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September 14, 1969 - Image 4

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Number 8 Night Editor: David Spurr

September 14, 1969

On going to America
IT WAS NOT a bad summer. Rainy in A nn Arbor on weekends, but reasonably dry
in Paris and Stockholm.
Summer was long enough to go away from Ann Arbor for a while-to Europe
or home in America. With all respects to Harper's, today's Sunday Daily writers
give impressions of the view from there.
Rick Perloff explains the workings of blind justice in Pittsburgh as practiced
by Montgomery, the cop. Nadine Cohodas describes a snazzy airline stopover in
Traverse City, Mich. And Steve Anzalone tells what it's like to go to sleep in Paris
and wake up in Detroit.

t)u ilv--Jerr. Wechsler

A philosophical approach to arrest on Walnut St.

-Dily II - J Erry We~chslder

An indignant prodigal
in a strange land

Elditorild Page Editor
Tj)V ORONTO I braced myself for the
nenvitable. Detroit would be only minutes
away, and then the indignation would begin.
Pangs of regret surrounded this American
tiraveler at the end of his European holiday. It
is always too bad that the vacation must end
by coming home. But when it ends by landing
in Detroit, the euphoria of coming home in no
way compensates for the end of an enjoyable
vyeTerealization that this is home only
ravates he remorse about leaving Europe.
From Toronto, the Detroit-bound passenger
must fasten his seat belt and observe his
progress through the window. The air miles are
calibrated in dirt, until the passenger becomes
one wi the orgasmic filth hanging over De-
Then there is the descent through this nause-
ous brown bridal veil that symbolizes man's
marriage to his blighted industrial environment.
But the indignation is only beginning.
of Metropolitan Airport immediately dispels
any pretensions Detroit might have as an in-
ternational port of call. This area is completely
devoid of personality, it is small, and its cus-
toms procedures are primitive.
Yet the most striking--and the most insulting
-object in the international terminal is a pic-
Anrc of our beloved President, welcoming one
and all to his country. At this point, nothing

THIS COUNTHY HAS been totally successful
in destroying lare arts of its countryside. The
hgadarea from Gary, Indiana, to Chicago
is probably one of the most wretched land-
scapes in the world. But the stretch of land
along I-94 from Detroit to Ann Arbor ranks
with it. What was once drab farm flatland
has been made more depressing by the un-
imaginative working-class housing develop-
ments, the concrete shopping institutions, the
sprawling factories, the standardized ham-
burger stands and tihe forlorn drive-in theaters
that so characterize modern American life.
My burgeoning disgust reached a climax
during a quick run around the industrial waste-
land in Willow Run. There was the reminder
that I had worked in one of those automobile
factories, and that ultimately my education,
my travel, and my whole existence were de-
pendent on money derived from this corporate
After the stretch of suburban blight sur-
rounding Arborland. Ann Arbor comes quickly.
Washtenaw Avenue- -the trees, distinguished-
looking homes, the uncut grass on the frater-
nity lawns.
South University--the plastic stores and
greasy restaurants, the People, the undying
monument to Doug Harvey's psychopathetic
And one's visceral impressions. Freddy Ul-
rich's disjointed addition is completed. God,
is it really ninety degrees? They're taking
their time on the new libra ry. Forgive me for
not stopping to pay my respects. Robben, but

