Permafrost is an unincorporated (and entirely concocted) town on the logging road, off the gravel road, off the county road from Big Falls, in Koochiching County, Minnesota. It went into the unusually hard winter of 1887–88 and never came out. Oh, it isn’t frozen in time, it’s just frozen.
There is what is called a “microclimate” around Permafrost. About two square miles around the town and a lake are below freezing all year round. It doesn’t get bitter cold even in winter, or warm even in summer, just freezing, all the time. It’s no wonder Permafrost is the ice-fishingest place around.
Permafrost, MN is an audio serial in thirteen three-minute episodes about the people who live and work in the town. Together they tell about one important event in the history of the town, and each episode tells a part of this tale with a short story of its own.
You’ll meet Finch Shelmerdine and her parents who run the Frozen Filet Cafe. You’ll hear from Bux Hootkins, who lives in Permafrost but has a place in Texas that he visits in the summer because he likes the extremes. You’ll find Melody McCleod, Permafrost’s mail carrier and town gossip who, if there’s not enough to gossip about in a small town, just makes it up. Then there is Les Decksia, town historian, who claims he remembers the threat of a thaw back in ’69. And they are all a little nuts to live in a remote and frozen place like Permafrost, Minnesota.
This is a very Minnesota program, with likable characters and humorous situations and events, written, produced, and performed by Minnesotans and richly enhanced with original music and sound effects.
Permafrost, MN is one of the plays from the Great Northern Audio Theatre, which creates its own unique, original brand of lighthearted, comic stories that evoke the inventiveness of Firesign Theatre and the sophistication of Norman Corwin, celebrated American creator of radio drama.
Permafrost, MN performers include Irene Ruderman, Donna Alexander, Don Cosgrove, Rebecca Fay, David Hennessey, Dean Johnson, Carolyn Press, Mark Sulander, Jerry Stearns. Original theme music is by Mike Wheaton. Radio music is by Darren Callahan.