David Beard Posts

Beargrease Cutest Puppy Contest

Much squee at the Cutest Puppy Competition at Fitgers.

Which one did you vote for?

“One uses arm drags while the other uses artifacts, but the two perform the same function: They’re both vehicles for storytelling.”

The artifacts…

Terrance Griep is a Minnesota writer and wrestler who makes frequent trips to Duluth (see stories on PDD here and here). He’s subject of an art exhibit at the MSP airport; visit when you catch a connecting flight.

Duluth Trivia Deck, January Fifteenth Edition

From the Duluth trivia deck scored at Savers. Thanks to those who have corrected the previous entries and discussed them with vigor. I learned a lot.

a. Who was Duluth’s first mayor?

b. What was the name of the first ship to pass through the Duluth Ship Canal?

c. In what year was the Duluth Bethel Society founded?

d. In what year did the Duluth Board of Trade organize? (The link is about the building, not the organization.)

e. Who developed the Lake Vermilion Iron Fields?

f. When the Duluth Street Railway opened in 1881, how much did it cost to ride in one of its mule-drawn cars?

g. What part of Duluth was known as a “Hay Fever Haven“?

h. What did the City of Duluth do when it was found that its Lake Superior water had asbestiform particles which are linked to cancer?

i. What was Soroptimist International?

j. This one feels like it might be suspect: What was the first church in the Village of West Duluth?

k. True or False: Duluth once had a Duluth Toboggan and Snowshoe Association?

Open Skating at Duluth Heritage Sports Center

Image from the Heritage Center website

For New Year’s, I never make resolutions. But I do point myself toward new things that feed me.

Ice skating.

I went to the Heritage Center for City of Duluth Open Skate.

Duluth Trivia (January)

From the Duluth Trivia deck I found in a game at Savers.

  1. How long has Duluth had a Symphony Orchestra?
  2. The DSSO produced opera annually for 26 years. Which conductor began this tradition and in what year?
  3. Where does the “concertmaster” of the DSSO sit?
  4. What year did “Fitger’s on the Lake” open?
  5. What year did the Fitger’s Brewery close?
  6. How many years was the old brewery in continuous operation?
  7. Who was Margaret Culkin Banning?
  8. Who said that “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in Duluth”?
  9. Where in Duluth is the important collection of Eastman Johnson paintings housed?
  10. What was the Hjemkomst?

The Gay Agenda on the UMD Campus

On Dec. 4 I heard a reading of Suzannah Weiss‘s The Gay Agenda on the UMD campus.

The work is intended as a web series. When I was a student, creative writing students held ambitions to be seen by a dozen people in a one-act play on campus. Today, new media gives everyone with a talent for words an opportunity to be seen by thousands. As a result, talented young people can be alive with an ambition that I never saw as a student.

“Sea Smoke” from the Hot Tub on the North Shore

I left Duluth for Bluefin Bay in the late afternoon, after dropping off my mail at the UMD post office (where the lines are shorter than the Mount Royal office by a lot).

Celebrating a Birthday, Duluth Style

Over the course of a week, I celebrated my birthday, Duluth-style. In sharing the story with you, I celebrate the things about Duluth I like.

Donating a Car to Community Action Duluth (with Reflection)

Last week, my ex-wife and I planned to get rid of her old car, still stored in my garage for the four years since she moved out. She bought a new car, I bought a new car, her 2002 Hyundai Accent still remained there.

The goal was to donate it to Community Action Duluth to let her get the tax deduction. But because it’s a donation, it needed to go when the towing company could fit the pickup in its schedule. Eventually it arrived.

Carla Stetson addressing design/construction of CJM Memorial

I’m cleaning out my hard drive in preparation for a sabbatical. So here are some videos of Carla Stetson, then a Duluth artist, talking to my writing class. She’s addressing the process of designing and constructing the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial.

Regional book industry shifts as Book World stores close

If you live or vacation in Ashland or Marquette you know Book World. Or, perhaps the proper phrasing is that you will have known it. The whole chain of stores is closing in a few weeks.

The Book World chain was always amazing to me — a hybrid of gift shop, humidor, and book/magazine store, in small towns, creating access to book culture where it might not otherwise be available. Literary magazines unavailable on the shelf in Duluth could be found in Ashland, Bemidji and other places.

I understand this website is Perfect Duluth Day, not “Perfect Lake Superior Region Day,” but if nothing else, think about this. Book World owned 45 storefronts and was the third-largest book chain in the country. Book culture is precarious, and we should do all we can to support it in Duluth.

Thank You for Your Service

Still from Thank You for Your Service

This is partially a reflection on a movie seen at the Duluth 10 Cinema, partially a survey of important Duluth resources, and partially a reflection on the way I wish the world would be.

It’s not Mars; it’s my streets.

On Facebook, I saw a picture that could have been from Mars, or from Hibbing (where the earth has been gutted by mines in a monstrously, sublimely beautiful way).

But it wasn’t. It was a Duluth street.

(On Facebook the photo is cropped without the yellow line. This makes it look even more out-of scale Martian.)

In the next election, I understand, there is something to be done about it.

Local writer wins national audience

Jayson Iwen, associate professor of writing at UW–Superior, has landed a piece in Tikkun magazine. His story “Night Running,” was also a Glimmer Train “very short fiction” honorable mention.

Crystal Spring Gibbins and Holy Cow at Twin Cities Book Festival

On Saturday at the Twin Cities Book Festival, Gary Boelhower, Joan Henrik, Miriam Karmel and Crystal Gibbins celebrated the 40th anniversary of Duluth’s Holy Cow! Press.

The panel, moderated by Jim Perlman, was basically short readings followed by a book signing. It was great to see friends at this celebration of literary culture.