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April 06, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-04-06

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" EY CINDY do you want to drive again?"
A vague, blurry form peered at me
from the front seat.
We were on the long, winding road to Chi-
cago to greet the President on this, his first
venture outside the South since his 1972
"mandate." And this was the end of the
10 a.m.-to-noon driving shift.
I looked up, bleary-eyed, and shook my
Hell no. I didn't want to drive. After
thoroughly permeating my system with cof-
fee the night before, I had barely made
it to 10 a.m. before turning the wheel over
to someone else, and crashing gratefully on
the back seat, sandwiched between Daily
photographer Karen Kasmauski and a com-
plete s'tranger.
It had been a crazy and unexpected trip.
Before I was completely sure what was
going on, it was 6 a.m. and I was waiting,
wide-eyed and stunned, with 30 others in
Alice Lloyd Hall.
NOT ONLY WAS I going to Chicago, but
I was giving five other people lifts. The
Impeach Nixon Committee had hedged on
whether I'd be able to get a ride, but hap-
pily accepted my offer to shoehorn f o u r
other people into my rather ,rry 1961 Dodge.
So here we were. A stalwart band of crazies
sallying forth across three states to visit
Mayor Daley country, where we were defin-
itely not wanted, to see a President who
definitely did not want to see us.
Barrie Bennett, the rally organizer who had
performed brilliantly during the trip as a
combined cheerleader, father confessor and,
when the occasion demanded it, general
buffoon, had long since disappeared en
route with his car, another car in our
party, and a University van that had squash-
ed in some fifteen people like sardines.
Undaunted, and with the continual assur-
aces of one of our companions who knew
Chicago, he said, like a book, we continued.
We made a final pitstop at a quickee ham-
burger joint before entering "The City."
"SO WHAT brings you guys to Chicago?"
asked a suburban housewife in the women's
john. She had curlers on, and snapped a siz-
able wad of gum between her teeth as she
Rumpled, weary, and travel-worn, it wasn't
too hard to guess we were from out of town.
And, being a stranger to these parts, I
wasn't sure that saying I was a wild, hippie
rabble-rouser about to besmirch the reputa-
tion of their fair city by demonstrating
against our president wouldn't mean that
my head would be severed from my should-
ers on the spot.
"The President's coming to town s' I
mumbled obscurely.
"Honey," she said, snapping her gum

again, "you could have watched that on tele-
vision." I detected a distinct bitterness in
her voice. It gave me courage.
"Well, actually," I ventured "we'll be
attending the protest."
"Sweetheart," she said, "I don't athink
Nixon'll care. Why bother?"
WHY INDEED? This ain't the '60s, I am
continually being reminded by people who
have called me a "political anachronism."
Effective protests where large numbers of
people demonstrate, I am told, are also an
"So here we were. A stalwart
band of crazies sallying forth
across three states to visit
Mayor Daley country, where
we were definitely not want-
ed, to see a President, who
definitely did not want to see
Not that the message exactly had to be
beaten into my head with a hammer. I am a
product of the seventies. For us, cynicism is
our cross, our shield and our solace.
In a world-gone-mad, perhaps it soon will
be all we have left.
I had 11 bucks, a party, and champagne
riding that Nixon will never be impeached.
Were the miracle to happen, as we were de-
manding, he would be tried by men whose
own scruples were dubious at best. If con-
victed, President Gerald Ford would simply
slip into his shoes.
Our anger and disillusionment was direct-
ed more at that vast, fuzzy and elusive
"them" of American politics. Nixon, the
black knight of American politics, was ob-
viously the most immediate and convenient
But even the black knight of American
politics had made it quite clear that he would
rather watch the Super Bowl on his color
TV than listen to, or even look at, half
a million protesters literally on his door-
BUT HOPE springs eternal. Despite the
crusty cynicism developed in my '6Gs youth,
I really thought - somehow - that activism
would rise like a phoenix from the ashes, and
that the will of the masses would triumph.'
Somehow, I think we all did.
* * *
"YUCH1 HOW disgusting!" announced
Frank, the man at the wheel. (I still wasn't
driving.) I wasn't sure upon awakening whe-
ther this tour-guide appraisal of the city,
my first introduction to Chicago, was direct-
ed at the clouds of smog rising from the

