'Tursday, September 9, 1976
I HE MICHIGAN DAILY
- |M|UiIGN|AIL Pae Tre
By DAN BIDDLE
It had been balmy for the!
first week of March, 1976, but
in Ann Arbor you knew better
than to smile out of doors be-
fore the 25th of April. By Fri-
day the wind was practically
ripping the clocks off Burton
Tower, and like a bad omen,
the night began with a few
Near the corner of Hoover
and Sybil a shaggy figure in a
long coat emerged from a door-
"Fine. We have nine minutes With everything else the wayj
to drive from here to Ypsi- it was, we probably shouldI
lanti. have been angry with the Daily1
The Buick heaved and charg-
ed past an amber light, andE
roared off into the darkness.
I it had been a rough time:
Neither of us had ever ap-
proached thesstudent business
with thekind oftpunctual pro-
fessionalism that it demands
these days; the widely alleged
"grade inflation" that profes-
sors said was ripping through
for making us late, but the
place had been making us late
for as long as we had known
each other. And we probably
would have been late even with-
We got to the Old China's
door as it was closing, and
talked our way in. You get good,
at that, being late a lot. I
peeks - you know, like well-
timed orgasms - when Ken
was the Daily's chief photog-
rapher and arts editor and I
"It was too much fun-type
work at the Daily. At some
point life gets business like,"
Ken said. He began rolling a
"Are you job hunting pretty
hard these days?"
"No. How do you write a job
letter, you know? I just can't
get into it. I write to that AP
guy in Chicago and he sends
me a postcard that says there's
nothing available but keep in
"But, Jesus," I said, "I'll be
glad to graduate and get out
of here for a while."
Ken squinted at me. "Are
you kidding? It's SAFE here."
HATWAS THE THING: it
was safe. You could talk
to your lover all night in Ann
Arbor, and sleep through a
few classes or a half a day of
work without suffering much
for it. You could, of course,
smoke dope in the street.
You could rush off madly to
Toronto for a weekend of drink-
ing and screwing and no one
thought any less of you. They
probably wanted to do it them-
It was not like the "real
world", where it seems like ev-
eryone is trying to "get ahead"
in some institution, where all
they want from you is produc-
tion; no one cares about emo-
tion. You can protest some old
company tradition - but not if
you want a promotion. And you
can work for seven years - to
get your vacation extended to
I miss the Daily, the many
nights when Ken and I and our
friends worked so hard, but
came away from the job with
such a rush: a bunch of 18 and
19 and 20 years olds could put
out their ownnewspaper, with
no money, no publisher, and
no one to stop us from saying
fuck in the newspaper if we
3:45 a.m. the first front page
rolled: "Landslide! / Dems
Crunch GOP." After that night,
the exclamation point was so
neat, it glowed in the dark.
In the heavily competitive
spirit of other places, it is im-
portant totremember what fun
that communal spirit was.
I guess the career -oriented
stuff is making a big comeback
even in Ann Arbor. Everyone
is pre-med or pre-law or pre-
something, and it is not so hip
to drop out any more.
It was safe in Ann Arbor. YOu could talk
to your lover all night, and sleep through
a few classes or a half a day of work with-
out suffering much for it. You could, of
course, smoke dope in the street. You could
rush off madly to Toronto for a weekend
of drinking and screwing and no one
thought any less of you. They probably
wanted to do it themselves. It was not like
the "real world" where it seems like every-
one is trying to "get ahead" in some insti-
tution, where all they want from you is
production; no one cares about emotion.
