The Cartoon History of Hunter S. Thompson

My complete 13-part comic strip originally published in Duluth’s The Transistor circa 2008. Much information from E. Jean Carroll’s book, “Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson”. In addition to ripping off Frank Miller, I copied several panels from X-Men comics, and some Hunter photos.

Exploring Nopeming Sanatorium

A few week’s back Duluth Urbex slithered through Nopeming, the former sanatorium located west of Duluth in Midway Township. The resulting video is a perfect primer for the Halloween creeps.

Postcard from Dredging in the Duluth Harbor

Keeping Duluth’s shipping channels open requires occasional dredging. This undated postcard offers a look at the process in the early 20th century.

Wouldn’t we all rather have sex in Duluth?

About once a year, satirical news website the Onion references Duluth in a story. The 2021 example appears in a list of “What Your Partner Is Actually Thinking During Sex,” published this week.

Refracted

Split Rock Lighthouse stands along the western shore of Lake Superior, atop a soaring cliff. Dressed in cream-colored brick and elegant trim more fitting for a grand house in a genteel neighborhood, it once worked as a watchman holding a luminous light, warning ships about rocky shores at its feet.

It’s a crisp late-October morning. The last day of the season before the lighthouse shutters for the year. From an expansive autumn-blue sky, sunshine washes the landscape in gold. The temperature wanders just north of forty-five degrees. The air breathes softly.

My granddaughter, six, and grandson, four, are with me. It’s their first visit to the lighthouse. Because it’s a weekday and almost the last day the lighthouse will entertain visitors for the year, we are nearly alone on the grounds.

We climb the twisting steps of the lighthouse, just the three of us. We are quiet, and with nothing to arrest my attention, other than the shuffle of feet on the stairs, I travel decades back in time.

Last Chance Liquor and the Pawnbroker, 2011/2021

Here’s a look at a pair of East Fourth Street buildings — one soon to be demolished, another already lost to history. The photos on the left in the side-by-sides above are from Oct. 22, 2011. The ones on the right are from Oct. 22, 2021.

David Dondero – “Oh Minnesota”

Duluth-born troubadour David Dondero performed at Wussow’s Concert Cafe on Tuesday. One of his new songs mentions the Zenith City and a variety of Minnesota locations. The song was penned in 2019 and hasn’t appeared on any official releases, but the demo track linked here was posted to Patreon.

More Literary History of Duluth: Lake Superior Writers

I’m still working on my literary history of Duluth. Lake Superior Writers has published or co-published several volumes. If you were involved in some of these collections and have stories to share, message me or comment below.

How a Superior librarian hired and fired Frank Lloyd Wright

An article published this week in the online magazine Slate explores the letters exchanged circa 1940 between a Superior librarian, Edith Carlson, and the staff of Frank Lloyd Wright. She wanted the famed architect to design her modest home. It got as far as preliminary sketches and building instructions.

Meredith from Duluth

The neo-noir film Lonely Hearts was released 15 years ago today — Oct. 21, 2006. In the clip above, John Travolta and James Gandolfini — as detectives Elmer Robinson and Charles Hilderbrandt, respectively — disregard a letter from “Meredith from Duluth.”

Charlie Parr – “817 Oakland Avenue”

Duluth’s Charlie Parr released a new album in July — Last of the Better Days Ahead. The video for “817 Oakland Avenue” features animation by Drew Christie.

Time Capsule Needed

What’s the proper endgame for this shirt? In my practice, bleach spillage (as is the case here) would usually qualify this shirt for a move from my Saturday pile to the rag bin. But with this being such a noteworthy piece of early Perfect Duluth Day, and for that matter Duluth history, it seems like there should be a more proper retirement.

The Scandia Fisheries, Duluth, Minn.

A friend of mine from Seattle was eating at Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse in Renton, just south of “the Emerald City,” and sent the above photo to me. At first it seemed like a manufactured novelty sign because searches only returned other copies of the same sign. But then I found a Minnesota Historical Society listing for a paper crate label from the same company from around the 1950s, so it appears to have been a real business.

Reconstructing a literary history of Duluth: Calyx Press

I’m trying to build a history of literature in Duluth, and I’ve decided that one useful heuristic would be publishers. So, what can you tell me about Calyx Press and Cecilia Lieder?

The Slice: Oh My Gourdness!

Lake Superior Zoo‘s colossal pumpkin arrived Oct. 6. Danny Tanner of Duluth Township provides the zoo with the symbolic Halloween squash each year ahead of the annual Boo at the Zoo events, this year held Oct. 16, 23 and 30.

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.

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