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Draplin Design Co., North America


You’ve heard it a million times on this site: Leaving the parental compound is a tough deal. Always is. That last hug, that last vote of “be careful out there” from dad, and well, it can rips a guy’s heart right out. Happened this time too. Damn. I’ll be back. Leaving Gary was tough too. The little man.

Hit the road well before noon, sliding around in the snow. Noticed a rattling in the handling of Big S. Like the alignment was out or something. Scary thoughts. Worries.

Rolled into Kingsley to Kingsley public schools. I had a “speaking engagement” with Madeline Sweeny’s 8th grade social studies class. 20 kids or so. Wide eyes and weird smirks. I was in to tell them about my projects and what I do. There were a couple snowboarders in the mix, so we talked about my companies and how it goes in the factories, and on the road with my brands. I was very nervous, and very proud to be a 33-year-old “adult” talking to kids. I graduated in 1991. That’s a long goddamn time ago. I still feel like that same old scared 17-year-old, wondering about the world and work and girls and guitar strings. So it goes. A good thing, maybe.

120. “Instant nervousness and apprehension.”
121. “Madeline prepping me for class.”

I’ve known the enchanting Ms. Sweeny for some 15 years. We go way back. Now she’s a teacher. I was very impressed with the poise and gentle stability she transmitted to the youngsters. Atta girl. Come to Portland and marry a fisherman, girl. Fellas: One of the finest dames going. Really.

Got back on the road and headed on down to Detroit. Along the way I stopped in Dighton. In my freshman english class in the fall of 1991, Mr. Marek told us about a group of pornographers from Dighton, known as the “Dighton Dirties.” Turns out there was a quite a little racket busted in this one horse town. Long time ago, too, if my memory serves me right. Why he was telling us about this rogue group was, we were talking about taking the “path less traveled” when you could. He pulled out a map and traced the popular route down to Grand Rapids to the south. Two hours or so on 131. Big whup. Instead, he challenged that one should explore the smaller roads, cuz that was where the real beauty was.

122. “Dirty.”

That one will stick with me forever, and has fucked all chances of “making good time” on all my roadtrips I’ve been lucky enough to complete, am caught in the smack dab in the middle of right now, and will embark on in the future. Thank you, Mr. Marek. Good words from a wise man.

123. “A reason to stop in Clare.”

Got down to Howell at nightfall. The wiggling in the handling was mysteriously gone too. Hmmm. Loaded in and caught up with Uncle Terry and sister Sarah. Family. Sarah cooked me a square meal of chicken breast slathered with salsa, corn and green beans. Very, very good. Uncle Terry got a game of bowling going on his Nintendo Wii. Very, very fascinating and fun. Wow. My first time. Aunt mary got in late and we sat up and laughed, catching up on the mysteries of life down here, and up above in the heavens. How I love my Aunt Mary.

There is One Comment

It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people on this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

Posted by: Sophia Peterson on 03/04/16 at 11:01 PM
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