October 2022 Posts

People are Strange

For your Halloween viewing pleasure, a video montage of retro creatures, compiled by Duluth’s Jean Kirwan and set to the Doors’ “People are Strange.”

Duluth Home Products Dinner of 1912

What better night than Halloween for the Duluth Rotary Club and Duluth Chamber of Commerce to hold their Home Products Dinner of 1912? Here’s the program from 110 years ago today.

Philip Blackburn’s Ghostly Psalms

I hadn’t heard of Philip Blackburn until I found this recording online. Blackburn “was born in Cambridge, England, and studied music there as a Choral Scholar at Clare College (BA, MA). He earned his Ph.D. in Composition from the University of Iowa.” At some point, he relocated to Minnesota.

The Institute for the Study of Light and Water: Fall weather report

Green-red and other impossible hues

Evaluation of Impossible Colors

On the grounds of the Institute, which really are all grounds, observations were made of maple and oak leaf colors absent from Newton’s spectrum: green-red and other impossible hues. The Institute conducted evaluations along subjective parameters as follows:

Duluth Once Upon a Time: The Northern National Bank

Duluth Savings Bank was established on Oct. 30, 1902 — 120 years ago today — and took the name Northern National Bank in 1909, a year before the Alworth Building, Duluth’s tallest commercial high-rise, was built. Northern National Bank occupied the main floor of the Alworth. The card above jokes that 40 years before the Alworth a two-story structure on West Superior Street was “Duluth’s First Skyscraper.”

PDD Quiz: October 2022

See how many of this month’s headlines you remember with PDD’s current events quiz!

The next PDD quiz focus on football in the Twin Ports; it will be published on Nov. 13. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Nov. 10.

Duluth’s Granny: Nazi Sub Hunter

August 8, 1945. Duluth, Minn. Heavy with depth charges and a crew of four, the B-25 bomber Beach Baby grumbles off the dusty airfield into the sky on routine sub patrol. The pilot, a Jewish kid from St. Paul, heads into the sun over gleaming Lake Superior. He is the oldest aboard at 22. Light moves around the cabin. The shore drops away and open blue water comes into view all around.

The tail gunner, a mook from Milwaukee, pipes up on the com: “Everybody knows there ain’t no Nazi subs in the Great Lakes. Hitler’s been dead three months.”

“Tell that to Granny down there,” the pilot says, “War’s not over.”

They spy the fishing boat to starboard and the zig-zag black-and-white lines of its weird paint job. The navigator speaks with his Michigan accent:

“She’s doing up here what Hemingway’s doing in the Caribbean: hunting for U-boats at the bottom of a whiskey glass.”

The side gunner laughs like the North Dakota yahoo that he is. “Well what do you expect, she’s from Duluth.” Now they’re all laughing.

Celebrating the 9 o’clock Meltdown

I don’t know Crystal Abernethy well, though I am filled with a deep respect and admiration for her work and her commitment to making a thing. The 9 o’clock Meltdown was a good companion when I was a radio listener. I missed it when it went away, briefly, without realizing that it moved online. There, it’s still a great companion.

See a just-published interview with Crystal on Voyage Minnesota for more.

Duluth Grill makes big Lincoln Park land moves

Duluth Grill Family of Restaurants co-owner Tom Hanson stands atop OMC Smokehouse. The former Kemps Dairy property and new parking lot are in the background. (Photos by Mark Nicklawske)

A popular Duluth restaurant group has acquired the largest piece of open land in the Lincoln Park business district and plans to build apartments, a parking garage and new street-level business space on the property — similar to plans announced by its previous owner.

The purchase is part of several big land moves revolving around the Duluth Grill Family of Restaurants.

PDD Shop Talk: Last call for a calendar editor

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There are just a few days left to apply to join the team of editors that produces the Perfect Duluth Day event calendar. But before we get further into that, we lead with the standard plug for donations to ensure the PDD Calendar remains solvent. So if you appreciate Duluth’s most thorough listings of hoopla, kindly drop a few bucks in the PayPal account.

Duluth in MUFON

I found a reference to Duluth in the Mutual UFO Network newsletter. The Minnesota MUFON chapter is still alive and well.

Shippee – “Song in a Letter”

The third video release from Blake Shippee’s new solo album, It All Started from a Whisper, was produced by Laura Jean.

Loaves and Fishes Zine

Last semester, my students did a research project on Loaves and Fishes. Now, a semester too late, I find this electronic archive of quarterly newsletters from 2010 to 2017.

Telling the Stories of Coming to Duluth at LSC

So I sat around a table in the Intercultural Center at Lake Superior College, filling my belly with food from Zhong Hua and filling my heart with stories of people coming to Duluth. It was all part of “We are here. Hear us.”

Def Leppard at the DECC Arena in 1999

In 1999 I was living in Minneapolis, listening to the Legendary Pink Dots. In Duluth, Def Leppard was playing. The audio is available on the Internet Archive.

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