Columnists

Fri
09
Dec

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.

Fri
02
Dec

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.

Sat
26
Nov

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.

Sat
12
Nov

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.

Tue
08
Nov

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

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

Sun
30
Oct

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!

Sat
22
Oct

From the miscellaneous drawer - Fall cleaning

Fall cleaning
When we moved the Ely Echo business operation from 2 East Sheridan Street to 15 East Chapman Street in 2005 we went from a nine room, two-story space plus basement to a one level five room compact unit.
Since we’ve been here, the 14 four-drawer filing cabinets have held documents dating back to 1972 when the Echo began.
Installing some new printing equipment recently meant consolidating once again materials we deem important to the newspaper and to our customers.
But it’s easy to get distracted... and my desk has become a repository for items once thought lost.
Other items, such as our vast collection of photo proof sheets in notebooks are now organized by date on a back room shelf. If only that remained as easy as technology changed and we moved from black and white negatives developed in our own lab to color prints and now digital color.

Mon
17
Oct

Native son: STAR STRUCK - Remembering Joan Davis

by Charles Novak -

Sat
08
Oct

Hook and Bullet Club - Wheeling in Aitkin

by Nick Wognum -

Wed
05
Oct

From the miscellaneous drawer - Shifting gears

We’re shifting gears in Ely.
Lake cabins are being closed up, yards are being checked for last minute clean up and warm jackets are being found after having been stowed away.
We’re hunkering down for winter.
If you’re new to town, this is a good time to join up and join in with any of the 100 or so clubs and organizations around the area. There’s at least one group and probably more which should fit anyone’s interests.
Like the outdoors? There are clubs with the focus on cross country skiing, snowmobiling and three-wheeling on ATVs. They meet throughout the year, work on trails and share a lot of camaraderie.
Some groups and others stay on the quieter side sewing quilts and other projects. All hands are welcome.
There are Scouts - Boys and Girls - for restless kids.
Church groups and activities for those interested are available and new faces are always welcome.

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