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Draplin Design Co., North America



Out of Cinci I raced, up towards that godforsaken Indianapolis to grab Lovejoy from the airport. The little shit flew in from Portland to join me on the final fall tour journey westbound. A man up for whatever adventure lay ahead, a keen sense for the hilarious/absurd and of good, strong character, I was proud to have him in the co-pilot slot. A brother.

Out of Indy we shot, due west. “What do you want to do?” I asked.

We decided on heading up to Chicago for the night. We shot up Old Highway 41 through quiet Indiana farmland. One thing about this trip is this: I have seen so much more Indiana this time around. Out of Indy, across the bottom, up the western side…so much new territory explored. All the years before, I’d just use that “Gary corner” to get up and around Lake Michigan up towards home in Traverse City.

We headed due north, jumping all the interstates, right into downtown Gary. This was the first time Lovejoy saw the Gary predicament. Tough town. We did a couple laps and hit the road up towards the city.

514. “Last of the old time truckstops: Middle of Nowhere, Highway 41, Indiana.”
515. “Gary, Indiana, just north of the desolate downtown stretch…”
516. “…and on up to the city.”

We took a drive downtown right along Michigan Ave then turned in to find Lovejoy’s Montana friend Sean at the Empty Bottle. We did some chow at Thai Lagoon then had a cold Old Style at the Rainbo Club. That sonofabitch PJ Chmiel even met up with us for a bit.

517. “Sean “Ghost Cowboy” Riley and Lovejoy, Thai Lagoon.”
518. “The Rainbo Club.”

Some loose chatter ensued, then, I introduced PJ to little Gary. This is all I had to say about their meeting, “He’s cuter than yer cats, man. I mean, look at him for fuck’s sake.” PJ just laughed and shook his head. Truth hurts.

We said some goodbyes and took an avenue due south until we hit I-55. Got on that one and headed about an hour out to some shitbox hotel where I could work into the night.

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