Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Revisiting America

Today has started out as one of those beautiful, very cool, windy days, sun so bright it's blinding, even wore a light jacket which had to come off about half way through my walk.  I know this is part of what keeps people here, or coming back year after year.  It's August all over the world but weather-wise here it could be October.  You can tell I'm enjoying the weather.
The old saying, "when in doubt talk about the weather".  I do have more to say than that, but everyone knows how much I love the cool-cold.
I visited both the Grace Lutheran and First Presbyterian churches again Sunday. 
Robert Jalonen, AiM,( I'm not sure what those letters mean), was in charge of the service, pastor on vacation, and I was so impressed with the message, the over-all worshipful atmosphere.  The bulletin reminded the different Committees to remember the deadline for Newsletter reports.  I would love to have a copy.  Recognized so many people that I've met in town or at various functions.
The First Presbyterian ladies of the church presented a narrative, written by one of the ladies of the church, beginning in Luke 1 with the birth of John the Baptist, to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It was so well written and presented, scriptures to read if you chose, but there to document and reinforce the dialogues, hymns appropriate for the scriptures.  Very dramatic and moving, and a beautiful reminder of what Jesus Christ did for each of us.  Spoke with Mike Rouse, the pianist, who
is in charge of the music and does a beautiful job.  A very talented musician you could tell from listening to him play.
Then, on to lunch and Mike Hillman coming over to the house at 2:00.  Everyone said, 'He's your man", and they were right.  So delightful, gifted, well-spoken, sincere, likeable, I just can't think of enough adjectives to describe him.  He's very well educated, a story teller, historian, home-town person, you can tell in conversation how much he cares for the well-being of the people and the preservation of those things that make Ely, Minnesota so special.  A musician, actor, interpreter, teacher, tutor.  You get the message, but most of all he says, "a writer".  He seems so content with his place in this world. Two hours passed so quickly, but I will have another opportunity to visit because I'm fixing supper for him this evening.     
I've had several concersations with my landlady in Ketchican and her advice for my drive there is to
leave Twin Bridges earlier than planned because of the uncertainty of the weather this time of year, and the fact that I will be traveling alone.  So, it's possible I will shorten my stay in Montana, moving everything up a week or so.  That's the plan now, and she will help make arrangements for the ferries, to and from Ketchican.  Appreciate her concern so much.
Spent a wonderful hour this morning with Linda Fryer, Administrative Director, Ely Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.  I can see why she has that position.  There were people in the office seeking plans for hiking, portaging, camping, etc: and she was able to offer so much material and know-how.  A delightful person, quick smile, good sense of humor, I would say an asset to Ely and the Chanber.  I wouldn't want to take away from the other ladies because they were assisting with the information also.  We talked about her visits with Kuralt, how much he loved his privacy here, interested in the whole community so much he bought the radio station to keep it from closing, loved the people.  It was his kind of town.  There are pictures in her office of his stay in Ely and she's going to send me copies as well as some quotes he wrote for their brochures. 
I haven't found anyone that didn't like Kuralt.
I spent a little time yesterday tending to myself, a doctor's visit, which is so rare for me.  A nagging headache and a blood-pressure check which was a little high, gave me a little concern. So rather than leave Ely wondering, visited the Clinic-Hospital here and saw Dr. Edward Ciriacy Jr.  Very thorough check-up, even did blood work, whatever that's called, and pronounced me very well physically, for a 78 year old roaming the country by herself.  I was glad that I went and I'm sure the people of Ely appreciate the wonderful facility and the very capable staff.  I was impressed.
Late yesterday afternoon met Angela, her friend, Gene Domich, and native Elyian, and Geri Fisher, a friend at the Rockwood restaurant for supper.  We sat very comfortably outside to eat and enjoyed a meal of salad, garlic potatoes, and baked walleye, apparantly the fish of Minnesota.  Very good food, and the idea of sitting outside to eat, August the 23rd, no bugs maybe just a few flies, wow!  Enjoyed getting to know Gene and Geri, very interesting people.
Then we went across the street, several are blocked off so people can sit, with lawn chairs Gene had brought and  listened to a band , bass guitar, percussion, guitar-singer, steel guitar and fiddle, wonderful musicians, good music, the street blocked off so people could sit, and an enjoyable two hours of fun and music.  This happens all summer in town, with different groups playing.
Read a quote from the Ely Summer Times, "What happens in Ely stays with you forever".  I believe it will, and now with my time here coming to a close, I wonder if I've done enough to really capture what Ely is all about.  I believe so.  But there will be more! 


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