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Draplin Design Co., North America


We got up and got the hell out of Osceola, without looking back. At least my wallet was thick. Phew. We drove the stretch down to Kansas City without incident. Not too much going on out there. Wow. Got into the city in the early afternoon, located a hotel and loaded in to watch the Tiger/Yankees game. They won. Awesome.

Ryno went off to grab provisions while I was loading in, and came back with a big ol’ can of ‘Yard Beer” from some party store up the way. Yard Beer? (“You know, the kind of beer you drink in yer yard?” -Matt Stiffler, Kansas City Freedom Fighter) As I was loading into the room, he came strolling up, happier than a clam:

438. “Oh man, guess what I found?!”
439. “32 ounces! In one can!”

Once the game was finished we hit the road and started exploring the city. Found this little treasure was over in the “Jazz District”:

“Dixie Lan Bar-B-Que”

After some toiling around town, we located my friend Matt Stiffler. A local designer, I met him at MCAD a couple years back. He’s a designer for BNIM, sprucing up their collateral piece by piece. Impressive. We grabbed him from 3rd + Walnut and he took us off into the night for the super tour.

First stop was this sketchy-ass bridge in the West Bottoms, the warehouse district that sits below Kansas in the Flood Plain. Yikes.

441. “Ryno, lock the doors. Stiffler, roll up the windows.”
442. “Chemicals, Insecticides, Fertilizer.”
443. “Fadco Storage and Distribution.”

We barely survived the West Bottoms, and headed back up into the city. Matt’s place of employment occupied KC’s oldest skyscrapers first couple floors. The old “Power & Light Building” from back in the day. They renovated it beautifully and brought this old giant back to life. Matt took us on the tour, showing us his corner, a goliath old safe, the empty floors, the conference room on the 29th floor and took us out on the roof to let us gaze out over the quiet, dark Kansas City night. So good.


444. “Kansas Ciy’s first skyscraper.”
445. “Beautifuly-renovated deco innards.”
446. “Pillar detail.”
447. “Matt Stiffler, doing it right in Kansas City.”
448. “Stiffler’s assortment of eye-catching bric-a-brac. Some jealousy was felt.”
449. “Ryno picked the safe with little-to-no effort.”
450. “Open sesame.”
451. “Stiffler inspecting Ryno’s handiwork.”
452. “Snapped this one, waiting for the elevator.”
453. “Out on the roof.”
454. “Rooftop Ryno.”
455. “Things are looking up, fellas.”
456. “Looking down at the city below…”
457. “Ryno said I should climb up and impale myself on one of these.”
458. “Matt and Ryno, all the way on top.”
459. “Saw this little goblin door on the way back down…”
460. “…which Ryno promptly climbed into, looking for trouble.”
461. “The elevator, on the way down.”

Then Matt took us over to Union Station, the nation’s second largest of its kind, right behind Grand Central Station. One word: “Cavernous.” The story goes that up to about six years back, the place was dead, and deserted. They cleaned it back up opened it for the public again. Phew. Such a treasure.

462. “Union Station, no.01”
463. “Union Station, no.02”
464. “Union Station, no.03”
464. “Union Station, no.04”

The best part of this stop was Matt pointing out a bullet hole from the famous “Kansas City Massacre” pulled off by Pretty Boy Floyd and a couple other scoundrels. Tommyguns ablaze, the bullet hole is still there to check out:

465. “The hole in mention.”

About Pretty Boy’s fateful demise some time later: “At the time Floyd was killed, a watch and fob, consisting of a “lucky piece,” were found on his person. Groups of ten notches were found on each of these items - reportedly carved by Floyd as an indication of the number of people he had killed.”

Then we headed over to Westport to grab a couple cold ones. We settled down at a dive called “DB Cooper’s” and shot the shit, recounting the day’s events.

466. “Three galoots.”
467. “Our friendly bartender.”
468. “A couple nice kids from Kansas City, who offered up much information.”

Got back to the hotel a little after midnight and passed out promptly. A good day.

Special thanks to Matt Stiffler for the super tour. Great directions, great sights, great history. Great.

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