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Draplin Design Co., North America


I got up kinda early and was on the road over to Royal Oak to see Megg and Natalie. Natalie was down from Traverse City with her man Jeff, seeing the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young show at Pine Knob. Natalie and Megg go wayyyy back. Elk Rapids dames. I met them moons ago just as I was pushing off from Traverse City that first, fateful time.

Megg’s married up nowadays to Josh, teaching, writing and figuring out the mysteries of Royal Oak, and suburbia in general. She has a beautiful little house in a quiet neighborhood but a couple minutes from downtown Royal Oak, full of furniture and house stuff and books with her pooch out back holding down the fort.

085. “Megg.”

We caught up on the latest happenings in our lives, grabbed a burrito and took a turn for the worse and headed south down into Detroit proper.

Of course, that turned into a “mini tour” through the heart of the city, past Tiger Stadium and Great Lakes Steel. Before long, I found my Gramma Josie’s old house in Dearborn. Thought about trimming her hedges for a quarter, hot summers sweating it out at night unable to sleep, skateboarding out front, the neighborhood ice cream truck, all the little old Polish ladies in the neighborhood, the old man Claude next store and his milk carton of chew spit, her mysterious basement fruit cellar and all wonders within, her laundry chute, the weird little shower downstairs and that weird shower curtain and of course, her fabulous, gut-stuffing “big pancakes”. I think I still hold the record with those pancakes. Eight or something. Ouch.

086. “A good fish I saw while waiting in traffic.”
087. “Motor City, USA”
088. “Gramma Josie’s on Artesian.”

Then we found Stout and Grand River, in Redford. This is the house I was born in. I can remember the fireplace and stairs and arched walkways. I often wonder what my life would be like if I still lived there? Fascinating. Detroit City, man, Detroit City. My parents moved us north in 1977.

089. “Stout and Grand River: My first home.”

I shot west back out to Uncle Terry’s house, where the better part of the entire Steele family was amassing for a nice mini-reunion.

Unca Pat, Unca Kevin and Unce Mike, and respective families showed up for some chow and good times. It’s always great to see everyone. Some updates: Little Kelsey is 14 and growing up just right into a beautiful young lady. Unca Kev and Auntie Kim went to New York City some time back, for the first time. So good. Uncle Terry’s house is beautiful. So nice. Unca Pat is still Unca Pat. God bless him. Everyone brought a guitar and we got a little jam going. It’s just always nice to be around family. Nothing better, really.

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Draplin, in your ‘hood you’re a legend, in the streets you’re a star!

Posted by: Jeff & Natalie on 09/03/06 at 5:32 AM
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