Columnists

Sun
29
May

Column: In the font row

If the Ely Timberwolves have anything to say about it, the prize for whatever team lands the second seed in the Section 7AA high school baseball playoffs will be an early exit from postseason play.<BR><BR>Ely, despite a subpar regular season that has included 11 losses in 15 games, looms as a very difficult opponent for the second-seeded club when the tournament opens Wednesday at four sites around the section.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves are seeded seventh among eight teams in the north subsection, but they may have the most dominant pitcher among the squads in senior lefty Tim Scott.<BR><BR>Scott is the probable starter for the Wolves in the playoff opener, and he’s been nothing short of dominant in recent outings, including a May 16 no-hitter against Mesabi East and a one-hit, 15-strikeout performance three days earlier against Duluth Marshall, one of several possible contenders for the second seed.<BR><BR>Seeding was set to be determin

Sat
21
May

Words from a burning heart

Fishing opener is always an interesting day of the year for me. I’m always full of anxious anticipation. Got my license, got my rods and reels ready to go. A couple of new lure models that I’ve carved and painted over the winter are thrown into my tackle box. The night before is spent tossing and turning in my bed dreaming of getting up at just the right time and catching my limit before the sun comes up.<BR><BR>The actual morning of opener has usually dawned absent of the sun. Since we’ve moved to Ely, I’ve witnessed rain, fog, more rain, snow, ice still on, more rain, rain-filled clouds, in short - white caps and wind blown despair. And then more of the same.<BR><BR>Opener is tough fishing. That’s what I’ve learned. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun. It only makes next year’s dream of quick success under the sun even larger. It also doesn’t mean you won’t catch fish. You might just get wet doing it. It will take longer.

Sat
14
May

Around town

After living across the alley from the Frank Pengal family since 1958, you’d think you would know a lot about your neighbors, but it was only in the past couple of weeks I discovered that Frank has been and still is a wood carver, and a very good one, for the past 20 years. It was not a little bird who told me, but another neighbor, Denece Socknat, who clued me in. And, so a story was born!<BR><BR>Frank, a very quiet, modest, unassuming individual is the main reason I didn’t know anything about his talent. He doesn’t brag about his work, and he didn’t learn his craft at Reserve Mining Co. where he worked in plant protection for 30 years. <BR><BR>When I asked where he learned to carve, he responded, “I liked to work with wood, so I bought some books on the subject and learned to carve.” (I don’t know of very many people who could read a book, then carve a bird, a figure or a canoe.) He discovered that he enjoyed carving so much, he just kept doing it.

Sat
07
May

From The Desk of the Old Timer

It is a Navy tradition that battleships be named for states, cruisers for cities, and submarines for fish. It will probably be a long time before we get a cruiser named “The Ely,’ but we had a navy ship that came close. Oilers, those craft that haul fuel around for the Navy’s fighting ships, are named after rivers with Indian names. Oiler No. 146 was named the USS Kawishiwi, after the river in our backyard. <BR><BR>Nobody ever heard of any spectacular battle mission starring an oiler, but they are very necessary to the success of every task force that goes into combat. They are also somewhat of a hazardous craft on which to serve in that they are simply a huge, motorized tank of flammable material. If they take a hit in the hold, it is one big Fourth of July explosion and goodbye!<BR><BR>For the record, the Kawishiwi was 655 feet long, 86 feet across the beam and drew 35 feet of water when fully loaded.

Mon
02
May

Around town

by Irene Grahek<BR><BR>AH...spring has sprung...(hope it lasts) and soon fishing season begins. Fisherpeople will be arriving in a few short weeks, visiting our many beautiful lakes. Most Ely natives (and those of us who are grandfathered in) know where the fishing lakes are and what lakes to fish, but most of these lakes had different names early on in Ely’s history.<BR><BR>I have in my possession a most significant four volume set of “Historical Sketches of the Quetico Superior National Forest” written by J. Wesley White, retired from the U.S. Forest Service in 1965, who had 33 years of federal service. He spent 20 of those years as a key staff officer in the Superior National Forest and wrote his findings primarily for greater appreciation of Forest Service employees. My appreciation goes to the late Judge Shammy Somrock, a close friend of J.

