After Kansas City, I took a lovely drive on back roads down to Springfield, Missouri. It was a spectacular spring day, and I headed over to Deep design group for an afternoon of printing and brats. Grilled brats. The team came up with this sweet design (above), so I ordered some magnesium plates ahead of time and we printed these little guys in the truck – gray ink on the sign press, and green on the Golding. The prints were a hit, and everyone who came out seemed to have fun. That evening, we all decided it would be best to head down to Branson, Missouri to see what happens. Do you guys know Branson? Dinner theater, stage plays, Yakov Smirnoff… It’s a strange place no matter what time of year, but it also happened that a tornado tore through town just a week or so prior.
A tornado is such a crazy horror. It tears such a thin line of destruction through an area – one building is intact, and the one next door is demolished. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to live in a community where next-door-neighbors are experiencing such starkly different realities. One thing was clear, though – the businesses that escaped damage were really grateful, and made sure we all knew that they appreciated our business and felt fortunate to be able to keep their doors open.
We got ourselves the world’s cheapest motel room. The boys immediately spruced it up with some Xmas lites – nice job, guys! It really tied the room together. We went out for a Mexican feast, rode some go-karts, dropped by a local bar called the Rowdy Beaver, and then played dice back in the motel room til the wee hours of the morning. Even, though we didn’t go see any shows, it was a super weird and kind of perfect Branson evening.
The next day, we scraped ourselves off the floor of Branson, drove slowly through some of the hardest rain I’ve ever experienced, and headed down to Little Rock. Such a lovely town. I had arranged a visit to UALR with professor/printmaker Delita Martin. I first met Delita when I came through Little Rock in December – she’s an intern at Shooting Star Press, and a phenomenal printmaker. She’s just starting to get into letterpress, but she’s been doing these amazing woodcuts for the past few years. I particularly love this one:
It was a quick visit, but I also got to catch up with my buddies at Roll & Tumble Press, who are, as ever, up to great things. Thanks, Little Rock!