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The speaker is a 54-year-old White woman with a college education from Superior, Wisconsin; she was recorded in 1968.
4:40-6:50


County: Douglas
State: WI

Commentary:
Superior, a port city on the southwestern shore of Lake Superior, has been significant both in terms of water and rail transport. Iron ore from Minnesota, grain, other agricultural products, and timber have all found their way to the Atlantic Ocean via Lake Superior in the eight or so months of the year when the harbor is not icebound. Railroads have supplemented water transport the year round. The speaker takes pride in living in a harsh climate and tells of events unique to this far northern part of Wisconsin.
Inf: I was born and raised in Superior and I wouldn't live anywhere else. Superior is a rugged, wholesome climate that makes for friendly, healthy people. We enjoy the things that other people seem to feel sorry for us for having. For instance, the rough weather that we have in the winter is a matter of humor and pride, even with the small school children. For instance, they'll beg for a ride to school or get there any way they can on a nice day, but let it be 26 or 30 below zero and a blizzard howling, they wouldn't take a ride for anything. They're, they know that their friends would say "cream puff," or "chicken," and they absolutely want to show the world that they are equal to this climate. Um. There's never, uh, time to be bored here. There's something doing all the time. Things are changing all the time. In the spring we have, uh, the break-up of the ice. People look forward to that because the minute the ice goes out, in great thundering ten-ton globs, the ships start coming in. But even before the ships, the millions of silvery little smelt come in the minute the wind and, is right, and the temperature is right; they come in in a solid wall, up the streams and rivers and cricks. Children just leaning over the edge of the bank with an empty tomato can can scoop it up full of smelt. People use this occasion to have immense bonfires all along the shore of Lake Superior and the local organizations will put up tents and have smelt fries: all you can eat for a quarter. Of course all of this just lasts for two or three days and then as suddenly and mysteriously as they came, the smelt are all gone.

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