Lansky & Son put your car to rest
By BILL LAVELY
INDUSTRY, especially the automobile industry, has given us a lot
of things to be thankful for. One of these things is junk.
Foreign countries. do not have junk. It takes an advanced tech-
nology to produce it. Europeans still drink beer in bottles because cans
have not yet made the scene. Europeans do, in fact, drive cars, but
their cars last longer than three years, and somehow they disappear
without a trace.
IN AMERICA, the waste that accompanies affluency is flaunted
proudly before the citizens of the nation. In rural America, a cinder-
block house would not be complete without a pair of rusting Buicks
or Oldsmobiles. In a certain sub-culture of Monroe Co. Michigan, the
number of such "jalopies" in a person's yard is a measure of his social
But in the city, junk is collected in large yards for storage and
redistribution. These "junkyards" have recently attracted artists who
recognize that each twisted piece of junk metal carries with it the
expression of an age, and the hopes and ambitions of the individuals
who made and used it.
THAT '59 FORD that went twice to San Francisco and finally
smashed into a telephone pole on Gratiot Ave. ends up someplace.
It goes to a scrap metal dealer. All the valuable guages and stuff are
stripped off of it, and the remains are left in a pile with a million or
more other hulking metal shells. What happens after that is uncertain.
SCRAP METAL DEALERS go to work each day. Trucks full of
metal arrive and depart from the junk yards, and it has been suggested
that profit canbe made in the collection and resale of such metals.
But at each sale, the "salvagable" portion of a piece of junk grad-
ually diminishes until there is nothing left except "unusable" metal,
The unusable part of an old automobile, for example, is about the size
of an automobile.
So the metal that came from some mountain in Minnesota, pro-
cessed in Detroit, sold in Fargo, driven in California, and totaled on
Gratiot, comes to its final resting place in a junk yard. Here it is en-
shrined forever, a constant reminder to the passing motorist of the
greatness of industry and the ephemeral quality of man's works.
ANN ARBOR'S JUNKYARDS, admittedly modest by comparison to
those of Cleveland and Gary, are nonetheless charming in a small way,
An excellent example is the yard called "P. LANSKY AND SON,"
which is well known to those who enter the Research Center of the
midwest from the north.
From Main Street, the Lansky yard is sheltered by a concrete
wall with the famous P. Lansky name in letters six feet tall. Located
on the Huron River across from the canoe livery, the yard has long
been discussed by the residents who observe tit from their pleasant
homes across the river.
For the black children who live down on Depot Street and Summit,
and have no opportunity to visit the Main Street establishment, Lan-
sky provides a small branch office in that area. This smaller yard is
particularly needed now since the demolition of the two slaughter hous-
es that flanked the playground there have considerably diminished the
old atmosphere. The loss of the yard there would mean the end of a
But there seems little danger of that. Junkyards are nearly in-
destructable. They don't burn and, like cemeteries, they are seldom
if4e 3tiriin aij
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed 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
Editoriais printed in the Michigan Doily exo ress the 'ndividual opinions of stoff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1968
NIGHT EDITOR: RON LANDSMAN
Oni the seventh day.,
they d 'e it
In which the popcorn burns
and the faucet turns itself on
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN our first ride
on a ferris wheel and our first multi-
ple-choice final exam we stopped looking
It h a d become increasingly difficult
over the years to go on believing that we
could find a castle. We would climb to the
top of a hill and see one in the distance;
but we always tore our legs on the jagged
edges of our weekly allowances as we ran
down the hill to end up in a vale without
We remembered that our castle was to
be a haven where we c o u 1 d be excited
about life as it is. But when our zeal wax-
ed cooler and cooler we felt fortunate just
to be satisfied with the life wQ could find
in the cat-tracks of a bulldozer which
had paved the way for our pre-fab hous-
After all, if we couldn't know the joy
of friendship we could get the satisfac-
tion of b e i ng envied. If we didn't get
knowledge f r o m our classes we could
still take home all-A report cards to our
THESE WERE things that could be done
right away without the foolishness of
searching for castles in dreams that
might never be.
