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Draplin Design Co., North America
September 19, 2005
DDC:GAA:FT: 09192005:L01:D06
Posted at 11:33 PM


“Thumbs Up” to the Comfort Inn of Topeka. Man. Good towels. Wifi. Comfy chair and ample desk. Lots of outlets for chargin’ shit up. Comfy pillows. Comfy shitter. And hell, an alarm clock to boot.

After 5 days of Motel 6’s, man, they are cheap, but, pale in comparison to the comfort of that Comfort Inn. And to think I passed ‘em up over a measely 10 dollar difference, is well, kinda dumb.

Woke up well-rested and content. Didn’t want to get up. Gary persuaded me to “keep going.” Barely.

The first thing the Topeka morning offered us was a blast of stifling, sticky heat. The 88 degrees on Big S’ readout felt more like “188.” Heavy air. Humidity, man, that shit’ll kill ya. Portland gets good and hot, but, it’s a “dry heat,” like, uh, a hair dryer hittin’ ya or something. Topeka was a sauna.

Back out onto I-70, but only for a good 30 miles. Lawrence was coming up, and well, I was hellbent on doing a quick “downtown cruise” to get a look at a town I’ve been wondering about for some time. When I first moved out west, the “disc that got the most play” was Paw’s “Dragline.” Bry and I just about wore that sucker out on that inaugural “leaving of the nest.” Slide guitars, ugly faces, and, fellow Midwesterners to boot. I got hooked. They were from Kansas. Some little town called “Lawrence.” Then a couple years later I got tipped off to a band called Kill Creek. Once again, Lawrence. And of course, talk of Lawrence being the home of William Burroughs was always enough to get some thoughts rolling around in the thinker. Now, the last couple years of seein’ those Flaming Lips, the hired-hand drummer is this cat who goes by the name, “Kliph.” Word was he was from Lawrence, and a string of Lawrence bands.

So I did some research, and was surprised to hear of Lawrence’s thriving music scene. There are a ton of bands and a tight little network for them to play in. That’s always good to see.

So we checked it out. Nice row streets with lots of trees. I’d like to go back to spend some time there “doing nothing” for a couple days. Been wondering about that little town for some time.

Out of Kansas, we blasted into Missouri and all the way across the “Show Me” state. All 240 miles of it were accompanied by thunderstorm downpour, with lots of lighting to illuminate the interstate.

We pointed it all the way to St. Louis, and took a little breather right downtown by the Arch. Of course I was thinking of Belleville innocence, Uncle Tupelo’s beginnings, Cicero’s history, Slo Tom’s open mic nights, those grisly Bottle Rockets, Milstadt recording spaces, Cahokian mounds and St. Genevieve holding back the water.

We made the call to “hammer it home” and got back on the interstate I-55 and beelined north for Chicagoland. I crashed out and Leah took over. I woke up somewhere outside of Gary, bracing for dear life. This stretch is always a challenge. Those truckers just don’t care.

052. “A prairie’s worth of casualties.”
053. “Topeka, Kansas: A warm welcome.”
054. “Waitin’ on a train in Kansas City.”
055. “Warehouse type. Kansas City.”
056. “More warehouse type.”
057. “Kansas City skyline, as we headed out of town.”
058. The little hound’s nose, macro.”
059. “Weah.”
060. “One last rainbow, as we headed in the storm.”
061. “That big Arch…”
062. “get down river, get down.”
063. “River boat chain.”

There Are 2 Comments

Very cool pics! Looks like you guys are having fun, cool. latter kev

Posted by: unka kev on 09/21/05 at 6:07 PM

Listen you little dog loving fuck.

I submitted my column to Baker.

Don’t fuck with the design.

Posted by: Old Man Winter on 09/29/05 at 2:35 PM
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