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Dear JT. It famously rained in Miami during Super Bowl XLI. Splattered lenses captured the crowd chant-singing, clapping, "We Will Rock You" at the start of the halftime show. The stage: a glowing and wet illuminated symbol. Prince — blue suit, orange shirt, head wrapped — opened with "Let's Go Crazy." Rain, shrug. If he batted a wet lash, it wasn't noticeable. According to the lore, when the Super Bowl keepers contacted him to talk about the weather, he asked "Can you make it rain harder?" Thus, setting the bar for halftime shows of the future.
HIBBING, Minn. — The woman rumored to be the subject of Bob Dylan's song "Girl from the North Country" died last week in California, according to friends and Dylanophiles. Echo Star Casey, nee Helstrom, was in her late 70s and had lived in California for years, though she stayed in touch with her Hibbing roots. It was as a teenager in the Iron Range city when Casey — described as "striking" with white-blonde hair and dark eye makeup, the Brigitte Bardot of Hibbing — dated the eccentric folk singer, then a classmate at Hibbing High School.
DULUTH, Minn. — It might have taken eight years, but eventually Josh Rude made good on his engagement present to his wife Natalie Salminen Rude: a canoe paddle. They had met as canoe guides working in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in the late 1990s and had, during business hours, settled for any old paddle. For the gift, they were looking for something light with a double bent shaft, something beautiful. But nothing they found in stores was quite right, size or style-wise. Time passed, paddle-less.
DULUTH — Sarah Seidelmann's spirit animal is an 1800s-era Asian elephant, wrinkled and grey with nice eyes. She's sometimes zany and theatrical — she wears a necklace of peonies — but is also sensitive and warm with sound advice. "Be yourself," she might tell Seidelmann. "Everybody else is taken." Her name is Alice and Seidelmann officially met her years ago during a shamanic journey, though the pachyderm is a figure she later realized she had encountered in her past.
DULUTH — A century-old downtown building that has housed tuxedos, boxers-in-training, a marketing company and more is scheduled to open later this month as a privately owned white box gallery. As of last week, Joseph Nease Gallery, 23 W. First Street, was still under construction with piles of wood, tools here and there, stacks of drywall. The concrete floors and exposed brick will remain unchanged. The movable white walls were in place, but the track lighting was still on the to-do list.
DULUTH — On a gray day at Duluth Timber, the plein air painters scattered across the spread of massive wood piles, rusted boats and gravel roads for industrial vistas. Carl Bretzke, an award-winning painter whose style the Washington Post once compared to Edward Hopper, went for an unclaimed view. He climbed to the top of the pilothouse of a rusted barge and painted a scene with a white trailer, an old boat and a construction vehicle. It was the only way to snag a glimpse of a Duluth identifier.
ELY, Minn. — A long-ish time ago, on an island in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, there lived a nurse who made root beer for passing canoeists. Cue the "O Dorothy Molter Waltz."
DULUTH — After Kat Perkins was eliminated from season 6 of "The Voice," she took a quick break to decompress. The Minneapolis-via-North Dakota musician got much-needed sleep and ate real meals. But after a week, the rock 'n' roller was back in the studio. "I wanted to write a song and record a song that still had all these raw emotions," she said.
DULUTH — The story of a young girl who was, for years, raped by the leader of a Pine County-based religious cult will be featured on "20/20: In an Instant" — and the episode is directed by Duluth-gone-Hollywood filmmaker Sarah Kruchowski. This edition of the ABC television docudrama, which airs at 8 p.m. Saturay, June 10, is about Lindsay Tornambe, now an adult, whose family was a part of the River Road Fellowship in the mid-1990s. She was among a group of first-born girls, deemed "maidens," who cult leader Victor Barnard chose to live close to him.
DULUTH, Minn. — If you ask Bill Pagel, he will say there is no chance that Bob Dylan would stop by his childhood home in Duluth's Central Hillside on his birthday. No way. "This would be the last place on earth he would be," said Pagel, a Dylan memorabilia collector who has owned the duplex since 2001. "During Dylan Fest?"