We rationalized. Living the present
spontaneously, we said was a valid and
happy expression of ourselves. But we, of
course, w er e not living spontaneously.
And the present seemed to be part of the
past. And the future seemed far away ...
.. so far that we tried to build a castle.
But we had trouble finding an architect
to draw the right blueprints. A castle was
to be the perfect haven for us, not for
some design-conscious architect who
talked about geometric proportions.
Anyway an aesthetically correct castle
couldn't work because our castle would
have to be perfect for us with all of our
imperfections, not in spite of them.
We tempered our disappointment with
second-guesses. Castles, we said, might
have dragons hiding in the dark cellars.
Castles might echo memories of student
government elections or dates with that
blonde whose father ,was executive vice-
president of U.S. Steel.
B UT WE COULD taste our own tears,
We f e 1 t as helpless and hopeless as
those who walk up and down the banks
of a river waiting for the water to freeze
so they can cross over; but knowing that
when winter does come their muscles will
tighten with the cold so that they won't
be able to move. Praying and fearing for
the first frost.
Today the wind blew so gently that we
hardly noticed the lightning streaks of
ice forming in the. water, But it seems
certain that soon the river will be froz-
So if you have nothing to do that has
to be done right away and if you have
someone who doesn't need to be asked to
go for a walk, some say that you will find
a castle as you cross over.
-THE EDITORIAL DIRECTORS
By MARGARET WARNER
SUNDAY NIGHT in Detroit.
Mike and MaryAnn and I are sitting on the
orange-covered mattress in the living room feeling
pretty high. MaryAnn starts walking up the
I say "Watch out for the plumbing." I wonder
if I should have been more explicit.
MaryAnn yells "Hell" from upstairs. Damn. I
run get the mop. I don't feel like running at all.
There I am mopping up the water on the floor
around the toilet with the dirty mop.
f THE WATER in the faucet turns on by itself.
(It does that sometimes.) I get the four foot
board and balance it on top of the faucet to turn
When I go down MaryAnn is making popcorn
in the kitchen. Water is still dripping through
the ceiling from the bathroom. Oh well. She had
too much popcorn in the pan and it keeps pop-
ping over the top.
I'm feeling high again. Pop, pop, drip
pop, drip.. Popcorn all over the wet floor. Pop,
pop, drip, pop. Some of the popcorn on the stove
catches fire. There it is-the fire and the flood
and there is nothing much you can do about
either of them. The wet -floor feels funny under
my bare feet. I wonder if the linoleum is going
to buckle up any more. We laugh alot, but I feel
I am sitting on a wood chair backed up against
the stove to keep it shut while the dinner is
cooking. One of the' boys on our block is making
jello for us for dinner.
"NO, WE'RE NOT hippies." He's about the
seventh kid who's asked.
"But, you're studying to be hippies, aren't
I don't say anything.
"Why are you sitting by the stove?"
He'd be about in seventh grade, except he says
he hit somebody so he hasn't been going to school
for a year.
"To keep the stove shut. It's the only chair
I can sit on."
"I know. Hippies don't have furniture."
Its more than the furniture. We get up late
in the morning and we, paint pictures and take
photographs. Boys cook dinner. Every day there
seems to be a different group of people living
I try again. "You don't study to be hippies.
We're in Detroit because we go to the University
of Michigan and we're studying things in the
I don't think he believes me. I don't look at
all like a hippie, But why should I care?
"That's a hippie design isn't it?"
MY PAINTING of a red and green sun with
flames curling out to the edge of the paper is
over the boarded up fireplace,
"Yeah, it looks sort of like a hippie design,"
I was sitting in the kitchen looking at the
cracks in the ceiling and wondering when it
would cave in. A friend of mine says a lot of poor
people think like hippies.
