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November 17, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-11-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Where ha ve all
the flowers gone?,
NOTICED TfIAT the trees are almost barren today, and realized that
another autumn has eluded me.
Except for one Sunday afternoon spent roaming the Diag and
watching cars from a curb, and a furtive, disheartening trip to a
crowded, mechanized imitation of a cider mill, I missed it all again.
I didn't stop to pick up more than two or three ,bright tattered
patches of red or yeollow; I walked right by the last rapidly browning
golden mums every day without thinking to pick one and let it ride in
my hair and so preserve the tough autumn flower from frost for a few
more moments in time.
I ACADEMIA HIT with the first cold, the god behind fall's genesis.
I caught the last of summer, but fall has been poured by me.
While I literally (I mean no metaphor here) slept hours away in
Mason Hall, thousands of orange butterflies have fallen gently past the
windows: you have to look to catch their subtle colors, they do not call
out to you through opening windows with the heavy clear breath of
autumn's opposite.
Probably now the cold will stretch out and keep me from my sup-
posedly appointed rounds as the colors, did not. The air is clear and
sharp, but it is cold.
Is winter to do what autumn could not. I have been a sinner against
nature. It will not happen again. Trivia, I serve you notice.

In search of the real thing

"DO YOU KNOW where we can find some hill-
Funny old man. Standing there with his
arms resting on his pot belly, clasped around a
big handkerchief he used to wipe the balls of
sweat from his freckled bald head. Standing
there next to his sophisticated-looking wife.
They would both be dead soon and all they
wanted to see were hillbillies.
"You mean hillfolk?" Tod asked, straining
his accent,
We always asked them that when they asked
to see hillbillies. It gave the whole situation a
more colorful, genuine appearance.
THEY WOULD smile knowing their strenuous
search for hillbillies was at the point of victory.
They would smile and utter an embarrassed,
"Yes, I suppose we mean hillfolk," saying "hill-
folk" as though they were chewing the word.
Then they'd quickly ask: "Can you take us to
see them?"
I don't know why so many of them were so
anxious to see hillbillies. I don't know why they
all acted as though seeing hillbillies was the cul-
mination of some arduous adventure of the
upper middle class. I don't know why they
thought that they would genuinely be edified
at staring at them. But they did.
Of course we couldn't have taken them to see
real hillbillies. Real hillbillies had left the moun-
tains around Lake Norfolk for the, ghettoes in
the cities or the railyards in Texarakan or Little
Real hillbillies had been forced off their
plateau farms by the big cotton and rice farm-
ers. eal hillbillies wre sick, and real hillbillies'
skin flaked off their matchstick legs whenever
the summer wind blew enough to rustle some
BESIDES, they didn't really want to see real
hillbillies. They didn't want to see the devasta-
tion and sickness Steinbeck and Hemingway told
them they'd find. They wanted to cleanse those
vague, dark memories with some replication of
a "Pollyanna-in-the-hills with her golden wavy
hair" movie they once saw.
We weren't concerned with the moral im-

plicatio4s of presenting them with a fraudulent
reality. So we dressed Cliff and Mark in some
torn cutoffs, found an old shack, put a straw
hat on Sarah's long blonde wavy hai', stuck some
buckwheat stalks in everyone's mouths, took off
their shoes, dusted their knees and placed Buck
at the foot of the rocking chair.
Then we brought the old man and his soph-
isticated-looking wife around some back roads
for five or ten dollars, gave them a three-minute
stare at the hillfolk and drove back to the camp-
grounds around Lake Norfolk.
We charged more if they took any pictures.
THE FIRST COUPLE of times, the whole
scene ended in uproarious laughter. The fourth
and fifth times we simply considered it a way
of getting money so we could stay at the lake
during the summer.
Later on, we began to feel guilty. Why, I'm
not sure. Fraud? I doubt it. It didn't really mat-
ter to that old man and his sophisticated-look-
ing wife what they saw or what they believed.
Had we showed them some real hillbillies
they would only have been nauseated. They
would have gone back to Hot Springs, donated
an extra five dollars to the community fund and
then voted down an open-housing referendum
and elected a "tolerant" businessman to office.
And when the next edition of "Pollyanna-in-
the-hills with her golden wavy hair" movie was
shown they would have made those memories
of the real hillbillies vague memories that would
soon b~e cleansed away from the, mind with the,
second edition of the movie.
WE WEREN'T LAUGHING anymore because
we had thought-or at least hoped-that we
couldn't fool anyone. Probably we were sad that
people could be fooled like that and sad} that
someday we might be fooled about something
And as the ferry carrying the old man and
his sophisticated-looking wife and their car
across the lake passed our campsite, the two
raised their arms high in the air waving and
They were happy. The world was like they
always knew it was.

