Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum

In addition to our granddaughter Kinlee, we have also been blessed by our first granddog, Millie.
Megan’s golden retriever puppy has become part of our lives with her frequent visits to our home. With Megan’s schedule of teaching, practices and games, we see Millie on a regular basis. Better to have her over torturing our 10 year-old Yorkie than laying in her kennel at Megan’s house.
We’ve had goldens before and if the opportunity arose, I’m pretty sure we’d trade the Yorkie for a golden, any golden, most any day of the week.
Megan got lucky with Millie, a locally produced dog who is as lovable as can be. Credit that to her owner who picks her up and holds her as if she still weighs 10 pounds. Millie takes it all in stride.
She’s as photogenic as can be so we’ve decided to sign her to an endorsement contract here at the Echo. Look for Millie to star in newspaper ads promoting our new photo business (we’ve already used her picture in several ads).


From the Miscellaneous drawer - How lucky we are!

A Visit from a TIA

With apologies to

Clement Clarke Moore
‘Twas the day known as Christmas, when all through the house
A woman was stirring, and presents were wrapped by the fireplace with care,
In hopes that the family soon would be there;
mamma in the kitchen got overheated
labored too hard when she should have been seated.
So off to the hospital we went in a flash,
It was quick in the car, a bit of a dash;
the staff spoke a few words, and went straight totheir work,
And filled all the test tubes; then assigned me a room,
And While not my choice, it was better than doom.;
Mayo was next As Nick drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Wednesday night when I headed downstairs, I was thinking “How lucky we are as an Echo family.”


Reflections from the miscellaneous drawer

This is my bah-humbug year. I completed the goals I set for myself for the end of the year. There are now family histories of both my parents along with their parents, and I threw in an abbreviated one on Warren’s family.
But as of last Monday there was not one holiday reminder inside my house.
Yes, I have completed my Christmas list. No, I am not hoping to receive any presents. Please, no. Nothing.
Peace and quiet sounds extraordinary and appealing.
Seeing family members and sharing some time is the best gift to be received.
* * *
Driving the seven miles into town in early morning shows the arc of Ely’s lights penetrating the night sky. The tracks from my neighbor’s car precede mine across the bridge, and alongside the river a light shines from the home of an early riser.



by Charles D Novak
I will be spending Christmas in Ely this year and when the holidays are over I will not be going home - I am home! After a memorable 34 years in San Francisco and 16 years in Minneapolis I moved back to Ely on May 10, 2016 . It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My homecoming by the good people of Ely has been overwhelming. The first few months walking down the street had cars wiz by me with windows open and passengers yelling “welcome back!” People have stopped and offered me rides without knowing walking is my favorite form of exercise. Talk about Ely Nice!


Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum

An invitation to hunt with a friend is not something to be taken lightly. I was blessed enough to be asked by two friends this past weekend, the middle of the muzzleloader deer season.
I spent two hunts and an overnight at Rob Wilmunen’s shack. We each took up posts in elevated stands not far from the original Wilmunen homestead.
The weather was good, everything felt right but the deer just didn’t want to cooperate. Rob saw three does on a far hillside across from his Midpond Stand but no big buck followed.
I was in the Soldier Field stand and try as I might to make any shadow or irregularity look like a deer, no dice.
But sitting in silence in the woods may be the biggest stress reliever of them all. Even if the deer aren’t coming in for a visit.
Rob passed along a tip from Bill Scott who suggested putting a small blanket in each stand. Drape the blanket over your legs and the warmth will keep you out in the stand longer. Try it, it works.


From the miscellaneous drawer - Lessons learned

There was an advantage to growing up in a household with two politically-opposite parents.
They always voted, and almost always they voted at opposite ends of the spectrum. And not always endorsing the party or person they had voted for in the past.
And above everything, they believed in freedom of speech. That also entailed the freedom not to speak.
Over the years at the Echo I’ve learned some odd truths.
When a person is angry about something, perhaps not even within his or her control, is it better to rant and rave, bringing additional attention to the anger-causing incident, or is it better to keep one’s peace?
One way drags out the issue and may cause more hard feelings, the other allows the incident to fade into perspective or even become an object lesson of respect for differences.
If one chooses to be offended, just living with criticism or differences in viewpoints is enough to make one testy and disagreeable.


Hook and Bullet Club

I’m sure prayers are said in deer stands. Some may even involve something other than asking for a big buck to walk by.
On Sunday, the last day of the firearms deer season, I said a prayer. “Send a buck Evan’s way Lord.”
Now that’s not the first time I’ve said that prayer and to be honest I struggled with adding in “or Jake’s” since both are due to shoot a buck.
But this would be Evan’s first buck and he’s waited longer. Sorry, Jake.
Settled in a noisy stand on the quietest of days, I didn’t have to worry about shooting a buck myself. Every time I moved a muscle the stand sounded like it was going to fall apart and slide down the tree at any second.
But I prayed and waited. Two hours later the sound of Evan’s rifle barking broke the silence and caused me to jump up in the stand.
Rifle in one hand, cell phone in the other I waited to find out what he shot. There was no second shot, always a good sign.


From the miscellaneous drawer - Remember Jesse?

News outlets wonder where the predictions went wrong, was a headline in the NY Times. The American Press Institute questioned how news organizations missed voter sentiment.
Ah, they must have forgotten the role daily newspapers and television played in the election of James George Janos, better known by Jesse Ventura. The coverage of this phenomena was far beyond space and time given to gubernatorial candidates Norman Coleman (Republican) and favored son “Skip” Humphrey (Democrat). Many folks howled when Jesse became Minnesota’s 38th Governor.
Trump’s campaign was a blown-up version of Ventura’s. Research the web and you’ll find a photo of them together.
But who pays attention? Researchers for advanced university degrees? Nobody, it appears notices that the impossible changed not only political history, but also enticed youth and other voters.


Buck, buck, buck, is what a chicken clucks like

Buck, buck, buck, is what a chicken clucks like


Native son: In costume - For real

by Charles D. Novak
It was 1957 and I was on the Greyhound Bus headed for Minneapolis. I was going to see my first opera. For years I had been overwhelmed by the singing of the Slovenian Choir and the High Mass Choir at St Anthony’s Catholic Church. I found it amazing a human being could produce such beautiful sounds. The chorus director at school suggested I should see an opera. I took his advice and started with the best.
I was on my way to see the Metropolitan Opera which came on tour to Northrop Auditorium every spring. My first opera was going to be the four hour long Der Rosenkavalier. The curtain went up and there was the Mighty Met in all its singing glory! On my way home the melodies kept swirling around in my head. I was hooked!


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