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Draplin Design Co., North America



Ryno got in from Minneapolis pretty late Sunday night. A quick, dirty beer was had at the Magnolia Bar, just walking distance from Hoss’ flat, and plans were drawn up for the next couple days of adventuring.

Got up kinda early this morning and headed south outta Louisville towards those Appalachian Mountains below us. Down through Bardstown, hitting the Jim Beam factory but for a second, then down to a Civil War battlefield outside of Perryville.

Casualties for the battle are as follows:
- Buell losses are 845 killed, 2,851 wounded and 515 captured or missing for a total of 4,211.
- Bragg losses are 510 killed, 2,635 wounded and 251 captured or missing for a total of 3,396.

243. “Perryville.”
244. “Largest battle ever fought in Kentucky.”

Kentucky was a “border state” in during the Civil War. It remained neutral for the most part, but bragged volunteers fighting for both sides. The Union numbers were a third larger than the Rebel ranks, but, I’m sure just as fierce and mean on both sides.

245. “Another Mail Pouch barn down some old road.”

Passed through Corbin, the home of Colonel Sanders and his Kentucky Fried Chicken empire. Just how did he become a “Colonel?” What branch of the armed services bestowed this honor upon him? Here’s some answers to this Kentucky-fried mystery.

246. “Where it all began.”
247. “Furniture store type, on the way outta Corbin.”

This mural reminded us that we were in “Daniel Boone Country.” Some little town, somewhere.

248. “Daniel Boone mosaic.”

We drive until sundown, stopping off for a questionable supper in a small burg called, “Barbourville.” After some head scratching, we decided on 5-dollar pizzas from the local Little Caesars. Then we tried to find a city park to sit and eat in. No dice. We asked a couple locals and got these complex lists of directions that didn’t help one goddamn bit.

After some toil, we pulled into an empty parking lot to chow down. A minute later, with pizza bozes flapping, this string of cars started pulled in to the empty lot. They drove the length of the lot, turned around, then cruise back out. Four or five cars. Trouble? Curious? We keep eating and about five minutes later the same string of cars is back, this time with a couple more. And again, and again and again. We must’ve been there for a half hour and saw this string of cars cruising the lot.

We decided to investigate, and pull into the lineup. We got in Big S, acted like we were pulling off and quickly jumped into the lineup. The procession took us back into town, through the town square, and back to the empty lot. As we pulled in, we noticed a kid on his crotchrocket motorcycle, adjusting his helmet in the middle of the lot. We pulled up to him and asked,

H,H&H: “Hey, we’re just passing through, and have noticed this string of cars doing laps around town…what’s the deal.”
Kid: “Well, there ain’t nuthin’ to do in town, so, people cruise.”
H,H&H: “Kick fuckin’ ass.”
Kid: “It’s against the law in Corbin, so…”
H,H&H: “Got it, man. Thanks.”

And just like that, the mystery was solved. Cruising. Simple, American cruising.

But, here’s the weird part: These weren’t kids. This is what got us all freaked out. It was adults, with little kids rolling around in back seats, and old guys in pickups and little shits in Grand Ams on cell phones and stuff. Eyes were glazed and this odd look of boredom seemed to be on each face as they passed. Fascinating shit. America, man, small town America. Nothing much to do. Let’s cruise.

249. “Cruisers.”

We kept on going into the Kentucky night, south, through Pineville, coming to rest on the Kentucky/Tennessee border in a little town called Middlesboro. Not a couple miles away from the Cumberland Gap. A dry town. Ryno “Tubin’ Down The Whiskey River” Simonson had a couple problems with the drought. Once we loaded into the hotel room, PJ and Ryno braved the Gap to get some refreshments. “Beer.” (insert Wilford Brimley dialect.)

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A couple days back, after a triumphant Portland show, Farrar and the Son Volt played a quick set for the lunchtime crew at Wieden + Kennedy. Soli, Sturgill and Matt alerted me of this opportunity, but of course, I was outta town, and feeling kinda sad that I missed it. Farrar. One of the best. Way at the top of my list.

I called Fred the morning of the show and he hopped a bus downtown to see it. He called from the auditorium with a hushed voice, “Draplin, I’m standing five feet from the guy.” Great. “Go up and get a hnadshake, man,” I said, beaming. The show got going and Fred left his phone on, and, from a dusty parking lots somewhere in Southern Indiana, I sat and listened to a live simulcast of my belovd Son Volt. So good.

Cinco brother Chris Soli had to guts to fil a couple songs: Here’s a clip. Many thanks.

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Jerms out in Boise gets it going on the interweb: The Bat Ranch.

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