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September 06, 1979 - Image 93

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-06

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

The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 6, 1979-Page E-3

Characters

A

2

has more than its share

Daily Photo by MAUREEN O'MALLEY
A YOUNG SHOPPER casts a curious glance toward a grill display in one of Briarwood's numerous stores. For many,
the mall offers recreation and entertainment as well as a place to shop.
mall with it al, riarwood
offers variety to local shoppers

By R. J. SMITH
Ann Arbor is famous for its diversity, .
and true to its reputation, the city has
attracted a colorful variety of well-
known characters. These human lan-
dmarks dot Ann Arbor, offering frien-
dly smiles and serving as ever-present
conversation partners.
There are many stories of such
characters of the past. We all know, for
instance, about the "Orangutan man"
of 1936, who scaled the ediface of Bur-
ton Tower, he said, in order "to get
some of the bananas up there for my
dinner." And many are the street loons
who have subsidized their lifestyle over
the years by holding down seats on the
Ann Arbor City Council.
Just when exactly it was that they
began ransacking what would other-
wise be a sleepy (i.e. boring) college
town, is unimportant. What has become
clear is that the "street people" have
become an integral part of today's
University experience.
THE ADVENTURE begins many
times from that golden moment when
the incoming freshperson first sets foot
on Ann Arbor turf. Pity the poor one-
time ranch hand from Spumoni, Texas
(or wherever), face beaming in an-
ticipation of that orgasmic learning
experience the University told him was
awaiting him. With a single step off his
Greyhound at Ann Arbor's less-than-
glistening bus terminal, his educational
dreams could all be shattered. All it
would take would be the briefest of en-
counters with our own version of the
Vietnamese boat people-the Huron
Street Depot Droogs. We're talking
about people with eyes that show no
pupil or irises, just eggshell whiteness,
and who answer all questions with a
snappy "uh, huh.. .?" But the student
who lives closer to our beloved city and
gets driven to his or her dorm (or what-
ever) misses out on nothing. The side-
show is as close as the nearest trek down
State Street-no admission charged.
This is all not to say that Ann Arbor
has any sort of corner on the kook
market. It sure ain't in the ballpark
when compared to, say, New York,
which seems to install bums on ech
street corner by means of some vague
city ordinance. Still, in its own modest
way, Ann Arbor has a noteworthy claim
to fame for all its street people-in fact.
it draws many from the all-time Geek
Hall of Fame. This list includes such
luminaries as:
" SHAKEY JAKE WOODS: Ann Ar-
bor's roving Romeo, spashiest dresser,
and fabled raconteur, Jake is our only

purveyer of that rarest brand of music,
the Mississippi Deltoid Blues. Rumored
to be anywhere from 65 to 180, Jake hits
all the hotspots with his trusty guitar,
but most typically can be found on the
corner of State and William, hawking
Shakey Jake t-shirts and posters. He
has been known to offer up kisses, to.
e "Crazy" Mary: If a certain zoology
professor's plans to throw a cage
around the Diag at midday in order to
create a University zoo, Mary would be
the head zoo keeper. Unlike her
predecesser as Diag master of
ceremonies, Richard Robinson (a.k.a.
"Doctor Diag"), who at least appeared
to be a stable individual, Mary may not
seem so docile to the incoming fresh-
person. From a distance, she's great

though: exhorting lots of wild stream-of-
consciousness stuff, she's a great foil
for all the jive artists, merchants, and
religious hucksters that periodically
occupy the Diag.
And of course there are scads more.
You see them in the pinball joints, in the
city's many greasy spoons, in bars,
living in coops, and inhabiting the nor-
thwest corner of the Diag. So unless you
don't plan on seeing any movies,
playing pinball, or walking to class, you
will meet, and sooner or later talk to
Ann Arbor's finest.
There is really only one bit of advice
necessary for your first encounter: for
God's sake, don't be afraid. After all,
these people are a lot safer than many
of those you'll meet at dorm parties.

By ADRIENNE LYONS
Some people who visit Briarwood
for the first time wonder why the place
isn't on the map.
Well, the complex may not be that
" big, but the huge shopping mall,
featuring more than 100 stores, has
awed many a freshperson.
Actually, Briarwood is Ann Arbor's
answer to suburban life. The great
variety of stores, restaurants, and ser-
vices offered there has enticed many.
University students to make the trek
out to Einsenhower and State (almost
three miles from campus).
THE MALL, which opened in Oc-
tober, 1973, is typical of most suburban
shopping centers springing up across
the country. Chrome and glass abound
within its walls, providing an open, airy
atmosphere. Lines, squares, and sharp,
irregular angles complete Briarwood's
"ultra-modern" decor.
While the complex features many
shops ranging from clothing stores to
home furnishing outlets to office supply

shops, the center also includes three
department stores: the nationally-
known Sears and J.C. Penney, and the
Detroit-based Hudson's.
Among Briarwood's many attrac-
tions are their four movie theaters. Fir-
st-run films are the main attraction, but
the midnight showings of "cult films,"
such as The Rocky Horror Picture
Show, often draw large crowds.
MANY STUDENTS, however, shun
the Briarwood movies because of their
$3.50 admission price on the weekends
($2.50 with student identification on
weeknights). Instead, many opt for the
various $1.50 movies on campus.
Another feature of the mall is its cen-
ter area, known as Grand Court. The
sprawling open space encircles a foun-
tain and the mall's stage, which is
reserved for Santa Claus during
Christmas, as well as the Ann Arbor
Summer Symphony Orchestra. The
Amaizin Blues, a University choral
group, also sings there at least once a
year.

While Briarwood isn't a convenient
ten-minute talk from students as many
stores are, it is fairly accessible
through the Ann Arbor Transportation
Authority. There are bus runs to the
mall every half hour with stops
strategically close to campus.
ASIDE FROM fulfilling shopping
needs at Briarwood, many students
look to the giant mall for employment.
John Wagner, the mall's manager, said
Briarwood is always looking for part-
time employees.
"I have University students in
security and one or two in the main-
tenance force," Wagner said.
William Fetterman, Sr., manager of
L.G: Haig shoe store, said he often looks
to students for help. "The largest tur-
nover (of sales clerks) is when kids get
out of school and again in September,"
Fetterman said. He also said he isn't
only interested in hiring students part
time, but he also looks out for those in-
terested in having "jobs for the future."

MULE SKINNER LEATHER SHOP
" BRIEFCASES * VESTS
* WALLETS * POUCHES
: BOOKBAGS " BELTS & BUCKLES
" CUSTOM MADE LUGGAGE
" WALTER DYER MOCCASINS
TRAVELBAGS
.--s CUSTOM LEATHER-Your Design or Ours
0005WoOLSALE- RETAIL
665-55751
RIEFCASES OPEN MON-FRI.
11 AM - 7 PM s UNI VERSITY
HATS SAt i AM - SPM
W. 1ETS 611 S. FOREST 0 ANN ARBOR
j pgi off S. university

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