You will be missed by all.
Regarding the Rocket Bar renovation:
Well, folks, far-be-it from me to talk the talk and not walk the walk, but when a few hundred thousand greenbacks comprise the difference between the “talk” and the “walk,” well, shucks … it was a good run.
After receiving the initial bid from the general contractor last week, it appears we are going to have to do this in phases, if at all. The initial phase, relieving the building of a few structural ailments, will likely begin in the next month or so.
As for what will become of the place in the long run, it’s anybody’s guess. I’ve got a couple ideas, though. I think I’ll let them gestate a while, and refocus on a few things left in the wake of this, that and the other project/priority. What was that called? Oh, yeah: life.
Today marks the passing of Stella the Dog, a Staffordshire Terrier/Australian Shepherd mix and my great companion, just two-days shy of her 15th birthday. Stella is noted in Homegrown lore as the dog who, in 2000, destroyed one of the first two official Homegrown kickballs roughly 30 seconds after Starfire arrived at Chester Park and tossed the newly purchased balls onto the field. She spent most of the rest of the day carrying its carcass, occasionally thrashing it about.
In memory of Stella’s remarkable spirit I humbly request that members of the Friday and Saturday night teams take the field this Saturday under Stella’s motto:
Carpe calcitrant pila!
Smart as she was, that dog never could get her Latin declensions right.
Larry Whalen was an early member of Colder By The Lake, an original resident of Emerson and bohemian fixture here until he moved to Madeline Island. Known for his oriental rug collection, early adoption of the interwebz and absurdist dancing, he is also noted in the “Beloved Characters of Duluth” PDD gallery. Recently he was in hospice in Ashland and passed away due to some form of tumor. I’ll fondly remember many rehearsals with CBTL, his love of Ramses cigs and hazy coffee induced snickering. With the passing of Doug Moen and Larry we’ve lost some significant freak power here in Zenith City.
If you are reading this through your Google Reader, you already know you won’t be after July 1. If you’re not, you probably don’t care. But in case further explanation is necessary, read “RIP Google Reader” on Mashable.
So, just out of curiosity, how many of you care? Will any of you stop reading PDD because of this, or will we never know because you’re reading the RSS feed and are too lazy to log in and complain about it?
Last year, during the January in Duluth project, I wandered into Doug Moen’s antique store with photographer Kip Praslowicz. Doug was very generous with Kip and me, two oddballs who wandered off the street to take up some of his time. And from what I’ve gathered, that seemed to be his M.O. During our short time together, he was warm, funny, honest, and so perfectly at home in his store, with his junk.
Doug and I recorded a short conversation while Kip took the photograph in a previous post. I never ended up making an audio piece from the recording, as I’d hoped, but I did make a transcription of the interview. Kip encouraged me to post it here for anybody who might be interested.
Doug Moen passed away yesterday following a tragic fall.
UPDATES: * The Facebook Event Page for Doug’s Memorial is here. It takes place at Clyde Iron Works on Saturday, March 9th, 2013. Attendees are encouraged to wear something vintage if they are so inclined. Everyone is welcome.
* Another gathering took place March 2 at Tycoons and there is a nice write-up about it in the Duluth News Tribune: Friends Remember Vintage Clothing Collector’s Generosity.
Doug Moen Portrait by Kip Praslowicz
Doug was well known around Duluth and actually far and wide for his vintage costumes, furniture and decorations. His most recent business incarnation, the Retro Mall on First Street, was profiled on PDD last year: here.
Doug was also very well known as a friend to many, including many cheapskate artists and performer-types. There used to be a sign in his costume shop that read “Friends of Doug Pay Double” or something like that. But his friends didn’t pay double. My memories of Doug are of him always being ready to help out a friend, usually on short notice, and always on a budget. I was involved in a few businesses in the 2000s and Doug made immeasurable contributions to those endeavors, especially at the NorShor and Speedy Wienie. Immeasurable contributions, always for free or cheap, and always with amazing grace and kindness.
Another miraculous gift of Doug’s was his ability to come up with great ideas for a look, a style, or a project. And then he could help you find the supplies to make it happen.
