Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hutch's Duluth

I've always loved to go to Duluth, Minnesota, 150 miles north, and I'm going this week. So I spent most of today looking up its history.

Duluth, southwest corner of Lake Superior:

I focused on Duluth's mid-century history because Detective Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson (Starsky and Hutch, 1975–1979) was born in  Duluth in 1943.
I assume. His actor, David Soul, and Starsky's Paul Michael Glaser, were both born in 1943, anyway.
Here's a young David Soul looking like a Midwestern pastor's kid [which he was]:
It's funny to try to imagine a fictional character's "real" life; 
I went looking for the backdrop of Hutch's youth in Duluth
SOURCES: Unless otherwise linked, I selected vintage postcards from Lakes n Woods: Duluth Gallery and Greetings from Duluth, MN.
Also lots of good info at News Tribune Attic: "Odd, obscure, historic, humorous, random and/or relevant items from the archives of the Duluth News Tribune."[DNT]
And, Zenith City Press publishes books (and some online info) about Duluth history too.

BELOW: "A Thrilling Sight"  The towheads watching the Aerial Lift Bridge are a couple decades older than Hutch, but he must have looked like them. 
(Do little boys still hold hands?)

Anyone born in 1943 was a war baby, and during WWII, a lot of women in Duluth joined the workforce to keep the Duluth shipyards going (and, on the Iron Range, the mines).

The Johnsons
 "June Johnson even joined the Marines because her husband had left for the war a week before Christmas, just a few months after they were married. 
She worked in Duluth servicing juke boxes and slot machines. During a lunch break, she says, she decided to join the Marines. She shipped out on her and her husband’s anniversary [fall 1943]."

Duluth kids at the zoo in 1943, the year Hutch is born.

BELOW And another view from 1943 (Lift Bridge in back), "Bus Service on the Beach":

The same beach in summer: Park Point Beach, 1946
"Duluth, The Air-Conditioned City"

BELOW: 1950s "Mrs. Roland Wright and son Jon” in the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Babbitt, MN (west of Duluth), DNT

BELOW: Duluth Ski Club at Chester Bowl park, c. 1940s–1950s.
Note nonironic use of reindeer sweaters.

BELOW, 1950s: "Schoolchildren greet Albert Woolson of Duluth, the last surviving Union veteran of the Civil War [he died in 1956]."  
From the DNT
Front row, right: That boy in suspenders, with his hands in his pockets: where's his coat?

BELOW: On Jan. 31, 1959: Buddy Holly, “The Big Bopper”, and Ritchie Valens played the Duluth Armory.
Two days later they died in a plane crash.
Waylon Jennings (!), Buddy Holly, and Tommy Allsup                     at the Duluth Armory, Jan. 31, 1959.

 “This was the biggest teenage music show we’d ever had at the Armory. ... We found out later Bob Dylan was there [born in Duluth in 1941, grew up in Hibbing],” said the late Lew Latto.
Bobby Zimmerman [Dylan] would have been seventeen. Surely 15-year-old Hutch was there too?

Maybe they met down by the Lift Bridge?
Maybe so. But not this one ^.  This is Bob Dylan, but it's not Duluth.
Bob Dylan, singer, 132nd Street and FDR Drive, Harlem, New York City, November 4" ---by Richard Avedon

Ugly Duluth History:
June 15th, 1920 - Three African-American men were lynched in the streets of Duluth, Minnesota. An angry mob attacked Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie (members of a traveling circus) after they were accused of raping a white woman. The Duluthians hung the men at the corner of 1st Street and 2nd Avenue East--a short walk from the house Bob Dylan grew up in many years later. A photo of the lynching was printed on postcards and sold around town.

Bob Dylan referred to the lynching in his song "Desolation Row" (1965):
"They're selling postcards of the hanging. They’re painting the passports brown. The beauty parlor is filled with sailors. The circus is in town."

 Joe Huie’s Café 
Joe is the father of famous Twin Cities photographer Wing Young Huie, born in Duluth in 1955 (below, left, in 1959), who took this photo, right, of his father in front of his famous eatery. 
"Huie’s served classic Chinese and American food, and was a favorite of Duluthians... famous for its jumbo butterfly shrimp and remain[ing] open twenty-four hours a day; a sign on the door read 'lost key, we never close.' "
Oh, wow---I must go: Today a Huie family relative runs Duluth’s Chopsticks Inn (505 East 4th Street).

BELOW: Central High's boys basketball team won State in 1961. Was eighteen-year-old Hutch on the team?

BELOW: Before the Lakewalk opened along Duluth's Lake Superior shore in 1988, Canal Park was an industrial site and a junkyard (photo from the 1960s). 
ABOVE: A commenter recalls: "As a kid in the early 50’s I remember scrounging around that area and watching a big old crane with a giant electro-magnet separate the iron/steel junk. We used to get old rope there also to make swings in the trees at our central hillside neighborhood."

BELOW: Duluth's Edgewater Hotel, 1967 
(Twenty-four-year-old Hutch would've been long gone to Police Academy, where he met Starsky.)
Pre-Hutch Duluth
Some postcards I couldn't pass up.

BELOW: Duluth, 1906 "A Hustling Town"

Duluth (Chester Park, 1908?): "Ski Jumping"

Duluth c. 1910, photo by  John Wedmark , "Moose Hunt", from Shorpy

BELOW: August 1937. Ojibwe girl, daughter of blueberry picker, near Little Fork, Minnesota, [northwest of Duluth] photo by Russell Lee for the New Deal FSA
Hutch would probably not have known any Ojibwe people as in 1960, there were only 420 Native Americans living in Duluth.
 From Shorpy.  A commenter on Shorpy says, "She is an Ojibwe girl also commonly known as Chippewa ~ we too used to pick wild blueberries ~ buyers used to pay us 10 cents a pound for blueberries ~ we also used to do guiding for hunters and fishermen...."
More on American Indians in Duluth.

BELOW: Duluth, MN: "Divers at Work Through the Ice"
The postcard's not dated, but diving crews still repair ships stuck in harbor ice.
RE: Ice Divers, from 2014: Fifth generation diver, "Peter Norick of Duluth–based PJ Norick & Sons Diving, standing above a partially submerged ladder hanging by a chain, dipping into the harbor water, says, 
"The rudder's basically hanging on with one bolt. We're making it stable until they can figure out what they want to do for a permanent solution."
[People still have to do these dives today.]

But it's not always winter. 

Sometimes it's fall:

It's 1991. Does 48-year-old Hutch even visit Duluth anymore?
Maybe not, but he cut out this picture from
the Duluth News-Tribune (he has a subscription):
"Sept. 10, 1991, Fire Department Capt. Leonard Rouse giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a kitten was photographer Chuck Curtis’s favorite photograph." (Rouse adopted the kitten and named it Smudge). 


Zhoen said...

Your first image is so like a tablecloth my mother had, but of Florida.

Every time you mention Hutch, I can only think of my hand surgeon Hutch(inson), who is a bit of a loon.

Boy without a coat probably doesn't mind at all.

Documentary about Chinese restaurants in the US, The Search for General Tso.

Bink said...

What a lot of cool research! Great postcards.

Fresca said...

ZHOEN: I have a tablecloth like that of Sicily!
I wonder if ONE company was churning them out for everyone in some decade.

BINK: Thanks--you can imagine the research was a lot of fun.

the DECk said...

That picture of Bob Dylan is not in Duluth, it is a lift bridge behind him just not the aerial lift bridge, there is no top span.

Fresca said...

Wow--thanks, DECk!
I did a little more searching and found out it's
in NYC:
132nd Street and FDR Drive, Harlem, November 4, 1963