The long planned E 4th street project has finally reached my home’s intersection on 21st. Avenue. Its a noisy mess which has been plagued with rain and huge pools of red water covering the clay turned up in the massive excavations. Dismantled street lights and absent traffic make for an eerie calm and darkness. Last night Claudia and I sat in the darkness over our sunroom lit by solar lights in flower pots listening to a young couple trying to navigate around the pit in the gloom. The man’s voice was full of imprecations about how he couldn’t see an effin thing and the woman’s voice was reassuring. “He’s not going to have that girlfriend for long,” I told Claudia.
This morning I went out to take some pictures from my neighbor’s front yard and gingerly stepped over a fresh pile of deer scat. The local wildlife doesn’t mind our inconvenience in the slightest.
A year ago Claudia and I signed over the temporary rights to our front lawn for a windfall of $800 to the County. When our sidewalk was removed a week ago the workers were careful not to damage our relatively new and expensive brick steps. We spent some to keep our home true to its original condition. I am a little worried that the diggers that dumped a ton of soil on the bottom two steps may have damaged them. I hope when its removed its done with men and shovels instead of a bull dozer.
The best yard in Duluth for showing off political lawnsigns has been temporarily transformed. The three at large school board candidates whose signs are laid out on the rhubarb I planted a couple of years ago sit forlornly unread by the 30,000 vehicles which usually breeze up and down our avenue every day.
I began to remedy that yesterday by passing out my upgraded literature on London Road. I was out with Kurt Kuehn. (Remember that’s pronounced KEEN) Kurt is challenging Rosie Loeffler-Kemp for the first District seat. We slapped up five signs on east London Road. Meanwhile dozens of another school board candidate’s signs went missing over the weekend. I hope ours don’t suffer a similar fate. And the frustration of lawnsign maintenance is why I have taken to putting up signs just a couple of weeks before elections rather than months beforehand. Ah, but there is a primary in a little over two weeks. The Trib has already started endorsing candidates for the City Council. No doubt the School Board endorsements are soon to follow. Yesterday I went to the DNT’s offices to get a new head shot taken. They’ve been using a nice photo from a few years ago when I was still wearing a beard and I had more pepper in my hair. Salt is making new inroads and I didn’t want people to think I was trying to disguise my age. As Ronald Reagan once said of Walter Mondale when folks were accusing the President of being decrepit: