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Draplin Design Co., North America
November 13, 2013
Climbing Out Of The Sadness
Posted at 02:52 PM


Okay, enough of this being “down in the dumps” shit. It’s been a month since Dad died, and hell, I really don’t like using that word regarding Dad. Died? I guess. Technically. I’m not ready to say it yet.

I catch myself speaking in past tense about him, and that hurts the most. Dad was this. Dad was that. Fuck that.

Dad is. Dad will forever be.

I was very lucky to have an incredible relationship with my dad. It goes all the way back to when I was a little shit. I have the most incredible memories of my childhood with Mom and Dad.

So many memories with Dad. Too many to list…here’s a smidge:

Summer time swimming, hunting for Petoskey stones, going to movies, working on school projects, building forts in the snow, playing catch, camping, cutting wood, driving down state, cheering for us at our little league baseball games, hitting garage sales, hanging at Gramma Josie’s house, going to Tiger games, working downstairs in the basement, getting rides to work, eating his “killer pizza,” heckling all my aunts and uncles, holding all the babies, fighting over how I wouldn’t be “cutting the grass diagonally, twice, like they do it at Tiger stadium, shopping for skateboard decks, working on my car, building launch ramps, kissing Uncle Jess right on the lips, helping me pack my rig for Western adventures, getting amazing care packages from back home, helping me change my brakes over the phone, laughing at all his cornball jokes, marveling at his wit, being moved by his compassion, locking into staring contests, holding hands on the couch and hugging like beasts when I’d leave or show up.

And when I get sad, I dig into all that material. The happiness far outweighs the sadness. And that’s what I’ll do, and what we’ll do. Mom, Sarah, Leah and I. And those close to us.

Let the “30 days of being sad as fuck” be done. We’ve got the business of “kicking the shit out of life” to get back into. And man, business has been GOOD the last 40 years. Forty!!!

- - - -


HOLY SHIT, I turned 40! Totally forgot!

And man, my sweet Leigh put together ONE HELL of a party for me. One of the greatest nights of my stupid, little life. Friends, pizza, cake, Richmond Fontaine, posters, presents…too much shit to list!

Here’s what I remember:

Heading over to the White Owl Social Club, parking and making my way up to the door and seeing a MOUNTAIN of smiling, screaming family, friends, bros and buds. Walking in and crying my goddamn eyes out. This was just two days after Dad passed, so damn, I was a bubbling mess. The sight of so many buddies has me blubbering. I remember seeing Travis Yamada, and Lovejoy, and Bob Smith, and Dana from Iowa, and Hugh from South Dakota, and Cameron from New Jersey, and fuckin’ Ryno from Minneapolis, and Baker-n-Bridges from Snowboarder Magazine, and Chuck-n-Kendra, and Rod-n-Katie, and kissing Cory Grove on the lips, and Fasil, and Kharma from Poler, and cousin Christine, and Dale-n-Betty, and Nick Schuder, and Kate, and Will, and our very favorite Lloyd, and Shelby, and Nakamoto, and even Goo, and Evan Rose that hunk of shit, and Andy, and Mark Phillips and the hug heard around the world (thanks, man.), and Matt from Relapse, and Mark Welsh from the Island of ComeonIwannalayya, and big borther Brad-n-Bailee, and Mat-n-Stephanie, and Jenn Long, and Aaron Lee, and Danger Ehren, and Fred Green, and Bryan Fox, and Sturgill, and fuckin’ Vin, and Buchino, and Martie Flo-n-Tina Le, Matt-n-Leigh Capozzable, and Wille, and Sherowski, and Flaster, and Jolby bros, and the Chris Fucking Latray Montana Unit, and Scotty and about 137 other buds. Thanks, you guys. That was awesome. Sorry I was losing my shit like I was. Sad times, offset by so many awesome faces.

And then there was the videos sent in from high school buddies back home, Michaylira, Josh Higgins who rounded up O and Paul Frank, and MIle and Russ down in LA (snake eyes!), and Chris Glass, and David Yow of the Jesus Lizard, Steve DeCusatis in Philly, Jess Gibson, Jim Coudal, Field Notes and the ref, and Mike Davis from Burlesque North America, Dean and Chris down at a little computer company called “Apple,” and a missive from Red Fang who was on tour, and fuckin’ Wayne Coyne singing me happy birthday!!! Blown away.

And then, posters from big time graphic designers? Will post those soon, I swear.

And the very best part, Richmond Fontaine played! So blown away to be able to have Willy and the boys rip through a set. Thank you, guy. So much. There we were Richmond Fontine Fan Club Members 00001, 00002 and 00003 in the crowd…Fred, Ryno and I!

CLICK THIS: Here’s some shots from the event!

Mark Michaylira representing a very Long Beach.

Mike Davis from Burlesque North America!

Chris Glass from Ohio!

Chris and Dean. I’m smarter than both of these numb nuts.

Derek D!

Coudal, the Ref and Field Notes employee # FN-0025. The best.

Josh Higgins from Facebook, Obama for America and fluf!

O from fluf!

David Yow of the Jesus Lizard singing act.

Milo and Russ down in Los Angeles!

Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips category, singing me happy birthday. Surreal!

There Are 3 Comments

Hey Aaron,
I don’t know whether you read comments or not but I thought I would just share some stuff with you. Last year my mom passed away the day before my 20th birthday so I feel that I kind of know what you position feels like, even though no two situations are ever the same. Your sentence about “still have a lot of kicking ass to do..” really struck a chord with me. Thats a great way to put it.
I just got into your design work while I am at University and I love what you do, I am drawing a lot of inspiration from your work while I help design our university newspapers online portion and big parts of the print edition like the masthead.
Honestly there is no real point to this but to say, I love what you do and keep doing it man. Also, you are not alone, while a bunch of us have never met you, we love what you do and support you 100%. Stay strong and keep kicking ass.
-Jeremy Stewart

Posted by: Jeremy M Stewart on 11/13/13 at 5:52 PM

Glad to see this and hear this. I’ve been waiting for you to get back at it. Sent you an email about the crazy dream I had with Jim (dad) in it. Push forward ya big loveable CarharttĀ® wearing mass of goodness. xoxo

Posted by: styk on 11/13/13 at 9:15 PM

Hey Aaron, Sorry to hear about your Dad. I lost mine two years ago. It is still weird to think I am here without him.

On a positive note I will be in attendance in Dekalb to hear what you have to say. I can’t wait! Are you bringing the swag wagon?

Posted by: Michael Laskonis on 11/14/13 at 12:11 PM
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