David Beard Posts

Halloween spookiness awaits at the Icebox Radio Theater

Recently, a post appeared on my Facebook feed announcing the Halloween season of the Icebox Radio Theater in a creepy way. Jeff Adams, artistic director of the community theatre company that records in International Falls but is heard around the world, wrote:

We’re finally ready to tell this story. Years ago when my daughter was still at home, we worked together on a photography project taking pictures of our century-old Minnesota home. When we exported the photos to a computer for editing, this image was among them.

9/11, on the 20th Anniversary of ten days after the events

It’s a week or so since 9/11, and the special issues of magazines unsold in the checkout lane are being reported unsold, stripped of their covers and reported destroyed. The television guide on my Roku is no longer choked with 9/11 documentaries and “looks back.” In fact, I can barely tell it happened.

I remember how difficult it was to return to normal after 9/11 — how many days it took before the late night shows could broadcast, for example. It feels like we snapped back awful fast this time.

Well, I didn’t. Here’s my last post on 9/11 for Perfect Duluth Day, looking at some writings, some poetry, after 9/11, talking about what life is like after.

9/10

I’m still talking around 9/11 as I write this series of posts. I am worried that any effort I put into converting my experience into words will diminish that experience.

Perhaps that’s what I see most of all in the Congressional records one year after 9/11. Below are bits and pieces from a joint session of Congress, held in New York, on the one-year anniversary of 9/11, where most everyone, except maybe Paul Wellstone, talks around 9/11.

9/6

After 9/11, I taught a class in the World Trade Center collapse, looking at it as a trauma but also as a failure of engineering. Mostly, this reflects my mental state in the years after the event:

How did this happen?

If it seemed a miracle to me that there could be two towers, reaching 110 stories into the sky, it seemed even more unthinkable that they fell down.

9/4

In retrospect, the weeks before 9/11 are almost better defined by the things I didn’t know. I didn’t know, really, how much people in the Middle East disliked, hated America and Americans, sure. And then there are smaller knowledges that I didn’t know — details of events and of governmental decisions that would become clear after the fact.

9/2

Port Authority Bus Terminal

Photo by Hudconja

I started visiting New York City while I was still a kid in Milwaukee. I used to hop the Greyhound at 10 p.m., catching the connecting bus in Chicago, to a layover, bus cleaning, and reboarding in Cleveland, where large numbers of Amish would board, too. From Cleveland to Pittsburgh to, I think, “King of Prussia” (avoiding Philly, I think).  From there into New York City, landing at the Port Authority.

Time of Waiting

I remember her waiting up for my father
To come home from God knows where
In a yellow cab at 2:00 A.M.
And waiting for me in the school parking lot
In our old blue station wagon
When whatever it was I was practicing for
Ran late …

And I remember her waiting for me
At the airport when I got back from Japan,
Waiting for everything to be all right,
Waiting for her biopsy results.
Waiting.

— George Bilgere, “Waiting”
 

Waiting for Cancer

In 1956, in On the Origin of Cancer Cells, Otto Warburg tried to pin down the causes for the “mysterious latency period of the production of cancer.” Fifty years later, in Genetic Progression and the Waiting Time to Cancer, Niko Beerenwinkel, Tibor Antal, David Dingli, Arne Traulsen, Kenneth W Kinzler, Victor E Velculescu, Bert Vogelstein, and Martin A Nowak replace the “mysterious latency period” with talk about a waiting period: they set out to “derive an analytical formula for the expected waiting time for the progression from benign to malignant tumor.” They started with a “normal” cell and predicted the number of mutations the cell will undergo. Based on the number of mutations, they could calculate how long it will take for a normal cell to produce a benign tumor and how long before those mutations produce a tumor that becomes malignant.

On Madweyaashkaa: Waves Can be Heard with Moira Villiard

Duluth artist Moira Villiard is interviewed in the Spring 2021 issue of Open Rivers, an online journal “that recognizes rivers in general, and the Mississippi River in particular, as space for timely and critical conversations about the intersections between biophysical systems and human systems.”

The topic of the interview is Villiard’s animated video collage, Madweyaashkaa: Waves Can Be Heard, which was projected in February on walls at the closed Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam in Minneapolis. The article can be read in the PDF version of the journal, beginning on page 50, or on a web page.

Art outside Wussow’s Concert Cafe and Zenith Bookstore

I parked to watch the new media installation by Daniel Benoit and Tom Moriarty. Below is the description from Facebook:

This installation is a pilot project initiated by the Duluth Public Arts Commission, with plans on the horizon for more rad art like this to be shown around Duluth 🌟

UMD literary magazine Roaring Muse reactivated

Cover of Roaring Muse.

From the story on UMD’s website:

UMD’s literary magazine Roaring Muse is a student-led magazine that was started in 1997 by UMD’s Literary Guild. Often including poetry, prose, and artwork, and edited by students, Roaring Muse sought to highlight the great work by UMD’s community, and at one point solicited submissions from community members outside the campus. Since its beginnings in ’97, the magazine has been published on and off and is currently back up and running.

The We All Belong Creativity Exhibit

The We All Belong Creativity Exhibit, an all-campus art show at the University of Minnesota Duluth with art, poetry and video makes its debut today. It is focused on the 2021 Summit on Equity, Race, & Ethnicity theme: “Being Antiracist, Doing Antiracism.”

Duluth is where cool musicians go to retire

Teenage Prayers photo by Orianna Riley from PopMatters.

Teenage Prayers is a band from my days in college radio in Milwaukee. KUMD and KUWS approach the college radio vibe, but in the 1990s, college radio was a thing, and Teenage Prayers was a part of the thing.

“Big Friendly Mike” was friend to many

Obits are not common on Perfect Duluth Day, but Mike Hruza wasn’t a common person. He was known to hundreds, thousands of Duluthians as “Big Friendly Mike” because he worked for decades selling games and comics, or because he played games and talked comics with anyone who would listen (including the times I sat next to him on the bus).

Cluttered and Trapped in a Strange World: On (Not) Writing During a Pandemic

Lake Superior Writers maintains a blog;  today’s post by Zomi Bloom is worth a look.

Cluttered and Trapped in a Strange World: On (Not) Writing During a Pandemic by Zomi Bloom<

Stormy or Calm

She called me after dinner. “I think I need to go to Bemidji. Something is wrong with Charlie.”

Charlie was her son, a slender, emo-goth kid, like I was when I was his age, but with a gregarious desire to be liked. Committed to social justice — as most middle schoolers seem to be, lately — Charlie was attending a language camp. The camp would end the next morning, so leaving that night was ahead of schedule.

“Swing by my place on the way there, and I will ride with you,” I told her.

She drove the first leg of the trip, down Highway 2 through Proctor into Grand Rapids, where we pulled over for gas. She called the camp to get clarification about why Charlie needed to be picked up. Was he sick? Food poisoning? Running a temperature? No. He had said some words that meant he had to leave the camp; he could not spend the night.

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