March 2018 Posts

Imperfect Duluth Days

I realized I was a northern Minnesotan on my first return trip home during my freshman year of college at an East Coast school. My mother collected me from the Minneapolis airport, and we stopped for dinner at a restaurant in Forest Lake. The waitress came to our table, opened her mouth, and began to talk. I was immediately horrified.

The accent. It was real. The Fargo stereotype was true. I’d just spent an entire semester trying to project an image of someone who wasn’t from bumfuck nowhere. I’d patiently explained to scions of the Acela Corridor elite that no, Duluth was not a suburb of the Twin Cities, and that no, ice fishing was not a fictional pursuit, but something that real people actually did. And now, here was this polite, cheery waitress taking my order, and the poor woman had no way of knowing that the words issuing from her mouth filled me with dread.

Through trial and tribulation, I overcame my fear of the northern Minnesotan accent. Even though I’d sworn I’d never come back when I was in high school, I found my way to a home with the same sliver of a lake view I’d enjoyed as a child in Lakeside. The story of what led me from one point to another is tedious, its details ranging from the mundane to the intensely personal, and the source of far too many of my own words spilled out on blogs and in the lonely, booze-fueled journals of late adolescence. I am here, a Duluthian first and foremost among any commitments I may have to places, and ready to bore any unfortunate soul with an hours-long nuanced account of why this has come to be. I have even come to accept the accent, mostly. But there are still, admittedly, moments of doubt.

All of these moments come in the time of year that in other lands goes by the name of “spring.”

Selective Focus: Joe Klander

Joe Klander can definitely be called a multimedia artist. He paints, he sculpts, he puts opponents in a full nelson. His art show last year at the Duluth Art Institute was called “Strongman” ond explored his heroes and influences as a kid. He will appear on the upcoming season of America’s Got Talent, and a documentary about him is currently making the rounds at Film Fests, opening last weekend at the Fargo Film Fest.

JK: From what I’ve been told I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil, and watching pro wrestling not long after that. Mike Scholtz’s documentary “Kinderchomper” hit on my childhood-like arts and crafts art exhibit I was working on and my life as a pro wrestler father and husband. I am constantly reaching back to my boyhood imagination and dreams for inspiration and for some reason always ask myself the question “Would me at the age of 10 think this is pretty awesome?”

Coldsnap on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Spectrum West”

Photographer John Gregor‘s interview on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Spectrum West” arts program with Alan Ross is now available for online streaming at wpr.org.

Covfefe Jungle – “Rat Race”

A group of cool people, including drummer Bill Gibson of Huey Lewis and the News, got together last week to flex their musical muscles and play the music of the Specials as part of the Ides of March Bacchanalia Festival of 2018. Here is one of the songs they played.

First look inside the new Bent Paddle tap room

Bent Paddle principals, from left, Pepin Young, Bryon and Karen Tonnis and Colin and Laura Mullen gather around a table featuring a Boundary Waters Canoe Area map inside the new brewery tap room.

Bent Paddle Brewing will open its new tap room in the former Enger Olson Furniture store at 1832 W. Michigan St. on April 12.

Duluth Band Profile: Dubz

Bryan Wick comes full force as the hip-hop powerhouse Dubz. He explains the magic and mystery behind his videos “Wanna Be” and “Throw it on My Tab.” Click on the image above to hear the podcast.

Upcoming gig:

May 4 at Legacy Glassworks for the Homegrown Music Festival

Low on “Fear the Walking Dead”

My heart melts when the softer Low songs play. So when the otherwise mediocre season finale of Fear the Walking Dead included Low’s “Long Way Around the Sea,” I melted.

Duluth Store Equipment

The Duluth Show Case Company, doing business as Duluth Store Equipment or simply Duluth Equipment, was a maker of display cabinets using the “Duluth Method” or “Duluth Unit System of Sectional Store Furniture.” Read the ad copy to determine what that might mean.

Jacob Mahon – “Salty Dog” and “Faching”

Jacob Mahon releases his debut album, Llamaless, during a concert Saturday night, March 31, at Beaner’s Central.

An Icy Sunset on Lake Superior

Video by Boston-based marketing firm Swiftkurrent.

Land of the Sky Blue Waters

This illustrated map depicting “The Minnesota Arrowhead Country” is from the Hotel Duluth Coffee Cub menu, circa the mid-20th Century. The illustration is by wildlife painter Louis S. Raymer, who graduated from Duluth Central High School.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published an article about Raymer’s career in 2014: “Painter Louis Raymer, 85, on life, career and the heyday of wildlife art.” Raymer died in 2016.

PDD Quiz: March 2018 in Review

As we near the end of the March doldrums, let’s take a look back at local (and local-adjacent) happenings that made headlines this month.  Quiz on to see how closely you’ve been paying attention to current events!

The next PDD Quiz, on the geology of the Twin Ports, will be published on April 15. Email question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by April 12.

Eat Yourself Help

The biggest mistake you can make after deciding to eat yourself is to start with the hands. The hands are the easiest part of the body to eat, so they seem like a good place to begin, but that is exactly why you should save them as long as possible. Remember, once your hands are gone, those hard to bite areas become an even bigger strain.

I suggest you start with your thigh, just above the knee. Chew through both legs, severing them. This allows you to eat your calves and feet like two big, sloppy corncobs. (Should you begin choking on an Achilles tendon, remember that a self-applied Heimlich maneuver can be just as easily performed when you are rolling around on the floor with severed legs as when you are standing on your feet.)

You might find the area from your thighs up hard to reach with your mouth so it’s important that you still have your hands and arms. Don’t eat them yet! After you have chewed open your legs, you will easily be able to use your hands to scoop out heaping portions of the rest of your body.

Many people ask me, “Paul, how do I eat my own mouth?” The answer is simple. Just push it down your throat and swallow. It’s that easy.

Selective Focus: William Garnett

William Garnett is a teacher at East High School, and an avid supporter of the sports and other programs there. He uses his photography skills to provide the student athletes with some amazing Sports Illustrated-level images through his Instagram and Facebook feeds.

WG: I do photography, mostly sports. I began by taking photographs to document the activities of an organization I was the adviser for at East High School and progressed to photographing a variety of activities from sports to theater. I have been called the school photographer and I guess that fits.

The Ripple Bar on Lake Superior opens March 23

Maggie Gustafson

Maggie Gustafson – Photo by Lissa Maki

If all goes swimmingly, the Ripple Bar on Lake Superior will open on Friday at 3 p.m. A soft opening was held last night.

Margaret “Maggie” Gustafson is the new owner of the rebranded drinking establishment, formerly known as the Slip. The bar occupies a 900-square-foot space adjacent to Hoops Brewing at 325 S. Lake Ave. in Duluth’s Canal Park Business District.