Sinclair Lewis’ Perfect Duluth Day

Excerpt of a letter from Sinclair Lewis to Marcella Powers, included in the book Minnesota Diaries:

What a day — the first in Duluth this year completely of the type known to meteorologists as a p.d., or “absolutely perfect day” — cool, the air sweet, sky ringing blue except for lovely lazy clouds, as idyllic and indolent as a Grecian glade, yet full of energy for people from Chicago … the lake a mirror of many kinds of blue and gray glass, some sleek, some delicately wrinkled …

I don’t know any place, not even New England, that has quite such perfect days — and if one did come there, I think it would be the end of May, not end of June … This is a Minnesota day, to be extremely scientific; in the southern part of the state, we suffer the horrors of the tropics; up here, we go about with icicles on our red beards; but after such torments, we are all rewarded and made singularly blessed by such a day as this.

Sinclair Lewis, of course, is the Nobel Prize winning novelist, short-story writer and playwright who lived at 2601 E. Second St. in Duluth during the early 1940s.

4 Comments

cecile richardson

about 3 years ago

Are you named after this? I came across your website years ago pre Facebook and I had an immediate connection/recognition. I knew exacly what a perfect Duluth day was even though I left the town as a child many years ago.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

No, the brain trust at Perfect Duluth Day was oblivious to this quote until now. The phrase "Perfect Duluth Day" was a minor catch phrase when the website was launched in 2003.

Arlene Neft

about 3 months ago

The original owner of the Duluth house Sinclair Lewis occupied in the 1940s could not have died in 1907. He was still working in the 1930s. Your misdated obituary must have been prophetic!

Paul Lundgren

about 3 months ago

Arlene's comment refers to something in a different post: "Sinclair Lewis / John G. Williams House."

But Arlene is correct. The year of John G. Williams' death was mistakenly rendered as 1907 in that post and has now been updated with the correct year, 1937.

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