I’ve been discovering blogs by Duluthians lately. Sister Scotland collects the observations of a Superior student as she studies abroad. Some observations, about the taste of haggis … well, I will never be okay with food cooked in a stomach. It feels like duplication of effort; we only need one stomach in this process. But others, they are just playful thoughts on life.
I’ve been working on a medical humanities project. Some Duluthians are part of it, including local author Avesa Rockwell.
“As I child I could run out the backdoor and leap over tumbleweeds and sagebrush like a jackrabbit. By the time I reached tenth grade my body lost its buoyancy, and the open spaces around my house and in my mind were being leveled, fenced off, and cul-de-saced. I felt trapped by the prefabricated structures of school and its social hierarchies.”
I’ve been working on a medical humanities project. Some Duluthians are part of it, including poet Zomi Bloom.
“After the endoscopy … while living in limbo, every attempt to eat led to unbearable burning and the inevitable blowing up of the balloon on my right side. I drifted in and out of waking dream‐state such that dreams became nightmares and shifted back into dreams of fantastic sweetness.”
My friend Jan Carlson Carey and I served on the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council at the time of its immense growth. I was the at-large Duluth representative, and Jan represented the Iron Range, more or less.
In all those five years, I never knew she was a talented painter in her own right.
I spent Saturday at the Marcus Duluth Theater, which is on the lake [in the DECC]. For point of wry comparison, the Marcus Lakes theater is in Hermantown, near no obvious lake. My sweetheart Zomi and my friend Kate and I hoped to see Holmes and Watson.
In the late 1990s, before it reorganized in bankruptcy, Sun Country Airlines flew out of the Humphrey Terminal at Minneapolis/St. Paul. It ran specials on undersold planes, and I received an email alert, I think, about round-trip tickets to Alaska for $300. It seemed so far away for so little money. I was a graduate student in the College of Agriculture on the Twin Cities campus; I was making $12,000 a year. This was cheap, it was an extravagance, an adventure, a story to tell.
I boarded the plane in Bloomington and disembarked in Anchorage. (It was the first time I had been to an airport with signage instructing passengers how to check and reclaim your gun.) The bus took me downtown, and I looked for a hotel. In the years before travel websites and mobile phones, this was hard — I had to walk toward hotel signs and hope for vacancies. There were few; the flight was cheap, but the hotels were booked; I spent twice what I spent on my ticket on my hotel, at what felt like a dive for the price.
I was young and weighed less than half what I weigh now, so I started walking. I walked to Cook’s Inlet, which was muddy. “Captain Cook” was not a real person to me, and so his inlet meant little. So, too, did Mt. McKinley mean little to me — Mt. McKinley, also called Dinale or Denali or Bolshaya Gora/Большая Гора, Densmore’s Mountain. The history of its naming means more to me than the mountain. I was more interested in a business dedicated solely to pull tabs.