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Draplin Design Co., North America


Tulsa, Galena, Joplin, Springfield, Rolla, St. Louis, Mississippi River…

Tulsa in the morning�

Again, over to the Waffle House for another wholesome meal. Love the cooks, love the clientele: Grisly bastards, with cigarette-gnarled voices serving our meals up piping hot. Dad had a waffle, I downed some sort of egg sandwich.

Heading through downtown Tulsa, all that comes to mind is Larry Clark�s �Tulsa� book, a harsh look at a group of junkies in the �70s.

Out of Tulsa and up towards the Northeast corner of Oklahoma and into the very Southeast corner of Kansas. As you come into Galena, you are greeted by a small, ragged downtown…sadly run-down, in repose and boarded up. The “inevitable demise of small town America” is a running theme along Route 66 and I�d bet, across all of America. One thing we�ve heard, from town to town is, �As soon as the Walmart moved in, the small businesses dried up.� We�ve heard this tale too many times. These beautiful little American main streets�with one shop out of five still conducting some sort of business, is the going rate. Too sad. Lots of video stores, dollar stores and liquor stores nowadays.

So I get to wonderin��maybe I oughta try one of these small towns?

01. Pay off a year�s worth of the mortgage and bills up in Portland.
02. Find a roommate to take my spot.
03. Pack up the rig with just enough gear to work/play with.
04. Move to Galena, Kansas.
05. Establish a good web connection to work off/stay in touch
06. Give small, smalltown America a try.

Just a thought, as we cruise through these amazing little communities.

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Dad brought two pairs of kicks along for the trip. One pair of Adidas running shoes (…like he actually �runs.�) and some sort of Bass loafers. He usually runs them without socks, which is a cardinal rule breakin� way of things concerning odor control. Well, after a little adventure where we had to hike out into a muddy field, we got back to the rig and had to jump into dry shoes. Dad�s loafers were caked with mud and he had to switch to his running shoes.

Now, for the better part of the trip, it�s been warm out, so he�s been enjoying the Mother Road in his loafers. The running shoes have been stowed in the back of the rig, out in the open, and well, I�ve noticed a foul odor when I have to grab something back there. Due to the excitement of all of this, I have put two and two together�

That is, until today.

I smelled those fuckin� things for the first focused time, and just about died. Being somewhat of a successful problem solver off the road, on the road I had to work extra quick. I took the next goddamn exit, found a shoe store and marched him in�barefoot, mind you�and had him try on some new kicks.

He reluctantly settled for a pair of New Balance deals, that promptly went on the DDC Gold Card. �I�ve never paid more than 40 bucks for a pair of shoes. Jeez� he added, looking down at the new kicks. He fought the purchase until he found out they were “Made In America.” That made him feel a lot better.

You gotta act quick on the road, in the name of health and well, “What’s right.”

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Missouri reminded us of our Michigan home. Lots of green, lots of fields, lots of trees. Great stretches of 66 snake back and forth across the bustling I-44. �Slow going� is the way to go.

We made it across the �Show Me State� up to St. Louis where we did a little Arch gazing, a quick run through the industrial warehouse neighborhoods and across the Mississippi up into Southern Illinois.

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Tomorrow we jump on 66 for our final push to downtown Chicago. One more stretch to go. Lot to see, in that last 280 miles.

There Are 2 Comments

With daily updates, I’ll never be lonely again.

Posted by: Kurty on 09/28/04 at 7:16 PM

The CP studio is wide open for Draplin men without stinking feet.

Posted by: coudal on 09/28/04 at 8:22 PM