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Draplin Design Co., North America


Leigh flew back to Portland early this morning. Dad and I dropped her off at Metro and then went back to Ann Arbor to catch a couple more Z’s. Then we cruised into the city, for a “Dad Tour” checking out all the haunts of his youth. Boarded up school long dead, brick building markets with fading paint and dead signs, famous fistfight corners, the time he twisted his ankle on a makeshift roller skate wheel skateboard thing, school routes,

…and the infamous courtyard of Holy Redeemer Catholic school where a 5-year-old dad threw the liver sausage meat from his sandwich under a car, the nun caught him, questioned him about his meatless sandwich, called Gramma Josie to confirm, made him march out to retrieve, found a dog was licking it, and then the penguin made him eat it in front of the class. True story.

We found my Gramma Josie and Grandpa Joe’s grave site, buried next to each other. There are many holes in the Draplin genealogy, and I’m on a new quest to find out all the Great and Great-Great-Grandparent names and their old country lineage.

That’s my Grandparents Joe and Teresa Moraniec above, from 100 years ago. 100 years ago, people.

We stopped off at Stormy Records, Windy and Carl’s incredible record store. Nicest people you’ll meet in Dearborn, hands down. Great record store. I’m a fan, so it was cool as hell to get a handshake.

The highlight of the day was lunch at the A+G Diner, formerly “Sky’s.” Dad went to Sky’s since he was 10 years old or something. “I’m been coming here for 57 years. Jeez!” he told the smiling waitress. I remember those burgers as a kid, and the greasy french fries. Dad would take me there as critter, while staying at Gramma Josie’s in the summer. Well, the burgers tasted the same. Same incredible dinner seats and counters, just like we remembered. Here’s dad getting ready to destroy that last bite.

Some things change in ways you’d never think, and some things don’t change at all. Kinda weird, really.

Driving around with dad was bittersweet. His old neighborhoods are ghosts of what he remembered, and hey, ain’t that the way it goes? He’s got great memories, and I did my best to remember all of them for the next time I drive around those parts.

We drove by Chadsey High School and dad told me about getting jumped by a group of kids, pointing to a long dead street corner: “Got beat up over here one time. They were tough when there were 10 of them. But alone, they weren’t shit. It took me a couple months, and I got them all back, one by one.”

The mean streets of late 1950s Detroit city, man.

There is One Comment

Aaron, I really enjoyed reading this and shared it with my sis, Marie and niece Christine. Well written, cuz!!! And man, can I relate to the ghosts of Detroit!

The pics are FAB…love them.

Posted by: carolyn on 12/17/14 at 2:27 PM
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