Six yea
Falstaff brewery, or the day in general.
It was, undebateably, a dismal day. There
was a lot to be dismal about.
It was cold, bleak and rainy - a remark-
ably apt day for the occasion, Nixon's first
excursion to the north.
And we, the people, were there to wel-
come him.
Or, at least, the 3,000 or so of the people
who didn't mind enduring the cold, the rain,
and the hordes of confident, smiling police-
men who almost, it seemed, outnumbered
the protesters.
(Three hundred policemen and secret
service agents, I remembered ripping off the
wire machines the night before, would, in
turn, be on hand to greet the protesters.)
of paddy wagons and police, the crowd seem-
ed to be having a good time of it.
"Hell, even the police say Nixon's a jerk,"
grinned a youthful protester, holding a sign
reading "Hail to the Thief."


enough, conversation with a write-in candi-
date for Illinois senator.
If activism - on this very day - were
to rise like Lazarus from the dead, few cir-
cumstances could have been more appro-
A grey day for six, grey years of presi-
dency. The ominous rain. And, as a modern
'day prophetess screamed from the crowd, it
was, after all, the Ides of March.
But most of all: the city. That was where,
for a lot of us, the hope and idealism of a
nation had died - suddenly and tragically
- on Michigan Avenue in 1968.
And maybe, just maybe, that's where ac-
tivism died too.
I WAS FIFTEEN at the time, and Clean
for Gene. Or rather, since I was already
straight as the proverbial pin, I went Clean-
er for Gene.
Funny, one of my most striking impres-
sions during the whole damn decade %vas sit-
ting in front of the TV tube - so stunned

Three men, dressed to kill in formal white
shirts and black tails, played "Three Blind
Mice" on a drum, trumpet and fiddle in front
of the main entrance of the Hilton Hotel.
"Elect Nixon President - of Standard
Oil!" someone bellowed defiantly to the de-
light of those within earshot. The crowd
outdid themselves with attempted bon mots.
IT WAS A HEYDAY for anyone with any-
thing to pass out or sell. Within the space
of a few short hours, I had collected several
militant newspapers, a plethora of leaflets,
several buttons advocating various causes,
invitations to more rallies than I had attend-
ed in four years, a few grimy jelly beans
from a freak, and had a brief, but not brief

Beating the counseling game

MOST NEW STUDENTS first encounter
University bureaucracy in the person of
a randomly assigned counselor. The process
of applying, contacting financial aid, arrang-
ing for housing, and memorizing your social
security number are behind, and all you
have to do now is sign up for courses and go
to class, right?
Wrong. You have just begun'...
If you are like most students, you care-
fully read the course catalogue (boggled by
the number, variety, and incomprehensibility
of it all) and memorized the little map that
you got in the mail.
Then you arrive for what is optimistically
called Orientation. However sympathetic and
understanding your group leader is, you still
get dragged through the campus and librar-
ies until you're dizzy, told cute and super-
fluous anecdotes about stone lions and the
"girls" in Martha Cook, and grilled by a
computerized questionnaire about all sorts of
existential personal feelings at 7 am. I was
sure confused; and I have the feeling I'm not
AFTER 10 OR 15 MINUTES for a relaxing
lunch at any of the so-called restaurants that
line the Diag, you present yourself at one of
several offices (finding the right one is the
easy part) and tell a complete stranger what
you want to be when you grow up, and how
you intend to get there.
If you know both those things, well and
If you have questions about life goals, pos-
sible majors, and the contents of courses,
you're in the wrong place, although you may
not find that out for a few semesters.
Admittedly, the LSA counselling program
has just undergone reorganization. Admitted-
ly, the Checkpoint information program
seems to be very effective for an adolescent

