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Draplin Design Co., North America


Goodbye, Pittsburgh. It was great. Thanks.

On the way out of town I passed this little sign up. What is Cut Rate? Liquor? Bargains? Someone, help.

168. “Bloom’s Cut Rate.”

Halfway in between in Pittsburgh and Allentown is Hershey. They make chocolate there. You know the deal.

And, yes, the town “smelled of chocolate.” I drove right downtown and was floored by that. Then I followed these pukey signs out to “Chocolate Land” or something, in some big theme park sprawl and took some chumpy tour. What I thought was the world-famous Hershey Chocolate Factory Tour I’ve heard so much about over the years was the “new and improved” shitville tour. You get carted through this slick advertisement/commercial/infotainment nightmare where you “learn” about the beans and the process and the volumes and stuff. Fun, sure, but, I was hoping to see workers and rivers of chocolate and mountains of Reese peanut butter cups and shit. Oh, the tour dumps you out, conveniently, into a gargantuan gift shop. Perfect. Like, duh.

169. “Hershey, Penn.”
170. “Vintage tins.”
171. “Vats of chocolate.”
172. “Trillions of kisses.”
173. “Tour completed.”
174. “For Ryno. For Larry, too.”

Bumming after the Hershey tour, I stopped here. More my speed.

175. “Roadside America.”
176. “6,000 square foot miniature village.”
177. “Miniature village, no.01”
178. “Miniature village, no.02”
179. “Miniature village, no.03”
180. “Miniature village, no.04”
181. “Laurence Gieringer, Miniature Master.”

Oh, I was in Amish country, too. And something Dutch, too.

182. “Scary Amish sculptures.”
183. “Dutch Country.”

Back out on the interstate, I passed up this 9/11 Tribute Bus and thought about the sad aniversary coming up in a couple days.

184. “Tribute Bus, no.01”
185. “Tribute Bus, no.02”
186. “Tribute Bus, no.03”

Got into Allentown, excited to see molten lava being poured into glowing cauldrons of industrial hell. Instead, I saw ratty-lookin’ East Coast thugz with carefully-manicured beard stripes and gold chains and shit who had nothing but dirty looks for me. Quite the welcome. Real “hard,” man.

Bethlehem was a little better, what little I saw of it. I’d had enough, so, I called it a night, found a hotel and bedded down. Tomorrow, the Martin Guitar factory tour. This is GOING to be amazing. Can’t wait. Been dreaming of that one all summer long. Then, I’m going to this place called, “New York City.” You may have heard of it.

There Are 4 Comments

You shoulda gone for the manger man, that woulda been awesome.

Posted by: DB on 09/08/06 at 12:27 AM

i also worked on the train in AK. that miniture city remind me of the little train set-up in the fairbanks station. did you ever see that ?

Posted by: andrew on 09/08/06 at 9:28 AM

The Kelloggs cereal factory tour we went on was the same thing—big edutainment shill that dumped you into the knick-knack retail zone.

They also had a “Corn Flakes Disco” in operation at the end of the tour. So you could channel your excitement about cereal into an interpretive dance? Of course we booked in there, only to find it totally empty and awash in swirling colored kleig lights, giant video monitors, maybe little puffs of dry ice smoke…and a nonexistent DJ at the wheels of steel getting this p-a-r-t-a-y started.


Posted by: lew on 09/08/06 at 10:29 AM

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and predict a “Draplin Laments 9-11, five years later” entry for monday.

‘Standing at ground zero, looking into that hole, man. Eerie. Thinking about all that went down there five years ago. Really something. Fired Big S up and split. Bunked down in a Best Western in Hoboken and watched Cops in my underwear.’

Posted by: Ryno on 09/09/06 at 5:47 PM
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