R.I.P. Posts

Denfeld vs. Central: Bookends to a Rivalry


Duluth Denfeld played Duluth Central tonight in high school football for what will very likely be the last time. Denfeld won 20-6 in front of a crowd of maybe 500 at Public Schools Stadium.

Before Denfeld had a football team, the big game in town was Central vs. Duluth Cathedral (now the Marshall School). But the Denfeld/Central rivalry was huge from the very beginning, and soon became the most important game in town.

There was an unofficial first game in 1916, in which Denfeld’s freshmen played Central’s freshmen to a tie. It was the only game Denfeld played that year. Having no coach, the Denfeld kids coached themselves.

The real first game was on Oct. 13, 1917 at Athletic Park (where Wade Stadium is today). Denfeld won 6-0. The Duluth News Tribune noted: “More than 1,000 students saw the contest, and school yells and cheers were not lacking, although various players were jeered by the opposing schools for tactics.”

It’s safe to say a strong rivalry was established from the very beginning, as this excerpt from the DNT story indicates.

Between halves a free-for-all fight started by rooters of both sides. Teachers of the schools also suffered. Members of the Fourth Minnesota Infantry came to the rescue and the belligerents were parted.

Chip Stewart

Chip Stewart has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Thousands of people knew Chip and his wife Marcie as proprietors of the amazing Amazing Grace Bakery & Cafe in the DeWitt-Seitz Building in Canal Park.

I don’t have any more details right now, but hopefully those will materialize as is possible. But what I can tell you is that Chip was a very great man who I first met in 1997 when I was working on a story as a freelance reporter. Amazing Grace was hosting a counter-rally when anti-gay freakshow activist Fr*d Ph*lps was coming to Duluth. And that was the beginning of many, many conversations. In 2004 he gave me the biggest business break that I never deserved when (despite owning a successful food service operation of his own) he allowed my little food stand to come in and sling some wienies during events at the Historic NorShor Theater, which he was hoping to revive at the time. Chip was a friend to many, many people. The bread, coffee and all the food at Amazing Grace is fantastic, he provided a great venue for live folk music in Duluth, and he also provided a great place for people to sit in a non-rushed atmosphere. One of his least heralded but possibly most important gifts to all of us was providing a safe and fun place for young people (and sober people) to gather, play cards, surf the net and socialize, there was nothing quite like it in Duluth before it opened, and it remains a one-of-a-kind institution with Chip’s fingerprints all over it. He gave big breaks to many more musicians, artists, waitresses, bakers, baristas and entrepreneurs than just me, dozens, maybe hundreds of people’s lives and careers were enhanced by contact with this man. I feel safe in saying that his impact on our community will reverberate not just for days and weeks, but for generations.

My heartfelt prayers go out to his wife Marcie and all of his family, and to the rest of us, his chosen family. May you rest in peace, my brother.

If someone has a good photo or two of Chip, please post it here or provide a link to where we can all see them.

Kill the Skunk! – Plus open ranting in the comments about experiences at the West Duluth Kmart

Last night I walked past a house that reeked of a fetid oil recently sprayed from the anus of a West Duluth skunk.

Two kids, who looked to be about 11 years old, were walking the sidewalk toward the odiferous house as I was walking away. They seemed to know that something was going on. Another kid, maybe two years younger, came from across the street and shouted, “Did they kill the skunk yet?”

“No, but they’re about to,” one of the other kids answered.

“Awesome!” the younger kid yelled with great enthusiasm, running over to join them.

I continued on my way, as I often do in these situations, only to wonder later why I didn’t hang around for the full story. It seems that, at some point in my life, getting to Kmart became more important than witnessing an execution.

Dr. Samskar has died

WayneSamskar342Former Denfeld principal Wayne Samskar died on Friday in Appleton, Wis. He was 81.

Dr. Samskar taught and was principal at several Duluth-area schools before becoming principal at Denfeld in 1970. He’s credited with helping to establish the Greater Denfeld Foundation, which awards scholarships to outstanding students.

He retired in 1984, but helped architects design Denfeld’s gymnasium addition in 1987. He was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in 1996.

For Torr…

I was asked to pass this along (time intentionally vague-my understanding is we have no need for “rules” or “formalities”):

This Thursday Evening – R.T. Quinlan’s

R.I.P. Teddy Kennedy


Feb. 22, 1932 – Aug. 25, 2009

R.I.P. Torr

Tom Torrison

A non-cantankerous, very funny guy and talented actor.

Harold Nelson Dies

Harold Nelson, the old fellow often seen walking along Central Entrance and elsewhere, was struck by a car and killed. The News Tribune has an article in the August 16th edition.

Billy Mays shocks and dismays.

Read and discuss. 🙂

RIP John Hughes

john hughes

This man has had an enormous impact on my life, I’m a little speechless so won’t even try. We’re playing 16 Candles tomorrow at MITP, just so you know. Wanna come down and celebrate that life/grieve a little with us?

Last Look at Three West Duluth Structures


Anticipating the demolition of the Duluth Motel and Star Enterprises in West Duluth, I took a few photos two weeks ago. Both buildings are rubble now.

Another one bites the dust

another on bites the dust

What’s going on with celebs croaking these days?

Michael Jackson dead at 50


Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand.

New York Times story

Farrah Fawcett loses cancer battle





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