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Draplin Design Co., North America
August 30, 1999
Alaska Behind Me...Back in the Big City
Posted at 02:02 PM
Draplindustries Gazette #10
August, 1999

Dear Ev’ryone.

Hello and welcome to the Draplindustries Gazette, our 10th offering.

[There are a lot of words to digest here, be warned, naysayers.]

Back in big city Minneapolis, slowly getting operations up and running for the coming school year. But let me give you the run down on the last couple months.

- - - - - - - - - [ Alaskan summer no.4 ] - - - - - - - - -

Summer in Alaska. Yeah, another summer spent on that goddamn train. One gets comfortable with a situation and comes back for more an more, no matter how painful and self-defeating. A peculiar and nauseating phenomena often disputed by rail employees in the off-season. Whiskers shaved, chef-issue whites donned, knives sharpened…punching in for the summer as a rail cook. I killed some serious hours in those bouncing kitchens this summer…as many as I could get my mitts on. I set some personal records too: 10 days in a row on the rail. That’s 160 hours in 10 days. Sanity? Sure, I guess. The way I looked at the whole deal was; work as much as possible while I can, as it’ll make for comfortable surroundings this fall. Suffer now, kick back in a couple months. Much to co-workers puzzled scowls, I worked those hours with a relentless rail-ridin’ drive unknown to many, savored by few.

Lots of drama on the rail. Dipshits breaking the rules and getting canned hand over fist, in turn dropping morale levels to new lows. Hurts bad to see friends get the ax…but, if yer gonna play, yer gonna pay. Lots of threats from the proles…no action carried out though. Smile and deal with the bullshit. We (rail suckers) need the bucks. They (Princess Tours) need us to carry out the duties in order to serve the hordes of incoming passengers. Interesting scene.

No wounds worth detailing. One slice to the left thumb…could have been worse. Lots of broken hearts and one bruised ego among other summer altercations.

Rooming with the Fred Green and the Matt Leonard again, I manned a window section of the living room. I lucked out with the purchase of a sturdy, reliable air mattress for sleeping accommodations. Lots of late night drunken threats from the locals, waking us from our pre-train slumbers. One time some gal was duking it out with her sister or something out there in the parking lot. Mass chaos ensues. Nothing like screaming out a window, middle of the night, flanked by roomies…only perpetuating matters even more.

Funny how fast the summer flew by. Once again, as I said before, you get comfortable in a setting and the novelty wears off fast. I flew up there to work my ass off and save some bucks. And that’s what I did…focused on the goal, blinders on to peripheral drama.

Highlights of the summer include:

1. Harry Brumer and his pal Dave coming up from Vancouver for some rest and relaxation. Nice to see Harry…very proud of him and his current situation: Professoring in Sweden…molecular biology action. Amazing trajectories for the man.

2. Purchased a big-ass stereo component system. ‘Bout goddamn time.

3. Lots of laughs with the Fred Green Comedy Hour.

4. Blair-Witch-like-omigod-it-was-so-scary-I…

5. Flaming Lips - Soft Bulletin. Don’t ask, just buy.

6. Calls, e-mail, goodies from home. Thanks Mom, Nat, Etk, Em.

- - - - - - - - - [ so glad it’s over ] - - - - - - - -

I just flew down…straight to Minneapolis for a quick layover…caught up with dudes…then a quick flight over the big lake back to Michigan.

Had to get back to Traverse City in time for some big digs. Eric Campbell was getting hitched to Megan Magee on August 21st at 10:30 in the am, downtown Omena. I held the title of “best man”. This is big-time stuff here. Honorable duties I couldn’t back out of. They have been a unit for 8 years! And, I love them very much.

A couple nights before the wedding I organized a “Dude’s Night Out.”. Old high school marauders organized to spend one last night with Eric in his bachelor status. Great faces showed up…so great to see everyone. We had a bite to eat at some yuppie brewery then cruised to Waller’s palace of deathmetal and smut for a little amp-cranking, pool playing and whiskey guzzling. Then off to some casino for some gambling. No one really won anything, as usual. It was great to have everyone together…a reunion of sorts.