Sat
23
Apr

An airman’s letters from Iraq

I know it’s been awhile since I have sent a letter home. I actually started to prepare this a couple of days ago. I have been taking my time to really try and pay attention to the new culture surrounding me. What I have found is that my Iraqi hosts are a very hospitable bunch, genuinely appreciative to have the coalition forces here. <BR><BR>I understand a lot more about cultural diversity here. The subcultures of Shiites live in southern Iraq, the Sunni-Muslims around Baghdad, and the Kurds in the north, bordering Turkey. The Sunnis are surely in the minority. However, they were the dominant political power in Iraq because of Saddam Hussein. Since he now waits in a jail cell, and free elections have taken place, what you witness on the news media of terrorist attacks and roadside bombs on coalition forces can be attributed to the Sunni desperation to hold onto what they have lost through intimidation and coercion.

Sat
16
Apr

Baby Boomer echoes

A couple of weeks ago I reminisced about Ms. Delores Wood and I could have said more about her in tribute. <BR><BR>She exemplified her profession and probably shot the mark of that tough job dealing with young minds, seeking out potential thinkers, doing her best to expose us to the world beyond Ely.<BR><BR>While most Ely Boomers remember Ms. Wood we can’t forget the rest of the teaching staff.<BR><BR>Most of us grew up under the tutelage of teachers who taught our folks or older siblings.<BR><BR>We probably started kindergarten with Ms. Call or Ms. Merril - if you attended the Ely Elementary School.

Sun
10
Apr

Baby Boomer echoes

It appears the Boomer generation has lived through years of noise.<BR><BR>Boomer moms and dads would be the first to testify our generation played the radio or phonograph “way too loud” or the vehicles we drove around had a bit much noise due to nonexistent mufflers or lack of the proper parts.<BR><BR>If it wasn’t music or cars, maybe ma or pa complained of constant ringing telephones, for we were the first generation spending hours conversing with our pals on the important matters of crushes, gossip, rock and roll groups, and yes, how to decipher an algebra problem.<BR><BR>Now we live in a world of different noises and I guess we’ve adapted to them.<BR><BR>Unlike the old phonographs or phones we’re now used to “beeps” - those coming from cell phones, household appliances, baby monitors, computer printers and car safety devices.

Sun
03
Apr

Slice of life

There are days when things seem to fall in place and others when nothing goes as planned. I had a few days in a row of the latter. <BR><BR>Nevertheless, this day was almost over, and the remaining plans I’d made were simple. What could go wrong? <BR><BR>Driving home from a half hour south of town, my thoughts were of food. It was two hours past dinner, and my stomach had been rumbling for a while, trying to bring this to my attention. At home, I knew there was a pot of split pea soup made by my mother-in-law with the bone from our Easter ham waiting. When I got home, I planned to heat a big bowl of soup for myself. Soon, soon, I comforted my stomach.<BR><BR>Driving home 15 minutes south of town, my thoughts were of a hot bath. It was raining, the first rain of the calendar year, and low temperatures and a low-hanging sky made the day chilling. When I got home, I planned to run a hot bath for myself.

Mon
28
Mar

Slice of life

Yesterday, I drove past a young man wearing cutoff shorts. He was driving a snowmobile on the side of the road. <BR><BR>In front of me were two motorcycle riders without helmets, their hair blowing helter-skelter in the wind. <BR><BR>I turned onto a side road and picked up my six-year old son at daycare. His clothes were soaking wet. He and his buddies had been puddle hopping, barefoot. <BR><BR>As we drove through town, I noticed the bank’s time and temperature sign. The bright warm sun caused me to squint. At 3:19 p.m, the temperature read 29 degrees. <BR><BR>Halleluiah! It’s spring in Ely.<BR><BR>I continued to drive, slowly and carefully, not so much to avoid potholes as to avoid colliding with the person driving in front of me who was trying to avoid potholes. <BR><BR>My window was most of the way down so that I could see clearly my side-view mirror.

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