Columnists

Mon
19
Jul

IN THE FAIRWAY......with a happy hacker

It’s contagious! Norman Hill is the latest to be infected - lucky man! He celebrated Independence Day weekend in his own way, scoring a hole in one on #7 with a seven iron. Way to go, Norman! Not to be out done, Robert Stepec used an 8 iron on number 4 for his ace on July 2. Billy Zup was the envious witness playing with Bob, who now works and resides in St. Cloud - when not on the Ely nine making a hole in one, that is! <BR><BR>And we add #3 to the list after reading about Steve Piragis in last week’s Echo - ’though his was made at Wilderness at Fortune Bay in June! We and many others wouldn’t mind that kind of contagious ‘disease.’ <BR><BR>EWGA Veep, Cheryl Martinetto gave us the word at the Exec Board meeting that for sure, the traveling trophy has rested on Ely’s shelf in the past but Babbitt announced at Tuesday’s Exchange that it has found a home on their shelf since 1994! <BR><BR>Cheryl also played reporter for us for the Babbitt Exchange.

Sun
11
Jul

IN THE FAIRWAY......with a happy hacker

Hey and Hurray!! Ely’s “pro” Doug Dreschler, aced #7 on June 24! <BR><BR>We can see it now…mentally he would have checked the wind and known the consistency of the greens - fast, holding…or what? Then calmly pulled out his trusty nine iron and “let ’er rip!” Swinging from the white tees, 118 yds, his target was the base of the “hump” on the right. The foursome watched it roll toward the hole - then groaned, because it stopped just short of the hole. Or so they thought - when they reached the green, the ball had decided one more roll and they could see what was on the bottom of the cup - it dropped in!! Congratulations, Doug, on your second Hole in One! (The first one having occurred in Alabama.)<BR><BR>We use the term “Ely’s Pro” in all sincerity. When we arrived in ‘Elytown’ some 20 years ago the “Ben Hogan” of the town was (and still is) Doug Dreschler.

Sun
04
Jul

Baby boomer echoes

Any TV watcher knows about commercials. And in this day and age, with all channels we access, how can one not be aware? <BR><BR>It seems their frequent appearance allows time spans long enough to zap the leftovers, brush your teeth and take the dog for a walk around the block.<BR><BR>If you’re patient enough to sit through them, what do you really see and hear?<BR><BR>TV commercials today are a far cry from those the Boomer kids grew up with. They cover the gamut of A-Z.

Sun
27
Jun

From the miscellaneous drawer

To dispel rumors which sometimes circulate, reaching incredulous friends, I want to tell you that reports of my retirement from the Echo are premature.<BR><BR>Sure, I’m slowing down physically and perhaps mentally, and perhaps my stamina has left me dragging at the end of a 10 hour work day. Any hopes for lasting creativity are diminishing as rapidly as the moisture from my porch plants.<BR><BR>Still, here I am. Enjoying life and living. Just a bit forgetful.

Sun
27
Jun

Rangers celebrate Polka Priest's music

Here's a senior boomer if you ever saw one! If there ever was any doubt about the popularity of Polka Priest, Father Frank Perkovich and the Polka Mass, those doubts were dispelled on June 6 in Gilbert at the 50th anniversary of his priesthood. <BR><BR>An estimated crowd of more than 1,200 people attended the event with bus loads from Minneapolis, Duluth, as well as many of us from everywhere on the Iron Range. <BR><BR>Special guests included Archbishop DeLuca from the Vatican in Rome (a close personal friend of Father Perk), bishop Dennis Schnurr of the Duluth Diocese, numerous priests from the diocese and relatives from Slovenia and Canada were in attendance. <BR><BR>Archbishop Deluca was the celebrant at the Polka Mass along with Father Perk, in his new vestment with gold trimhandmade by his cousins from Slovenia and presented to him for his anniversary.