. j

Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited aridmanaged by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Sditoriols printed in The Michigan Doily exp ress the individual opinions of staffIwriters
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On the sevent day,
they repented

THOSE OF US decrying the ancient
ritual of bloodletting in Vietnam
shout with fierce voices, full of righteous-
We have cleansed our souls and bid
farewell to the violence of M- 6s and
B-52s! We have even abstained from the
temptation to commit revolution with,
those who would reap revenge on the
murderers of Vietnam.
We cling assuredly to the sanctity of
our understanding. The agony is theirs;
we will have none of it.
But we still have our battles. Our"
weapons /are less chivalric than those
which simply kill the body. We are gar-
risoned in behind machine guns loaded
with the collected wisdom of ages and
we barrage the mind to harden the heart.
Education, you say, is the key to an
open society. But what is our education?
How open is our society?
We say that our neighbors should not
be .judged on the basis of their color,
creed or race but should be studied in
the perspective. of historical dilemmas
and industrial society's roles. Surely we
are educated. Surely we are not so narrow
as to judge only by the slant of the eyes
or the accent of the tongue.

SURELY WE ARE hypocrites. How con-
venient that we can refine the ugli-
ness of name-calling and border-shooting
and still retain the sheer thrill of power
and brutality.
Hiding in the nunnery of academia
has all the vapid odor of gardening in
these antiseptic suburban ghettoes. You
do not stay clean just because you do
not walk in the ,mud. You are, after all,
just mud yourself.
What is to become of us then? Have
we lost our, utopia in the synthetic fur-
naces of the mind just as 'the others
mutilated theirs on the anvils in the
'Echoing in our halls of order and
discipline are those songs of freedom and
justice for all. Did we make that much
of a mistake by believing them then?
Are all childhood fantasies left in the
past? Is there not enough love in us that
we can know torment and pain from
those who have sinned against us and
still know humility?
Can we not accept that violence is
not strength and that compassion is not
weakness and still live?

Looking backward
WEDDING INVITATIONS are fortunately still a sufficient
novelty to cause me to fly home to Connecticut several
football Saturdays ago for the wedding of an old friend.
It is difficult to clarify your relationship with someone you
see twice a year, when you have Calf-interested conversations
to bring each other up to date on the superficial details of the
past six months.
Probably the reason that this wedding invitation brought
out my long latent maudlin streak is because having'old friends
seemed to give me roots. And in this world of self-made flux,
few things are more important than roots.
THE WEDDING took place in an 1897 Congregational
Church with an interior of high ceilings and stained glass win-
dows, all reflecting the solid prosperity of William McKinley
burghers. Throughout the ceremony, I couldn't help remem-
bering that in seventh grade the groom had announced to me
that he was a devout atheist.
The bride wasudedecked in traditional white and was all
you would expect from a girl whose given name was Lucinda
Alice. The groom, sporting an impressive Rutherford B. Hayes
beard, blended admirably with the turn of the century decor.
THE WEDDING PARTY was dotted with classmates of the
groom, all of whom graduated this spring from a prestigious
New England male enclave. It was kind of a running joke that
most of them were now teaching---in schools ranging from
a non-striking junior high in-New York City to a sixth grade
in New London, Connecticut.
After talking to them I couldn't be sure whether their
educational adventures were merely the wisest hedge against
the draft, the playing out of personal strings of idealism
or the beginning of a lifelong commitment to alter the school
I wondered how typical was the other classmate, getting
steadily, genially and genteelly drunk, who said, "Most of my
friends are in Vietnam. I've told them a good war record is
a must for a political career."
FINALLY the reception ended and the bride and groom left
for their Puerto Rican honeymoon in a 1949 Plymouth station
wagon-the last one made with real wood sides. Standing
there in the asphalt driveway, I momentarily felt that I was
in the midst of an old "Ozzie and Harriet" situation comedy.
Unless the Nixon Administration interferes, the bride
and groom will head for South America in the spring for a
two year assignment with the Peace Corps.
But after that, what? The wedding and reception served
to remind me that beneath our disenchanted exteriors we still
remain close to our suburban cradles.

