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Draplin Design Co., North America




I got to see Derek and Alexis and their little Benzie County pixie, “Olivia.” We talked of phlobotamy and snow removal, using an old truck with no brakes.

Bry came out with little Lachlan, his beautiful little boy. One-and-a-half and tooling around, tripping, turning things on and off, like a little squirt should. Bry took Gary’s measurements for a top-secret dachshund project. Gary wasn’t “having it” and put up a fight. He lost.

Yesterday afternoon, mom and I sat with Natalie and Jeff and met their little winter miracle, “Maren.” We chatted about the mysteries and opportunities of the Northwest, and why they should pull up stakes and head out to Oregon, as a family.

113. “Little baby girl Maren.”
114. “The Byrne Family.”

I presented Jeff a new Ride Decade, to be used on the mountains of Mt. Holiday. Awesome. My old hill. We used to get our asses whupped by Jeff and his Elk Rapids little league baseball team in those early ’80s. No hard feelings. Well, some. Those Elksters were relentless on us Central Lake hicks.

“Hick.” Interesting term. I grew up in a town of 800. And, we’d get called “city slickers” by the kids who lived in the country. All cuz we lived a couple blocks from downtown. Ha.

115. “Blizzard-like conditions.”
116. “Blizzard-like schitzus.”
117. “Blizzard-like Gary.” or, “Alpine Gary,” even, “All-Mountain Gary.”
118. “Blizzard-like Aaron.”

And then last night, I braved the blizzard-like conditions all the way into town to enjoy a cool drink with the ever-enchanting Madeline Sweeney. She’s a teacher in Kingsley to the south, and, let’s just say, those little rugrats nodding off in her class hit the jackpot teacher-wise. I wish I woulda had a Ms. Sweeney when I was a teenager. Instead, I had Mr. Porath.

- - - -

Here’s a story about Mr. Porath, and while we’re at it, Mr. Pletcher, from my so-called “pre-pubescent glory”:

It was coming up on Christmas, or maybe spring break, and the family was taking off to Florida to do a stint at Disneyworld and the Epcot Center. I was 11 or something. 5th or 6th grade. Anyhoo, as a class, and budding young men with lots of questions, we were required to watch the school-sanctioned Sex Ed movie. Now, since we were taking off early, I’d be missing the movie, which was just fine with me. That shit just kinda creeped me out.

So, we go and do the vacation, I come back, and still have to view the movie. And so I do, only, with Mr. Porath and Mr. Pletcher as my viewing mates. The three of us.

And here’s the awesome part: After squirming through the film, as uncomfortable as a kid can be sitting with two adults watching shit like that, the lights went up and one of them asked, “You have any questions?” I didn’t.

Weird. Too weird.

A chapter from my younger years, before the onset of nut hair and all wonders therein.

- - - -

Back to Madeline. We met up downtown at the Park Place for cool drinks. I met her amazing friend Linda and we talked about the current issues, lore and mysteries of Northern Michigan. All good stuff. I talked up Portland again, using colorful words and true stories. It’s a great town, and I am really blessed to have a little plot of land there. I met her friend Mike who’s a local designer in town, snow-angel Leigh up high in the Park Place, and this amazing couple who moved back to Traverse City from Portland. Imagine that. Very, very nice folks, with big smiles and a new chapter ahead of them back home. Good stuff.

“The view of downtown, from up high in the Park Place.”

Ms. Sweeney is currently thinking up a plan that involves the Pacific Northwest. Atta girl.

There is One Comment

dang all that snow is making me miss those eastern winters…

Posted by: jimgolden on 03/04/07 at 7:35 PM
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