Attack on America

It’s Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, 10:30 a.m. I’m standing in my kitchen munching on an apple. Suddenly, a huge man who looks like the professional wrestler Razor Ramon comes thundering through the front door announcing that he is an employee of the Water and Gas Department and needs to read the meter.

Without asking for identification or taking any security precautions whatsoever, I show him to the basement stairway and resume chomping on my apple. Soon, my basement housemates greet Razor Ramon and he starts talking to them about how the country is at war.

“We’re at war, dude,” I hear him say. “Haven’t you turned on the TV or the radio yet?”

I turn on the television in the living room and see a huge cloud of smoke and debris where the World Trade Center once stood. The news anchor explains that two hijacked passenger jets smashed into the towers, causing them to collapse.

9/10

I’m still talking around 9/11 as I write this series of posts. I am worried that any effort I put into converting my experience into words will diminish that experience.

Perhaps that’s what I see most of all in the Congressional records one year after 9/11. Below are bits and pieces from a joint session of Congress, held in New York, on the one-year anniversary of 9/11, where most everyone, except maybe Paul Wellstone, talks around 9/11.

Low – “White Horses”

The new album by Duluth band Low is out today. Hey What is the band’s 13th full-length release in 27 years.

“White Horses” is the fourth video from the album. It is directed by Shane Donahue.

Video Archive: Vietnam Protest in Duluth, 1969

On Oct. 15, 1969, a “Peace March and Moratorium” was held in Duluth to protest the Vietnam War. Participants marched from the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth to the Duluth Civic Center. This clip is raw 16mm film of the event pulled from the WDIO-TV archives.

Postcard from First Methodist Episcopal Church

The written message on the back of this century-old postcard is dated Sept. 9 by “Aunt Martha,” but has no postmark or other indication of the year. The card shows First Methodist Episcopal Church on the corner of Third Avenue West and Third Street in Duluth. The building stood there from 1893 to 1969.

Missing Person: Raechelle Monique Long Elk

Update: Raechelle Monique Long Elk was located in Superior.

The Duluth Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Raechelle Monique Long Elk. She was last seen in the Duluth area on Friday, Sept. 3.

Long Elk is described as a 34-year-old Native American and Hispanic woman. Her family is concerned about her well-being as she was previously experiencing homelessness and substance-abuse issues.

Anyone with information on Long Elk’s whereabouts is asked to call the Duluth Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit at 218-730-5050.

Reflecting on the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks

PDD Video Lab: Inside the Wolf Den

In this edition of the Perfect Duluth Day Video Lab we nabbed another clip from the Voyageurs Wolf Project and made some minor manipulations. Specifically, we slowed it down a tad and added Mary Duff singing “The Nearness of You.”

The Slice: The Many Tales of Laughing Fox

Michael Charette, also known as Tales of Laughing Fox, is a flute maker and player, animal mask maker and more. He lives in Red Cliff, about 60 miles east of Duluth.

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.

On patrol: Boat propeller blades

While on patrol I found these two big iron flower petal things not too far offshore, wedged among the rocks. They were about 50 feet from each other in around ten feet of water. I think they may be blades from a large boat propeller. Yes I wore a shark fin for this patrol — a couple years ago I encountered a three-foot muskie in this area, and felt it best I should shark up.

Denfeld High School: Tower of Opportunity

Although this brochure for Denfeld High School has a 1991 copyright, the photos appear to be circa 1987-88. Alert eyeballs will spot current Denfeld principal Tom Tusken and Duluth School Board member Alanna Oswald as students in the photos.

9/6

After 9/11, I taught a class in the World Trade Center collapse, looking at it as a trauma but also as a failure of engineering. Mostly, this reflects my mental state in the years after the event:

How did this happen?

If it seemed a miracle to me that there could be two towers, reaching 110 stories into the sky, it seemed even more unthinkable that they fell down.

Selective Focus: Duluth Superior Pride 2021

Four days of Duluth Superior Pride events wrapped up yesterday. Collected here are select images from Instagram of the festivities.

Sunday Afternoon at Brighton Beach

Sunday, August 8, Duluth

I take my grandkids to Brighton Beach once or twice a summer. It’s one of the beaches we visit every year. Today I take them because it’s the last day Brighton Beach will be open to the public for a year, maybe two. The Lakewalk will be extended, Brighton Beach Road will be relocated, and the shoreline will be restored. I wonder how much it will change. I hope “restoring the shoreline” doesn’t mean depositing wide swaths of immense jagged rocks on the beach that become a barrier which hinders kids from pitching stones in the water and from gamboling on the ancient lava formations along the shore.

9/4

In retrospect, the weeks before 9/11 are almost better defined by the things I didn’t know. I didn’t know, really, how much people in the Middle East disliked, hated America and Americans, sure. And then there are smaller knowledges that I didn’t know — details of events and of governmental decisions that would become clear after the fact.

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