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Eddy Gilmore Posts

Meet Emily Larson, Duluth’s next mayor

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Ever on the lookout to meet interesting people, I reached out to Emily Larson a few days before the election by attempting to invite myself over for dinner with the family. To sweeten the deal, I offered to assist with meal prep and do the dishes. Wishing to protect the privacy of her family, she declined my generous offer. She did, however, carve out nearly two hours from her busy schedule for the sake of an unconventional interview. In the process, I acquired a friend. You can read more from my exclusive interview at Ed’s Big Adventure.

Cornucopia 2015: A Remarkable Harvest!

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A week ago we hosted an outstanding event at the Red Herring Lounge: Cornucopia 2015. The evening featured some of the best live music our area has to offer, both Emily Larson and Don Ness, live painting, tap dance, local brews, and more. Unbridled joy, like running with wild horses, marked the evening. A goal was to showcase and celebrate the abundant talent our area produced in 2015. This year’s harvest, if you will. Additionally, we wanted everyone to experience just how accessible these local “celebrities” really are. There are no little people. You can read more about this one-of-a-kind evening, the busiest Tuesday ever at the Red Herring Lounge, at Ed’s Big Adventure.

Painting Charlie Parr’s guitar, and who the heck is Dave Hundrieser?

Charlie Parr's Guitar

My wife, Shawna Gilmore, has an interesting job. Today, for example, she painted the back of Charlie Parr’s amazing guitar. The instrument is a phenomenal work of art, both front and back. Next Tuesday is a great opportunity to come out and hear Charlie make music with it alongside his good buddy, Dave Hundrieser. Read more about Charlie and Dave, and see the garage they recorded in together previously, at Ed’s Big Adventure.

By the way, Teague Alexy, Tin Can Gin, Don Ness, Emily Larson, a stunning tap dancer, and I, will also be participating in Cornucopia at the Red Herring Lounge. Check out this amazing event on Facebook/a> and the PDD Calendar.

Positive Energy Outdoors seeks help

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Can you imagine spending your honeymoon with 16 sled dogs? The founders of Positive Energy Outdoors did just that. It is emblematic of how Stephanie Love and Blake Cazier have devoted their lives to their mission of making outdoor education and exploration accessible to everyone, regardless of income level. Pictured above are two champions. On your left is Stephanie, and on your right stands SOTA, a champion lead sled dog who has won the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

As many of you saw in the Duluth News Tribune recently, they face the potential closure of this popular outdoor education center if they cannot resolve a dispute with Fredenberg Township involving access to public lands. All of us in St. Louis County have a stake in this matter. After all, it was our own county board of commissioners who gifted this land to the township with the understanding that everyone currently using the land would continue to be allowed to do so. Please consider signing their petition.

To learn more about this incredible nonprofit organization, located a scant 15 miles from Duluth, check out my current post on Ed’s Big Adventure. Please help to keep this valuable center of outdoor activity alive.

Inefficient, Crazy and Utterly Delicious

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Recently I was treated to a 90-minute interview with Tom Hanson in his office just off the kitchen of Duluth Grill, beyond the secret sauces and fresh ingredients. What I learned continues to blow my mind. The resulting column, accessible through the Duluth Budgeteer, barely scratches the surface in observing how he continues to utterly defy conventional wisdom. I quickly came to the conclusion that if he were the CEO of any large corporation he would have been given his walking papers years ago. Happily, it ain’t so, and we’re left with one of the Duluthiest establishments in town.

You can view an expanded version with numerous photos on Ed’s Big Adventure.

Free Train Rides

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There are two opportunities to enjoy free train rides on the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad on Sept. 23. Departures are at 2 and 6 p.m. The century-old coaches have capacity for 130 riders each trip, so arrive early! More info on the PDD Calendar and Facebook.

Save the LS&M Railroad for the enjoyment of future generations

Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad

The struggling Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad in West Duluth has persevered against all odds as a scenic, historic railroad since 1980 despite receiving virtually no public subsidies. Running on the very first tracks to enter Duluth, dating back to 1870, 145 unbroken years of history are on the line right now. A dedicated all-volunteer group, none of whom has ever received a paycheck, is keeping this history alive. The railroad costs the city virtually nothing, has proven to be largely self-sufficient, and is an irreplaceable treasure that needs community input in order to survive the massive cleanup now being planned for the U.S. Steel site near Morgan Park. The two newspaper columns linked below will shade things in a bit for you. Take a trip on the LS&M during one of the next six weekends or you just might miss your chance, forever.

Duluth Budgeteer: Save the train for future generations

Duluth News Tribune: Massive cleanup plan emerging for U.S. Steel site in Duluth

The Power of Place

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Place matters. It is our soil for sinking roots. Each contribution—150 years of them in Duluth—has been like individual leaves falling to the ground, gradually producing a rich, alluvial-like cultural soil.

We are all responsible for conserving culture, while simultaneously adding to its richness.

Economy and culture in the Twin Ports, though the two need not be distinguished, is increasingly based on neighborliness rather than on a cutthroat sense of competition.

Read the full column for some simple suggestions to spur us on:

Eddy Gilmore: “The power of place”

A tale of three organic farms defying the odds, and one on the way

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I am enjoying a short stint as an author-in-residence at the Food Farm. What fascinates me most about my stay here is that there are several young couples in their 30s choosing organic farming as a legitimate career and lifestyle, though they endure long odds and poverty wages. Learn more about a cross-section of this remarkable community that provides the Duluth area with great food here. Today I was amazed during a short visit at Northern Harvest Farm, and also at Stone’s Throw Farm just across the street. The perseverance of these people is unbelievable. There are lessons here for all of us in choosing our lifestyle rather than letting one choose us.

Our very own “odd couple” produces food and art organically

Annie and Janaki

Annie Dugan and Janaki Fisher-Merritt are two of the most fascinating individuals I’ve ever met. When considering that they are forged together in the partnership of marriage, farming, and as catalysts of unique art, the combined effect is like lightning captured in a bottle. Duluth is beyond fortunate to have them influencing our lives in unique and whimsical ways. Learn about the masterminds behind the Food Farm, Free Range Film Festival, the Duluth Art Institute, and more, here.

Getting to know Adam Swanson

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My quest to network and develop friendships within our local community of artists continues. In advance of Adam Swanson’s upcoming opening reception at the Great Lakes Aquarium later this week, read more about this fascinating local artist here.

A Window Into Food Farm’s Soul

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The day before yesterday I pedaled 60 miles roundtrip to make an appearance in a Kickstarter video for the Food Farm CSA. An image I’ll leave you with is spandex and rubber boots.

Read more about this fascinating place here.

Charlie Parr: guitar virtuoso, friend, barefoot prophet

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Charlie Parr is one of the most unusual and fascinating individuals I’ve ever met. He has lived in my neighborhood for years, but for some reason I hadn’t summoned the courage required to knock on his door until only recently. Finding him to be as accessible as an open book, I unexpectedly encountered a kindred spirit while making a friend. I don’t come across many kindred spirits, so this is worth writing home about.

Read more about this fascinating, one-of-a-kind soul here.