Our view: Northland basking in a global glow
Don't you just love a splash of national spotlight -- for things other than a benzene spill or a restaurant-swallowing flash flood, of course? Duluth and the Northland receive our fair share of global glow for our natural beauty, our hockey teams...
Don't you just love a splash of national spotlight -- for things other than a benzene spill or a restaurant-swallowing flash flood, of course?
Duluth and the Northland receive our fair share of global glow for our natural beauty, our hockey teams and players (some of the best anywhere), our Olympians (distance runner Kara Goucher, just the latest, will be fun to watch in London next month), other athletes and those who do incredible or unusual things.
This week and the days ahead are shaping up, though, as a rare moment of heritage, beauty and roots put on display for all to see -- and to be impressed.
On Tuesday, the popular PBS show, "History Detectives," investigates whether an electric guitar found in a New Jersey attic was the same one Duluth-born and Hibbing-raised Bob Dylan plugged in and played at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, a moment that changed music history. An electric guitar? At a folk concert? Unheard of -- until Dylan did it. Suddenly, electric rock eclipsed folk as the sound of the '60s, as L.A. Times writer Randy Lewis wrote in a story published in Monday's News Tribune. The famous -- or infamous -- guitar was left by Dylan on a private plane, according to its pilot's daughter, who was interviewed by the show. Dylan's attorney, however, insists the guitar played at Newport remains in the artist's possession. The show may not provide a definitive answer, but a Northland-born-and-raised legend will be celebrated and showcased once again, giving Northlanders another opportunity to enjoy the attention.
Another show, this one on the History Channel, highlights Great Lakes tugboats and will feature behind-the-scenes footage of a family-owned business from Duluth, Heritage Marine, after the show premieres Thursday. The footage for "Great Lake Warriors" was shot in December and January, as the News Tribune's Christa Lawler reported. That means some welcome wintertime scenes to offset our recent sweltering weather. It also means a rare "bird's eye view from the deck and the pilot house of what (Heritage Marine does)," as the company's owner told Lawler. The notoriety for Duluth and Lake Superior promises to be on the same level as for the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" and the History Channel's "Ice Road Truckers." "It's good to see Duluth-Superior get ink nationwide," the show's Capt. Mike Ojard said.
Darn right. And that won't be the end of it for this rare moment of national notoriety. That's because camera crews are capturing the action all this month as Superior's Old Globe Reclaimed Wood takes apart three massive grain elevators in the Duluth-Superior Harbor. The footage is expected to be aired on the History Channel's "Ax Men" show, according to a Superior Telegram report.
The national attention reaffirms something most of us firmly feel: This place we call home is pretty darn special and especially unique. The attention gives us a chance to show off and brag a bit, a chance that doesn't come our way as often as in bigger places like New York, Los Angeles or even Chicago. So when it does come around we grab it. We capitalize on it. And when it comes in a flurry, like this week and in the days ahead, we bask. We revel in that spotlight.