Seventy years ago — April 16, 1949 — Duluth was featured in The Saturday Evening Post as part of the magazine’s series on “America’s most colorful cities.” The lengthy article by Arthur W. Baum was the 65th in the series, and features photographs by Frank Ross.
The intro text reads: “Once a bleakly unpromising village, this now great grain and ore center has survived many a stunning setback — thereby making her smart-aleck detractors look foolish. The cheif hazard of life here is this: You never know when a wild bear will drop in for breakfast.”
The middle of Donald Trump’s presidency might be a strange time to make a pitch for establishing a new cabinet position. Or it might be the perfect time. Either way, I have little to lose by suggesting the new job is needed and insisting I’m the best person to fill it. A more rational and reputation-conscious president might not give my ideas serious consideration. The Trump Administration is likely the best hope I have for acquiring short-term autocratic power.
I’m not interested in any of the existing cabinet positions. Those jobs are pretty much filled anyway, although some are “acting” cabinet members — and it’s understood the door is figuratively revolving at the White House and heavily treated with WD-40.
The various secretaries, directors, ambassadors and administrators who serve at the pleasure of the president are already busy at work to make America as great as it was at some undefined point in the past, and they aren’t really clamouring for my help, but I do have a few simple ideas that could improve America and the whole planet Earth for that matter, and I feel like it would really only take me until noon on my first day at work to sort those things out. That would leave plenty of time for cleaning out my already empty desk after hearing on the news about the tweet announcing the termination of my employment.
Before delving into this month’s pitch for donations to keep the PDD Calendar chugging along, we’re taking a moment to offer a little tip on a different way to use it.
There are numerous ways to sort, filter, view and search events on the PDD Calendar. By default the calendar shows a list view in chronological order. That’s obviously the best way to look at what’s happening in the moment and scroll to the future. But there are three other view options — day, map and photo. We’ve never taken time to explain that before, because it’s always seemed obvious to us that list view is the best option. But our traffic statistics are starting to show more and more people using map view, so perhaps it’s time to mention it.
According to this postcard, Duluth Motel sat in some mysterious forest, perhaps offering the only toilet available for miles and miles. In reality, “Northwest’s Most Luxurious Motel” was near Denfeld High School and surrounded by West Duluth homes and businesses. A lush, undeveloped hillside was indeed in the distance, though not very similar looking to the illustration on the postcard.
The 21st annual Homegrown Music Festival is just a month away. The 100-page Field Guide, with all the who/what/when/where/why was trucked in from the printer this morning and will be available at local bars, restaurants and other businesses over the course of the next few days.
This year’s Homegrown will feature about 190 musical acts at more than 40 venues in Duluth and Superior. The festival runs April 28 to May 5. An updated schedule is on the Homegrown website at duluthhomegrown.org/schedule.
This photo of the Duluth, Missabe and Northern Railway ore docks in West Duluth is from Detroit Publishing Company. The Library of Congress dates the image as “between 1900 and 1915” and notes it shows “probably Dock No. 1 at left” and lists the three freighters in the foreground as George H. Russell, Sultan and James E. Davidson.
Like a bunch of old timers stuck in some newspaper-era, schedule-oriented, deadline-consumed mindset, the brain trust at Perfect Duluth has been locked for several years in the notion that every Friday we need to publish our Selective Focus feature and every Saturday we need to publish our Saturday Essay. No more. It was fine for a while, but we’re done with that rigid scheduling.
Apparently a person or entity named P.J. Kossett obtained a copyright in 1978 for the purpose of manufacturing “City Blocks,” a collection of “six puzzles of Duluth scenes.” Shown above is the Duluth Depot, aka St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center. Also featured in the puzzles: Leif Erikson Park, Ore boat entering harbor, Canal Park, Enger Tower and Spirit Mt. Ski Chalet.
The original version of the local anthem “I Like it in Duluth” appears on the 1976 self-titled album by the Moose Wallow Ramblers. The late John Berquist penned the song. Joining him in the band were Greg and Charlotte Ham. Numerous versions of the song have been recorded by other acts over the years; a few are presented below.
In late September 2018 it would have been a challenge to read a newspaper or watch a television news program without encountering the phrase “Devil’s Triangle.” In case anyone has already forgotten, I’ll briefly explain. It was related to Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the United States Supreme Court and Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against him. With Kavanaugh’s character in question, everything about him became subjected to analysis, including his 1983 high school yearbook, where the phrase “Devil’s Triangle” appeared in a long list of Kavanaugh’s accomplishments meshed with a slew of inside jokes.
This is a pretty typical thing. My own 1991 high school yearbook lists my involvement in luge. My high school didn’t have an official luge team, of course. But the entry isn’t entirely a joke. I organized several sledding events with my peers — just the traditional riding of orange Paris and red Norca plastic sleds down the hills of Duluth. We referred to ourselves as the Denfeld High School Luge Team.
As you can probably guess, the odds are 100 percent in favor of a search for “luge, sex term” on the internet generating an eye-opening result. It turns out that mentioning in my yearbook the simple act of going sledding with my friends could be interpreted as bragging about fellatio skills.