January 2015 Posts

Selective Focus: Perilous

Richard Narum

Richard Narum, untitled

Mother Superior seems to have held a prominent place in the psyche of many of you who considered our “perilous” theme. It conforms to a theory of mine regarding what makes this area so unique; when you’re daily reminded that life is tenuous, highs and lows are more pronounced, and halcyon days are more precious.

Northern Pike on the manifold

This is the second episode of Cooking on the Cars’ west coast road trip.

Leaving Duluth: Feel free to write your own caption

Leaving Duluth postcard image circa 1910

“Leaving Duluth” postcard image from Arcade studio, roughly a century ago.

The Really Angry Bear Who Almost Upset the World

As this gem appears to have little if any local coverage whilst topping the list of our truly closest encounters, I’d like to explore it now and see if anyone in the community has memories or knowledge of this exciting chapter in history.

One of my favorite pastimes has to be pretending that ‘man’ hasn’t come as close as he has to setting this Garden of Eden ablaze, returning it to its former self of one giant cinder cone that only the smallest rodents underground survive. The itchy-trigger-fingers of sociopathic generals (immortalized in such films as How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) illustrate the kind of antics that happened right over the hill from here one fateful evening.

Macho Madness Day in Duluth

To mark the occasion of “Macho Man” Randy Savage being inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame, Eyewitness News Sports Director Dan Williamson dipped into the PDD Photo Archive and recalled the time Duluth Mayor John Fedo declared “Macho Madness Day” in the city of Duluth.

Darkhood – “Destination”

According to the blurb on YouTube, the Duluth band Darkhood recorded this single in the 1960s.

“These lads allegedly recorded this at Chess Studios in Chicago and then subsequently lost most of the copies of this 45 when it melted in one of their cars,” the video description reads. “The flip side is great, too. Fuzz guitar and catchy garage from the Northlands; ain’t nothing better.”

The tune was ripped for YouTube from the original 45 by the Hold Tight DJ crew in St. Paul.

The Piedmont Smelt Incident

Aside from the occasional monster wave, there is no finer display of the raw and natural violence of her majesty’s beauty than the Lake Superior Cyclone. Air is churning over the water’s surface in a melee of suction and force that would clean the beard on a Lumbersexual or the balls off a beaver. They were visible near Stoney Point on New Years day of 2010 where you could see them toward Wisconsin pulling through gravity and time, swaying in the distance of a sunny cold afternoon. 

Then I heard this fishy tale from a neighbor:

Coming home from kindergarten in about the spring of 1960, after school and dressed in his spacesuit rain gear, he sees funnel clouds over the lake. As the storm passes and nearing home he notices on the lawn a patch of small silver fish, then another yard with more of them, telling his dad who doesn’t believe him a tornado could siphon a school of smelt off the lake into the hills of old Piedmont.

Tin Can Gin – “Duluth” (live on the PlayList)

List of songs with “Duluth” in the lyrics or title

Duluth-Superior Transit Company Token

Duluth Transit Company Token Good for one fare

I recently acquired a Duluth-Superior Transit Company token from a friend and thought I’d post it in case anyone can pinpoint the year of its creation or share any interesting details.

This Week: a double dose of Dessa, the good Thicke, MLK and more

Untitled design
Here’s a bit of what you’ll find on this week’s PDD Calendar:

There’s no need to be bored, when you can board — check out Board Game Night at Rogue Robot. Go see TV’s beloved Alan Thicke, father of disgraced singer Robin Thicke, host a live dancing competition at the DECC. Jody Kujawa’s Ladies Night Karaoke is going down Wednesday, as per usual.

Dessa’s back in town on Friday, and she’s also at Lutsen on Saturday. Mayor Ness kicks off a weekend of Martin Luther King-centric events. Dwight Yoakam is doing his thing at Black Bear, and the Minnesota Fringe Fest is still fringing along.

Where in Duluth?

unnamed (1)

When should school be cancelled?

In the Twin Cities there is a huge debate going on over when school should be cancelled, but in this area we have no formal guidelines. In Minneapolis the threshold is -35 windchill, but in St. Paul it is -40 windchill. A few days ago Minneapolis closed while St. Paul stayed open. No one died, but parents were in an uproar on either side of the fence.

Reading the comments on the Star Tribune’s site you have the debate between the old folks who walked up-hill both ways through 10 feet of snow when school was allegedly never cancelled and the younger generation who thinks it is safer to err on the side of caution.

What do you think? Should we have a set limit like Minneapolis and St. Paul or should we just wing it like we do now up here?

What about snow days? How much snow should constitute closing? What about when it is ice?

What’s in your beard?

If you heard MPR Arthounds where I said Minneapolis poet Brian Beatty (doing a reading tonight and free workshop tomorrow) will fit into Duluth’s Lumbersexual landscape, you might enjoy this YouTube gem, What’s in Your Beard? It features Mr. Beatty himself.

Things We Saw in the Valley of Silence

Selective Focus: Blanket Fort

Marija Majerle

Marija Majerle, untitled

This week’s theme is simple, merely a matter of where you feel secure; whether that’s among your family, with a loved one, even out in nature, or at a favorite watering hole. Next week let’s see images of the people, places, and things that make you insecure, test your mettle, and remove you from your comfort zone. We’ll call the theme “perilous,” and again, your broadest interpretations are encouraged.