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David Beard Posts

Sketchbooks at Brooklyn Art Library: Samantha Nielsen

About a year ago, Samantha Nielsen was subject of a Selective Focus on Perfect Duluth Day. She’s one of the Duluth artists in the Brooklyn Art Library.

Sketchbooks at Brooklyn Art Library: Sam Luoma

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.

Servant-Leader and Artist

Jan Carlson Carey

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.

One last late night before the holiday

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.

A Second Late Night at the End of the Year

So a drip coffee is free at Barnes & Noble until the Dec. 23 after 8 p.m., so I am back. The people watching is better tonight, maybe because it’s Friday.

Late Night at the End of the Year

I’m at Barnes and Noble, which is open until midnight through the Dec. 22. And I’m reflecting on the past year.

Thoughts on Anchorage: Community makes self-reliance possible

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.

“Anyone’s life is smooth from far away. Anyone’s life close up is cracked.”

Julie Gard’s new poetry is awesome.

“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.

Holiday Traditions next to Red Kettles

The Red Kettles are out, and the adorable man next to the adorable eagle is my friend.

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.

They are standing outside Cub Foods, where I bought some tasty sushi yesterday, inspired by the PDD post about Wasabi.

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) local author Michael Fedo, Well-Reviewed

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.

Duluth Trivia Deck Sampler #11

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?

Nominations for Arrowhead Arts Awards

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.

Split Rock Review, Fall 2018

From Split Rock Review

A new issue of local literary magazine Split Rock Review has been released. Visit splitrockreview.org to check it out.

Summary of Make Canal Park Pop! and 2001: A Space Odyssey

I spent part of Friday at Make Canal Park Pop! and Saturday at 2001: A Space Odyssey. The events felt oddly similar, and my experience of both was disjointed if not entirely cynical.

Coldsnap of the Harbor

Coldsnap

John Gregor of Coldsnap Photography takes a picture. I melt.