Jim Richardson (aka Lake Superior Aquaman) Posts

The Wreck of the Adella Shores

On April 29, 1909, the Adella Shores was bound for Duluth with a cargo of 9,200 barrels of salt. The ship never arrived. Disappearing in a gale off Whitefish Point, Michigan, the location of the 195-foot wreck remained one of the lake’s unsolved mysteries. But the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum has found it.

A Video Journal of Lake Superior

This video ran on a loop at the Duluth Art Institute’s “Water Works” show June 20 to Aug. 25, 2013. It hadn’t made it to the internet yet.

Dollhouse City Streets

The latest video from Dollhouse City.

Dollhouse City Streets

This is the new Richardson brothers project, a Youtube channel devoted to the dollhouse city we built with our lifelong toy collection. The channel is just getting started but we’ve already got a ton of Dollhouse City content on Allen’s Instagram @blackobelisk. Here is how we describe it on Youtube:

Build a Goddamn Bob Dylan Statue Already

For real, I think there needs to be more serious discussion about a Duluth Bob Dylan statue. He’s the (checks notes) greatest songwriter in the world (the Nobel Prize people compared him to Homer and Blake), and Duluth is his (checks notes again) literal birthplace. Where did I read — perhaps buried in the epic comments of this PDD Facebook post — that local/regional Dylan relatives disfavor statues, as opposed to a nice plaque or something? An MPR article cites “a Dylan family member” who states a preference for educational work instead. I get it. But Dylan must have dozens of relatives, did we ask them all? Do we have to ask any of them, since Dylan belongs to the world?

I also get that statues are falling out of favor and may become problematic. The meaning of a statue can change. Maybe it would be better to just name a street, or a music center, or erect a plaque — something you can quietly change up or take down in a hurry if history reverses on you. But respectfully, I worry that plaques and manhole covers are simply too boring to honor the greatest songwriter in the world besides Taylor Swift.

You think Taylor Swift will only get some nice manhole covers? You think they won’t build a statue in her hometown by the time she’s Dylan’s current age of 82?

Jesus Christ Meets Bob Dylan in a Hotel Room in Tucson, 1978

Bob: I’m ready to accept you, Lord.

Jesus: Not so fast there Bob. I need you to do something first.

Bob: Name it Lord.

Jesus: I need you to rub out Jimmy Gravante.

Bob (stunned): The hitman?

Jesus: Your successor in the Duluth family, after you got out and became — this (gestures around). You know Jimmy — the sniper who blew you off your motorcycle in 1966 in Woodstock.

Bob: He hit the bike, man, not me. Sniper my ass.

Jesus: I’m going to need you to check your tone.

Bob: I’m sorry Lord. It’s just that he wasn’t even at 200 yards. He’s more like a potshot expert than a sniper. And my divorce is killing me. I just got off a world tour and my adrenal glands feel squeezed dry like little raisins. Think I’m coming down with something (sniffles).

Bob Dylan on Duluth and Minnesota

Some Duluthians think Bob Dylan hates Duluth and Minnesota. What has Bob Dylan actually said?

I’d heard rumors Dylan was a Duluth hater, but then I read the liner notes to his 1974 album Planet Waves, where he wrote: “Duluth! Duluth — where Baudelaire Lived/& Goya cashed in his Chips, where Joshua brought/the house down!” These are not the words of someone who hates Duluth. These words lionize the city in terms of literature and mythology. A song on the album mentions Duluth too. From “Something There is About You“: “Thought I’d shaken the wonder/And the phantoms of my youth/Rainy days on the great lakes/Walkin’ the hills of old Duluth.” Duluth as a city of wonder and phantoms: who among us cannot relate?

Growing up in Hibbing, Dylan had family in Duluth and Superior. As a teen he went to Minneapolis more and more, and that became his jumping-off point to the world. But the Northland never left him. From his autobiography Chronicles, Volume One (2004 edition), one reads many references to Duluth, Hibbing, Minneapolis, and Minnesota as a whole.

Lake Superior’s Warming Waters

Lots of Duluth up in here.

My phone call with Kathy Cargill

Star Tribune on Homegrown kicking off without the mayor

Attention Billionaires: Get Bent

“And, for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.”

― William Gibson, Count Zero

Attention billionaires: get bent. As the recent “Cheerios” kerfuffle illustrates, Minnesota billionaire Karen Kathy Cargill is acting like a terrible neighbor in Duluth. Google her name to see the universally bad press she has unleashed upon herself. Basically, Mayor Roger Reinert had the temerity to point out that Cargill was not actually being helpful, and she ran crying to the Wall Street Journal, like ya do. It was there Cargill laid bare her toxic billionaire’s view of the world: “The good plans that I have down there […] forget it […] I think an expression that we all know — don’t pee in your Cheerios — well, [Reinert] kind of peed in his Cheerios right there, and definitely I’m not going to do anything to benefit that community.” Imperious much? Get bent.

