ELY – The city of Ely, and more importantly, the spirit of its inhabitants, will be featured on NBC’s The Today Show Monday as part of the network’s coverage of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration celebration.
The segment was produced as a result of a visit to Ely Tuesday by NBC Correspondent Kevin Tibbles, in response to communication with the White House and President Obama requesting a letter to be included in a time capsule being planned by the Ely-Winton Historical Society.
The segment is scheduled to air Monday morning on The Today Show, said producer Amanda Marshall. “However, that is not set in stone and can be changed at the last minute due to breaking news or other events,” she said. “The segment could be moved to Tuesday or later, but it will run.”
Tibbles said Ely has been said to be located “at the end of the road or at the beginning of the road, but I think it is God’s country, even in the winter.”
He said the segment hopes to show “that the spirit of Ely and those who live here can inspire the rest of the country. Everyone rows the boat together here, or should I say paddles the canoe together.”
The visit included stops at WELY where they taped the production of the morning show. “I liked the community announcements segment,” Tibbles said. “If you have a need or a problem here, let everyone know about it, and everyone figures it out together.”
The next stop was at the Wintergreen Dog Sled Lodge. “Paul (Schurke) has a young guy working for him named Greg and he kind of took him under his wing and is showing him the business,” Tibbles said. “Again, everyone working together.”
Next stop was Northland Market where Tibbles met Dan who recently had a kidney transplant. “The whole community helped Dan and his family as they were going through these difficulties, from holding a benefit to help with finances to walking his dog,” he said. “There is this recurring theme up here where everyone works together.”
The crew then visited Ely’s historic post office and viewed the murals on the walls. Jerry Schneider, who contacted the White House looking for a letter from the President for the time capsule, met Tibbles there. “Jerry told me that there are not too many similarities between Ely and the President,” Tibbles said. “I told him that perhaps the President feels just as isolated as the people of Ely as he tries to reach out beyond the beltway.”
Tibbles ended his tour of the area with a visit to A Taste of Ely for a bowl of soup and piece of pie.
“I hope we can shine a light on a small town in America as the country marks the inauguration,” Tibbles said.