follow the adventure of Steve Wilson in WWD’s new series The Year That Everyone Died
Most people haven't been to Ashland and unless you like camping or hunting or hanging out in an old woman of a town.
But I guess by that logic nobody in the world or in time has really been anywhere because collectively we haven't collectively been anywhere-
of course you could say that in that same token - we have all been everywhere. But some glasses are one way and some the other.
I drive into Ashland on highway 2, man thats a little number for a highway. Does that mean it was the second highway ever?
If I find the first i can trace history.
For a while I drive along side of Lake superior which is an arrogant thing to call one of the Great Lakes - They’re all great right? It really is magnificent though. I stop and get out for a minute and breath the lake air. Huts sit on the ice as far as I can see and I long for the solidarity of one small shack, a twelve back of beer and a mini television - shit, I prolly wouldn't even drill a hole in the ice.
I’ve been stalling long enough, wasted enough time. Twenty Five years to be exact.
It’s time to find him. Lester Puloski, what kind of fucked up name is that? Sounds like a character Gabriel Byrne would play.
There is a swooping main street that leads down a long hill and back up towards a school behind swaying branches and high power lines. And I hit the gas station and buy a butterfinger and ask the gas station attendant if they know Puloski.
“Sure” the attendant says. “Good guy. Runs the taxidermy half mile from here.”
“Do you know where I can find him?”
“Well, super bowl is tomorrow. I don’t know if you’re from here but the Packers are playing.”
I don’t tell her I am a Vikings fan. Its a good way to get lynched when the Packers are in the playoffs - which is a bit of a stretch - but natives may feel genuine disdain for who you are and everything you stand for - its like that.
I nod and say “I know”
“Well, all the old timers been drinking all yesterday, all today, all tomorrow and all monday. And if the Pack wins they’ll keep it going for a few days after that - till one of them dies or has a stroke.”
“Devotion” I say.
“Devotion” she says.
“McCoy’s” it was called and snowmobiles and pickup trucks surrounded the tiny structure. Behind the bar streams separated a system of lonely drifting fields. The wind swirls and mashes against itself as the sun turns towards the horizon. Pulling my hood over my head I run inside.
Carter would be fine in the car. He liked the car.
Wisconsin doesn't fuck around when it comes to the Packers.
Inside McCoy’s two plasma televisions replay the Packers three previous playoff games. And old timers and young timers cheer as Jay Cutler pouts on the Bears bench.
and the wings are going around and the pitchers are emptying as faster than they can be filled.
And if I wasnt looking for some grave information this could be the coolest day of my fucking life.
But I walk to the bar and ask the tender if Puloski is in the bar. He motions with an arthiritic hand to a hallway that leads to another smaller room toward the back of the bar.
I walk alone down the hallway and turn the corner to see three dusty old dudes sitting under a giant poster of Elsa Benitez - who is painfully hot...
Don’t get distracted Steve.
I clear my throat as I approach three men in Carhart jackets and say “I need to ask Puloski a question, which one of you is Puloski?”
“I am.” Says a man with thick glasses and a Powers Boothe grill.
“Someone sent me to ask you a question.” I say.
“Who?” he asks.
“I can’t remember her name.” I say “But I think you stole her heart.”
And his eyes flare like a dragons nostrils.
And then I’m struck in the back of the head. I go under.
Not sure what’s going on? Click here for the pilot episode of The Year That Everyone Died