project. But, as the old Chinese proverb says,
band-aids are nice, but they don't hold
things together well.
selling program is the same problem with
LSA's teaching: the people who perform the
functions, either teaching or counselling, us-
ually have little or no training or feeling for
the job. They are stuffed into slots as part
of their academic (usually research-oriented)
appointments, and they are as confused
about what they should tell you as you are
about what you want to know.
Again, if you know what you want, they
can be very helpful: they initial your course
selections, drop/adds, waivers, and petitions,
and smile vaguely since you are one of their
quota of hundreds that they ought to be
nice to. But heaven help you if you don't
know what you want to major in.
Is there a better way? Certainly. But the
priorities of the College and University would
have to be rearranged to favor students over
externally-funded research, and many moons
shall pass before that occurs spontaneous-
IN THE MEANTIME, there have been a
few reforms, and there are a few helpful
services: all you have to do now is find them.
IF WHAT YOU NEED is course informa-
tion, check with the Student Counselling Of-,
fice, 1018 Angell Hall, 763-1552, or with the
parallel peer-counseling service in your
school or college. The people are there be-
cause they want to perform the service, they
have broader experience with courses and
departments, they know more faculty-and
don't have to stick up for them as colleagues
-and advisors, and chances are they know
seven times as much about red tape and
how to circumvent it. In addition, they have

more time to spend, and can often under-
stand your personal needs, hopes, and hesi-
tancies more readily than faculty members
Talk to other students in your depart-
ment or dormitory or whatever, and find
out who the friendly, well-informed faculty
counselors are. Then set out to develop a
relationship with one of them: not only are
they helpful in dealing with the computer and
Waterman Gym, but some of them are damn
fine human beings who ought to be rein-
forced for sitting in those sensory-depriva-'
tion cubicles and still being nice to students.
IF YOU HAVE DECIDED that the prob-
lem is more than academic, there are lots
of free-to-cheap personal counselling services
around. Some of them are good in addition to
being inexpensive. A good place to start is
with the 76-GUIDE folks (764-8433): tell them
what you need, and they'll refer you to the
place that's most appropriate for you. The
types of programs range from consciousness
raising groups to full-fledged therapy, and
you as the client can choose what you want.
Going the GUIDE route means that you
won't have to trek around, sit in waiting
rooms, and tell assorted geeks your life
story, only to find out that all they handle
is reading improvement (which is actually
a fine service, but probably not what you
need to sort out your sexuality or tensions
with your parents). If you don't find what
you need, go back to GUIDE and try again:
you pay for the services, so you should get
what you need.
ONE FINAL NOTE: you are a client of this
College and this University. When you get
unnecessary run-around or snottiness, take
your case to a department head, a dean, an
orientation officer, or the President himself.
GUIDE can generally refer you to the right
person. The counselling you get will be only
as good as you insist it be.

I didn't even notice I was crying - as I
watched kids getting their heads busted
while I sat and watched, and while Mayor
Richard Daley also sat and watched, and
carried the nomination for H. H. Humphrey.
Things like that aren't supposed to happen
when you're fifteen.
Mayor Daley to this day is the first and
only person I have a passionate, abiding
hatred for.
But this was Michigan Avenue, in Chicago,
1974. The setting was the same. The mayor
was the same.
Nixon, apparently, had been air dropped
from a helicopter - like a god descend-
ing from the clouds - on the Chicago Hilton
Hotel the night before. He was scheduled
to speak to businessmen there this afternoon,
and would presumably leave the same way.
(I remember how my heart bled in 1968
to learn that Humphrey, in the same hotel,
had complained of tear gas fumes from the
avenue rising to his plush hotel room.)
The cops, I figured, were the same too.
There couldn't, I reasoned, be .nore than a
25 per cent changeover in the intervening
four years.
The y had, however, changed their tune.
"HEY! WHAT are you doing?" A middle-
aged man - one of Mayor Daley's men in
blue - trotted up to me.
It was raining.
"I'm trying to cross the street."
"Where are you from?" he eyed me sus-
piciou sly.
"Ann Arbor." The braid on his uniform in-
dicated he had some seniority and status
with the Chicago police.
"No wonder you don't know what you're
doing," he chuckled, suddenly becoming very
friendly. "You people are just getting cocky
because you won the basketball game the
other day."
I didn't know anything about the game,
or any form of sports whatsoever. Ile put
his arm around my shoulders, and I stifled an
impulse to shove an elbow in his ribs, or
scream, or both.
He shepherded me across the street.
IN RETROSPECT, I should have taken
advantage of his friendliness. He was the
only policeman I met in three hours who
didn't speak with a vocabulary of 17 mono-
syllables and 13 grunts.
The following conversation was typical.

