Tischer Creek: I saw this dying 7-inch fish under a foot of water or so, seemingly pinned to a rock by a stick. I moved the stick so it could swim away if it wanted, but it did not want to; I only interrupted the dignity of its final breaths. So I left it to die in peace.
[Editor’s note: For this week’s essay we’ve once again pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. Twenty years ago he filed a report from the Rendezvous Bar in Scanlon, roughly 10 miles west of Duluth. This article appeared in the July 25, 2001 issue of the Ripsaw newspaper.]
So, it starts with Sean the Locksmith and I barreling down the southbound lane of I-35, sober as a couple of appellate court judges. Sean is worried, and with good cause: The brakes on his newly purchased Delta 88 are suddenly … how shall I put this? … nonexistent.
The plan, and I’m not saying it’s a good one, is to sort of just not go any faster. Sean plans to take the momentum we have and ride it out, giving little nudges on the gas pedal to keep us going in an attempt to run out of speed precisely as we reach an off-ramp. Eventually, with a little practice, he actually does it, landing us in the heart of beautiful Scanlon. We immediately head to the Rendezvous Bar with its promise of wonderful, sweet booze to wet down our sizzling nerve ends.
This postcard was mailed July 31, 1911 — 110 years ago today — to Miss Emma Perkins of Cleveland, Ohio. It shows what is today known as Minnesota Slip, where the William A. Irvin is docked. At right is the headquarters of Marshall-Wells Hardware Company, one of the world’s largest hardware wholesalers a century ago.
The other day was so warm I didn’t wear a wetsuit, just my Golden Age costume. Didn’t even wear my flippers because I felt natural. I was at the Duluth rock beach called The Ledges — you can see Richardson Island from there. Standing at a sheer drop, in one-foot-deep water, within a step you plunge in @7-8 feet deep. From there, a casual swim to 12-15? I vaguely fear the sight of large fish. Happens sometimes/nothing there this time but the boulders. Loons and mergansers hunt here though. When I came up after a minute my friend Stephen Bockbock said, “I was getting worried about you,” and I said, “I just went to Wisconsin for a second.” Someone said, “Rock.”
This postcard was mailed 100 years ago today — July 29, 1911. By then the Alger-Smith Sawmill in West Duluth had been dismantled following a decade-long decline in the sawmilling industry.
Anyone with a century-old garage in West Duluth likely owns scraps of the Alger-Smith mill. “There must be 100 garages in West Duluth that have been built this summer out of lumber taken during the process of dismantling,” the company’s president told the Duluth Herald in a story that appeared in the Sept. 22, 1920 edition. “Every day or two some person inquires for the lumber, and when we ask him what it is for he says, ‘A garage.’ Our lumber must have built almost all of the garages in West Duluth this summer.”
After a Saturday fling with a paddle board on Superior Bay, I was smitten. Within an hour of finishing my lesson, I wanted one. I experienced this same love-at-first-try feeling forty years ago when I cross-country skied for the first time and rushed out to buy skis. I used those skis for years.
Russell G. Method, a running back from West Duluth who went on to play in the National Football League for six seasons, appears on the sports page of the Duluth Herald 100 years ago today — July 29, 1921. The caption notes he had signed to play “with the K. C. gridiron squad” that fall.
Former Duluthian and professional violist Jonas Benson is back in town to solo with the Northshore Philharmonic Orchestra. Jonas will play the brilliant Telemann Viola Concerto on July 29 at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm and on Aug. 3 at the Mitchell Auditorium in Duluth.
As NSPO conductor, I was eager to sit down with Jonas to ask about his path in the music world.
Indie folk band Bon Iver will headline Honor the Earth’s “Water is Life: Stop Line 3” music, art and cultural festival at Bayfront Park in Duluth on Aug. 18. The event will also feature performances by Mumu Fresh, Annie Humphrey, David Huckfelt, Larry Long, Lissie, Charlie Parr, Corey Medina and Alan Sparhawk, among others.
A biker crosses the new Sargent Creek bridge on the DWP Trail Connector west of Ely Peak. (Photos by Mark Nicklawske)
A critical bridge is open, a tunnel has been repaired and work is nearly complete on a six-mile scenic trail that uses a former rail line to connect two large recreation sites on the west side of Duluth.