Shilo is lethargic in this Duluth heat. Curiosity that once jetted her off the ground at the potential of capturing what made the random noise in the brush has quelled. She has become a passive witness. Her eyes dart in interest, maybe a quick turn of the head, but nothing is important enough to coax her legs into a sprint. Not on August days when temperatures are 80 to 90 degrees and she can only expire heat while sweating through paw pads or panting.
I brush her almost daily. Removing at least a little of her hair layer may help some trapped heat escape. She has taken to lying on the cement slab in the garage, two large doors remain open letting what exists of the midday breeze wave in, a welcomed visitor.
The other loyal companion, Bear, aka Mr. Bearington, a newfoundland mixed with lab, is still on constant guard. Heat does not deter him from his mission. He remains focused on what happens on the other side of the fence. He must protect us from intruders that might sneak through the boundary. Most of the time it’s another dog, sometimes it’s a skater, a horse, a biker, or the most ferocious intruder this summer, a snapping turtle so small it could fit in the palm of my hand. Still, a snapper is a snapper. Once I realized we were being invaded by such a fearsome beast, I scooped it into a bucket and escorted it to the pond on the back 15.
This week we hear from Amanda Hunter, manager at Joseph Nease Gallery, about the gallery’s first year in business in Downtown Duluth and what’s ahead.
AH: As background on our history, Joe Nease, the gallery owner and his partner, the painter Karen Owsley Nease, moved to Duluth from Kansas City about five years ago after falling in love with Duluth, the North Shore and Lake Superior during many years of vacationing here. Previously, Joe ran a successful gallery for 5 years in the thriving contemporary art scene of Kansas City, MO. The first Joseph Nease Gallery carried most of the best artists in that town, many who have gone on to prestigious careers and have won important awards in the art world such as the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award. Shows from that gallery were reviewed four times in a major national magazine.
The recent PDD posting about the 1960s song “Ruth from Duluth” has led to a potentially related historical sidebar. It turns out that in the 1940s there was a carnival performer promoted as the 750-pound “Ruth from Duluth.”
Very few details are available in the five periodical clippings unearthed so far.
Clearly, no ordinary pizza joint could beat the likes of top contenders like BoomTown and Gilbert’s famous Jamaican restaurant, the Whistling Bird. But Vi’s Pizza is a veritable Iron Range institution.
The original pizza recipe was handed down from owner Kim Mattson’s Italian grandmother. Viola “Vi” and her husband Frank Urick started selling takeout pizzas out of the back of their Biwabik home in 1959.
This postcard was mailed 110 years ago today — Aug. 14, 1908. It depicts a scene looking northeast on Third Street at about 24th Avenue West. The church steeple in the right foreground is Bethany Lutheran Church, built in 1903.
The initial competition for Perfect Iron Range Restaurant was hot! The poll started with 25 nominees. With the help of your votes, we whittled it down to three contenders: BoomTown Woodfire Bar & Grill (Eveleth), Vi’s Pizza and the Whistling Bird.
BoomTown and Vi’s tied with 36 percent of the popular vote, while Whistling Bird was close behind at 28 percent.
Which brings us to the final poll to decide the winner.