Brooklyn Art Library claims to hold the largest collection of sketchbooks in the world with more than 41,000 sketchbooks on shelves and more than 20,000 in a digital library. Some of them reference Duluth.
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.
“This piece consists of 51 texts I sent to myself first thing in the morning during the 2016 presidential election season. Hopefully some of them will speak to you,” says Gard, describing her work in Superstition Review.
The teddy bear on the left is Tim Broman; “Earnie” the eagle on the right is Cara Ellis. As you might guess from the fairly cheesy pun in “Earnie,” Cara is a mortgage specialist at Northern Communities Credit Union, where Tim is a customer service representative.
I didn’t realize that local businesses partnered with the Salvation Army in this way. I appreciate the generosity of NCCU, I shame my friend Tim for making the lady wear the costume (a gentleman would have worn the scratchy sweaty suit) and I wonder whether any other businesses and organizations partner in this way in the holidays. Post below if you will be ringing this season, please?
Former Duluthian Michael Fedo’s new book is reviewed on the arts and literature website Open Letters Review:
For all readers interested in the workaday writing life, it’s fascinating to follow Fedo through his many adventures, from writing an authorized biography of Garrison Keillor vehemently opposed by its subject to interviewing Cloris Leachman about starring in a play about Grandma Moses (which flopped).
I enjoy this book well enough, it inspired my Spring syllabus for Writing Studies majors.
Below are more items from an old trivia deck I bought at Savers.
1. How far out onto Lake Superior can the light atop Enger Tower be seen?
2. Who was the first postmaster for the Duluth region?
3. How man grain elevators were on Duluth’s waterfront at the turn of the twentieth century?
4. When was the Duluth Peony and Iris Society founded?
5. In what building did JFK speak in Duluth?
6. Who began conducting the DSSO in ‘seventy-seven?
Help the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council celebrate the best artists and arts advocates in the region. Many of us know an artist or arts advocate who deserves a little more recognition. Nominate that special artist for the Arrowhead Arts Awards. ARAC wants to recognize those who contribute to the arts in the region with two prestigious awards, which include cash awards. The deadline to nominate an individual is Dec. 7.