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).
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.
Avesa Rockwell and Jeremy Kershaw have been consulted as experts on bicycling in Shape Magazine. Kershaw and Rockwell lead Heck of the North, a company that plans events for adventuresome bicyclists, such as Le Grand du Nord, Heck Bikepacking Race and Heck of the North.
“Unconstrained, unbiased, and driven for the truth, follow us as we use journalism to tell the untold stories of Minnesota,” reads the description on Apple Podcasts. “Join your Co-hosts, Sarah Knieff and Izabel Johnson, for weekly episodes released on Tuesdays!”
There are people in today’s society for whom racism and marginalization are a constant and persistent problem. I have seen it on the streets of our cities. I have seen it in the hallways of our universities. Unfortunately, racism is alive and rampant in our country, and there are people who are being crushed to powder under its millstone. They are broken, they are hurting, and they are weary. THEY are the ones who need our ministry right now.
According to David Syring, “The night train — a metaphor for where we are during the global crisis of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This video offers a visual and musical metaphor for the sense that we are all immersed in this together as a global society, and we don’t know where the train is going.”
As the pandemic seems to lose steam in Minnesota (if not the rest of the country — I’m looking at you, Superior) some of the live streaming music events have started to move back into real venues.
So looking for music, I was happy to discover that the 9:00 Meltdown, which used to be my background music on KUWS, is still available on Soundcloud, with new episodes. This one opens with a song whose refrain is “I’ll be your teenage bride,” which is not indicative of how cool the rest of the interview is.
Former Duluthian Michael Fedo was interviewed about the anniversary of the lynchings in Duluth for an article in Smithsonian, the journal published by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Over the years, the horror of June 15, 1920, when three black men were lynched by a white mob in Duluth, faded away behind a “collective amnesia,” says author Michael Fedo. Faded away, at least, in the memories of Duluth’s white community.
In the 1970s, when Fedo began researching what would become The Lynchings in Duluth, the first detailed accounting of the night’s events, he met resistance from witnesses who were still alive. “All of them said, gee, why are you dredging this up again? All of them except the African American community in Duluth. It was part of their oral history, and all of those families knew of this event,” Fedo recalls.