Mark Bruzonsky, a 1965 Duluth East High School graduate who has gone on to become a journalist, author and consultant in Washington D.C. specializing in international affairs and the Middle East, has uploaded several of his family’s old films to Vimeo. The video above is a collection of films from roughly 1956, and includes footage of some familiar locations in and around Duluth.
For his part, Bruzonsky can’t provide a lot of details about the films. He was roughly 5 years old at the time and left Duluth after high school.
“It’s my family, with a brother, Steve, and sister, Phyllis, and my mom and dad, Charles and Sylvia, and my mother’s sister and husband visiting from New York City, which is why we must have been taking some of the going-to-places videos,” he says.
A Rough Timeline
0:13 – Family barbecue
4:43 – Perhaps shot at Lake Superior Zoo
5:34 – Leif Erikson Park, probably during the Duluth International Folk Festival
8:00 – Ships passing through the Aerial Lift Bridge
8:50 – Swimming and playing in the sand on what looks like Park Point
10:39 – Looks like Reserve Mining Company in Silver Bay
12:45 – Lots of embracing
13:38 – Airport scenes and then some big city
15:46 – Trip up the North Shore of Lake Superior
17:43 – Goofing off by a Duluth & Iron Range train car
21:21 – Maybe the Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine in Hibbing
23:13 – Playground scenes
25:06 – Family music and random scenes
Bruzonsky has returned to Duluth only a few times to visit in the past 50 years. Ironically, however, his home city came up in a conversation last month following the first Trump/Clinton debate. He was talking to a friend who was visiting from Singapore, discussing the debate, when it struck him how formative his high school debate years were.
“My life was totally changed because I was a debater at East High School and I was pretty good and that’s how I got a scholarship,” Bruzonsky said. “The topic was ‘Resolve that Nuclear Weapons Should be Controlled by an International Organization.’ There I am, 17, debating and doing very well. We won every single debate, except the last one. We lost to Edina. So we got second place. … It did change my life because it got me interested in nuclear weapons, got me interested in the United Nations, got me interested in all those things.”
If there are Duluthians from Bruzonsky’s past looking to get in touch with him, he can be reached at mark @ bruzonsky.com or 202-495-1235.
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