Barrett Chase Posts

Do you remember Fox Night?

In Great Britain, Nov. 4 is Fawkes Night, but in Duluth in the 1970s and ’80s, the night before Halloween was “Fox Night.” It was a warm-up for Halloween, with no costumes and no candy — instead it focused entirely on vandalism and mischief.

I’ve talked to plenty of people about this, and for the most part, people don’t know what I’m talking about. But people who grew up in a certain time in a certain place know it all too well. And it’s interesting to think about how this happened. How did Guy Fawkes Night make its way to the Midwest, change its date, and alter its name for this brief period of time?

Duluth was not alone in the celebration, if you can call it that. Wikipedia calls it Mischief Night, and pins it down as a primarily East Coast phenomenon with roots reaching back to the 18th century. It lists many alternative names, but does not mention Fox Night.

  • Hackers Night
  • Goosey Night
  • Cabbage Night
  • Gate Night
  • Mat Night
  • Devil’s Night
  • Mischievous Night
  • Miggy Night
  • Tick-Tack Night
  • Corn Night
  • Trick Night
  • Micky Night
  • Cabbage Stalk Night
  • Mizzy Night

In 2003, a bunch of PDDers brought back an adult version of Fox Night, which was basically barhopping while acting like a jerk. If memory serves, it involved a lot of duct tape and firecrackers.

So what are your memories of Fox Night? Did you participate? Were you ever toilet papered, egged, or soaped? When did it originate here? When did it end?

How many pay phones are left in Duluth?

pay telephoneAh, the once-ubiquitous pay telephone. I remember when they could be found on every major street corner, but if I needed one today, I would have no idea where to find one.

Are there any pay phones left in Duluth? If so, where? Confirm their existence by commenting below, but please post only current confirmations. If you have a vague memory of one existing a few years ago, that doesn’t count.

Jesse “The Body” Ventura and his Soldiers of Fortune Band: Live at the Cove in 1986

Jesse Ventura and his Soldiers of Fortune Band

Where in Duluth?

Hey, St. Paul, are you okay?

St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman giggles through last Thursday’s mayoral candidate forum as we hear from his opponents Sharon Anderson, (who seems to be taking the pro-bubble-wrap platform) and Kurt Dornfeld (who for some reason sees it a fitting place to make a dick joke).

No parking on Central Avenue

I just noticed this No Parking sign on Central Avenue near Nicollet Street. While I don’t think I’ve ever seen a car parked on this block (there’s really no reason to park there as there are no houses or businesses on that block), I think I’d be pretty irked if I got a ticket for parking there.

Low covers Rihanna’s “Stay”

iTunes proceeds go to Rock for Kids.

John Mark Nelson – “The Moon and Stars”

John Mark Nelson’s video, “The Moon and Stars,” shot in Duluth aboard the William A. Irvin, is getting some MTV love.

To the OG PDDers

On this 10th anniversary of the first PDD post, I would like to thank the original members of Perfect Duluth Day who were there at the start, helping to transform this site from a mere idea to what it’s become today:

Where in Duluth?


This one seems to have the Where in Duluth? Facebook group stumped. I’ve been kind of stingy with hints, though. I’ll tell you what I told them: 1) It’s outside. 2) It’s farther west than Kemps Dairy in the West End.

Ok … go!

Where in Duluth?

I’m giving no hints. If this goes unsolved, so be it.

Superiorites and Pizza Lovers

I’ve asked a few friends and associates about this with unsatisfactory results, so I thought I’d throw it out there for the PDD community to mull over.

In the early 90s (1990-1993), I remember going to a pizza place in Superior, but I can’t remember what it was called. Here’s what I remember about it:

  • It was open late at night.
  • It was kind of grimy and dark inside.
  • It offered a large variety of toppings. For example, I remember getting shrimp and cashews a few times. I think they also offered sauerkraut as a topping.
  • I don’t think it was a chain.

Does anyone remember a restaurant like that?

Who won Homegrown 2013?

Who won Homegrown 2013?

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This poll is now closed. The results were:

Wolf Blood – 11.2 percent
The Blasphemists – 8.4 percent
Bratwurst – 7.4 percent
Big Wave Dave & the Ripples – 3.7 percent
The Boomchucks – 3.7 percent
Various other bands – 65.6 percent

Note: Only people who were logged in to their Perfect Duluth Day blogging account were allowed to vote (to prevent people from voting multiple times). To create an account, click here. If you need help figuring it out, click here.

Homegrown Banjo Breakdown

If you hang out on PDD or Facebook or the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street long enough, you’ll hear a Duluth musician complain about how many banjos there are in the local music scene. Personally, I’ve heard Duluth referred to as “the banjo capital of the world,” and I’ve heard people say — not even jokingly — that it’s almost impossible to spend a night in the local music venues without hearing a banjo. On one hand, I understand what they are saying, but on the other hand, it seems like tremendous hyperbole.

The purpose of this post is to try and figure out, as accurately as possible, the percentage of bands playing Homegrown that feature a banjo, and to discuss whether or not that percentage is an excessive amount of banjos.

Low at 20

In yesterday’s story in the DNT, Alan Sparhawk, sound engineer Eric Swanson, musicians Marc Gartman, Amy Abts and Tony Bennett, and Low’s former nanny Scott “Starfire” Lunt all weigh in on the band’s 20 years of music.

It’s a great conversation and it’s one I think is worth continuing here as Low commemorates its second decade in the business and its 10th studio album, which hits the shelves on Tuesday.

What are your favorite Low memories, whether you know the band or you’re just a fan of their music?

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