Doug would occasionally work with film crews who were working in Duluth. He helped out with costuming on the Academy Award nominated 2005 film North Country. Doug often related how he was told by the Hollywood pros who toured his extensive costume collection that he should insure his collection for at least a million dollars. Like Doug himself, it turns out, his collection was actually priceless.
According to someone close to Doug, the word is that he was helping a young guy who needed a couch when he fell down an elevator shaft and later died of his injuries. I am not surprised that he was helping someone, but I was shocked to see that he died.
One of my prized curio possessions that I got from Doug is a giant, white tarp. “That I’m going to have to charge you for, JP.”
“Sure, Doug, how much?”
“How about ten bucks.”
We called it “the Love Tarp” and I used to set it out at Movies in the Park because it was easy to find, and big enough for a big group of people. Everyone was welcome. And that, in a way, is a bit of a tribute to Doug all by itself.
University of Wisconsin-Superior professor John Munsell died on Tuesday. He taught at UWS from 1967 to 2001 and was one heck of a character.
Speaking of his characters, one of them in April 1997 was Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, shown above.
The Vietnamese Lotus Inn will close on Saturday, Feb. 2. It almost lasted 10 years, having opened at 1314 Commonwealth Ave. in the summer of 2003.
Steve Kramer of Wallets fame dead at 59.
From the Takk for Maten Cafe Facebook page:
It is with great disappointment that I am closing Takk for Maten Cafe. It has been 4 1/2 years since I opened the cafe in the Sons of Norway building and 3 1/2 years since we opened in the Tech Village. The exact date has yet to be determined, but I should know within a day or two.
Many friends have walked through our doors and we leave with so many wonderful memories. We will truly miss all of you. Thank you for your kindness, support and patronage. If we don’t see you again before we close, we hope our paths will cross again soon. If you have any questions or comments, please send us a message.
Klem, Sandy, Bente and all the Trolls ♥
So first off, yes, this is an odd request. Secondly, no, I’m not looking for someone growing “grass,” I’m looking for someone who is growing grass (like the kind you’d find on your lawn) indoors.
The reason I’m looking for indoor lawn is that my kitty Zero, who has been with me for 17 years, is now on life number 8.999, and may need to be euthanized within the next few days. Being that I have a short time to make her happy before the end, I was hoping I could give her one of the things she enjoyed: standing in warm grass (and likely eating it, and very likely puking it up). Seeing as the current weather conditions are not condusive to allowing a geriatric cancer-cat to have one last romp in the lawn, I’m hoping that someone might have grass growing in a warmer location. Why someone would do this, I’m not even sure, but I figured I’d ask.
If you are growing grass indoors and wouldn’t mind having a sick kitty come visit for a few minutes, please comment below (I’ll clean up any possible kitty puke, I promise). Thanks!
Got any good Halloween photos? It’s the annual call for Halloween banners on PDD. Remember, not every photo makes a good PDD banner.
Some basic rules:
The image must be 960 pixels wide by 167 pixels high. The Perfect Duluth Day logo will be added by PDD’s art department.
The lower portion of banner photos serve as background to the navigation bar, so crop your image with that in mind. Make sure essential elements are not in the area that will be obscured. Don’t stretch the photo to make it fit the ridiculously horizontal proportions. That always looks poopy, and will probably disqualify the photo from bannerdom.
If all of this is too much to wrap your head around, or you don’t have the right image editing software, e-mail the uncropped photo, and we’ll do our best to crop it so it looks good.
Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Out in Bayfield County Wisconsin is the small town of Bell (within which is the more well-known unincorporated place of Cornucopia). Two little secret spots in Bell are the old 23-grave cemetery (photos above) and the Lost Creek Falls Trail (photos of that to come in a future post).
This has come up on PDD before, but I did this interview with Donna Ennis today and I thought it was something to share. Romance, intrigue, ancient ceremonies, and even a shameful grave desecration make an appearance in just 8 short minutes of community radio.
I haven’t posted in awhile, it’s been a busy summer this gives you a little idea of where I’ve been, I guess.
Walt Dizzo reports via Facebook today: “So bummed, best restaurant in town. RIP Jalapeno Express.”
Remember all the ranting and raving about the greatness of this place? What happened?
Demolition has begun on the old Laura MacArthur Elementary School (aka MacArthur/West Elementary). The new school, which was built last summer, is visible in the background of the photo below.