Columnists

Sat
15
Jul

Trout Whisperer - Boys of summer

Boys of summer
At one point, there were seven of us there. Two had arm chairs under their backsides, one had a garage sale bar stool he was tottering on. The rest of us, including the owner, were just leaning on something. All of us were discussing: the weather, the Minnesota Twins, and one large velvet-headed buck, the majority of us had seen, that seems to have taken up residency at the local cemetery.
The owner’s dog is working the crowd. He nudges each of us in turn looking for a free ear scratch. After the pooch gets what he wants he goes and lays down on the concrete pad where the morning’s sun is just starting to creep in.
The room smells of a mixture of brewed coffee and sort of ripe or boiled minnows. The bait store owner says he needs to clean the minnow tanks today, but not until his wife shows up.

Fri
30
Jun

From the miscellaneous drawer - Hard choices for graduates

How does one plan one’s future?
When one is over 80, it may not seem that should even be a question.
But it is. Folks my age may have thought that major decisions about life were only challenged and addressed in the age 12-20 years. Not so.
Back then, the life/living tests were rudimentary and oldsters often misinterpreted what they thought should be obvious to youngsters.
For instance, because I liked to know how things worked, it was suggested I should be a mechanic.
Because I liked to sing, I was told to be a performer.
For the first proposed choice, there was no understanding that my interest dropped off dramatically when imagined solutions failed to work to solve problems. For the latter, there was no accounting for extreme self consciousness, for stage fright.
Each 12-20 age group has so much pressure upon them.

Fri
23
Jun

Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum - Amazing feat

Every year the town of Babbitt pulls off an amazing feat. Everybody works together and a full week of events take place complete with a major fishing contest, carnival, parade, fireworks, outdoor concert and many other things to do.

Like most volunteer organizations, there’s a core group that lives on the edge of getting burned out but keeps going because they are surrounded by good people willing to step forward and make it all happen.

Even before I owned the Babbitt Weekly we took part in Peter Mitchell Days. I remember going to the carnival when I was but a wee young lad.

Our kids are now well past hopping from one ride to another but we’re hopeful Kinlee will be able to make it next year. We really needed a youngster when we were watching the parade to fetch candy for us.

There’s always a good turnout from Ely for Peter Mitchell Days. Young and old make the 15-minute drive to enjoy family fun like it should be.

Sun
18
Jun

Hook & Bullet Club - England

MINE WALK - On the trail to the mine (l-r) were Ingrid, Megan, Mary and Andrew. Photo by Nick Wognum

Sat
10
Jun

From the miscellaneous drawer - forgotten news

London was in the news last week, and not because Nick, Mary and Megan were visiting my niece Ingrid.
The evening news reported that there were deadly terrorist attacks in popular London tourist spots.
It was difficult to keep this in perspective. I emailed son Nick to ask if all was ok.
Then I thought about situations wherein someone might have panicked about me in the past.
For instance, the Suez Canal was nationalized in 1956 and by October of that year Israel had attacked Egypt with the UK and France joining the invasion. The Soviet Union objected and US forces were ordered to ready for emergency war plans. War ships were brought in.
Living in Rome, Italy at the time, I phoned home to reassure my parents that I was okay.
My mother answered the phone and spent the first few (expensive) minutes saying repeatedly, “Where are you? You sound like you’re just down the street.”

Sat
03
Jun

Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum - Traveling

We’ve been busy as beavers around moving water the past couple of weeks. From a weekend trip to Moorhead, MN to Evan graduating from high school, life has kept us on our toes.
Now Mary, Megan and I are off to travel across the pond to visit my cousin Ingrid and her husband in London for 10 days.
Our trip to Moorhead included Kinlee’s baptism at a Lutheran Church. This took place at the second service of the day. The first one is a traditional service, the second one is listed as contemporary.
We walked in to see a seven piece band getting ready to perform. That’s when we knew this was the contemporary service.
Fast paced and filled with modern music, the service was a change from we are used to in a small town.
Kinlee took the whole thing in stride. She even managed to steal the show by going for the “Superman” look when the holy water was applied to her head.

Fri
26
May

Window into yesterday - Indian Island

by David Kess for the Ely-Winton Historical Society

“Artifacts from the Boshey Family on Indian Island, Burntside”

Wed
24
May

From the miscellaneous drawer - blind trust

Among my many failings is lack of patience. Another is an overactive imagination. Yet another is swearing. And I’m sure my family, friends and acquaintances could add many more.
My sainted mother on rare occasions of absolute frustration with life and her three children, used “damn.” And all in hearing distance would be shocked.
I learned my first swear word as a freshman in college. It was a form of excrement. I practiced the word until I felt comfortable using it and then unfortunately, added some more colorful and profane ones.
Patience I have never learned. If I’m told something will happen on a certain day - whether it is a promise from a repairman for needed work or a meeting suggested by a friend, I naively imagine it will happen.
That’s not an overactive imagination at work. That’s a common courtesy expectation although that may be thought of as an old fashioned expectation.

Wed
17
May

From the miscellaneous drawer - Opportunities

How do you feel about the elderly folks in your life, circle or neighborhood?
I asked a business owner recently about his dad who is still working for the firm and was pleasantly surprised by his answer.
He replied that although the dad had slowed down a bit due to physical changes which affect his walk, his dad still enjoys working. It is the socialization which prompts him to be on the job almost daily with no vacations.
Ask most any over-65 person why they still show up for work and that’s bound to be a common answer:
The opportunity o be useful, complete tasks and have people to converse with makes life worthwhile.
My former mother-in-law explained to me a number of years ago, “I’m still the same person inside that I was when I was 20.”
Another friend reminded me of this poem which ends:
“I’m now an old woman ...and nature is cruel;
’Tis jest to make old age look like a fool.

Sat
13
May

Native son: BOOKWORM

BOOKWORM #3

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