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Draplin Design Co., North America
March 30, 1999
Merits 1999: Going for the Gold
Posted at 02:07 PM
Draplindustries Gazette #6
March, 1999

Dear All:

Funny how those months tend to shoot on by. Please let it be known the forces at Draplindustries are doing whatever it takes to fight Father Time and his unrelenting ways.

February on the factory floor had a couple moments worths parlaying.

School is into our 6th week or something.

A couple weeks back I was typing some copy in for the MCAD March Calendar and was alerted of the Merit Scholarships Juried Show coming up. I had no idea what this little competition entailed. This was the first time I had heard about it. I asked some questions, found out I was eligible and got myself some wall space. This was the annual Merits show where students with a year or two to go could hang 8 pieces of their finest classwork-related projects. I scrounged up all the efforts from my first semester back in the big leagues and a couple recents pieces from class. Then I consulted some specialists in the field, (Hi-fives to Mike Godfrey, Charlie Ross, PJ Chmiel and Andy Maniotes) and weeded out the “yeps” from the “nopes”. I arranged my materials, measured out my dimensions and busted out. A couple hours later with the helpful hands of Mr. Ryan Simonson and sustenance help from Mr. MIke Gaughan I had my first little MCAD show up on the walls. It was a bit of an emotional moment…kind of made me feel like I might be doing something good here.

The show is up and I guess those teachers are gonna be doing the judging real soon. There’s a bunch of cash to be won…to be put towards tuition. There is some pretty burly competition out there…but hell; the kid is going for the gold. It feels good to walk by my little offering to see the work up on the wall. Thanks to all for the wonder-full compliments. It means the world to the kid.

Things are going smooth at my MCAD DesignWorks job. I just finished my first real project: The March 1999 MCAD Calendar. Back when I first started the calendar I remember telling a kid, “Yeah, I’m gonna design the new calendar.” And he said, “Oh, the one no one reads?” We’ll tackle anything, hell or highwater. Praise the Helvetica folks. Everyone is very helpful around the place. It doesn’t feel like work, which is cool. I work Mondays.

Woody Hummel, world travel dude stopped in a little ways back for a night out on the town. He came bearing tickets to the Timberwolves basketball game downtown. We had a great time with nosebleed seats, stadium grub and cattle prod parking lot lines. Thank you to Wood, we hope to see you in Alaska this summer.

Alaska? Yeah, I did it again and signed on the dotted line of doom for another summer on the rail. It’s an integral part of me. I miss that landscape, long hours and the challenge of firing up the perfect side of prime rib. Thanks to Jenn for all her help.

The factory floor had a guest technician the last couple days: Cameron Barrett of www.camworld.org. Cam drove up here from his homebase in Ann Arbor for a couple days of Internet frolic, hard drive scrubbing and sight-seeing. We’d like to thank him for his wonder-full technical prowess and free-willed, gung-ho spirit when facing tough factory floor issues. We ran around town a little bit, caught “Payback” at the movie thee-ayter and slept in. He’s a good kid, things are gonna go his way soon enough. He deserves it.

Eric Campbell went to big city New York for a bunch of tours, interviews and handshakes with leading advertising firms. Hell, the factory floor is still waiting dilligently for the word on how things went. If anyone sees Eric Campbell out there…punch first, then ask questions.

My little sister Leah celebrated her 16th birthday last month. I remember when she was just a little red sausage wrapped in linen so long ago. She is in 10th grade.

Spring break is right around the corner. I didn’t have the loot for CanCun and couldn’t rustle up my thong for Fort Lauderdale so I’m opting for Minnesota. Jess is coming up from Atlanta-ville for a week of killing time in the big city with me. Cool. The last couple days of my break will be spent back in Traverse City at the dinner table with the family, on the prowl with Derek Denoyer and maybe a couple run-ins with Natalies, Aleshires and Teds.

Thanks to all who have or once again will cross paths with us.

Aaron James Draplin, The last day of February 1999.

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Factory floor selections: Feb.1999

  1. The new “Built To Spill-Keep it like a secret” is delicious, all tracks ‘cept the “Weezer-sounding one” are right on.
  2. As is the new “Sam Prekop” (of Sea and Cake fame).
  3. Tiffany Anders-Runnin’ from no place to nowhere
  4. Idaho-Alas
  5. Marah-Let’s cut the crap and hook up later on tonight.
  6. John Denver-Great Country Hits
  7. Spiritualized-Live at Royal Concert Music Hall
  8. Paul Westerberg-Suicaine Gratification (please suffer with us.)
  9. Bill Fox-Transit Byzantium
  10. Bruce Springsteen-Nebraska