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Message to a White Boy Who in Some Ways Reminds Me of Me

Chris Godsey Saturday EssayDear Russell:

I want to tell you some things that might not make sense. I wish an adult would have seen me clearly enough to know I needed to hear similar things when I was 18. Do you know what I mean when I invoke the impact of being seen?

You’re a sharp kid. Like a lot of sharp kids, especially ones in their first semester of college, you know both way more and way less than you realize. I was the same way. So was—so is—every other adult, including every other teacher, you’ve known and will know.

You should accept nothing from us as truth before vetting it against your own inquiry. We do probably know more than you and your peers know about some things. We also tend to indoctrinate young people instead of helping them become autonomous thinkers. Please heed Walt Whitman and “re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul.”

By “inquiry” I mean deep, active curiosity that includes interrogating your own thinking at least as much as you interrogate the thinking of people you disagree with or consider stupid. It’s very hard work. It’s not just navel-gazing. You will find few examples of how to do it well. Even after doing it for years—after it has helped you learn to discern valid insight from self-serving magical thinking—it will lead you to many inaccurate conclusions because all perception is distorted and opinions can definitely be wrong.

Selective Focus: Scott Lunt

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No doubt, if you live in Duluth, you’ve been exposed to the work of Scott Lunt, aka Starfire; founder of the Homegrown Music Festival, co-founder of Father Hennepin and Perfect Duluth Day, radio host on KUMD, the list goes on. His latest endeavor is St1tch:::red, a quilt show at the Red Herring, opening Saturday November 12. He tells us how he got involved in the craft.

S.L.: I cut up perfectly good fabric and sew it back together again. I made my first quilt about twenty years ago and another five years after that. At the time I knew nothing about quilting and had to enlist my mother to help me finish. Then about a year-and-a-half ago Karen McTavish opened a quilting studio in Duluth, I took my mom to visit since she is a long time quilter and something clicked. Two weeks later a sewing machine showed up at my door (thanks Mom!) and I have been making about a quilt a month since.

Awkward Duluth School Board Moment #5,109: A Point of Order

roberts_rules_of_orderThis clip features three-and-a-half productive minutes from the Nov. 9 Duluth Public Schools Human Resources and Business Committee Meeting.

Ian Thomas Alexy – “Misfits in Love”

A song from Ian Alexy‘s new album Deserters, scheduled for release Dec. 16.

DNR will close French River Hatchery

frenchhatcheryThe Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced in a news release today it will close a 1970s-era fish hatchery in Duluth Township.

The French River Cold Water Hatchery, located on Lake Superior two miles north of Duluth, needs $8 million in capital investment to address failing equipment, according to the DNR. It also consumes 10 percent of the energy used by the agency statewide.

A hatchery was first established at the location in 1919, originally known as the Lake Superior State Fish Hatchery. The French River Cold Water Hatchery was built in 1975 to conduct the majority of fish propagation. Since 1962, the DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have planted about 300,000 six-inch lake trout along the North Shore each year, resulting in a 250 percent increase in lake trout netted during surveys, according to the DNR.

Coolerator: Acclaimed in Hollywood, built in Duluth

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The Coolerator Company manufactured refrigerators and sold them in every state and 74 foreign nations. It began in 1908 as the Duluth Showcase Company, a manufacturer of store fixtures in Downtown Duluth. Operations moved to 50th Avenue West and Wadena Street in 1921. The focus switched to iceboxes in 1928 and the business was renamed Duluth Refrigerator Company. It became the Coolerator Company in 1932 and opened a manufacturing plant in New Duluth.

Over a Pint Interview with Brian Schanzenbach

brian-schanzenbachIn this interview segment, the Duluth Experience sits down with Blacklist Artisan Ales Head Brewer Brian Schanzenbach at the location of the new brewery and taproom set to open in Downtown Duluth this month.

Duluth 2016 General Election Results

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Donald Trump wins the presidency nationwide. Hillary Clinton takes Minnesota, barely; in Duluth she nearly doubles Trump’s vote total.

Rick Nolan holds his congressional seat by just over 1,000 votes. Democrats and incumbents fare well in Duluth overall.

With 4,120 of 4,120 Minnesota precincts reporting, below are the unofficial statewide results in races relevant to Duluth.

President and Vice President of the United States
Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine – 1,363,704 | 46.41%
Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence – 1,320,895 | 44.96%
Gary Johnson and William Weld – 112,767 | 3.84%
Evan McMullin and Nathan Johnson – 53,021 | 1.8%
Jill Stein and Howie Hawkins – 36,916 | 1.26%
Write in – 27,095 | 0.92%
Dan R. Vacek and Mark Elworth, Jr. – 11,275 | 0.38%
Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley – 9,454 | 0.32%
Alyson Kennedy and Osborne Hart – 1,668 | 0.06%
“Rocky” Roque De La Fuente and Mic – 1,428 | 0.05%

Avenue C restaurant in Cloquet could open by year’s end

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Doug Smith anticipates Avenue C, his new Cloquet restaurant, will open soon. The build-out was about 70 percent complete when it hit some financing snags that delayed the process. Work has now resumed and he estimates the establishment could be up and running by Christmas.

Listen: Gaelynn Lea’s album Deepest Darkness, Brightest Dawn

Classically trained violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea‘s holiday album Deepest Darkness, Brightest Dawn will be released Friday, Nov. 11, and she performs Saturday at Beaner’s Central with the Brothers Burn Mountain. Click above to hear the full album.

Woven into the tapestry of an old home

shawna-betterRecently a reporter came a calling, and we had to prepare our house for a photojournalist in just four short days. In the process I achieved a lifelong goal of being clutter-free, and became a better steward of our century-old home that has had only four owners over a breathtaking sweep of history. This place has housed a U.S. Senator, and also Richard Gastler, the beloved Denfeld teacher.

When we moved in we bought the eyesore on the block, because it was all we could afford, and have grown to cherish it as we make a large portion of our living between these four walls. I jotted down some thoughts over at Ed’s Big Adventure, and you can take a look-see at Christa Lawler’s marvelous column here about my daydreaming wife, who is cranking out another amazing painting at this very moment.

Downtown Duluth – Looking east on Superior Street

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Readable business signs: Boyce Drugs, (?)ornser Hats, Bagley Jewelers, City National Bank and Miller’s Cafeteria.

Stolen Bike

A white, black and red Lightspeed Mira has been stolen from me. It has a Thompson seat post and a mostly Durace group set. It has egg-beater pedals, a red seat and red bar tape. This bike is seriously my life and my car. Please notify me if you see anything about it at 954-486-2136.

Prince is Missing

prince-and-mary-plasterA very important puppet that artist Mary Plaster created commemorating Prince at the request of Black Lives Matter in the Minneapolis May Day parade disappeared during Duluth All Souls Night. Please keep an eye out for this guy.

If you have any information about his disappearance please call 218-310-6289 or if you want to return him anonymously you can leave him back at the Duluth Depot, no questions asked.

Video Archive: Duluth East mid-1960s Film

A previous Video Archive segment featured a 1956 film from the Mark Bruzonsky collection. This time we skip ahead to the mid-1960s and his years at Duluth East High School.