Not that the outcome in-
volved a life or death choice, but
the fact remains: I lost.
Winning or losing was not on
my mind when I crossed Pitts-
burgh's Walnut St. several weeks
ago. On my mind was the pur-
chase of a painting at the Pan-
demonium, an art shop that
hangs quietly to the side of the
street, detached from the cluster
of sandwich shops, boutiques and
paraphenalia that attracts young.
curious and quite often bored
I was waiting for my family to
complete the purchase of some-
thing the name of which, as it
turned out, took secondary impor-
tance to the name Montgomery.
Montgomery arrested me.
I WASN'S DOING terribly
much; I wasn't doing bad things
--but then, as a freshman girl
told me, the ROTC disruptions
coupled with the University's
twisted values convinced her
there were no bad things.
Montgomery thinks differently.
A medium-sized cop with med-
ium-sized values and a crisp
M a r i o Procaccino moustache,
Montgomery gives the appearance
of someone who doesn't think
often enough to believe in bad
I had just bought a paper and,
with a few minutes to waste be-
fore the art shop opened, I de-
cided to relax. Outside the door
of the drugstore where I pur-
chased the newspaper are tiles
shielded by a multi-colored awn-
ing. I dropped the paper down on
the tiles, leaned against the
store's front and began to read.
About 40 seconds later, I looked
up and perceived two youths look-
ing down. At me. Enter Mont-
MONTGOMERY didn't speak
first. It was his counterpart with
the German Sheperd who ordered
me to rise. I asked him why. He
said something to the effect. of
my not belonging under the
awning, disturbing people.
I didn't see anyone coming out
of the store, or anyone coming in.
But I responded "Isn't it the store
keeper's job to tell me to get up'?"
Montgomery disagreed. "It's our
job," he said and told me I didn't
belong there.
Not sensing any mass support
and not feeling like a martyr I
agreed. I walked a few feet to the
steps of Pandemonium. The steps

noticed, I guess, that I had peer-
ed at the paper and then he scur-
ried over to me.
"You're under arrest." he told
me and he started to pull me by
the hands. I looked for the hand-
cuffs, but there were none.
"For what?" I said, backing off
"Loitering," he said, grabbing
me and pushing me forward. I
stopped. "Wait a minute. w h a t
did I do, do you have to arrest
me?" babbled I.
He repeated the loitering charge
and I told him that my family was
down the street and could explain
that I had some business on Wal-
nut and was not just loitering.
The man with the dog joined
us. He helped push me. The crowd
of young people across the street
looked, but none said anything to
me, their Kitty Genovese.
I WAS SHOVED into the van.
but not excessively brutally. They
frisked me, two of them, and de-
cided I could not hurt them.
The truck drove away and I
glanced at the three cops.
"I'm shocked," I said, though
they did not respond. "I was just,
standing on the street and now,
I'm arrested. Can you explain
this? I'm sor't of curious."
"Explain it to the man at the
station," said one. Now I knewv
where I was headed. Station No. 6.
They asked my name, my ad-
dress and what I did, a student,
they presumed. I informed them
that I outside agitated and the
man wxho was writing looked uip
quite abruptly. "I go to the Uni-
versity of Michigan." I told him
now and he asked me again if I
was a student.
I THOUGHT I caught a smile
or part of one from the man who
sat guarding me at my left. But
it ended when he remembered that
compassion is prohibited by Po-
lice Rule 567-8952.
As we continued the drive I ex-
perienced a feeling of power. I
was riding in a police van. It was
like ruling the city.
The cop taking notes wanted to
know if I lived permanently in
Pittsburgh. "Except for school,"
I answered, adding that I worked
for a daily there, The Pittsburgh
Press, during the summer.
He paused and repeated "The
Pittsburgh Press." Was I a re-
porter? Yes. I thought he would
release me because of that, but he
didn't and shortly we arrived at
No. 6.
It was an old station with a po-

following orders and t h a t was
what Montgomery charged me, so
he figured, that was what I had
HE TYPED SOME more from the
note-taking cop's paper and then
asked me for $16. That was for
the fine. All I had was $14, but a
sociology professor from the Uni-
versity of Pittsburgh loaned me
two. He was there to pay a $50
fine for not having his license on
him while driving. I felt the bond
of criminals.
The policeman took my money
and explained that I could g e t
some back if the city magistrate
decided I was innocent.
"Sometimes they just give you
a lecture and will return part of
your money," he said. It sounded
like fun. If I could beat the judge,
I got the money.
At the police department down-
town, I was surrounded by black
people who had been arrested that
day in a protest for more union
jobs. They were waiting too.
I APPROACHED the desk of

