People make the difference

From the miscellaneous drawer

When I was living in the Chicago area, street sights were steel mills, oil refineries, manufacturing plants, railroads and lumber yards.

I’ve also lived in the San Francisco bay area of California and in Rome, Italy. Each offered different views, different perspectives.

Moving from Mount Vernon, Iowa to Chicago to Ely, Minnesota, each place, large or small was stabilized and bonded by its people.

The street sights are startling, intriguing or lovely, but it is the people who live there, people known there who remain in my thoughts. They taught me some life lessons and the rudiments of how to adapt to each new place.

In Ely, there were more lessons and sights to be learned.

The first loaded logging truck traveling down Sheridan Street was astonishing, far out of the range of my past, as were railroad cars laden with ore, men waiting for the mine bus to take them to work. All that was new and a reminder that the foundations of big cities rely on the basic raw materials from somewhere.

And Ely was and is somewhere basic. Its ways are different from those of big cities and that is what draws so many of us here.

In that process we find that acceptance works both ways. And the choice is to blend in or to stand out. To accept and understand the way of life here which so attracted us that we as outsiders moved here. Or to rail that the Ely we found here is not at all like the bigger city we came from and knew.

And it is the people of this environment, this town and area who can teach new life lessons to us all. Those lessons are found by observing and adapting. It is why I live here, a continuation of 60 years of involvement. It is why we are here.

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In the Ely Echo for March 30, 1987, thirty years ago, the headlines were:
• Dr. Grahek receives nod for University Regent position;
• Ann Hubbard is Grand Prize winner in Echo Treasure Hunt;
• Steger/Schurke to receive Explorers Club award in New York;
• Ely’s new Utilities Commission set to take charge April 1;
• Lightning-caused fires to be allowed to burn in BWCA.