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David Beard Posts

The Last Singles Night (for now)

I attended the final Singles Night … for June. I promised I would not write about it (because when I am thinking about writing I am no longer “present”) and there was disappointment among some folks. So a final post about the final Singles Night (for June). It will go on, in August, if there is desire and support.

Shopping Alternative Ways of Thinking

Duluth Alternative Shopping

I went shopping in the most unusual shops in Downtown Duluth.

Fathers, Sons and the Use of Force

DavidBeard_SEI have no memories of my father or the life my mother, sister, father and I lived until age four. Our home was in the middle of the city, but it was so old, it used to be the center of a farm. The garage had lived a former life as a barn, with hay lofts refitted for storing unused garden tools.

I don’t remember my parents’ divorce. In kindergarten, I understood that my mother filed, and that my grandparents moved in with us, because my mother was afraid that he would hurt her. By middle school, I understood the kind of hurt she feared.

My father is my paradigm case of what it means for a man to use force.

I’ve been thinking about the use of force. And every June, I think hard about fatherhood. The thinking is coming together this year.

Christian thinker and philosopher Simone Weil describes force as something that “turns anybody who is subjected to it into a thing.” She is writing about Homer’s Iliad, a poem about war, the force that turns men into corpses.  But she goes beyond war to talk about the threat of force as well.

A week of art, music and singles mingling

How do I catch you up on the past week, PDD?

Last Thursday, I went to the reopening of the Tweed. Mayor Larson was there, exciting. Ken Bloom directs one of the most significant cultural resources in the region. Bill Payne‘s tenure as Dean of the School of Fine Arts at UMD made great things possible for the Tweed, too.

Quiet (Singles) Night at the Depot

Duluth Singles Night at the Depot

I spent Wednesday night at the Depot.

It was singles night, a weekly event in June. The event included $1 Castle Danger beers and entertainment from DJ Trivia. The event included free tickets to local events from KQDS and some locally owned restaurants and some tickets to Tribute Fest (I won three — anyone want to go? I feel no desire to pay tribute to any of the bands being covered.). The highlight of the event: a package to Las Vegas.

Art and Indigenous Community Health

I spent last Friday at the AICHO Complex, in Trepanier Hall for an event about art, health and indigenous communities.

Parking Crunch in Canal Park

The season for enforcing paid parking in Canal Park has begun (see the DNT article here). Parking in Canal Park will get tight and expensive.

Lake Superior Magazine image

Lake Superior Magazine image

The photo at left is of pre-redevelopment Canal Park, not parking this weekend. But you get the idea.

If you are reading this and remember life in Duluth when this was the beach, I’d love to hear stories.

Meanwhile, parking…

I used to meet friends at Endion Station, which was the (I think) last cheap place to park in Canal Park until the meters were upgraded.

And for a while, I joined the Great Lakes Aquarium because the free parking given members of the Aquarium was cheaper than parking in Canal Park. Plus the Aquarium is awesome.

What is the last secret of the local for getting into Canal Park this summer with a car?
 

Archetypes in Wrestling: Reflections on Recent Matches at Wessman Arena

DavidBeard_SEI spent last Saturday night thinking and rethinking about cultural archetypes through the most popular form of American theater, the wrestling show.

Heavy on Wrestling, a Duluth-based promotion, has organized numerous cards over the past decade at casinos and entertainment centers throughout the region. Last week’s event at Wessman Arena was intergenerational. Baron von Raschke, who started wrestling in 1966, served as the “commissioner.” For those a bit younger, who remember wrestling on network TV, “The Million Dollar Man,” Ted DiBiase and Eugene were present; DiBiase signed autographs and Eugene wrestled Minnesota wrestling mainstay Mitch Paradise.

If you thought wrestling was something that only happened on cable TV, you are missing out. There are more than a half-dozen wrestling promotions in Minnesota running shows throughout the state. To learn more, follow the work of Razzling Rick.

Sustainable Design at UMD

Sustainable Design6

I’m lucky to have worked on a sustainable art project on the breezeway leading to Darland Admin Building at UMD with Darren Houser, Mindy Granley, Catherine Meier, Kathy McTavish, and Wildwoods.

Duluth is a bottleneck for bird migration. Birds flying south prefer not to fly over open water, and so follow the coastline until they read the head of the lake in Duluth.

Sketch Bomb with John Hoban at UMD

Local artist John Hoban organized a Sketch Bomb at UMD.

Local artist John Hoban organized a Sketch Bomb at UMD.

John Hoban, creator of Captain Artichoke, Apocalypse City, and Night of the Smurfing Dead, lead a Sketch Bomb at UMD on Monday. The event was planned by Pat Maus of the Archives and Special Collections area of UMD’s Martin Library.

Barbarian

DavidBeard_SEMy friend John and his wife Chieko left John’s son from his first marriage behind at Stone Farm. Stone Farm, Suffolk, is all I need to write as an address on the letters and postcards I send to him twice a year in the United Kingdom. The family home (occupied by John, Chieko, John Jr., and John’s mother) is older than the United States. When the bowing timbers used to frame the home were cut, the colonies were still colonies.

John spent a week in Duluth. He was to give lectures at the Alworth Institute about energy policy in the U.K. And of course, ostensibly, he was here to visit his friend, David. But John was a fisherman. You don’t cross the Atlantic to talk about U.K. dependence on natural gas to Minnesotans. You come to fish.

We visited Gooseberry, and John took romantic photos under the falls. We ate smoked fish and lobster — John ate at Red Lobster so many times because the exchange rate between the pound and the dollar was so favorable.

Comics on my Mind

Local artist and design teacher Darren Houser presents on his work, among other presentations at the Martin Library at UMD, organized by Pat Maus.

Local artist and design teacher Darren Houser presents on his work, among other presentations at the Martin Library at UMD, organized by Pat Maus.

A recent event at UMD spotlighted comics as a scholarly and artistic pursuit.

An Ethnographic Study of Indigenous Contributions to the City of Duluth

Design DuluthLast night at Gimajii, the Design Duluth meeting sponsored by the DAI shared copies of An Ethnographic Study of Indigenous Contributions to the City of Duluth — a fascinating document that invites us to think about the erasure of indigenous participation and contributions to Duluth culture — and to appreciate those contributions and participation even more heartily.

Suicide Peaks with the Tulips and Lilacs

DavidBeard_SE

The drive back from the VFW Hall in central Minnesota was cold, and the snow falling in the dark January night covered the road. I couldn’t tell whether I was drifting too far across the median or too close to the shoulder until I crossed the rumble strips. I probably should have left earlier, but to be honest, it’s dark after 4 p.m. when you are so far north in winter.

Drinks were cheap and not very strong. The bartender didn’t know how to make a Manhattan. I needed to drive home, so I alternated each drink with a glass of water. My friend’s apartment was just blocks away, so she could walk, even if I didn’t offer her a ride. And if I offered, she’d never take it.

We’d met at 9:30, when the jazz trio took the stage (the stage was a wooden platform four inches higher off the ground than the rest of the bar). She and I weren’t particularly close. If we had been, I might not have made the trip. My wife had moved out that morning. It’d been a separation a long time coming, but it still wasn’t something I was ready to talk about. I needed a friend who was not so close that she knew the reason my life was changing. I needed a friend I could talk to about nearly anything except the separation. I wanted someone to drink with, without sharing why I needed a drink.

Rob Wittig and UMD Writing Studies students nominated for New Media Writing Prize

IWFW-LogoVisit “I Work for the Web” and learn about the New Media Writing Prize award nomination received by Rob Wittig and students in the Writing Studies majors and minors at UMD.

I am very proud of my students and colleagues.