Spur of the Moment Road Trip to Two Harbors

If I don’t have plans for the weekend, Friday evening looms like a desert with me standing at the edge sans camel or water or compass. And since the pandemic started, my “plans” consist of shopping for people food or dog food, so I wander the shifting sands of the weekend looking for an oasis.

This Friday when my daughter-in-law arrives to pick up my grandkids, I ask if Clara, nine, can spend the night. Her mom agrees, and Clara agrees, performing a double-fist pump while jumping up and down.

Low – “Days Like These”

Duluth band Low has a new album on the way. Hey What is schedule for release on Sept. 10. The video for the first single, “Days Like These,” was directed, produced and edited by Karlos Rena Ayala.

Perfect Duluth Day Outdoor Summer Concert Primer 2021

A Band Called Truman, seen here performing as part of the Chester Creek Concert Series in 2017, returns to Chester Bowl on Aug. 10 as part of the 2021 series. (Photo by Brian Barber)

Last summer was such a bummer, Perfect Duluth Day didn’t even bother publishing its annual preview of outdoor concerts. There was nearly nothing to report. With the pandemic seemingly under control in 2021, however, the list of options is lengthy. Rock, however, seems to have barely survived the pandemic. Bluegrass, folk and country dominate the concert scene.

June of ’71: Gravel pit site to become Chester Grove Apartments

An old city gravel pit on College Street near the University of Minnesota Duluth was sold to a Duluth construction firm 50 years ago. The June 22, 1971 Duluth Herald reported that Johnson Builders had plans to build “a student-faculty apartment complex worth nearly $700,000.”

The Slice: Sean Connaughty’s Art at Sugarloaf Cove

Artist Sean Connaughty seeks to repay nature for what human’s gain from it. The installation at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center, about 65 miles northeast of Duluth, is sponsored by the Grand Marais Art Colony and will remain on display as long as nature allows.

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

Glensheen drone fly-through

Jay Christensen, the talented drone pilot and former Duluthian who captured the amazing Bryant-Lake Bowl fly through a couple of months ago, sent his camera spinning through the halls, rooms and grounds at Glensheen Mansion.

June of ’71: Concert Under the Sun

A rock concert staged on a farm field about 20 miles south of Duluth was in the news 50 years ago. The June 21, 1971 Duluth Herald reported that “about 300 young people” attended what was called the Concert Under the Sun, “along with 30 sheriff’s deputies, reserve offices, rescue squad personnel and state game wardens.”

Duluth is the Summer City of the Continent

Happy solstice! This magazine advertisement from 1918 promotes the summer weather and charm of Duluth, including the “hundreds of miles of perfect roads.”

Wop Wap Wopatui Wopatusi Whatever

Back before the pandemic, when sharing germs was cool, human beings gathered around buffets of food and troughs of alcohol. It was a simpler time.

A meme in my Facebook feed a few months back featured a blurry image of someone pouring Hawaiian Punch into a cooler with chunks of fruit floating in it. In the background of the photo were various bottles of booze. I instantly recognized what was happening; someone was mixing up a wop.

But the caption on top of the image read: “This is what a WAP was back in the day …”

A wap? As in, rhymes with snap? What the hell is that? And why is it capitalized? Is it an acronym? Wild Ass Punch?

Don’t overthink it. This awful group-cocktail-in-a-bucket idea is worthy of the poorly crafted meme that celebrates it.

Video Archive: Grandma’s Marathon of 1979

WDIO-TV assembled these 16mm film clips of raw footage from the third annual Grandma’s Marathon, held on June 23, 1979. British runner Ricky Wilde won the race that year with a time of 2:14:44; he can be seen in some slow-motion footage taken from a vehicle riding alongside him on the racecourse.

June of ’71: Foster homes needed in Duluth

Duluth’s 290 licensed foster homes were falling short of meeting the need 50 years ago. The June 18, 1971 Duluth Herald reported “a crucial situation,” in which “good kids” wound up in detention centers for lack of foster homes.

The Ethel Ray Nance Story

Karen Nance — author, public speaker and attorney — is the granddaughter of civil rights activist Ethel Ray Nance, who was part of one of the few biracial families in Duluth in 1920. The family lived just four blocks from the site of the 1920 lynchings of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie.

Mysterious timber crib disappears from Canal Park beach

A large timber crib, shown here in 2010, was beached for almost 15 years. City officials said the structure was removed and demolished as part of the recently completed Lakewalk improvement project. (Photo by Kip Praslowicz)

A mysterious wooden structure that had been shipwrecked for years on a Canal Park beach has disappeared following a year-long project designed to improve a popular Duluth walking trail battered by Lake Superior storms.

June of ’71: Kenwood 1 & 2 movie theaters open

Kenwood 1 & 2, a twin movie complex in Duluth, opened 50 years ago. The June 17, 1971 Duluth Herald reported work was being rushed for the formal opening on June 18. The two theaters, situated in the Kenwood Shopping Center, had seating capacities of 520 and 280. The opening films were the science-fiction thriller The Andromeda Strain and a reissue of Lawrence of Arabia.

Heely Tricks with JamesG: May 2021

Another installment of wheeled sneaker stunts by former Duluthian James Geisler, also known as the hip-hop artist JamesG.

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