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Here's some news about Bob's legacy: his writings and his art.

There are a great many books to read on the outdoors

By: Steve Rogers — Into the Outdoors, Morris Daily Herald

I have several great reads for outdoors folks that I would like to recommend to you. The first is actually three books all written by the same author.

Some of you may know the name Bob Cary. He is best known for living and writing in the Northwoods. His residence for many years was Ely, Minnesota. However, Bob Cary cut his teeth on the outdoors, and writing, locally.

Some of you may know the name Bob Cary. He is best known for living and writing in the Northwoods. His residence for many years was Ely, Minnesota. However, Bob Cary cut his teeth on the outdoors, and writing, locally.

Robert Cary was born in 1921 in Joliet. His books are full of tales from his childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. He talks about fishing the DuPage River and hunting the ponds, sloughs, and woods of the Joliet area. Many of the locales he talks about in his books you will recognize or maybe have even tromped through yourselves.

The first book of his I would like to suggest is Tales from Jackpine Bob. This particular paperback is a collection of short stories, adventures, and misadventures. Many of them taking place right here in our own backyard.

He talks of fighting with skunks, catfishing with secret baits, and a whole host of other tales that make me wonder how he didn't end up in the hospital a hundred times or in trouble with the law more often. When either of those two scenarios didn't play out, he often was at odds with his father. One hilarious anecdote after another keeps this book a page-turner.

The second book of Mr. Cary's I would recommend is Ely Echoes. This is a collection of events that take place in his favorite place on Earth. That of course is Ely, MN. Many of you I'm sure have been to Ely. If you have, I know that you can relate to the absolute beauty of the area that captures the hearts and minds of everyone who ventures there.

Even if you haven't been to this part of the world, this book is one that you can relate to. The language of the author is captivating. He paints a picture that captivates your mind and will have your car GPS heading north in no time.

The last book of his that I would highly suggest is entitled Rootbeer Lady. This is the biography and tales of Dorothy Molter.

The book captures Dorothy's fifty plus years of living in the wilderness. In case your wondering how the book got it's names, she made a living by brewing, bottling, and selling rootbeer to the canoeists that paddled the waters of the Northwoods.

Her story is so enthralling don't be surprised if you read this entire book in a couple of sittings. Bob Cary was a personal friend of Dorothy's. His relationship with her tells a side that many never saw. The sure strength and will of this woman to live alone all year around in this challenging environment is inspiring. In fact, after I read it I told my wife to pack her bags and go buy a pair of snowshoes.

I think you will find that these quick reads will fill your soul with more desire for the outdoors and help you to get through some of the more disturbing weather we are sure to see. Enjoy and maybe some day you will be able to publish your outdoor misadventures.

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Jackpine Bob Cary's Gifted Hands

by Mike Holdgrafer, editor Reflections. alumni magazine of the Northern Tier Boy Scout Base
Voyageurs at Night by Bob Cary
A Bob Cary painting depicting Voyageurs canoeing at night, donated to the Northern Tier Boy Scout Base by Bob's daughter, Barb

As I noted in the 2009 Spring-Winter edition of Reflections, the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc., has been fortunate to use the artwork of “Jackpine Bob” Cary since its founding and this has continued through his daughter, Barb Cary Hall, following Bob's death in June 2006.

One additional comment I should have noted in the prior acknowledgement was that many of the pen and ink drawings used in editions of Reflections were the work of Bob's gifted hands. For those of you not familiar with Bob, he was also a spirited storyteller, as well as a prolific writer, authoring several books and writing weekly columns for the Ely Echo about the North Country. Bob was also a long time supporter of the Northern Tier and his influence continues to touch the Northern Tier and our alumni association to this day.

At the most recent Rendezvous banquet, participants were given a print of one of Bob's drawings of a fur trader paddling up to a landing at a fur trade post, a drawing Bob undertook many years ago for a joint meeting of the committees for Northern Tier, Philmont and the Florida Sea Base. For more information about Bob, go to www.jackpinebobcary.com. We remain indebted to Bob and Barb as to continued use of his art work.

"Born to Pull" back in print!

The first book Gail de Marcken illustrated, "Born to Pull," was published in 1998 by Pfeifer-Hamilton of Duluth. Now, it's back in print from University of Minnesota Press ($12.95) for the first time since 2003. (Order here.)

Written by the late Bob Cary, northern Minnesota newspaper editor, outdoorsman and author, this celebration of sled dogs features de Marcken's realistic and charming drawings of the dogs running, sleeping, eating and engaging in puppy play. Her work perfectly captures individual animal's facial expressions.

When Pfeifer-Hamilton owners Don and Nancy Tubesing closed their publishing company eight years ago, "Born to Pull" was among nine of the company's children's picture books sold to Scholastic. Thirty-two regional titles, including several by Bob Cary, went to University of Minnesota Press.

In 2003, Scholastic reissued "Born to Pull" in paperback, and it then went out of print, with rights reverting to Cary's family. Bob's daughter, Barbara Hall, wanted her dad's book available again. That's when she ran into UMP editor Todd Orjala at a publishing event in Ely.

"I recalled this book creating quite a buzz when it first came out," Orjala said. "Given our ongoing success with Bob Cary's other titles and our growing children's book list, this title seemed worth a serious look. This is a perennial favorite of many in Minnesota and, given the high print quality of the artwork of this new version from our press, it deserves to be highlighted again for a new generation of dog/winter sports lovers."

De Marcken remembers photographing the malamutes, huskies and Eskimo dogs in the Ely area when it was 60 below zero. Then, she headed to Tunisia, where her husband was stationed, to do the paintings.

"I'd painted a few donkeys and camels, but I'd never painted fur," she recalled when the book was first published. "I sat in this air-conditioned room, painting dogs in snow."

— Based on an article by Mary Ann Grossmann

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