. . . .A .n..:""?.:a a.. .. .:":"4:a.....?.":".
felt it had to be said. Fuck. So! I hope the iconoclasts are
there. hanging on. It would be awful
THERE WERE NIGHTS AT if Ann Arbor really went
the Daily when it felt like straight - if the cops cleared
we were conquering the world.the street people and dogsaoff
After dinner on election night theDig, f hy wpeSr
in November 1974, Ken and I geant Rock's maxim off the
took a coffee urn and eight doz- UGLI basement wall, and Gay
en doughnuts from the big brown ride We kwere abo ished, aid
Buick to the Daily city room. "a y y akesty o wn r yn g,"
Then 30 of us worked through Bay you stay forever young,
eight hours of chaos . . . there Bob Dylan once sang in Crisler
were reporters calling in from Arena. May Ann Arbor forever
campaign headquarters, nation- heave with public protest and
al and state desks, headline-E private emotion, so that people
writedr stdeks, deadinewielike Ken and I can come back
writers, deadline-writers . . and indulge ourselves.
more than once the whole place
crackled with so much energy
that the system ripped loose ALMOST EVERY STREET
from our plan, splattering pho- is full of some memory for
tos, stories, editors and report- me now - a strange face mis-
ers across the big room like so taken for an old friend, lights
many hurricane victims. A re- in the window of a familiar
curring old. nightmare throbbed apartment; a professor's house,
in my head: big blank spaces in an old song, a long-lost rela-
the next morning's Daily. Don't tionship. So it tears me up
cry," a voice soothed. "It whenever I come back here.
doesn't look that bad." But I keep coming back any-
But we persevered, and at way.
12-14 NICKELS ARCADE--ANN ARBOR, MICH. 48108
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL 994-6204
DOMESTIC TRAVEL 994-6200
Decorating a wall in the base
most widely-read literature in
way and climbed up the snow-
banks: me. To the west, tires
shrieked on a curve and a huge
brown Buick lurched around
the corner. Another shriek pas
the car slowed and a door
flapped open to light the inter-
ior and absorb me. At the
wheel a second shaggy figure,
swathed in familiar sheepskin:
Daily Photo by STEVE KAGAN
ment of the UGLI, Sergeant Rock's maxim is probably the
the confines of that library.
LSA had not touched Ken and THERE WAS PLUM wine
me. February was full of un- and egg rolls and golden
completed incompletes and fried wan tan, and moo-hsi
sweaty t a b u l a t i o n s pork and plum sauce; and Ken,
of credit hours as we, "gradu-1 ever the gourmet, ordered
ating seniors," came down to fresh green scallions to dip m
the wire. the sauces. With a luscious
Of course our emotional lives swelling of stomachs, we sat
were in upheaval. For more back in the clouds of wine, soy
than two years we had been and monosodium glutamate.
arguing the dynamics of break- "Hey," Ken chuckled. "You
ing up (was it worse to be told got food in your beard."
it was over, or tell someone it "So do you!"
was over) and the evidence We both laughed and used
continued to pile up on both our sleeves.
sides. "So you figure you'll gradu-
So we devised this brief va- ate in May?" I asked.
cation to Ypsilanti at 10:30 that "Yeah, I'm almost all caught
night. Earlier a "date" had up."
stood me up - goddamn it - We were both trying to get
and Ken did not leave work at newspaper jobs. Thus, far our
the Daily office until 10:45. "careers" had hit simultaneous
the Old China
Dan Biddle graduated in
May, leaving behind the frenzy
of the Daily and Ann Arbor for
nine-to-five security at the
Cleveland Plan Dealer.
We Don't Just
Publish a Newspaper
meet new people
" We laugh a lot
" We find consolation
" We have T.G.'s
" We play football (once)
" We make money (some)
" We solve problems
" We gain prestige
" We become self confident
Order one of
serve you the
4 second one.
Welcome back to school. And welcome back to
Burger King . Come on in and have a Whopper.s
You know our big 100% beef burger With lettuce.
Tomatoes. Onions. Pickles. Catsup and mayonnaise.
All piled on a toasted sesame seed bun.
And get this: Bring along this coupon, and we'll
give you a second Whopper free.
So, come by and see us soon. We'd like to welcome
you back. Our way. And we can't to it better than
" We debate vital
* We drink 5c Cokes
serving you a Whopper. Your way. And giving you the
second one. Free.
Bring in this coupon, buy a Whopper, and get another
Whopper free! But hurry.
1 Offer expires,Oct. 10. 1976 It ie
Limit one per customer.
Good only at:
GOOD AT ALL Ph4N IR,
I ANN ARBOR BURGER KING
I BUumRGmmAAAE I
JOIN the DAILY
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