Noon, a band from Munich, Germany, has a song called “Duluth.” Anyone who can translate the lyrics from Italian to English or explain the existence or meaning of this song in any way is encouraged to do so in the comments to this post.
Ten years ago Duluth landed in the New York Times over a controversial sign in a campaign office window. Scott Cameron, a combat-wounded Vietnam War vet, made a sign tallying the dead and wounded in the Iraq war. While volunteering for Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Steve Kelley, Cameron placed the sign in the campaign office window, next to a U.S. Army recruiting office. The seven recruiters working there, six of whom had served in Iraq, found the sign disheartening and wanted it removed. Cameron said he did not wish to prevent recruits from signing up for the Army, but only wanted to honor those who made sacrifices.
Over the past 12.5 years of Perfect Duluth Day’s existence, there haven’t been many posts that would be considered “essays.” The term is a little vague, but it’s probably understood by most that an essay is something more artistically crafted and of more substantial length than the average PDD post. Examples that come to mind from the past that would be considered essays are Laurie Viets’ “Last Place on Earth — 1983” and my own “Trespassing at UMD’s Old Main in 1992.” There are probably a dozen other examples eluding my memory, but the point in general is that there have been some essays on PDD, but not enough.
To encourage more, we’re launching a new feature called the “Saturday Essay” next week. In each installment, a local writer will share an anecdote, go on a political rant, dissect some event in popular culture or for whatever other purpose string together a healthy amount of words on some subject. Basically the hope is to do for essay writing what “Selective Focus” has done in the past year for photography on PDD.
As I have little to add to the vast literature surrounding this holiday, I can only recommend one of my favorites: Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory.” His own reading of this short story used to be a staple this time of year on Minnesota Public Radio. I have no idea why they’ve departed from playing it, but here is a link to a 2006 This American Life episode that includes a tear-defying excerpt: Episode 255
This Saturday we will reach over 100,000 visitors for the first time since the 1980s.
To put this in perspective, we had only 56,000 visitors in recent history. Many thought this resurgence would not be possible. We are very thankful to all who have helped us turn the curve, especially you our guests.
From Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay’s Facebook page:
When I heard about a man in a mental health crisis looking for a bobcat in downtown skywalks and in the convention center I knew it wasn’t true. Then I saw these pictures. You can’t make this stuff up … nobody knows how this wild animal made it into the convention center. It was trapped by the DNR and Wildwoods inside the convention center.