Lake Superior Aquaman Posts

The Floating Island of Fremont, Duluth’s Breakaway Township

As documented in the book Duluth: An Illustrated History: “The opening of the Duluth canal proved to have a beneficial effect which its promoters had not anticipated. Currents flowing through the channel carried away a considerable amount of rotting timber and mucky islets which had infested the harbor. In fact, one of Duluth’s original townsites — Fremont — was thus swept out into Lake Superior and lost forever.”

The Zenith City Press website confirms the account: new currents swept several floating bogs in the harbor out to sea. The largest of these islands was 1,200 feet long and 400 feet wide — larger than the largest lake vessel — and it contained the township of Fremont. It began where Rice’s Point is today, and on May 10, 1873, it passed through the canal to the open sea.

I must correct the error, often propagated, that Fremont broke up that night in rough water. The truth is, Fremont is still out there, population 299, comprised of 20 families that each own a business. I know because I have been to Fremont. I have hiked its marshes and shopped its cute, bustling downtown. I have fished off its docks. I have traded stories, dreams, and fears with Fremonters around beach campfires.

Many people have. Lake Superior is dotted with cities that Fremont has visited. I highly recommend, next time Fremont is visible on the horizon, try to get there. The Fremont music scene is a delight. And of course anyone who loves lake culture and the outdoors probably already knows about it.

I Don’t Want to See Another Naked Woman as Long as I Live

“All you sweet girls with all of your sweet talk, you can all go take a walk” – The Velvet Underground, “Heroin”

I am not on heroin, I’m expressing freedom from love and sex. I’m celibate as a monk from here on out. Retire my jersey, I’m out of the game. You can leave your hat on — and all the rest of it too. Quoth the bard, “Love stinks.” If you ever wonder if I want to get in your pants: I don’t.

The title of this piece is an actual quote. I heard someone say it while they were having really remarkable romantic troubles. You can switch the genders up in this essay to suit your tastes. The sentiment works any which way. I am not advocating a lifestyle. This is not an aspirational document. It’s just that I’ve been thinking: I’ve approached love like the depraved addict in “Heroin.”

Love and sex have always been indistinguishable to me. I loved everyone I ever made it with, or I wanted to love them, or I tried to love them. Whatever it takes to pick up strangers and have casual sex, I never had it. My game was serial monogamy. I was good at that for many years, traipsing from relationship to relationship. But I started living like I needed a partner to make me whole. I am not a sex addict, but I behaved like a love addict. And isn’t that what addicts are supposed to do: quit?

New Plan: Trick the Archeologists of the Far Future

Mockup example of proposed bronze historical marker series

New plan is to commission pieces on bronze or stone that can survive longer than paper, longer than digital, to really communicate with the future. The alien surveyors of 5000 AD will ask themselves, “WTH was going on in Duluth?” I’ve reached out to a few locals with the right skills; I hope to be able to show a nice series by Fall.

AP: University of MN Anomalies Department tests gravity-refracting material in Duluth

The Arthur M. Anderson fitted with gravity-refracting hull invented by Dr. Mallard McPurdy of UMD

AP: University of Minnesota Duluth – The university’s Anomalies Department worked closely with the local Institute for Sideways Research to develop the space-age material necessary for hovering ships, seen lately in the skies over this Midwestern beach town. The hulls of cargo ships (called “ore boats” on the inland seas) were irradiated with strangelet particles discovered by UMD’s Dr. Mallard McPurdy in 2018. These particles were later commercialized by the Institute for Sideways Research which specializes in gravity refraction. The Institute’s founder, Dr. Horace Zontal, explained, “With this innovative particle, we were finally able to refract gravity a full 180 degrees in the hull of the revered Arthur M. Anderson.” The shipping lanes of the world are expected to be revolutionized in the coming years to take advantage of the new phenomenon. Dr. McPurdy estimated, “Costs will be slashed by two-thirds leading to cheaper commodities for all humanity.”

Essay series by Jim Richardson

Since 2020 and the dawn of the Covid era, I have written ongoing chonky essay series about my obsessions: art, literature, music, my relationship with Lake Superior, and other stuff. I will keep this updated as new installments appear. Thank you to Perfect Duluth Day for the bandwidth.

Fish Frozen in Lake Superior Ice Sheet

 

Fish of increasing size frozen at various depths in 8 inches of ice or so. Pic #1: 3-inch fish. Pic #2: 6-inch fish. Pic # 3: 12-inch fish.

Ice Angler Rescue

Ice anglers rescued after ice sheet breaks away from shore.

KBJR. WCCO-TV. Star Trib. Duluth News-Tribune.

I was skating that ice 48 hours ago, so I’m going to crawl under my bed now.

Skated the big lake today

Skated the big lake today in -30 windchill or so. Had it all to myself because I’m a baller, shot caller, 20-inch blades on the Impala

More Wild Ice

Skating Duluth’s inner harbor at “the slip.” Photo gallery below.

Wild Ice

Drain Lake Superior

Somebody peed in it.

Drain Lake Superior Facebook page

Avant-Garde Women: Michele Bernstein, Queen of the Situationists

In which I continue writing about the Situationists by telling the stories of the women involved.

More of My Indie Rock Guitar Goddess She-roes

There is a vein of singer-songwriters I refer to jokingly as “weepy folk.”

Avant-Garde Women: The Shakespearean Tragedy of Peggy and Pegeen Guggenheim

The story of Peggy and Pegeen Guggenheim, as told by the Situationist painter Ralph Rumney, reads like Shakespeare: court intrigue, backstabbing, madness, and suicide. Rumney’s book The Consul provides a critical point of view on this fraught mother-daughter relationship cracking up at the cutting edge of the art world.

Avant-Garde Women: Eliane Brau, the Invisible Icon

Born Eliane Papai around 1935 in Spain, Eliane married her way into a couple other last names; she is mostly referred to as Eliane Brau, using the last name of her second husband. I think of her simply as Eliane, in deference to her singularity. Below I argue that her role in the “Letterist” movement of early 1950s Paris has been diminished; conversely, the achievements of the Letterist men have been overblown. It has been too easy to write her off as a passive “muse” for these men who indeed loved her fiercely. She deserves parity. Sadly, unlike her lovers, there is a distinct lack of information about her on the internet. I cannot even determine if she is still alive. Eliane is an invisible icon.

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