#snowfortcity day 7. Leif Erikson Park. Best day yet and perhaps even the last. The weather’s turning subzero for a while but we had this one last great day of wet, buildable snow to top things off.
It was a great day to build a #snowfortcity with volunteers Stephen Bockhold, Sean MacManus, and others including an unnamed mom with two kids in tow who attested she was a #peoplesfreeskate participant last winter. One of the kids she was with, who I’ve never seen before, called me “Aquaman” unprompted on camera while KBJR-6/CBS-3 was filming: hope that makes the final cut.
Day 1. Duluth’s Leif Erikson Park. Most of my time was taken up by Duluth News-Tribune reporters who showed up – oops got in the paper again. Otherwise slow going with cold powdery snow – spray bottles and water make the job easier so bring those. It’s sort of Day 2 since some folks built this formidable snow fort yesterday, and got the base of another one started. It’s sort of Day 3, since I built a proof-of-concept wall before the blizzard, but it blew down so I restarted it today. A huge help was Morgan Pirsig et al. who laid down a solid sled trail which helps define the space. It goes so fast we need to bank it by the stage now. Troy Rogers aka Robot Rickshaw showed up and we demonstrated proper wall-building technique for the media. A season-long project to turn the park into a citizen-led collective art installation and playground.
I built this Snowhenge wall segment in Leif Erickson Park today in three hours with a bucket. Will it remain after a weekend of playing children, and snowstorms including 30-mph winds? Probably not. But rebuilding and rebirth are central to this season-long project where work and leisure are indistinguishable. The blizzard should die off Sunday and the upcoming week should be clear to terraform the gift of snow.
It would be possible to dive to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald on the strength of a single breath. Even at the wreck’s depth of 530 feet, it might actually be safer to dive unsupported by scuba tanks than to scuba dive to it. This essay is intended to hypothetically explore the intersection of different types of diving, the wreck itself, and the lake in general. At a minimum, I am suggesting that the freediving possibilities of Lake Superior have not been fully explored.
My interest is provoked because I utilize some freediving breath-hold techniques in my underwater videography as Lake Superior Aquaman. I have never scuba dived, and so I think of the lake in freediving terms. I do not intend to offend the families of the deceased by invoking the Fitzgerald tragedy. However, its iconic stature as a deep wreck in Lake Superior makes it ideal for these illustrative purposes.
I am not suggesting any actual dives to the Fitzgerald. For one thing, both freediving and scuba diving present significant risks, especially beyond 100 feet deep. Also, it has been illegal to dive to the wreck since 2006, unless approved by the Canadian government in whose waters it lies. This is because of successful lobbying by the victims’ families to keep the wreck sacrosanct.
The first of a projected series of Duluth music scene interviews. Jim Richardson interviews the multi-talented Charlotte Montgomery: solo singer-songwriter, member of the band Red Mountain, and dancer in the Duluth Dolls. This interview features a performance of one of Charlotte’s original songs – “West” – and it is a barn-burner. Charlotte is leaving town after eight years; her farewell performance was at Blacklist Brewing, Saturday Nov. 9 at 8 p.m.
New episodes: “The Blue Man.” Duluth’s most melancholy superhero weaponizes the color blue. But what strange force can undo … The Blue Man? Also: “The Ballad of the Crammenfjorder.” Captain Buck Wild saves the city. And: “Attack of the Food Nazis.” Agent Coma Joe gets tortured with natural foods.
After a hiatus, we return with regular releases. This week’s episodes: “Menno Zwonk, Amish Outlaw: The Death of Professor Marrow.” This explicitly violent short fiction features a shootout in a house on Chester Creek. Also: “Diaper Island,” in which the Robinson Crusoe of Diaper Island tells his terrible tale. Warning: gross. And another Zwonk story, “The Tale of Crusty McGee,” about Zwonk’s yeast rancher in Superior. Also gross.