7 days, 10 states, 2,0000 miles… Yee Haw!

I’d like to tell you all about this summer’s big road trip with Linette and Clementine, but right now I just need to sleep. Check back tomorrow for details on Pittsburgh, Savannah and Knoxville… In the meantime, leave a comment and let me know if I missed anything interesting. (I seem to recall having heard on the radio something about Obama hating cops.)

OK, here’s one thing…. In Knoxville, where we stayed last night, we spent some time with the folks at the incredibly cool letterpress shop Yee-Haw Industries. If you haven’t heard about Yee-Haw, they’re being given a lot of credit for putting Knoxville back on the map, doing really interesting design and printing work for tons of bands, political candidates and the like. (When we were there, they were running a huge job for Real Simple magazine.) And it’s not just the local hipster Yelpers that are ecstatic about their work – they just received some coverage recently in the New York Times, where they were called out as one of the best places to spend time in Knoxville. (I think it may have been the same article that called Knoxville ‘Austin without the hype.’) I could go on and on about how awesome their collection of vintage letterpress gear is, or how incredibly awe-inspiring their work is, but I’ll just encourage you to follow the links and see for yourself.

On a local note, it was hard for me to stand in the Yee Haw store, flipping though examples of their work, and not imagine that Ypsi’s custom screen printing shop VG Kids could one day be such a cultural destination. I know that their vision right now doesn’t include retail, but, when I see what the folks at Yee Haw have accomplished, it makes me wonder if perhaps VG could inspire the same kind of interest on the screen printing side of things. Linette and I actually stopped in Knoxville because of Yee Haw. And, not only did we spend quite a bit of money there, buying their work for wedding presents, but we also got a room around the corner at the excessively quirky St Oliver, and ate at a great little restaurant called Tomato Head. We pumped hundreds of bucks into the Knoxville economy, and it was mostly due to Yee Haw. And, the weird thing is, I don’t think we’re the only ones. My sense is that a lot of folks get off the highway and make their way into Knoxville for the very same reason. And, I’d like to think that perhaps the same thing could be possible here in Ypsi. When you think about it, it doesn’t take a lot to reach critical mass… A company breathing new life into a relatively well established creative industry, a vegan-friendly restaurant approaching food differently, a quirky, inexpensive hotel, a few cool bars – that’s about it. That’s all you really need to convince someone to stop and spend a night on their way from Toronto to Chicago…. Anyway, I think it’s worth considering.

OK, and on that note, I really do need to go to bed… Oh, and here’s a photo of Yee Haw.

yeehaw09

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11 Comments

  1. DO IT
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Yee Haw is the shit!

  2. Posted July 27, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    One comment? Is that all I get after being gone for a week. No, “welcome home, Mark”? No, “you missed Beerfest”? No, “2,000 miles… how in the fuck could you do that to the environment”? No, “I got food poisoning in Pittsburgh once”? Just one, “Yee Haw is the shit!” True enough, but I expected so much more for you guys.

  3. Eric
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I rd ur blog on a phone now. Commenting tough bc I’m not good or fast thumb typer. But I did ponder all day the past near-fortnight I felt as if something was missin. So jus wanted to let u no were still thinkin bout u.

    Took me twenty minutes to rite this.

  4. James Madison
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    So, you’ve been on a road trip. Good for you. Hope it went well, and everyone enjoyed themselves. But you are a blogger, and therefore your constitutional duty is to blog, and you have not been blogging enough to satisfy the constitutional expectations and requirements.

  5. Posted July 27, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Do I get out of this obligation, Mr. Madison, if I can prove that I was born in a Kenyan slum? What if I just suggest it?

  6. Posted July 27, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    You’ll get no pity from me, Eric. I’ve typed every word you see on this entire site with the tip of my nose and the three toes of my left foot.

  7. elviscostello
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Mark, I had some great suggestions for Savannah, one of my very favorite places, but you were already through there. Next time, let us, and the local ne’er do wells know that you are leaving town and that you house will be ready for the pickin’ and we can give you suggestions for stops!

  8. Veg
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    VG was too quick to drop the retail. I think people would like to drop in and buy posters, shirts and stuff.

  9. James Madison
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Mark.Maynard,

    You ask a question about being born in some place called Kenya. Is that one of the late new states of the United States? I don’t recall ever hearing of it. Still, this much is clear: your obligations under the Constitution to blog and blog regularly, for the enlightenment of your fellow citizens, are perpetual, and have not been adequately fulfilled as of late. And no, there is no way to escape your constitutional obligations.

  10. Posted July 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    mark! missed ya!
    I think the real reason no one has commented is that the title doesn’t really convey how awesome your post is.

    maybe VG will pick retail back up, I think that’d be great- but also, I see Ypsi as a blossoming pit stop; people have already made mention to me that it’s a point for them on their way to the DTW airport- I think there’s enormous potential.

    Having just been through 2 relatively large festivals in as many weeks, I was surprised to not see more downtown traffic. I imagine Depot Town saw a lot of business, but there wasn’t any discernible spike for me on Washington st.

    ‘course I didn’t reach out and there was food down in the park, but… it seems like a huge opportunity in general to grab travelers. There’s a lot of work to do in terms of that wretched ‘p’ word that gets thrown around. There’s some damn fine bricks around here- maybe less brick dick, and more …. thick brick? (as in brick & mortar)

  11. Posted August 11, 2009 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    I love road-trips! I hope you’ll be bringing a video camera :)

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