May 2023 Posts

Duluth kids use miniature nuclear reactor for stickball backstop

Duluth is name-dropped in the new Netflix action/comedy series FUBAR, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, which premiered last week. In episode 4, titled “Armed & Dane-gerous,” the regional Central Intelligence Agency director informs a team of operatives that a medical glass manufacturer in Duluth went bankrupt and left a miniature nuclear reactor in the basement, where kids used it as a backstop for their stickball game.

Lake Superior Writers 2023 writing contest winners announced

Lake Superior Writers has announced the winners of its 2023 writing contest. There were nearly 200 entries focused on this year’s theme of “Connections.” First place winners in each category received $200 and their works can be read online at

Navigating at Home

Katya Gordon of Two Harbors is in the new Minnesota Women’s Press.

The 2023 Half-Moon Pack of Wolf Pups

The 2023 Half-Moon wolf pack has seven pups and all appear to be in good shape.

The Voyageurs Wolf Project is focused on understanding the summer ecology of wolves in Voyageurs National Park, about 100 miles north of Duluth. Donations to its annual fundraiser help study how many of these pups survive to adulthood and pays for the equipment that captures footage like this. Donations can be made via

Miller Music Company: Photos from the Estate of Ben B. Miller

One century ago the Miller Brothers opened Miller Music Company at 8 W. First St. in Duluth’s Spina Building. According to the Kathryn A. Martin Library’s Archives & Special Collections at the University of Minnesota Duluth, “Abe Miller was a violinist and the manager of the Duluth Symphony for 37 years beginning in 1932. Ben was an assistant manager of Northern Drug prior to launching the music store in 1922.”

PDD Quiz: May 2023

As the Northland shifts into summer mode, see how many May 2023 headlines you remember with this week’s current events quiz!

Hartley Park will be the subject of the next PDD quiz, which comes your way on June 11. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by June 7.

Times I Was Secretly High: An Apology Letter

Well, it looks like it’s finally going to be legal to smoke weed for funsies in Minnesota, which is terrific news for all of the people languishing in jail for smoking or dealing weed for funsies in Minnesota. Law is the ultimate example of the abject arbitrariness of reality: we have an entire system of rules and consequences established around the specious assertion that smoking weed, and all practices associated with it are, well, objectively bad. And not just rules and consequences, an elaborate — and until very recently, shared — ethos that avers a deep and persistent truth: using marijuana is dangerous and wrong. What a hoot.

Being a human is such absurdity, most of the time — how does anyone keep a straight face? Like so many of you, I have struggled with some of the more frittersome or idiosyncratic morae introduced as inalienable verities: men do this, women are that, and you’re either one or the other; these are the ways we cover our bodies with cloth, but these ways are terrible and wrong; these animals are great to eat, but these ones are friends … Sometimes, the whole world seems like a very elaborate game of make believe we’re all playing together. Through the right lens, even the houses we live in, with two sinks in the bathrooms, secret refrigerators, walk-in closets — it’s all like some fantastical fever dream.

Advertisements from the Duluth Public Library Nostalgic Newsstand Sale: Frigidaire

The Duluth Public Library’s Nostalgic Newsstand Sale was a source of many things to write about. Here is another advert from my collection of now-recycled magazines.

Matchbooks from Duluth Hotels and Motels

Modern and fireproof, featuring the finest food and liquors, located at the center of everything and on the shore of beautiful Lake Superior, containing all possible comforts and conveniences, with lodging available for the whole family, they are the classic hotels and motels of Duluth.

This is the fourth in Perfect Duluth Day’s series of matchbook collection posts. As always, we remind everyone to please close the cover before striking.

Minnesota Historia: The Magic of Smelting

Explore Minnesota’s love affair with smelt, the shimmering silver fish that’s easy to catch and fun to eat. Now that Lake Superior’s smelt population is in decline, an annual parade in downtown Duluth keeps that love alive.

Minnesota Historia is a PBS North web series dedicated to Minnesota’s quirky past. It is hosted by Hailey Eidenschink and produced/edited/written by Mike Scholtz.

Mystery Photo: Perhaps a Duluth Fraternal Group from 1908

This image is from a postcard mailed 115 years ago today — May 23, 1908 — available for sale on ebay. It’s been touched up a bit here for easier viewing. The obvious mystery is what organization the people in the photo belong to.

The item is listed on eBay as “1908 RPPC Duluth Minnesota College Club Vintage Postcard MN Land Point Idaho ID.” The “college club” part of that is clearly speculative. Many of the men have sashes and badges that suggest perhaps they are part of a fraternal club like the Odd Fellows.

Advertisements from the Duluth Public Library Nostalgic Newsstand Sale: The Sportsman Magazine

Sportsman Magazine Ad

The Duluth Public Library’s Nostalgic Newsstand Sale was a source of many things to write about.

100 Giant Colossal Statues of Bob Dylan

The Committee for Giant Colossal Statues of Bob Dylan, Duluth’s premier Bob Dylan monuments organization, remains hard at work designing giant colossal statues of Bob Dylan.

Video Archive: Trinity Lutheran Church circa 1943

This roughly 80-year-old film features scenes at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1108 E. Eighth St. in Duluth’s East Hillside neighborhood. Also in the film are a nearby market, the Kenwood Community Club and a building under construction.

Advertisements from the Duluth Public Library Nostalgic Newsstand Sale: To the Orient on Canadian Pacific

One of the cooler things about the adverts from the Duluth Public Library Nostalgic Newsstand Sale are the ads for travel on the train. Before planes, before interstates, the train was ubiquitous for travel. I love this ad for “To the Orient on Canadian Pacific.”

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!