Duluth Island

The discovery of a scale model of Duluth, carved from black coral on a desert island in the South Pacific, sent shockwaves through the scientific community. The miniature cityscape lay in a hand-excavated chamber under the sand, on an uninhabited, unnamed island only half the size of a city block. The flat, round expanse of sand, if noticed at all by distant ships, seems featureless. At twenty feet above sea level, it fully submerges in some storm surges, and might not survive climate change’s rising seas. First appearing on maps in 1941 with a numerical designation, it was not explored until 2015. That’s when a team of American biologists, following a tagged sea turtle, navigated a black reef and set foot on what is now known as Duluth Island.

Sea turtles and sea birds liked the island well enough. It had no trees or flora visible from off its tiny shores, but up close it was seen to support beach grass and some shrubs. The thought of human habitation was so impossible it didn’t cross anyone’s mind until one of the team noticed a square slab of black coral in the island’s dead center. It measured thirty inches by thirty inches and was at least a few inches thick, set into the sand. It was either subsuming into the sand or emerging from it. The object, obviously the product of human labor, remained unexplained as the biologists departed.

R.I.P. Burly Burlesque

Rest in peace Burly Burlesque, aka Ben Larson, one of Duluth’s best vocalists, lyricists and performers. According to the comments on the Facebook post which broke the news, he died in his sleep. He was newly a father, and a Go Fund Me has been set up to help support his family during this terrible time.

Burly and I weren’t friends but there was a time when we were friendly and familiar in the arts and music scene. I remember seeing him perform for the first time circa 2003. He comprised one-third of the band Crew Jones, and when they hopped up on stage at Pizza Lucé I was like, “Who are these weirdos?” But then they showed me and everybody. Their album Who’s Beach dropped around then; everyone I know from those days speaks of it in reverent tones as a work of genius. A firehose of creativity, the band (Burly, Ray the Wolf, and Mic Trout) all brought their A-game. Their live performances did no less. The album became a must-have and their shows were a must-see. No one could believe these white dudes rapping about life in northern Minnesota could be so legit but there you have it. Like all of the band’s lyrics, Burly’s writing was something great; he was also a master freestyler with an outsized stage presence.

The Northland Sportsmen’s Club Wild Game Dinner

Review by Max Grace, former professor of molecular gastronomy at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Northland Sportsmen’s Club Wild Game Dinner
40th Annual All You Can Eat
Saturday, Sept. 28, 2023. Dinner at 6 p.m., drawing at 7.
Duluth Farmers Market, Duluth MN — as fine a farmers market as you could find in the U.S.!
$15 adult, $5 children under 10

~Silent Auction~
All proceeds to charity

Serving venison, bear, beaver, pheasant, duck, goose, salmon and other fish, along with wild rice and many other exotic dishes.

Thank you for your support!

Raffle: Ticket price $5. Tickets available from club members and at the dinner.
– 1st Prize: Henry Golden Boy brass-framed 45-70 lever action rifle
– 2nd Prize: Deep-fryer kit ($800 value)
– 3rd Prize: $200 cash
Many other prizes will be drawn at the Wild Game Dinner

The long rustic-red Farmers Market shack stood on bare dirt. A sunken glade of lower Chester Creek gurgled down below the treeline at the edge of the lot. The trees, conflicted about turning, flirted with the idea. Under a Jovian umber and orange cloudscape, I bought ticket #452 at a gate of day-glo-pink plastic web fencing.

The Lost Coast and the Ghost Choir of Mount Shasta

My one unexplained “paranormal” encounter happened on a trip to the so-called Lost Coast of Northern California. I camped there the summer of 1994 with my girlfriend Mary, in one of our relationship’s great death spasms. Near the end of this expedition, I heard the singing of a ghostly choir in the woods around Mount Shasta. It was singing Mary said she couldn’t hear.

This vacation was important to us. Austin transplants, we’d been cooped up at retail jobs in the Berkeley-Oakland sprawl for a year. We hadn’t explored the wilds of California like it really deserved. So when she caught wind of the Lost Coast, we arranged a matching week off to go find it.

We drove north from the Bay Area in her white Chrysler minivan. We were listening to a mixtape of J.J. Cale, perfect road music with his driving early drum machine sound: “They call me the breeze, I keep blowing down the road.” We also had some Jerry Garcia Band, which we’d been seeing at the Warfield during its unofficial residency. And, we were still coming to terms with Kurt Cobain’s suicide a couple months prior, three days before my 25th birthday. His widow’s album Live Through This was released within days and we were listening to that too. We couldn’t believe she recorded the line “Someday you will ache like I ache” months before he died. Now that line screamed across the radio like live anguish. So those were the vibes.