Columnists

Sat
21
Jun

Letters from Ely - Beat

My head hurt most of the time and my ears were ringing again. So I made an appointment with a nurse practitioner, the person most southern Californians with health insurance now see instead of doctors. <BR><BR>This nurse, Matt, seemed competent enough. He was licensed to write medical prescriptions,and he was writing one now. "Duane - 172 over 112? You're a stroke looking for a place to happen, you know. The Lysinopril you're taking isn't enough. So I'm going to add a prescription for Amlodisine Bepylate. Now, take this pill along with your Lysinopril each morning. . . ." <BR><BR>"Wait - any side effects?" I asked. "Yeah," he admitted, "you might experience weight gain, lethargy, swollen calves, rapid heartbeat, nausea, dry mouth and impotency. But hey, the alternative is a heart attack or stroke, so . . ."<BR><BR>I interrupted again.

Sat
14
Jun

From the miscellaneous drawer - Local politics

It's been a long while since I've been assigned to cover the meeting of a public body. Last Monday was the first in a long time. <BR><BR>City Council meetings held at City Hall Council Chambers are one of the reasons. The three flights of stairs in a building which is close to inaccessible to the disabled certainly restrains public scrutiny. Definitely for this member of the public who has to allow an extra 10 minutes to climb the stairs.<BR><BR>Still, that was a short meeting. In the days when Dr. J.P. Grahek was mayor, meetings could and did occasionally go on for over six hours. Tucked into the hour or so after midnight would be a bombshell which was meant to explode after the most hale and hearty had called it a night and departed.

Sat
07
Jun

From the miscellaneous drawer - Learning to drive

When I was a child my mother did not know how to drive. Women typically didn't know how to drive in the 20 or 30 years after cars became common. <BR><BR>I was reminded of that when Anita Gordon Gampson (see "Former Elyites gather" article in today's Echo) stated that women didn't drive in the years she attended school in Ely in the '40s. She was part of the group of old time Elyites who met in D.C. recently.<BR><BR>My father taught me how to drive. My mother often would ride along in the back seat. Not comfortably. She responded to most of my driving by gasping, sighing, praying and admonishing. Not that she was able to drive. She still had not learned.<BR><BR>How she learned to drive is a mystery to me. It must have been while I was in high school. <BR><BR>Our childhood was spent being conveyed by wagon or sled the mile or so from our house to the post office and grocery store.

Fri
30
May

Where is... it?

Not sure where it is, in all of this outdoors. Maybe just being in the boat. Sometimes it's catching a fish. I know some of it's the dogs and the folks around the campfires. The stories we tell and the stories we live each trip. Frying fish or one rain storm after another but we keep going outside.<BR><BR>I spend a lot of time trying to find it. I look in the most amazing places. Under rocks, and under tree branches. Right next to big rocks in the middle of some small rivers. I look in old bird nests. Clouds, storms and snow banks get checked regularly. <BR><BR>It happens at times, we get skunked. We blame the fish not the fishing. Flat tires or raccoons eating our minnows all night just make for a better story the next time. So we tell the tales over and over like we're looking in the finest print. <BR><BR>We spend all winter buying new lures and the second we lose one, we grab another one we couldn't live without.

Sat
24
May

Around town - Look what's new

Well, shut my mouth and look again! Have you walked or driven by Ely Bloomenson lately? I was totally surprised to see three impressive buildings under construction, which just seemed to grow overnight. <BR><BR>We have been aware of Spectrum's plans to add new facilities on the hospital campus, but didn't expect to see how quickly it happened.<BR><BR>Three levels of care will be offered, including senior independent living, memory care and assisted living. Twenty-four hour care will be available to memory care and assisted living level where independent level for singles or couples will enjoy apartment living. <BR><BR>Meals, personal care, housekeeping, laundry, skilled nursing, special diet and socialization will be available in memory and assisted living units. <BR><BR>Units will be ready for occupancy July 21 and an open house is scheduled for September 6. Applications are being accepted by Jen Potterjoy.

