Random Posts

Now That’s a Great Hat: Text Dispatches of a Twin Cities Coincidence

Friday

My best friend departs for the farmlands of Southern California, where she will join her family to celebrate her sister’s 50th birthday in their hometown. On their agenda: attending a local rodeo.

My husband and teen daughter drive to Twin Cities Con, where husband is excited to see G.I. Joe author Larry Hama, and teen daughter is on the hunt for merch of Squirrel Girl and other favorite superheroes.

A novel set in a fictionalized Duluth/Superior

A colleague sent me a link to the novel False Negative by David B. Rusterholz, which is set in a fictional university in Superior/Duluth. The author lives in River Falls, a semi-rural, semi-suburb-of-the-Twin Cities community.

Has anyone read it?

Lincoln Park Parking Park

In the category of “Best Name for a Parking Lot,” we have a winner.

Why Duluthians might be annoyed with Andrew Ti

For the second time in four months — and third time overall — Duluth has been mentioned on the podcast Yo, is this Racist? In the show’s opening banter, Andrew Ti mentions his fingers are cold. Co-host Tawny Newsome quickly points out how someone in Los Angeles complaining about cold fingers might be annoying to people in places like Buffalo, Fargo or Duluth.

Ripped on Arrowhead Road on 2002

[Editor’s note: For this week’s essay we’ve once again pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. Twenty years ago the Sultan of Sot took a rare trip to Hermantown and wrote the article below for the Nov. 11, 2002 issue of the Ripsaw newspaper. Since then each of the drinking establishments mentioned have changed. The Afterburner Bar & Lounge was replaced by Arrowhead Tap House. The Runway Bar closed in 2011 and the site became home to the Kolar auto dealership. The Local Bar & Grill is now Foster’s Sports Bar & Grill.]

Laugh all you want, but on Election Day I like to be near the Duluth International Airport. I mean, you never know: We’re on the brink of destruction, and, in the event of a sudden military coup, I want to be the first to take off to another land. But, security being what it is these days, I’ve unfortunately had a bit of trouble just hanging out and getting drunk at the official airport bar, the Afterburner. I’d rather not go into the details.

The Runway

So I find myself a mile or two away from the airport at the Runway Bar and Grill, hunkering down, waiting for the inevitable and having a few beers in the process. I’ve got three problems with this place: 1) They use the kind of pitchers that have the “ice reservoir,” thus cheating the customer out of valuable pitcher space. 2) They’re not showing election coverage on TV. 3) The man/woman ratio in this room is at least 20:1.

Order from Chaos book trailer

Available Dec. 1.

The Fur-bearing Trout of Lake Superior

From the Museum of the Weird in Austin, Texas.

Fur Bearing Trout
Very Rare
Caught while trolling in Lake Superior off Gros Cap, near Sault Ste. Marie, District of Algoma.
It is believed that the great depth and the extreme penetrating coldness of the weather in which these fish live have caused them to grow their dense coat of (usually) white fur.
Mounted by Ross C. Jobe, Taxidermist of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

The Institute for the Study of Light and Water: Fall weather report

Green-red and other impossible hues

Evaluation of Impossible Colors

On the grounds of the Institute, which really are all grounds, observations were made of maple and oak leaf colors absent from Newton’s spectrum: green-red and other impossible hues. The Institute conducted evaluations along subjective parameters as follows:

Duluth’s Granny: Nazi Sub Hunter

August 8, 1945. Duluth, Minn. Heavy with depth charges and a crew of four, the B-25 bomber Beach Baby grumbles off the dusty airfield into the sky on routine sub patrol. The pilot, a Jewish kid from St. Paul, heads into the sun over gleaming Lake Superior. He is the oldest aboard at 22. Light moves around the cabin. The shore drops away and open blue water comes into view all around.

The tail gunner, a mook from Milwaukee, pipes up on the com: “Everybody knows there ain’t no Nazi subs in the Great Lakes. Hitler’s been dead three months.”

“Tell that to Granny down there,” the pilot says, “War’s not over.”

They spy the fishing boat to starboard and the zig-zag black-and-white lines of its weird paint job. The navigator speaks with his Michigan accent:

“She’s doing up here what Hemingway’s doing in the Caribbean: hunting for U-boats at the bottom of a whiskey glass.”

The side gunner laughs like the North Dakota yahoo that he is. “Well what do you expect, she’s from Duluth.” Now they’re all laughing.

Celebrating the 9 o’clock Meltdown

I don’t know Crystal Abernethy well, though I am filled with a deep respect and admiration for her work and her commitment to making a thing. The 9 o’clock Meltdown was a good companion when I was a radio listener. I missed it when it went away, briefly, without realizing that it moved online. There, it’s still a great companion.

See a just-published interview with Crystal on Voyage Minnesota for more.

PDD Shop Talk: Last call for a calendar editor

(Enter the amount of your choice.)

There are just a few days left to apply to join the team of editors that produces the Perfect Duluth Day event calendar. But before we get further into that, we lead with the standard plug for donations to ensure the PDD Calendar remains solvent. So if you appreciate Duluth’s most thorough listings of hoopla, kindly drop a few bucks in the PayPal account.

Duluth in MUFON

I found a reference to Duluth in the Mutual UFO Network newsletter. The Minnesota MUFON chapter is still alive and well.

Def Leppard at the DECC Arena in 1999

In 1999 I was living in Minneapolis, listening to the Legendary Pink Dots. In Duluth, Def Leppard was playing. The audio is available on the Internet Archive.

His Body

It was his 73rd birthday. He’d been taken into inpatient psychiatric care the night before, a phone call I had received while out at a bar with a group of friends. We were watching a Minneapolite musician, Dessa, play at Pizza Lucé in downtown Duluth. I liked Dessa’s music, but I really liked her writing. She’d detailed her experience rewiring her brain to forget a dangerous, almost obsessive love affair: the mechanics of love, told in poetry and electromagnetic imaging. Before the psychological intervention, she said, she had a kind of wild and inevitable connection to this man who could not be trusted with her heart. They were incendiary together, in good ways and not: a fire started with a glance, burning down the house with everyone inside. I’ve never had a love like that, but I could feel it anyway — her despair, her passion, and the terrible realization that whatever was happening in her was above or beneath her conscious mind, scratched into her whole brain. Every thought she had about anything traversed the rough path of that scratch — removing him from her heart was reductive: she needed to remove him from the apparatus of her Self, the thing that made her her.

I didn’t understand why this was so moving to me at the time, but now I do.

The Institute for the Study of Light and Water reviews endless summer 2022

Records of Spring: Spotty

Lightbeams solid enough to climb pierce the windows of the Institute for the Study of Light and Water, rousing my eye like a hibernating bear. Dawn presents a temporal crisis. Borges said no one staying up all night welcomes the dawn. So the arrival of spring at the Institute. Records of spring are spotty. The brook babbled after a long vow of silence. The snow was gone which meant April had definitely passed. Cautious leaves popped out. Then the Institute blinked and endless summer began.

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