Monday, August 29, 2011

Revisiting America

"It seems to me, I've heard that song before".  Well, you have heard this one several times before.  Packing up and leaving one place for another is hard, not physically, but leaving all the people and things I've become attached to.  Especially blogging the last time and wondering if I have really captured the true personality of the people and places.
I remember my first drive down main street and did I wonder about Ely.  I think in my mind I described Ely as bedraggled ( hope that's a word).  But that description has certainly changed, not that anything has been done to change the appearance, but just being in the town, seeing what makes it tick, and realizing how hard the people work at making this a "Number One Town".  I told someone, the town isn't decorated, doesn't put on airs, it's just what it is.  A small town, struggling at times to stay alive, but showing off all its  natural beauty, abundance of pure water,  game fish and wild life,  scenery unlike any other place, and many, many talented and celebrated people.  I like Ely! 
It was a pleasure meeting Geri Fisher and Gene Domich last Tuesday evening for "supper" at Rockwood and then crossing the street to sit outside and listen to Pat Surface and the Boundary (Muffin, I spelled it right this time) Water Boys.  My, they are a talented group of musicians, playing a mix of Christian, gospel, and oldie songs.  Delighted to meet Pat Surface and have my picture made with him.
He's rather tall.
And this same Gene Domich invited me out to his "compound" Friday afternoon.  I wanted a picture of me in a canoe, and that's just what happened.  After walking around and viewing his home, the other old log buildings, the renovated house boat, the sauna, and the beautiful wooded land, surrounded by the bluest water, a beautiful dock-boat-house entertaining area, Gene pushed off a canoe, I climbed in, he instructed me how to hold the paddle, and a picture was made.  Then we took a ride in his "yellow" boat to another island and he filled up his water jugs with fresh, cold spring water.  What a delightful way to spend an afternoon, and for all my folks at home that know I never put my foot in the water, what do you think?  Gene, thanks for such a nice-looking, retired, gentleman spending an afternoon with a little old lady from Alabama.
And another very pleasant time was spent with Cheryle Dochat visiting friend Bunny Wiersema at The University of Minnesota Remote Station, Wilderness Research Center.  See the many wonderful things I get to do and see because someone knows someone!  Bunny and her husband Dale are the care-takers of this facility which was owned by the Hubachek family and now the University of Minnesota.  Bunny gave a very good tour and explanation of how the facility is used, how it's fulfilling the wishes of the Hubachek family, and its plans for the future.  It was a good time for friends Bunny and Cheryle to visit and a reminder for Cheryle of the times she spent there in her childhood because her father was involved in the construction of the many buildings.  Quaint cabins, a beautiful lodge, animals like deer, ducks, woodchuck,  ravens, most named by Bunny, the beautiful lake, and tall, tall pines, created such a peaceful scene. 
I musn't forget my meeting with Bill Campbell, attorney in Ely, who was so instrumental in the negotiations for Kuralt to buy the radio station here,  WELY Radio.  As a result of this they became very good friends and fishing buddies.  Bill said they made many trips to Montana together to fish.  Bill was so pleasant, a wonderful speaking voice that would rival Kuralt, and from all I've heard, a very successful, outstanding lawyer.  He even shared the best and most scenic route for me to take to Twin Bridges.
I would loved to have had more time for him to share more about his career in New York, Washington D.C., and Nebraska.
My friend, Mike Hillman came by the house and brought me an autographed copy of his book, "Ely Lives"  Her people, Her Stories.  Can hardly wait to read this real story of Ely.
I'm meeting someone for lunch so I must stop and get ready, but will finish later.  Please excuse the mistakes because I don't have time to proof.

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