sunday morning

Repression is in the eye of the beholder


G REECE CASTS a spell. Just a few
hours is enough to become immersed
in it. At first it seems to be the call
of the mysterious East beckoning from'
the dark alleyways stuffed with hash
pipes and melons. Then it seems to be
the almost painfully brilliant beauty of
the blue sky and the white houses. But
in a few short hours when the feeling
has mellowed and really settled in, it's
suddenly clear where it comes from.
The people. They enjoy' life. They
communicate their feelings. Suddenly
nothing is relevant but beauty and peo-
It's hot in Greece. The sun always
shines. It's really too hot to work. So
between noon and five nobody does.
People work in the morning and eve-
ning when its comfortable. Nobody wears
ties and everybody acts and feels much
more relaxed for it.
most striking aspect of Greece is en-
joyment. The small tavernas that line the
streets are continually packed with men
gambling and drinking ouzo without any
regard to time.
Even the bond of youthful defiance
breaks down before the charm of just
enjoying yourself. The reaction of most

between the blues. of the sky and sea..
The simplistic beauty is beyond descrip-
Walking through one of these villagesx
is a real experience. The "streets" are
barely ,wide enough for a donkey with
saddle baskets to pass and old women
dressed in black stare impassively ahead'
as little children romp among the goat
THE ISLANDS are sensual places. The
beaches - isolated, wild,marble strewn-
provide the ideal place for solitary re-
flection, next to an engagingly mild sea.
The bazouki clubs have the wildest, most
uninhibited plate throwing bashes any-
The local pressure to enjoy is delicious-
ly infectious. Whether alone or in a
group, the world's big problems melt
away. It isn't escapism; problems just
aren't relevant..
Some people can't take it. The beauty
and the peace that is. A man born in
Greece who had moved to the Bahamas
tried to intrude on my peace of mind.
He made a big production out of the
thing. He was worried he said. The
people were too quiet. He'd never seen
a' crowd of Greeks so subdued.
(They seemed like they were enjoying
themselves to me.)

ing to leave for England in a few days.
He didn't plan on returning.
I couldn't figure it out. Leave thiQ
beautiful place? He was an OK guy
so I asked him if he didn't love it.
"Sure," he said, "Greece has the best
music, the cheapest booze and the finest
atmosphere anywhere. It's the greatest
place for a relaxing vacation. But don't
be a Greek."
The Greek army he told me is a more
repressive institution than the U.S.'s.
Two years of service without any pay
and everybody-has to serve. If you refuse
they throw you in jail for two years
and when you get out they ask you to
sarye all over again.
Take a look he said. The soldiers are
all over and people are wary of talking.
The underground is at work In two, may-
be three years there will be a revolu-
HE COULDN'T beak the spell, nobody
could. It's too strong in Greece. The
Greeks are too close to their own care-
free life-style to really see it's aberra-
tions. I, being tptally unused to such
Eastern magic, was in no position to see
the error of their ways.
But later it was clear. No Greek I'd
talked to had ever really said anything
about politics except "there aren't any

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