Sun
20
Jun

Baby boomer echoes - Creative play

CREATIVE PLAY<BR><BR> There’s something about school on summer break and the longer and warmer days of the season that reminds me of a Boomer kid’s off time and all the creative play we packed into those three months of “freedom.” <BR><BR>Are kids creatively playing in the 21st century? I guess you could say so when you see them zooming around on their bikes, swimming, playing baseball or selling lemonade on the street. <BR><BR>Do they know all of the ideas we came up with to entertain ourselves? And those of us old enough to grow up without a computer loaded with games and TV channels, videos and an assorted plethora of options relied on the old noggin to satisfy kiddy pleasures. <BR><BR>Boomer parents knew kids needed fresh air and an airing out. The first activity planned for a preschool kid was a dirt pile or homemade sand box.<BR><BR>Do you see many sand boxes today?

Sun
13
Jun

Losing a friend

I have lost another good friend in Marie Garni. She and I go back 50 years in Ely throughout our single, married and family life. Marie Zarshe was born in Stillwater, MN and was a graduate of St. Catherine’s as an occupational therapist. <BR><BR>Little did she know when she came to Ely for a visit to see her former college roommate, Mary Jean Foster Hendrickson, that she would wind up as a permanent resident of Ely. It was that visit and an introduction to a very handsome Louis Garni Jr. that did the trick, and before long a wedding was planned in Stillwater in 1954. <BR><BR>Mary Jean Hendrickson, a kindergarten teacher, had already met and married another local boy, John Hendrickson, and it just so happened that someone named Irene Bergeron (another school teacher) met a local fellow named Joe Grahek, and wedding bells rang for them the same year.

Sun
06
Jun

Irene Grahek asks: Did you know?

Did you know? Those three very tall Norway pines on Sheridan Street at Pioneer Apartments were planted there by the Ely Lions Club in 1974. The Lions Club formed a committee called “The Green Thumb” under co-chairmanship of Frank Shusta and Dr. Mike Musich, who were aided by members Len Katauskas, Bud Adamic, and the late Bill Grahek, Joe Grahek and Bill Schiltz. Those trees, donated by the Schiltz Tree Farm, were only a few feet high when planted and all were skeptical about their future. But seeing is believing, as they have grown to be as tall as that three-story building. Not all of the shrubbery survived, but those trees are a solid remembrance of the good works of the Ely Lions Club in 1974.<BR><BR>Did you know? Way back when, the east entrance to Ely was completely lined with beautiful trees all the way through town on Sheridan Street.

Sun
06
Jun

Baby boomer echoes

It’s that time of year… spring storms and more stuff coming through the summer months. May has proven to show us some lightning and thunder, power outs and at times an early alarm clock while practicing the art of slumber. <BR><BR>I think most Boomer kids will agree that so called storms today don’t live up to the ones we remember as kids. I will make exception with the ’99 blowdown and the time the tornado siren kept sounding due to funnel clouds passing through the Burntside area. <BR><BR>Back in the ’50s and ’60s we had predictable weather. May was usually cold with plenty of frost and sometimes snow. Then you’d suddenly get an 80-degree day to start up the dandelions.<BR><BR>June usually was a good month to build an ark like Noah. It was common to expect rain for 40 days and nights. <BR><BR>We knew what June showers produced.

Sun
30
May

Memorial Day is special for 5,796 of us

Memorial Day is special for 5,796 of us.<BR><BR>This is aimed at young people. The ones who are age 17 to 25. These are the ones we can relate to, those of us who are now in our 80s.<BR><BR>Memorial Day means a lot of different things to different people. It is a time to visit the cemetery and pay our respects to friends and family members who have passed on. There is always a ceremony at the Ely Cemetery to honor veterans of the nation’s wars. There is a speech. The color guard fires a salute. The bugle sounds taps.<BR><BR>So what’s that got to do with you? Well, 60 years ago, young people, we were you. We are old, grayed, and we have difficulty standing straight now. But 60 years ago we were young and feisty, just finishing high school or in college. And we were suddenly caught up in a war we did not want, did not seek. Indeed, our nation’s elders tried to keep us out of war, but those who chose to target us as their enemy would not have it.

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