The Slice: Tim Kaiser’s Sci-Fi Musical Instruments

Tim Kaiser‘s instruments create drones and ethereal sounds that build layers of sonic texture.

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

When Wausau was the Christmas City of the North

This 70-year-old article from the Wausau Daily Herald, published Nov. 17, 1951, serves as a reminder that before Duluth had its parade and “Christmas City” song, a Wisconsin city more than 200 miles to the southeast had already branded itself the “Christmas City of the North.”

I’m starting a new project and need help. What do you know about Poetry Harbor?

I’m looking for people attached to Poetry Harbor.

Google tells me that the late Patrick McKinnon (DNT spotlight here) was a founder, maybe? So was Ellie Schoenfeld?

Chuck Haavik – “Middle of June”

Is Duluth’s Chuck Haavik living five months in the past or seven months in future? Either way, he’s chosen the middle of November to release “Middle of June.” It’s available for download on Bandcamp and other platforms.

The song features his daughter, Emily Haavik, on vocals, with Dave Mehling on organ and Beau Jeffrie on bass.

Heely Tricks with James G: October 2021

Another monthly installment of wheeled-sneaker stunts by former Duluthian James Geisler, also known as the hip-hop artist JamesG.

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 @

Questions about the literary history of Duluth: The Wordshed

Still working on building a literary history of Duluth. Has anyone information about “The Wordshed” as a Duluth publisher? I can only find:

Alaska: a man from Kanatak: the story of Paul Boskoffsky, by Paul Boskoffsky; Lloyd D Mattson; Harvey Sandstrom. The Wordshed, 2006. ©2002

Alaska: new life for an ancient people, by Lloyd D Mattson; Ruben Hillborn. The Wordshed, 1999. ©1999

Planetary distress call recorded by UMD Observatory (UPDATE: with reply)

AP: University of Minnesota, Duluth – The UMD observatory at the Swenson College of Science and Engineering has recorded a planetary distress call. The audio has been obtained by the Richardson brothers of Duluth, shared here. God help us all. (UPDATE below!)

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.

Postcard from the old trading post in Fond du Lac

This postcard was mailed on Nov. 13, but the year on the postmark is blurred so we’re going to estimate it was about 80 years ago.

The American Fur Company began trading on the St. Louis River at Fond du Lac in 1817 and continued until 1847. A replica was built as a tourist attraction in 1935, and that’s what is depicted in the postcard image. The replica was demolished in the late 1960s.

Robb Stauber: The Goalie Who Never Stayed in His Net

The opinionated hockey YouTube channel “idontgivetkachuk” recently featured Duluth native Robb Stauber in an eight-and-a-half minute video tribute/critique. Slicing together some of the former goaltender’s crazier plays, video creator Paul DeRienzo presents Stauber as a wild and perhaps undisciplined goalie who lived outside the crease.

Lake Superior video from Duluth included in Ukraine exhibit

Three of my Lake Superior videos are included in this exhibit of “video dress sculptures” with “looped video playing in three places on each dress”: The Invisible Woman: Videodresses. All dresses and skirts by Genevieve Davis of Wisconsin. Videos of Lake Michigan by Genevieve Davis, except the above: #1 The Politician, #2 the Mother, and #6 the Composer, which incorporate three of my Lake Superior videos from here. This digital exhibit will be at the Gender Museum in Karkhiv the Ukraine from January – March 2022.

Selective Focus: November Gales 2021

Whether it’s Ten November, Eleven November or Any-day November, it’s no surprise when the gales roll in, yet it’s always eye opening. Waves crashed along the shores of Lake Superior today causing flooding in downtown Grand Marais. Collected here are select photos from Instagram showing the raw power of the big lake they call gitche gumee.

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