Columnists

Sun
15
Aug

Column: Slice of life

It’s been about a year now since I began writing this column. During that time, I’ve often been asked two questions by people I meet out and about. <BR><BR>The first: Do you like to cook? I usually avoid a direct answer by stuttering and stammering a reply that would make most politicians proud. Or I answer back with a question. “What do you mean by LIKE?” <BR><BR>The way I look at it, I HAVE to cook. It occurred to me a few years ago that unless I learned how to prepare a decent meal for my family and me, we’d either go broke from eating out or suffer from poor nutrition. So I started looking for and trying recipes that were nutritious, delicious, and most importantly, hard to mess up. <BR><BR>But I’m like most of you who juggle the demands of family, home, work and activities. Preparing three meals a day seven times a week is challenging. I’d love to have a personal chef.

Sun
01
Aug

Baby boomer echoes - Barbecue

For many Boomers summer wouldn’t be complete without many meals cooked on the grill, whether food’s done on an electric, gas or charcoal setup. Barbecuing became popular in the ’50s and the trend slowly found its way up North. People in California were first, supposedly because no one wanted to cook inside when the temps run into the 100 degree mark. From what we gathered, those folks ate supper around 8 p.m. while lounging around the patio or pool.<BR><BR>It’s not that Boomer kids here didn’t have a clue as to what cooking and eating outdoors were all about, it was associated with a camp fire out in the woods. The menu consisted of a cast iron skillet full of fish, bacon and eggs, heated pork and beans right in the can, roasted hot dogs on a stick and baked potatoes thrown in the coals. Marshmallows on a stick provided dessert.<BR><BR> Boomer moms liked the idea of moving the stove outside on a hot summer day.

Mon
19
Jul

Baby boomer echoes - The twirlers

Ely’s been host to many fine parades and Boomer kids remember quite a few of them. <BR><BR>Who could ever forget the much-celebrated Roaring Stony Days with all the marching bands from around the region dressed in their finest uniforms complete with plumed hats. <BR><BR>Ely’s high school band and the Dillonaires drill team usually led the way - and those were the years of precision marching and formations.<BR><BR>Many Boomer kids aspired to one day don the uniform, play an instrument, beat a drum or do the fancy routines with flags and fake rifles that the drill teams entertained us with.<BR><BR>The majority of the townspeople along with visitors to the area once again lined the streets of the parade route on Sunday - the 4th of July. A downpour of rain didn’t dampen the spirit either because Elyites take their parades very seriously.<BR><BR>Any Boomer kid appreciated the display of decade cars and trucks rolling by.

Mon
19
Jul

From the miscellaneous drawer - The love affair

I’ve been involved in a love affair for some time. While I claim to want some free time alone and away, truly I delight in the companionship.<BR><BR>When I fall asleep I’m thinking about this love and my dreams reflect that. I awake eager to start a new day sharing my love.<BR><BR>For I’m not selfish. I share this love and see the pleasure spread. There’s interest and some mutual devotion there.<BR><BR>I did flirt. I tried out what wiles I had and hoped for the best. Amazingly, there was some response, some encouragement, some kind smiles. Occasionally there were kind words and I began to feel, if not loved, at least cherished in some small way. <BR><BR>With a personality like mine - both shy and abrasive - I was afraid to trust my emotions, to let my affection show through.<BR><BR>Still, it’s a rare day when my committment is doubted. The steady joy is too great for any but the most fleeting doubt.

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?

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