The alternative rock band They Might be Giants dropped a reference to Duluth on its self-titled debut album in 1986. Whether “the Big Duluth” mentioned in the lyrics to “Rabid Child” is supposed to be a clothing store or the nickname of a person or what, well, that’s up to the listener.
There are certain dignities and indignities that come with old age. Most of us would like to be considered wise, but we also want to run fast and be sex symbols. All of that is relative, of course. There are plenty of intelligent teenagers and elderly imbeciles. I ran a half marathon when I was 31 and people twice that age were passing me.
The word “old” is as relative as the attributes associated with it. You can join the American Association of Retired Persons at age 50, collect Social Security at 62 and retire from your job at a wide range of ages or never. I think I was 27 or 28 the first time one of my friends seriously commented that we were “getting old.”
Well, sure, we’re all getting old. But when are we actually old? Do our looks and physical/mental fitness have anything to do with it, or is “old” just a number?
I say it’s just a number, because I can’t, in seriousness, walk up to more wrinkled people my age and ask, “what’s it like to be so old?”
The day after the Fire of 1918, this hilarious sendup of the Spanish influenza outbreak appeared in the Duluth News Tribune. At the time there were a couple dozen cases in the city, and commissioners had adopted an emergency order closing public buildings to halt the spread. Within a couple weeks the disease would no longer be a joking matter; it killed 7,521 Minnesotans in 1918 alone.
This cabinet card photo is from the L.N. Liden studio at 1619 W. Superior St. in Duluth. Identifying people in this type of photo is obviously a difficult task that depends more on luck than research skills, but nonetheless we give it the ol’ Perfect Duluth Day try.
Thirty-nine years ago — Oct. 6, 1979 — Kiss played its third concert in Duluth, having previously appeared in 1974 and ’77. The band continued to “return” into the 1980s and ’90s, most recently performing in Duluth in 2016, when Paul Stanley tweeted that a certain Duluthian is “such a clearly miserable asshole.”
Those who attended the show in ’70 recall Judas Priest did not show up. John Cougar filled in and was purported booed.
Wonderland Resort was located about three miles northeast of Duluth, on the shore of Lake Superior and adjacent to Schmidt Creek. It was run by Jack and Joan Bates from 1968 to 1998 and their family still reminisces about the old days on a Wonderland Resort Facebook page.
As near as can be determined through web searches, “The Couple from Duluth” was composed by acclaimed bassist Jay Leonhart and was originally released on his 1984 album with Joe Beck titled There’s Gonna Be Trouble. The version above is a live recording from Leonhart’s 2015 album The Bass Lesson.
The old Swedish coffee cottage in Duluth’s Fond du Lac neighborhood was featured once before on Perfect Duluth Day in the post “Mystery Photo #16: Holm’s Kaffe Stuga.” It was located on Highway 23 at 123rd Ave. W.
Sure, you’ve heard stories of mysterious and unusual disappearances in West Duluth. What exactly happened to old so-and-so last night? Well, there’s a good chance your friend slipped into the Barmuda Triangle.