to life by Mauser after a hiatus of more than 50 years.<BR><BR>Mauser pored through decades-old newpapers and yearbooks, put the call out to Iron Rangers who were part of the sports scene in the 1940s and 1950s and even had school officials digging into old trophy cases and storage areas in search for the original Gold Brick, which was traded from Ely to Gilbert to Virginia to Eveleth and many other schools that formed the old District 27 conferenc

Sat
17
Dec

Words from a burning heart

Down the street, at the corner, the slush is heavy, brown and thick from the freshly fallen snow. The ice underneath this rich brown layer that almost looks like topsoil is hard and slippery. Protected by nightly light snowfalls and plunging temperatures, the ice forms a glass-like surface that has a way of sloughing off car tires and booted feet. The simple act of getting where you want to go is not so easily accomplished. It carries with it the cool, slick touch of treachery.<BR><BR>One lapse into carelessness, one misplaced step or just too much speed can result in an accident. A collision. This is winter in the north woods, the elements doing battle and winning. The snow is light and airy and usually can be swept away each dawn. The shovels haven’t gotten too much of a workout yet. The salt is in a little higher demand.<BR><BR>Our Christmas tree is up and decorated.

Sat
10
Dec

In the front row

The Ely Timberwolves opened the 2005-2006 high school boys hockey season far away from home, spending last weekend in the Twin Cities suburbs with games against Holy Family (Waconia) and Delano.<BR><BR>Last night, the Wolves spent about six hours on a school bus, three on the way down and another three to get back home, for their matchup with Crosby-Ironton.<BR><BR>And before the year is out, the team has trips to Duluth, Moose Lake and Pequot Lakes and five - yep five - different dates on the North Shore - for games either in Two Harbors or Silver Bay.

Sun
04
Dec

At the beginning of the road

It is common knowledge that women are second-class citizens. They are not competitive enough. Women lack the ability for critical thinking. Women are not as good as men in math and science. <BR><BR>It was later discovered in many studies that females were not dumber than guys; they were just shortchanged in our educational system. It was decided that our country needed to compensate for this and give girls a boost. The results were, over the last 20 years, that many educational programs around the United States were funded to help girls catch up with the better-educated American male. <BR><BR>The results have been stellar for the young females currently in the educational system. As a father of three young ladies this has all been great for them. During their summers they all choose to attend programs that concentrated on math and science. This resulted in my daughters having a leg up on most males as far as attaining their educational goals.

Fri
25
Nov

Birdshot and backlashes

Among the ancient archives of the Pilgrim family Cary, reference is made to the observance of Thanksgiving at Plymouth Colony. Perusing these musty volumes, this writer came upon the following entry by one John Cary, a direct ancestor:<BR><BR>“Plymouth Colonie, ye 26 of November, in ye year 1621.<BR><BR>“Two days ago we hath our annual Thanksgyvyng Feast at ye order of Governor Bradford, although it very nearly did notte cometh offe. Ye tymes art tough; ye corn crop paltry & John Alden, that dolt, hath been messing arounde with ye Indian maiden Pokahontas. Her father, ye Indian Chief Massasoit, isse upset and threatening war.<BR><BR>“On top of thatte ye turkey population art at ye bottom of ye cycle. No matter where one looketh, no turkeys coulde be found. How, pray tell, wert we to hold Thanksgivyng without ye turkeys?<BR><BR>“ ‘Fear notte,” sayeth our bold leader Bradford.

Sun
20
Nov

In the front row

Section champion Kelly Bruels, who competes Monday at the state high school girls diving competition in Minneapolis, is the latest in what has become a long line of successful Ely divers.<BR><BR>When the Timberwolves’ sophomore steps on to the diving board at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, she’ll be following in the footsteps of several other Ely athletes who have been among the state’s best.<BR><BR>Candice Smrekar advanced to state last fall and in 2003, and six other Wolves have qualified since 1995.<BR><BR>They in clude:<BR><BR>• Dylan Scott, a four-time state meet qualifier with three top-six finishes, including a third-place finish in 1997;<BR><BR>• Three-time state qualifier Alison Schiefelbein, whose highest finish was third (1997);<BR><BR>• Wade Pucel, who made three trips to state and was fifth in 2000;<BR><BR>• Crystal Dusich, who advanced each year from 1994-1996;<BR><

Sat
12
Nov

From the miscellaneous drawer

How cluttered is your life? If you’re my age, it seems clutter has become a monster I’ve been feeding for way too long. Of late it has threatened to take over my house and force me out. <BR><BR>But then, I’ve been the enabler of the ever mounting clutter. Maybe tomorrow, this weekend, next week, some future vacation days, I try to fool myself, will provide the chance to dig through the clutter and banish it. Procrastination is an art I need to lose.<BR><BR>Stuff is lost in the clutter. Not just this year’s clutter but the stuff of a lifetime of clutter. The doll arm that someday was going to be repaired is found but now the doll is lost. The chair leg which just needed a bit a glue to make it serviceable again no longer has the three-legged chair that went with it. <BR><BR>Stuff. Opening the miscellaneous drawer (or almost any other drawer in the house) yields more stuff.

Sun
06
Nov

In the front row

Visiting Rochester has a lot going in its favor in today’s community college football state semifinal matchup against Vermilion, but don’t count out an upset by the host Ironmen.<BR><BR>Rochester has a 7-2 record, the aura of being the defending state champions and a 59-20, opening week rout of Vermilion to its credit.<BR><BR>But there’s no doubt that Vermilion Head Coach Keith Turner is right when he says the Ironmen squad that takes the field this afternoon is a lot different than the one that got trounced back in late-August.<BR><BR>For starters, a quarterback position that was unsettled at the start of the season is now firmly in the hands of freshman Willie Johnson.<BR><BR>The Florida native has thrown for 23 scores in six starts and a pair of relief appearances, and run for several more.<BR><BR>He has several good targets in receivers Kirby Mayle, Patrick O’Malley, Isaiah Osborne and the emerging Harold Fannin.

Sat
29
Oct

Birdshot and backlashes

Hoo, boy! It pays to watch the roadways and drive slow at night. There are deer all over the place - on the roads, in the ditches, everywhere. Big deer, little deer, deer with antlers and deer without. But they can all put a heck of dent in a car. There are something like 16,000 deer-car collisions in Minnesota every year and 2005 ought to set a new record. If you have to drive to Wisconsin, be extra careful. They had over 20,000 deer-car collisions in 2004.<BR><BR>There doesn’t seem to be much anyone can do except throttle down and drive slowly. Especially at night. A few years back, some guy came up with a “deer whistle,” what was termed a high frequency sound device that only deer could hear. It was fastened to the front bumper of the car. There were a lot of them sold and some drivers swore by them. <BR><BR>“I put one on the front of the car and I never hit a deer,” was often said.

Sun
23
Oct

From the miscellaneous drawer

I don’t understand women. Not all women of course, after all I am a woman. <BR><BR>First maybe I should explain about women I do understand.

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