Random Posts

“Duluth on Duluth”

Back in 2000 George Killough, then an English professor at the College of St. Scholastica, edited the book “Minnesota Diary, 1942-46” the journal of Sinclair Lewis during the time he lived in Duluth.

Project SULTAN: A 13-Year-Old’s Plan to Take Over the World

At age thirteen in 1981, I made plans to take over the world. I would form a military organization with a network of secret bases, to destabilize the nations of the globe so I could seize power. The Reagan administration had me scared of nuclear annihilation — a civilization gone mad. The only moral response was to end war by taking over the world. So I wrote a manifesto, detailed my plans, and designed superweapons. I kept these in folders in a three-ring binder in my top dresser drawer. Today, four decades later, one of those folders survives. It is titled “SULTAN: Bases, Robots, Missiles.” It contains my megalomaniacal manifesto, my plan’s diabolical steps, and some blueprints. The other folders are missing. I have a good idea what happened to them, or should I say, who happened to them.

The opening page reads: “This is a highly-classified, top secret notebook, full of my plans for world conquest, and absolute domination of the planet. Anyone (without whom I have first given specific directions) reading this book shall be dealt with accordingly. – Jim Richardson, Future Earth Emperor.”

Lake Superior Aquaman Fashion Week


(On the ‘gram @lakesuperioraquaman)

Bits of Bly: August Sun

The five-part series of clips from a 1997 Robert Bly interview from KUMD concludes with the poet reciting his poem “August Sun.”

Monthly Grovel: December 2021

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Oh, holy night and joy to the flippin’ world! The halls of the PDD Calendar are so decked with holiday events that you can’t even find the Clem Snide show you’re looking for. That just means PDD’s merry elves are doing their jobs, publishing enough events to keep your bells completely jingled.

Each month we reach out with one beggarly blog post to remind everyone that human beings and not machines are at work editing and publishing calendar events. So if you appreciate it, drop a few bucks in the PayPal account.

Gems and Treasures from the College of St. Scholastica Book & Media Sale, 1

The Library at the College of St. Scholastica, once a year, both weeds its collection and accepts donations (I presume from faculty and staff) for a sale. Popular reading starts at a dollar, I think — recent bestsellers. The rest starts at a quarter and slides, over a week, down to a dime, then to “free, just please take them.”

Recent panel on creative leadership in Duluth

A recent panel on creative leadership really taught me a few things, so I’m sharing it with you all here. It featured local creative innovators and leaders Aryn Lee Bergsven, LeAnn Littlewolf and Hella Wartman.

The Zoom link in the poster is dead, but the panel can be found by clicking here.

Literary History of Duluth: William Sommers

I’ve struggled with how to blend a history of publishers in Duluth with a history of authors. It feels like that would widen my scope beyond the manageable. And then I find a book like this.

The Thing About Essentia Health

Imagine, if you will, being trans and you don’t go by your birth name anymore — and the clinic knows that — and you arrive at an Essentia Health clinic in Duluth for, let’s say an eye appointment.

“Hmmmm. Can you spell your last name again?”

“Hmmmmm. What is your date of birth, again, ma’am?”

“I’m just not finding you. How about your street address?

Also, for the sake of this scenario, there are four other people behind you impatiently waiting to register for their own appointments. You start to feel a bead of sweat pop up on your forehead.

“Can you spell your last name again?” Nothing. The registration lady calls for help. A supervisor slides her chair over. You’re feeling a little hot. Isn’t it humid in this damn clinic, today?


Talkin’ PDD on For the Love of Duluth Podcast

Get ready for self-referential blabber and Perfect Duluth Day shop-talk galore. Yours truly, Paul Lundgren, is the guest on the sixth episode of the For the Love of Duluth podcast.

Tom Jamison, a former lawyer turned local business owner, started the podcast in August as a passion project. Yvonne Myers is co-host and Lauren Wells handles the techy stuff. The focus is on Duluth art, culture, food, beer and natural amenities.

Reading a Record Collector 2

At Gabriel’s Books in Lakeside, the same person who left behind the record collection discussed here also, I think, left behind the record collection discussed below. Who was this person, what kind of person were they?

PDD Gift Guide 2021

The 2021 PDD Holiday Gift Guide carries on the tradition of highlighting items with a local connection. What’s new is this year’s curator, as Duluth writer Beverly Godfrey takes a stab at finding those Duluthy treasures we love so much. She had a delightful time getting out to stores in person and encourages you to do the same.

Our list features 15 items, as usual, but the comment area is open for limitless other suggestions. Or email us at info @ perfectduluthday.com.

PDD Quiz: Superior Laws

This week’s quiz tests your knowledge of Superior’s code of ordinances (check out a quiz on Duluth laws here).

The next PDD will review the news that made headlines this month; it will be published on Nov. 28. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Nov. 24.

Ripped at Mama’s Bar in 2001

[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 he filed a report from Mama’s Bar, 1019 Ogden Ave. in Superior. Mama’s went out of business circa 2017. This article appeared in the Nov. 14, 2001 issue of the Ripsaw newspaper.]

There are two kinds of mamas in the world, and Mama’s Bar in Superior is named after both of them. One of the first things you notice when you walk into the place is all the hot mamas. Black-and-white photos of Veronica Lake, Marlene Dietrich, etc. line the wall across from the bar. At the bar, the real-life mamas sit. The 45-year-old white-trash mamas are always out in full force at Mama’s Bar. The place is everything I ever wanted in a filthy dive.

Mama’s is one book you shouldn’t judge by its dirty pink cover. Yes, the exterior of the place is painted pink — but it’s not a gay bar. This, of course, begs the question: What stereotypes can our society possibly rely on anymore? A pink bar called Mama’s, full of straight patrons, does nothing to simplify our already complicated lives.


Is it art? A descent into madness? Or just a scrap of paper with some notes on it, dropped on the sidewalk at the corner of Third Avenue West and Superior Street?

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