Somehow this seems both an apt and inapt way to close my editorship of this feature. There are plenty of sites to pore over images of our region’s abundant natural beauty, but few that foreground the real people who live, work, and play here. That was my fundamental ambition; to recognize the vast human capital here, to weekly call for snapshots, pictures of domestic ordinariness, matters not needlessly prettified. Reality, even when it’s harsh is sufficiently beautiful to me.
Happy start of baseball season to all. In a previous post on PDD it was speculated that photos of pitching great Hooks Dauss in a Duluth uniform are “seemingly nonexistent.” Well, there’s ol’ George wearing #4 in the 1909 team photo above. Search completed.
I was fortunate to spend my first Arrowhead New Years Eve in a cabin in Jay Cooke State Park; bird watching, snow-shoeing, and far from the inebriates (though I did bring a flask). Even photographed a ghost buck (pictured below), warmed by a cedar and oak fire as a soft snow fell to welcome 2016. It was a grand introduction to the St. Louis River.
For the next two weeks Selective Focus will take part in the “One River, Many Stories” project which asks for tales of your relationship to this unique watershed. This week we’re concentrating on the river’s abundant natural beauty; a place for restive contemplation, and awe. Be sure to see the Duluth Art Institute’s kick-off the project on Monday, April 4, with a photo essay by Ivy Vainio, Tom Hollenhorst’s interactive maps, live drumming, and a video booth with PBS’s Karen Sunderman who’ll record your stories.
Not sure if someone brought this sign to the Western Waterfront Trail and propped it up for public display for some reason or if it was dredged out of the St. Louis River. One River, Many Stories is upon us. Maybe you know the story. Fact or fiction would be fine.
The latest Duluth artifacts to fall in my lap are three unlabeled tintypes — photos processed onto thin sheets of metal. I don’t think I’ve come across Duluth tintypes before, but surely others must exist, so I post here with the hope that someone can enlighten me in the comments section and perhaps share their own tintypes.
The recent spate of lovely weather, coinciding with the vernal equinox, is a trap. We know this, yes? Having seen it snow in June, and still, we live in hope. There are gardens to ready, trails to follow, newborns to raise. Spring, tantalizingly close, isn’t for the timid, the reclusive, or the misanthropic. It’s time to be an upright, active being again until Summer’s indolence overtakes us.
Being an iconoclast means more than seeming stereotypically outré, a fringe figure, or intentionally marginal. This week features the ordinary people among us who get things done by merely digressing from convention; age, gender, and appearance have little to do with the capacity to shift the discourse, and affect communities — though a dash of eccentricity, sometimes humor doesn’t hurt. Difference is also a mental state; taking the road less traveled or asserting a dissenting view (as in Ann Klefstad’s piece, or Bryan French’s image from the Berlin Wall).
Would anyone like to take a stab at translating the message on the back of this postcard? It was mailed from Duluth to Miss Lillian Carlson of Minneapolis at some point during the era of one-cent postcard postage and fancy hats. The postmark date is not readable.
In April, Perfect Duluth Day’s weekly Selective Focus feature will devote two themes to the “One River, Many Stories” project, which asks for tales of your relationship to the St. Louis River. I’m drawn to it’s dualistic character as a forum for both contemplation and recreation, so April 1’s theme will foreground the river’s natural beauty, and April 8 will spotlight its possibilities for play. Feel free to send images as soon as you’re able to tim @ perfectduluthday.com, and follow the “One Rivers” project at onerivermn.com
Many thoughtful people have rightfully lamented the gutting of funding for arts education to privilege more “useful” studies. But there are also the limitations we impose on ourselves, and the diminishment of what many of us once so much enjoyed (“I loved to paint and draw as a kid…”). Art too often becomes something we let go to follow well-rutted roads, to conform, and to not stand apart.