The wedding was beautiful. Set in downtown Omena, not a stick’s throw from the water, in a beautiful turn-of-the-century chapel set on a grassy hill.

These were my hitching duties:

  1. Signing the marriage license.
  2. Walking with the dudes (Mr.Pastor, Eric, Megan’s Dad and myself) up to the alter.
  3. Escorting Nicki (Megan’s sister) over to her spot next to the alter.
  4. Bearing witness on the events before us. Acknowledging the bond and nodding my approval to the vows.
  5. Holding the rings in my pocket.
  6. Pulling the rings out when the big moment came down.
  7. Clapping and hootin’ and hollerin’.
  8. Hug and handshakes outside the chapel, as Mr. and Mrs. Eric Campbell.
  9. I gave a toast at the reception and tried to chug a bottle of cham-pag-ne. The ‘pop’ of the bottle was great…sort Indy-500 meets Don Knots-ish.

The ceremony was beautiful. Megan looked like a princess. Eric looked wonderful too, very dapper indeed. Eric and I got a little choked up as she walked in with her Mom. It was very intense and as I sit here typing, I feel a couple goosepimples. A big, big moment in their lives.

Congrats to Eric and Megan.

3 days in the homelands. Spent a couple nights outs with the amazing Emily Anne Walter and one night cruising the country roads with the tantalizing Natalie Kranz. Great to see all the dudes…especially D, Bry, Buckmaster and Johnny White. And as always, being around Mom and Dad, 16 year old Leah and Zak the dog. Miss the family life very much.

Mom drove back to Minneapolis with me and spent a week with me getting prepared for the winter. She helped us hit the streets apartment shopping, gave pointers on buying sheets and pillowcases, and waited outside dressing rooms…all with a smile. Thank you to the best goddamn Mom in the world for making my first week back into the big city comfortable.

- - - -

Here’s the roommate lineup for the fall:

1. Ryan Simonson. Age: 22. Tall. Master saw painter and experienced forklift operator. Martial arts buff and airbrush craftsman. Doubleplay on any given day, runner of the bases. Painting enthusiast and emo-rocker. Employed by the city, side bets with shady characters from dark circles.

2. Matt Cooley. Age: 19. Petite. Often goes “heel-nipper”. Player of video games and reader of glossy comic books. Funny humor. Harley Davidson-edition glasses. Small, white t-shirts. Excited to be in art school, with all the zany students.

3. We may squeeze in a fourth…stay tuned.

We moved in on the 1st, A 4 bedroom deal with high ceilings and hardwood floors and cheesey simulated wood paneled walls in the bedrooms. Nice Anderson windows, front and back entrances with parking if we’re cunning. We’re gonna turn it into a dwelling fit for kings.

- - - -

School is in full swing. Working out the bugs figuring out how to stretch screenprintin’ screens and multimedia directions. Good stuff, just enough to keep me really busy but with room to work on campus in the service bureau burning discs and spitting out prints. Very excited to get the factory floor set up at the pad so I can get rolling on the some projects. Damn straight, been waiting for this sort of actrion all summer long.

- - - -

Other notables:

Saw Shellac the other night, it was wonderful.

Gonna see Juno, R. Buckner, PW and the amazing-est Son Volt next week, god willin’.

Portfolio viewing and general shootin’ the shit with the fine folks from the Charles Spencer Anderson Design Company next week. ( Excited…yes, excited.)

- - - -

Hope all is well. If you are so inclined, send me yer Fall updates, as we have feelings too.

Thanks, here’s to another year of class in the big city.

Aaron James Draplin
Draplindustries Design Co, Minneapolis

2437 Dupont Ave S #4
Minneapolis MN 55405

12 credits shy of being a Senior, Graphic Design Major