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Against Wise Advice

When I let the brown-leather Wilson basketball fly — when I ended a slow three-or-four-step run-up more elegantly than you might expect from an oafish 6’2”, 210-lb., 21-year-old boy-man by lightly springing off my left foot, driving my right knee up and out, and launching the ball into its arc with two hands — I wasn’t sure it was going to go in.

I’d taken a lot of half-court shots since my teens: before and after 10th-grade practice at Rochester John Marshall High; while skipping class to play noon ball in Romano Gym with my UMD football buddies; alone, ill-equipped for identifying anything better to do, just shooting around on various playground or gym courts. Sometimes you know, from the moment it leaves your hand, what’s going to happen. Muscle and brain memory and senses I don’t know how to name tell you everything from how you planted your foot to how your fingertips were in relationship with the ball’s seams to which snippet of which song was looping through your head add up to a swish, brick, or something else.

But in that moment in November 1993, in the College of St. Scholastica gym at halftime of a Saints’ women’s game against an opponent I can’t remember, when I sprung off my left foot from just behind the royal-blue half-court stripe laid on blonde hardwood, I didn’t know what the ball was going to do. At least I don’t think I knew. Honestly, I never know what I know or knew. I’ve been admonished a few times recently (with both warmth and contempt) for wantonly admitting what and when I don’t know. For expressing uncertainty and self-doubt and regret instead of [long pause] whatever other state of mind it would be more attractive and credible — and more comfortable to other people — for me to claim. For asking annoying questions about obvious and hypocritical contradictions.

PDD Calendar Index: Festival of the Season

Saturday: Festival of the Season
Saturday: Bentleyville Tour of Lights Opening Night
Saturday: Ellipsis Presents #MNMusic
Sunday: Riverside Bog Stompers Bluegrass Brunch
Monday: Marc Gartman
Tuesday: Take it with You
Wednesday: The Social Animals
Wednesday: Laura Velvet Holiday Party
Thursday: Gobble Gallop
Friday: Duluth National Snocross

For an early look at the merry events of the holiday season, visit the Christmas category.

For a complete look at what’s happening today, tomorrow and on into infinity, visit perfectduluthday.com/calendar.

Selective Focus: #galesofnovember

A handful of posts remembering the 42nd anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald sinking (November 10, 1975), and honoring the power in the big lake.

Bob Monahan launches Downtown Duluth hostel project

Red Herring Lounge owner Bob Monahan stands outside the former Garon Brothers jewelry store at 217 W. First St. Monahan plans to renovate the building and open a 46-bed hostel.

Visitors to Duluth can soon add a hostel to the growing number of lodging options available in the Twin Ports. Nightclub owner Bob Monahan and an undisclosed partner purchased the former Garon Brothers Jewelry store at 217 W. First St. and plan to open a 46-bed hostel in the space next spring.

The Fisk Rubber Company, 1920

Fisk Rubber Company had retail stores in 40 states during the 1920s. The Duluth sales and service station was at 749 E. Superior St. The photo above was shot by Hugh McKenzie and dated Oct. 23, 1920. Below, the same location at Eight Avenue East and Superior St., shot Nov. 7, 2017.

PDD Job Opening: Assistant to the Calendar Editor

How does Perfect Duluth Day publish 800 events per month in its online events calendar? Through the hard work of Tony Bennett, Jessica Morgan and the occasional intern, that’s how. Sadly, Jessica will be leaving Duluth soon, and if someone new isn’t quickly found to help Tony he’ll collapse on his laptop and weep uncontrollably.

So here’s another rare opportunity to get inside the PDD media empire and earn slightly above minimum wage with no benefits while working in pajamas. Read the full job description on the PDD employment page.

Enchanting the Internet with Funk and a Fiddle

The global video company Great Big Story features Duluth’s Gaelynn Lea in this video from the “Funk Plus One” series, hosted by Chris Funk of the Decemberists.

Duluth’s Hailey Sault on Outside’s “Best Places to Work” list

Outside Magazine’s list of the 100 best places to work included Duluth Marketing Agency Hailey Sault at the #15 spot. The agency is located in the recently renovated top floor of the Dewitt Seitz building in Canal Park.

Perks mentioned include: Jigsaw puzzle area, dogs, beer and bingo.

According to the stats, PR and Marketing firms made up nearly a quarter of the list, and common traits of companies on the list were “letting Fido sleep under your desk, having plenty of games, and having offices that are close to plenty of adventure.”

Wunderbar: a new place to eat, stay and play in Grand Marais

In late October, as many businesses in the remote community of Grand Marais were shuttering for the season, Wunderbar Eatery and Glampground was quietly making its debut.

Wunderbar occupies the former Harbor Light supper club, which has been closed for about five years. The building at 1615 Highway 61 W. dates back to 1930.

Carla Stetson addressing design/construction of CJM Memorial

I’m cleaning out my hard drive in preparation for a sabbatical. So here are some videos of Carla Stetson, then a Duluth artist, talking to my writing class. She’s addressing the process of designing and constructing the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial.

“Rock Star in My Living Room”

Duluth’s MRS (Moriah Robyn Skye), who also plays in the band Paper Parlor. This impromptu selection from her original rock opera is called “Sordid Affairs.” Videoed in Chris Homan’s living room by Jim Richardson. Moriah’s next gig is at Sir Ben’s on December 22nd.

PDD Quiz: Gales of November

November is a treacherous time on the Great Lakes. This past month, the “gales of November came early,” devastating the Lake Superior shoreline. This quiz looks back at Lake Superior storms and shipwrecks (as well as some marginally-related local singers and songwriters).

The next PDD Quiz, reviewing stuff that happened in November, will be published on Sunday, Nov. 26. Send question suggestions to Alison Moffat at aklawite@d.umn.edu by Nov. 23.

The Slide

“Are you the announcer or something?”

Corey was standing a few feet from the sled run when she spoke; one hand on her hip, her other mittened hand trying to wisp away the strands of hair run renegade from under her cap.

Corey was 8. She often cut to the heart of matters with me, her nattering uncle — curt queries snapping her into adult demeanor, leaving me bemused and suddenly self-conscious.

“I’m just trying to make this more exciting, like we did when I was a kid.”

Corey only half-listened and then belly-flopped onto her plastic glider, tucking the tow rope under her purple parka. “Push me far this time,” she gasped. One-two-three and she zoomed off.

Her cousin was trouncing up the hill, excited for another run.

“Did I get the world record? Is that the farthest anybody got ever?”

“Ever. Now get snug to the front. Josh, you’ll never beat Corey with your rope hanging out like that. You gotta be smart. It’s the intangibles that get you to the top.”

He only winced. Another three-count and Josh grinned as he slid away. Corey was still at the bottom of the hill, eating snow while flat on her back, feet kicking in the air. I was happy to see her once again acting her age.

Grandma’s Marathon 2017 Double: The Thundering Herd

Once again, Eric Strand embarked on the 52.4-mile journey from the finish line to the starting line and back to the finish line of Grandma’s Marathon. The annual video is usually released in June, but hey, it’s not a race, it’s a marathon … an ultra-marathon.

Selective Focus: Phil Davidson

Phil Davidson is a designer who co-owns Creative Arcade, a design and marketing studio with Jeff Ruprecht (featured previously). He talks about what makes him eager to get to work every day, and how their company is growing.

PD: As a business owner, I have to wear many hats, but at my core I’m a graphic designer. As a graphic designer I get to work in mediums ranging from print to web/digital to motion graphics/video and beyond. To me, the variety of work and mediums is what makes this industry so exciting. Professionally, I’ve been working as a designer for over fifteen years.