She's right. If you take life seriously where we
are in Detroit, you use up all of your life keeping
ahead of the decay around you.
A lot of people do that. The hardware stores
are jammed with people buying washers for their
faucets and home plastering kits to patch up their'
failing post-Victorian houses. About one house in
five is being painted a bright color by a fifty year
old man. But the porch is still caving on the house
The man back of us works fifty or sixty hours
a week in a factory. He's young and he has two
little girls and wants a Cadillac before Christmas.
He'll probably get it. It has something to do with
But, for that self respect, he loses all the min-
utes and hours of his life. And a lot people
aren't willing to give their lives to the factory.
MY FRIEND the Mexican social worker has
given up on them. He says Americans have no dis-
cipline, no morals, no respect. Men work in the
winter when it gets cold, but they don't even look
for jobs in the summer. They just smoke grass and
stand, on corners and watch what's going on
The crack in our kitchen ceiling has gotten
bigger since all- the water dripped through it. Arid
the linoleum is buckling up. But I think I
wouldn't do what my neighbor is doing for fifty
hours a week. Not for a Cadillac, anyway. I
wouldn't be able to paint.
Obituary: The ethos of an era at 1509 South U
By DICK WINTER
T HAD BEEN just a turn-of-the-century,
bannister-porched house at 1509 South Uni-
Most of its life it had housed average,
straightforward people-first a family, then two
families split into upstairs and downstairs, and
then a rush of students coming and going
Nobody knows just about how old 1509 was
when it died in a blaze of glory a few weeks ago.
But its last era was certainly its most brilliant.
The course of its final three years of exist-
ence was set in the summer of 1965 when Jeff
Goodman, then editorial director of The Daily,
discovered 1509. He rounded up several other
Daily staffers to occupy it with him for the
From that time the frame building with the
peeling grey paint saw more excitement and
diversity than any place else on campus.
PHYSICALLY, 1509 was not terribly different
from other Ann Arbor student slum housing.
The back porch had rotted to splinters.
The basement was a veritable junkyard. It
seemed as though anybody who has been, is, or
will be on The Daily staff had something
"stored" down there: beds, motorcycles, candles,
pots and pans television sets, and, yes a kitchen
sink. (Looters take note: it's almost all still
The dining room table was supported by two
a ff_ n strn 2a , .talrk f nwcnn
The closet in the living room went un-
noticed for over two years before someone
discovered it hiding a Michigan Union jacket
and a dead bird.
The hole in the roof over one of the bed-
rooms was the door way for homeless squirrels
who once paid a visit in-the middle of the night,
landing gracefully on top of the resident and
The flat roof over the rear of the house
served as a dining room, picnic grounds, a party
room, a junkyard, a bathing ,beach, and a bed-
BUT THE PHYSICAL qualities of the house
paled beside- the lifestyles of its residents.
There was a whole year when everyone
thought the phones were tapped; the paranoia
aroused by mysterious "little clicking sounds"
in the phone following the appearance of editor-
ials in The Daily written by 1509 residents ad-
vocating the legalization of marijuana.
And then there was the time when a man
thought his runaway daughter, Barbara, was
hiding in 1509. He and several cops came busting
in one night, finding to everyone's embarrass-
ment that there was indeed a Barbara there,
but definitely not the one he was looking for.
NOW THE GHOST of 1509 stands bleak and
forlorn on South University.
Scorch marks show where the flames shot
from the window of one room, the remnants of
sun day morning,__________
THE RON JOHNSON?'
The desk talkied
By MARCIA ABRAMSON
BOREDOM. Sitting in class stultified. No-
where to turn.
Colleges are like old folks homes, you con-
clude, but more people die in colleges.
You stare at the desk in front of you. And
it talks back.
"L'amertume mon cher n'a jamais accompli
Desk grafitti. Communication of the con-
"THE Ron Johnson?"
"No, I just write his name a lot."
"Ron Johnson. Moo-U."
"What time are you here?"