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Draplin Design Co., North America
June 30, 2004
Posted at 11:09 PM

Jury Duty rattled me.

Down deep.

Walking out of the courthouse this afternoon, into the open air–the free air, “my” free air–hit me like a ton of bricks. I get to leave the building. I get to go on with my life. I get more and more opportunities to “make good” on my citizenship.

Someone’s life was altered today. For the worse. Back in January someone’s life was altered forever. Crime committed. Punishment dealt. No one wins.

The hardest part of the last couple days was to look into the eyes of the defendant. Innocent or guilty, he’s still a human. We stared at each other a whole lot. I wanted to talk to him. I want to reach out and go, “Man, you gotta get yer shit together.” I couldn’t. After the verdict was read, we silently walked past him. He offered me a nod and mouthed a small, “Thank You.” I felt bad for him.

This whole experience, albeit difficult and draining, has instilled a sense of “faith” in the system. The counselors, bailiff and judge went to extraordinary lengths to insure a fair trial. I was impressed, but have a new awe/fear for the power of the law. Bad things can happen in a split second. Bad things happened, and the kid is gonna pay for it.

- - - -

Coudal got a facelift. Really nice. Good type scale. Newspaper-ish. Facts are stubborn things: Jim Coudal is a nice guy. Took the time to “talk shop” a bit, got me pickled and inspired me a bunch. Good stuff. Thank you.

Watch this, or else. Amazing stuff from this guy’s hands. Jason Gnewikow of the Promise Ring and good design, in general.

- - - -

Sylvia and little Ezekiel pulled through town a couple days back. I met them out at Rod’s in Oregon City for a little some barbeque action. Good times. We taught little Ezekiel how to skateboard that night. Now, that’s a crucial step in a young man’s life. As crucial as being born, losing that first tooth, a last day of school before summer starts, a first kiss…

Well, the kids needs his own board. So I did “the right thing to do” and went down to Cal’s Pharmacy and got him a complete setup, some Vans (size 3-1/2) and a skate rat t-shirt. Ezekiel freaked out. A real skateboard. Just like the big kids.

Hey, it’s the least I can do. Sylvia is an amazing gal, and amazing mom. Rod and I are Ezekiel’s uncles. My uncles were good to me, and well, now is my chance to take care of a little guy. Rip shit up, little Ezekiel!

- - - -

Things are moving right along with the house. Getting ready to get down with the loan people real soon. Gonna sign my life away. Can’t wait. We’re proud to state were “financially sound” before and after the big transaction. Gigantically proud.

“Big” Tim Zimmerman might move in, too. Real good. One hell of a photographer, bass player, citizen, patriot, gal woo’er and all around nice guy, he’s completely welcome to help me break the joint in. He’ll take the upstairs bedroom. He’s on the road a ton, so it should work out well.

- - - -

Pinski moved up here too. Little fucker. I’ll kill him. Good kid, lot of talent. But, he’s got a funny look to him. He always smiles at me, just a little one, like he’s always on the verge of crackin’ up at me. I’ll get him on the right track, you bet.

- - - -

Portland summer nights are so beautiful. I can’t wait to sit on my porch and take in some fresh air.

There Are 6 Comments

Did you know Gnewikow and I grew up together back in Madison? His punk zines and flyers actually inspired me to be a graphic designer. Another friend of ours from back in the day, Andrew, shot the documentary with his partner here in LA (“Slowtron”). The “other guy”, Eric, is from Chicago and worked as a producer at Coudal for several years-which is why the projects have been hosted on their website. Now, you and I went to college together.. but you probably don’t know those fellows from jack shit, but.. What an incestuous little web of friends, eh?

Posted by: Berling on 07/01/04 at 8:58 AM

As draining as it was, I’m glad you went through with jury duty. Hope your work was sympathetic. One place I worked at years ago…didn’t give people the days they went in pay! So you got a little money from the state (which most people could make mowing someone’s lawn) and they actually LOST money doing civic duty. As a result…many people with jobs try to get out…leaving slim pickings on people who will do it. Curious…are you permitted to talk of the case now?

Posted by: AndrewM on 07/01/04 at 2:50 PM

I got called in for jury duty this winter. Never got on a jury. As it happens, both prosecutors I was interviwed by asked me about my relationship with the boys in blue. I couldn’t lie. I told them that I’ve been treated harshly, rudely, and looked down upon by numerous members of the police force both in Minneapolis and elsewhere - in addition to meeting good, solid, honest joe cops.

I guess you can’t be on a jury if you have less than nice things to say about the cops, because they nixed me and sent me home early. Oh well. Back to work….

Posted by: Runaway Ryno on 07/01/04 at 7:17 PM

It’s the strangest thing…..I’ve always been a registered voter, I’ve always had a valid drivers license, I don’t move around a lot and I’ve never been called for jury duty. I work with this guy who every 2 years gets called. Then he’s on a jury and misses a number of days from work. I don’t know what work covers….wait…I’ll look in the book. Ok, my employer will pay up to 16 hours per year for jury duty. Sounds like you’re better off just working!

Posted by: Uncle Terry on 07/02/04 at 1:03 PM


Some day when I’m up in your neck of the woods I’ll make you buy me a beer and I’ll tell you the really “uninteresting” story of my first and only Jury Duty.

Let’s just say it involved 3 trips to the court house before even beginning the interviews, a 14 page (double-sided) questionaire, about 9 attorneys, 3 defendants, 45+ potential jurors, a couple dead COPS, and the possibility of the DEATH penalty for all.

Actually, that’s the end of the story. You still owe me a beer though.


Posted by: Andrew R. Jenkins on 07/03/04 at 1:11 PM

Jury duty sounds like a heavy thing - dependent on what the case at hand is of course, but a highly responsible part you play any way you cut it.

On a lighter note: the weather has been colling down here a little too, the nights are sweet and cool - today it’s only been in the mid-60’s, I’m counting some blessings.