the magistrate and asked a jolly-
looking heavy-set cop when my
hearing began. He asked what I
had done. "Loitering," I bragged.
feeling pretty good about the
whole matter. He nodded; I was
the loitering type.
Montgomery was there grinning.
I waved to him but he only nod-
ded. "How y' doing?" I a s k e d.
hoping to engage him in a ration-
al dialogue on the philosophical
questions raised by my arrest. I
saw visions of the two of us shak-
ing hands and reconciling our dif-
But Montgomery would not ex-
plain anything. I had violated the
law. Whatever that meant.
When a white - shirted, thin-
tied man entered. Montgomery
walked to his desk and pointed at
me. The man was the city magis-
The magistrate sat down, listen-
ed to Montgomery, then smiled
a little. He beckoned. I came. The
game was ready to begin again.
"You Rick Perloff'?" he asked,
with as much matter of fact as
he could muster. I nodded and he

told me I was up on a loitering
charge. He 1 o o k e d at me so I
started talking. He wasn't listen-
ing. S
HE GI ANCED AT t h e paper
listing my charges and told me I
should pay $16 or serve a term in
jail. I eyed him. He was staring
straight ahead -- this was, after
all j u s t another kid who was
causing trouble on Walnut St.
Another body which had obvious-
ly interfered with t h e police. I
old him I had paid the fine al-
r:,ady and he stomped his gavel.
I was over.
Running down the hallway, I
approached Montgomery. "I know
it's over, but I'm still wondering
what I did," I told him.
"You were loitering and wouldn't
leave when I told you,'' he re-
torted. He had just told me to
get up, I recalled, but even so.
what was wrong with reading the
paper? Was it against the law?
He didn't know the law, he said,
pushing the button for the elevat-
or, and maybe I should look it up
in the dictionary,

N..nowboarding from Gate One'

FIFTEEN MINUTES 'in the Traverse City,
Mich. airport-not the most exciting prospect
to be sure, but an experience nonetheless.
Sept. 3, 11:22 p.m.-North Central had just
set down one of its rare two-engine airplanes
with carpeted walls and unflushable toilet.
Grabbing my bag from the carry-on rack, I
clomped down the metal steps and into the
terminal for a short wait. I was on my way to
Pellston, Mich., and was in Traverse City to
change planes.
Traverse City is just east of Lake Michigan
in the northern part of the state's lower penin-
sula. Pellston is 79 miles from Traverse City, a
road sign says.
WHEN I LOOKED in the airport's main
room, I thought the place must be a remnant
from a near-bygone era. I decided that Loretta
Young, Bette Davis, Gary Cooper or maybe
Robert Taylor might have stopped here en route
to the Catskills wearing seamed stockings and
Al Capone hats. respectively,
The inside of the terminal is wood painted
that shade of turquoise-green peculiar to public
bathrooms. On one end of the room is the North
Central check-in desk and scale. Diagonally

other stand six vending umachines ready to give
you breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks for just
a quarter or two.
I NOTICED A NICE married lady in a white
suit and gold bracelet standing at the North
Central check-in desk. She was trying to locate
her luggage from New York City which had
preceded her to Traverse City by five hours.
The scene was a mixture of two worlds-the
Kennedy International jet-set with the Traverse
City prop kids. In one is the honest-to-goodness
airplane with real toilets. In the other, the air
world's two engine model-T with drop-in tanks.
Despite its unglamorous clientele and equip-
ment, the Traverse City airport plays it like the
major leagues. Although the airport apparently
has three floors only the first one seems to be
in use. The waiting room area is about the size
of a Mason Hall classroom and has slots for
maybe ten people to sit down.
Fortunately the night of Sept. 3 there were
only six of us. (I relinquished my seat, anyway.
in favor of pacing around to waste time. But
two trips through the terminal only killed 212
COZY AS IT WAS that night, the North
Central 1,av refuse.'d to ivnre ' cii'VoUt ritual. So

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