ality!" someone shouted from the crowd.
But for the most part, it wasn'tnecessary.
The police simply joked with each other,
grinned, and kept the whole thing neatly and
tightly pinned under their collective thumbs.
MEANWHILE, THE entire scenario w a s
being closely observed by a number of young,
short-haired, neatly dressed representatives
of the "National Science Teachers Associa-
tion." They lounged conspicuously against
the buildings at evenly spaced intervals.
And the band played on. (A dirge-like, lu-
gubrious rendition of "Jail to the Chief.")
When the word got out that a rally was
being organized in the park on the opposite
side of the avenue, however, the police stop-
ped smiling.
Suddenly, the party was over.
For a moment, mass panic reigned. There
is nothing comparable to the momentary hor-
ror and confusion of spinning around and
finding yourself literally surrounded by sev-
eral trained lines of Chicago police, stand-
ing in formation with feet apart, their arms
crossed, and looking like they mean business.
My God, my God! were the only words that
came into my mind for a full fifteen seconds.
Though every connected thought in my mind
had been vacuumed out, I subconsciously re-
cognized the scene as a prelude. Memorabil-
ia, circa 1968.
Those. who had been moving toward the
park were forced to churn back into the
crowd. Confusion spread and multiplied like
an atomic reaction.
BUT THE PANIC was transitory. As tran-
sitory, in fact, as the movement for a mas-
sive demo.
The police had logically eordonned off the
crowd into smaller sections on each side of
the street. There was no way to move along
Michigan Avenue unless you were to walk
several blocks down the street and leave
the demonstration altogether.
In other words, there would be nn speaker
for the demonstration. There would bekno
Each small block of protesters tried to car-
rv on, regardless. They began marching
within their own, self-contained circles. From
the heliocopters overhead, it must have look-
ed like another, giant Chicago machine, with
each cog turning.
IN THE BIGGEST, most populated s e c-
tion - the one opposite the Hilton Hotel,
-- were a group of roughly ten people mira-
culously maintaining a steadfast and misbe-
gotten crusade to support the President.
Line at the curb, their backs to the an-
gry mob of protesters, they were sitting
ducks. It was only through the most vigilant
efforts they were not lynched.
They hovered nervously around their sign,
"National Prayer and Fast for the Presi-
dent", waved their miniature American flags,
and sang "God Bless America" with an un-
natural vibratto in their voices.
They ignored most of the questions - and
comments - directed at them. But one
did give a brief explanation of their cause:
"We'll support him as long as he's in
office," said a young man with a lobo-
timized gleam in his eye. He could have
passed for a vacationing member of the
King family. In the entire crowd, I think,
he alone did not look wet, as though he
had been sprayed, head to toe, with Scotch-
Someone within my particular clique was
desperately trying to establish himself as a
leader. Pleading for militarism, he shouted
something about "We ought to storm the
Wrong decade, baby.
"WHAT DO YOU mean, I've got to go
around four blocks that way," a young man
with frizzy black hair raged at a intransi-
gent policeman. "I live that way," he fum-

