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Paul Lundgren Posts

We Just Left Her There to Die Alone

When I was a little idiot West Duluth kid in the early 1980s there were many constructive things for juvenile brats to do. Fighting or just generally acting tough was probably the number one pastime, followed by hanging out on the railroad tracks and throwing taconite pellets at each other. When that got boring there were always guns and wrist rockets to load with those pellets.

We also enjoyed riding our bikes to the market, stealing things and breaking them, listening to satanic heavy-metal music and verbally assaulting each other with complete insensitivity. You know, normal kid stuff.

There were also a few wholesome American activities weaved into the fabric of our youth. My friends and I liked to play sports and various chasing games like “Capture the Flag” and “Tin-can Alley.”

All of it really just falls into the category of fighting, though. Strength, speed, agility or physical force-of-will would generally determine the victor in any contest, and if it didn’t there would be an argument about it so the tougher kid could still come out on top. Since the element of strategy was always loosely involved, however, the winner could claim both physical and intellectual dominance. It was a pretty good way to establish and constantly reinforce a pecking order among the boys, but more than that it was an excellent way for the boys to prove how much better they were than the girls. Or so it seemed.

Kelley-How-Thomson Company of Duluth

Shown above are workers from the Kelley-How-Thompson Co. at Duluth’s Winter Frolic, circa 1926-1928. The tool and hardware wholesale business was headquartered at 231-237 S. Fifth Ave. W. — which would put it roughly where I-35 intersects the avenue between the DECC and Duluth Depot today. It produced a variety of hardware products, including a line marked with the trade name Hickory.

Postcards from Duluth’s Statue of Leif Erikson

The bronze Leif Erikson statue in Duluth was placed in 1956. It was designed by John Carl Daniels and sponsored by the Norwegian-American League. Erikson was a Norse explorer from Iceland and is considered the first known European to discover continental North America.

View of Minnesota Point from Duluth Hilltop

Photographer unknown, year unknown. This appears to have been shot from near the edge of the parking lot at the hilltop Central High School location.

Duluth: Birthplace of pie à la mode?

According to Wikipedia, pie à la mode was “invented and named by John Gieriet in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1885.” And there seems to be a preponderance of evidence backing up that claim. Yet it’s not a historical tidbit people in Duluth seem to know about.

Is it true? Well, let’s look at the facts and claims involved.

The March 26, 1885 issue of the Duluth Daily Tribune featured a grand opening advertisement for the Hotel la Perl which showed a menu that included vanilla ice cream and blueberry pie. And that, so the story goes, is the oldest known reference to pie à la mode.

Though the Wikipedia entry provides numerous references, none of that support material seems to be available on the internet … until now. This Perfect Duluth Day post is serving as a collecting ground for items helping to prove or debunk the unheralded legend. The first thing we need is a copy of the 1885 newspaper ad. (Update: It has been found and can be seen below in the second comment to this post.

Duluth Ferry by Francis Chapin

Lithograph published by the Walker Galleries of New York, circa 1938.

Mystery Photo #55: Duluth Miniature Farm

Thanks to the labeling we know this miniature farm was located at a Conrad Service Station in Duluth. But where specifically in Duluth? And when?

The Great Target Parking Lot Flood of 2007

Five years before Duluth’s most famous flood came Duluth’s least famous flood. Ten years ago today — Oct. 18, 2007 — heavy rainfall caused Miller Creek to swell and parking lot runoff to form a pool on the outer edge of Duluth’s Miller Hill Target store property. One driver managed to land in a sink hole; two Perfect Duluth Day contributors snapped photos. (Top photo by yours truly Paul Lundgren; bottom photos by Barrett Chase.)

Elevator Row at Rice’s Point in Duluth

Photographer unknown; date unknown.

Where very near Duluth?

For the 163rd installment of Perfect Duluth Day’s ultra-thrilling photo-trivia sensation “Where in Duluth?” we present this closeup shot of a rock with a distinguishing etching. It is located so close to the city border it’s hard to definitively say whether it’s technically in Duluth or not.

Describe where this rock is in the comments to become internet champion of the day.

Lost and Found Duluth Relics from Morgan Park and WDSM

Above are the letters that adorned the exterior wall near the entrance to Morgan Park School. They are for sale at Bauer Brothers salvage in Minneapolis. Below is an old WDSM-TV camera discovered at Axman Surplus in St. Paul.

Duluth’s Asian Lady Beetle Invasion of 2017

One minute, there are no “ladybugs” in Duluth. Then one sneaks up and nibbles your arm. Suddenly Asian lady beetles are swarming everywhere. And then it’s over. The 2017 invasion happened on the afternoon of Oct. 8.

Asian lady beetles tend to cluster and swarm when daylight hours shorten and a sudden warm spell occurs. They eat aphids while conditions allow, then they quickly disappear.

Video Archive: “Macho Man” Randy Savage 1987 Duluth promo

The World Wrestling Federation — now known as World Wrestling Entertainment — brought three cards to the Duluth Arena in 1987. The third of them happened 30 years ago today — Oct. 8, 1987. In the video clip above, Randy “Macho Man” Savage declares his enthusiasm for his first trip to the Zenith City.

Announcer Gene Okerlund mentions Bam Bam Bigelow and Nikolai Volkoff in his opening remarks, but neither of them appeared at the show.

The Amazing Story of the One Man Gang Middle Finger Photo

Thirty years ago I attended a World Wrestling Federation card at the Duluth Arena … because that’s something teenage boys did in 1987. I went with a group of friends that included Barrett Chase, who co-founded Perfect Duluth Day 16 years later. Seated directly behind us was a complete stranger. Eventually, the three of us ended up in business together … if you count goofing off on the internet as “business.” I certainly do.

As far as wrestling cards go, this one was pretty mediocre. “Macho Man” Randy Savage was in the main event, which was enough to make it worth the twelve bucks or whatever it cost to get in. A number of other well-known wrestling names were on the bill — Honky Tonk Man, Killer Khan, Junkyard Dog, Sherri Martel, Koko B. Ware, Dan Spivey — but the Macho Man was unequivocally the legend in the room.

Years later, all memory of who won or lost those wrestling matches faded. Barrett and I would end up going to five WWF cards in Duluth during a one-year timeframe spanning May 1987 to May 1988. Those events became mostly mashed together in our brains, but we could somewhat distinguish them by remembering main event matches or which other friends came with us to the shows.

Girls Wanted, Duluth, Minn.

This postcard was sent 105 years ago today, Oct. 6, 1912, to Miss Bell Hays in Plattsburgh, N.Y.