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Draplin Design Co., North America
April 30, 1999
From the Obituary Department
Posted at 02:06 PM
Draplindustries Gazette #7
April, 1999

“Red”,’91 Plymouth Mini-Van, Maroon in hue, pushin’-two-hundred-grand.

Draplindustries Team Rig 1997-99, proudly.

Red passed on to the celestial wrecker-yards at 12:14 in the p.m. on March the 31st, 1999.

Always one for a challenge, he succumbed to transmission failure and a deteriorating underbelly, due in part to the infamous northbound run up to Anchorage last spring. His resting grounds can be found in the greater Minneapolis area, under the watchful eye of the vulture junkyard son-of-a-bitch who so kindly “took ‘em off our hands” this morning. He was known in automotive circles for his brave performances on the lone road and will forever be an example of comfort, style and tact to those who had a chance to be graced with a ride. He will be missed dearly. He is survived by his dear friend, brother and cockpit operator Aaron James Draplin. The Draplindustries factory floor, in a symbol of adoration and mourning, wore their trousers at half-mast today. We still don’t know what that really means. No services to be held other than Mr.Draplin flipping off the wrecker as it pulled away earlier today. Long may he run. - - - -

Dear Everyone, (keys pecked in between sobs)

Yeah, the big news on the factory floor has to do with my rig dying. He puked a couple weeks ago to the tune of a grinding crunch somewhere in his nether regions. We knew the sound was of the evil kind and got the ball rolling to fix him up. After a couple tows around town and some spendy estimates, the factory floor decided to throw the towel in and pull the ‘ol plug on our dear friend.

I’m riding the bus and then hopping on my skateboard in order to get around. Duty calls and the wheels still roll.

- - - -

The best news of the last month has to do with Scholarship Action. I won a 1999 MCAD Merit scholarship, hot damn, which chisels another 1000 smackers off the financial aid ball and chain. Yay. Thanks so much to y’all around campus for all the wonder-full compliments and hi-fives. And congrats to everyone who went for the gold.

- - - -

Jess from Atlanta came up a couple weeks back. She was on a little vacation from her job and I was just starting my spring break from class. Of course, in true Draplindustries style my rig went down the night before she showed up. That made transportation around town a little frustrating. She was a real trooper, braving the cold northern winds and bumpy bus rides in true fashion. We ran around town, got bites to eat, watched videos…general hanging out. It was nice to see her. Miss that girl. She flew back after 8 days here in Minneapolis.

That night Jess flew out I jumped a plane back to the Michigan homelands to see the parental unit. My man Derek Denoyer picked me up from the airport. It’s always a pleasure to see that kid. I met his gal Alexis and we cruised over to his job. He’s doing this amazing woodworking stuff. I’m rather proud of him. Nice to see him smiling and excited about his new project. You can’t go wrong with Derek D. I was home for four days, two of which were spent shooting down to Detroit to see my Gramma Leo and my Uncle Kevin’s band. They rocked. It was nice to see Gramma too. She’s full of piss and vinegar as always. I got to see a bunch of relatives, a little chance to catch up on all the developments and growth spurts of all the little critters. Amazing stuff. We shot back up to Traverse City where I didn’t do a goddamned thing other than sleep, chow and hang with the parents. My dad started his Mickey Mouse Collection Installation…you gotta see it. Three walls of packed Mickey Mouse collectibles. All those years digging through junks stores and antique shops…history! He’s so crafty…too bad about his illiteracy. (Just kidding Dad.) Mom got him a Carhartt suit to wear when he works around the house. He looks like a million bucks of the ‘ol cotton duck canvas. He’s a goddamn Carhartt symphony that gear, that’s all I gotta say. It was nice to see everyone. All the miles between us take their toll on me. Just sitting around watching tube or eating dinner was so nice, just being able to be around them. Thanks for everything Mom and Dad.

- - - -

School is a whirlwind of bus connections, due dates, laser print proofs, print bids, theory explorations and mouse clicks. The energy is flowing through me as we round off into our last 4 weeks of the 15 week semester. My favorite class this semester has me in the darkroom for long hours. Black and White photography has got its ugly hands on me again. I’m loving it. Enjoying my camera, exploring different subjects around the city. I love the process, it’s as beautiful as the finished project.

- - - -

I saw Low a couple nights back. It was soothing. I gotta tell you, those shows require seats. That standing up bullshit has to go for those mellow shows.

- - - -

Reflect with us, here we go:

  1. “Designers are unique among professionals in that they almost invariably do more than clients ask, or expect them to do.” -Kaplan
  2. “Well, the tranny is shot. You betcha. Uh Aaron, we put him on the hoist and got a look at his underside…and it doesn’t look good, y’know.”-Some mechanic dude with the full-on Fargo accent.
  3. “Oh, I broke my back. I can still walk and stuff. Ha-ha.”-Robin Reinbold, Idaho gal, Oregon snowboarder.

- - - -

Listen to these while on a bus downtown:

  1. Wilco - summerteeth
  2. Built to Spill - keep it like a secret
  3. Joe Henry - fuse
  4. Olivia Tremor Control
  5. Bottle Rockets - the brooklyn side
  6. America - greatest hits

Read “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Album. “Jar of Fools” by Jason Lutes, a graphic novel, is great too.

I have about 5 weeks left here in Minneapolis and then I catch a couple flights north by northeast up to another summer on the rail in Anchorage. I’m actually kind of looking forward to it.

Thanks to everyone, keep Red in yer thoughts for us, he’s in a better place now.

Aaron James Draplin
Draplindustries Design Co