Sat
17
May

From the miscellaneous drawer - Brrrr

The world is out of whack. <BR><BR>Despite the fact that it is spring on the calendar, my furnace is turning on regularly. But there is so much moisture from snow and some rain that the humidity in my house is high. <BR><BR>So while, in the winter, the house begs for moisture because of the furnace, now I'm faced with excessive moisture and furnace heat. What a world. I'm not happy. <BR><BR>When the winter was layered with snows and spring seemed something which was a beacon to summer - that was when I ordered perennials to brighten my future summers, springs and falls. The plants arrived when we had just had snow. <BR><BR>The tender plants need to be assured they were loved and cared for ... so I carefully, lovingly place them in the latest Miracle Gro soil which is supposed to nurture them and keep them moist.

Sat
10
May

Wind in my favor

Today the wind is in my favor. I untie the boat and sit down. The off shore wind pushes me out into the lake so I do not need to help with the oars. I hitch my life jacket and pull out the outboard motor choke. One pull and its idling. I zip up my raincoat to keep out the cool air when I run up lake. <BR><BR>Five years back I changed my opener lake. I was called a quitter for not coming back on my 10th trip to the old lake. I was just moving out of the rookie pile when I jumped ship and set sail on a new course, even if it was an established route. They still cajole me to come back and I appreciate the invite but I can't take the intensity of all the after hours frivolity. <BR><BR>Those guys fish seriously. I do too, but they play even harder. I get up too early and they stay up too late, so life and I made the change. <BR><BR>My new crew has no problem with an easier pace. We catch our fish if all goes well.

Sat
03
May

From the miscellaneous drawer - Winter, ugh

You know how much we love winter. We're the ones who stay in Ely through each and every season. <BR><BR>But it's winter we love. We're thrilled with the softness of a snowfall, the gracefulness of pine trees laden with snow, the picture-perfect postcard of it all. We adore the lovely contrast of white on green which makes each humble abode become Christmas-card perfect. <BR><BR>The hominess of it all, the warmth of a fireplace burning crisp birch logs. And outside, children playing in the snow, families snowmobiling or skiing. So much to do, so much to do in this ideal season.<BR><BR>Not.<BR><BR>It's not the ideal season anymore.

Sat
26
Apr

Trout Whisperer - Trash talk

Trash talk<BR><BR>I just got done at a local public access for fishing. I got done filling two garbage bags with trash. Disposable diapers (full of lord knows what), beer cans, beer bottles, smokeless tobacco tins, bobbers, fishing line, egg cartons too - including two unbroken eggs, bug dope cans, cans, fruit juice bottles, car parts, cardboard boxes, bottle caps, foil, plastic bags, candy wrappers, one wool sock with red trim and one bag of contents I'm not going to describe. <BR><BR>This is litter. This is trash. This is refuse. This is wrong. <BR><BR>Some of my brethren of the outdoor ilk are confused about what belongs at the public access. I'm all for the public launches and the docks to include in some instances a privy and a fish cleaning station. I always think there are too many state or county sponsored signs but that's not my call. <BR><BR>I can't do much about rising gas prices or national health care.

Sat
19
Apr

From the miscellaneous drawer - Ely poets

Do you know what is said about poets? They don't buy books of poetry.<BR><BR>They don't support the industry which supports their desire to write and survive financially.<BR><BR>That's a hard dictum.<BR><BR>There's a 78 year old Ely gentleman who has made it affordable to buy his poetry. And there are others who yield to a need to share their succinct thoughts freely.<BR><BR>Let me introduce you to two of these.<BR><BR>Darrol Ahlfs stopped by the Echo with a box of his poems for us to sell so I took his photo with his display. He said he started writing poetry when his wife Rose Marie passed away last year.<BR><BR>His subjects include everyday observations as well as poems about Pioneer Mine, local people and places.

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