limousine, crouching under the jeers of this
motley crew?
"Hey President Nixon!" a Wisconsin stu-
dent bellowed," "Did you forget that the
people are here to see you!"
Baby, he never even knew.
"Nixon's a communist conspiracy!"
screamed another through the drenched, dish-
water-blonde hair matted on his forehead.
A factory worker, whose face bore the
lines and seamus of some fifty-odd years,
soke to a short, beer-bellied older man, pro-
bably also a factory worker.
I don't see any bullet-proo ne-ple, any
bayonet-nroof people. I'm looking, but I
don't see them."
The short man nodded solemnly in agree-
"I'm saying you can't keep goading him
like that," he continued. "We've got a
Pre;ent who's on very friendly terms with
the Pentagon. Ultimately, he could put the
people under the military."
Sensing that my interest was catching his
attention, I simply smiled, nodded and turn-
ed away.
"We're not aeitated, we're irritated,' the
wet b1,'nd v-i'ng man screamed. "We're
the agitatees!"
I'M SORRY, I coildn't hack it. Sensing
the early near-deadline tremors rushing
through my body - which meant I had a
store to file in Ann Arbor in a few hours
- I forced my way back through the
c r-wrl. wTh had already diminished great-
ly in numiber.
ta/er Karen u,)uld tell me that the crowd
tould diminish more before Nixon would
emerue. A rumor went through the crowd
that he would attem/t an escape through a
side door, scattering the remaining protesters
like chickens in the mad rush for the side
Theyi don't call him Tricky Dick for nuth-
in'. Only the swiftest of the protesters
caught a glimpse of the President as he
ducked into a waiting limousine.
But I never saw all this. I was battling
my way through the rain as I walked toward
the mile-long stretch of parking lot on
Michigan Avenue.
Chicago, however, did not miss the op=
portun'ity to deliver its final opinion of me
as I waited for the walking green.
A car whipped past, splashing a gutter-
full of water on me. My jeans were soaked
- thoroughly soaked - all the way up to my
"Fuck you!" I screamed, furiously, n o t
sure immediately whether the comment was
directed to the driver, the city, Nixon, or
life in general. Several, old ladies stared
at me, their eyes wide with horror. I laugh-
ed the rest of the way to the car.

"Our anger and disillusionment was directed more at the vast,
fuzzy and elusive 'them' of American politics. Nixon, the black
knight of American politics, was obviously the most im-
mediate and convenient target."
: } . :. . .hJSXiS:.r"J: .::. .:........ .-..v-.h.". -:.v . - . a4

News: Della di Pietro, Judy Ruskin, Sue Stephenson, Paul Terwilliger, Becky Warner
Editorial Page: Marnie Heyn, Cindy Hill, Patricia Tepper, Sue Wilhelm
Arts Page: Ken Fink, Jeff Sorenson
Photo Technician: Karen Kasmauski

"How many people would you estimate
are here?"
"I don't know, I'm bad at estimating
"Were you given any particular instruc-
tions in covering this demo?"
"I don't know."
"How many policemen were assigned to
this demo?"
"I don't know."
"How has the attitude changed within the
Chicago police department towards demon-
strators changed since 1968?"
"I don't know, I wasn't here in 1968."
(I vas not a Nazi," snapped the hoary
German, clicking his heels smartly. "I did
not know what was going on, I knew noth-
ing, nothing.")
The lines on what was once my clean. crispi

ed, pointing towards the far end of the
crowd. The policeman, nonplussed, said noth-
ing, but simply shook his head.
Tactically, it was a brilliant move for
the police, but not quite an impossible one
for the individual.
Always being an obnoxious sort, I man-
aged to worm my way through the crowed,
sweet talk my way past a policeman, and
scooted to the other side of Michigan Ave-
nue, where the Hilton Hotel was.
For where the Hilton Hotel was, I rea-
less he was, indeed, planing to take up
permanent residence there. Or fly, like
Icarus, from the top of the building.
My predictions were accurate: the crowd
on the opposite side of the street dwindled,
and the police closed in on the groups un-
til their numbers were so small there was

S0 WHAT DID we accomplish? I directed
the question to my confreres on the way
back to Michigan.
My feet were propped up on the seat in
front of me," shoes} off. My jeans, rolled up,
exposed a colorful set of argyle socks all
the way up to the knee.
The answers were the same as the ones ex-
plained in Chicago. Somehow, I didn't ex-
pect any other.
"The idea isn't to get through to the Presi-
dent," one protester explained, "nobody's
that naive.
(I remembered how Karen had explained
the way the mob had flocked to the side
doors to catch a glimpse of the President-
or let him catch of glimpse of them.)
"We're trying to get through to the peo-
Another woman, a well-dressed suburban-
ite, had groped for an explanation. "We've
got to keep doing this, even if it's futile.'
Futile,' perhaps, but necessary. Somebody,
somewhere, will have to be doing this again


Eighty-Four Years of Editorial Freedom


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