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July 19, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-07-19

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

Hot I Baltimore:
Shields the lonely

By DAVID BLOMQUIST
Arts and Entertainment Editor
"I Ping ago gave up being
sentimental about losing proposi-
tions," muses the retired wait-
ress as she leisurely glances
through the morning paper. The
formal eviction notice waiting
in her mailbox will confirm
something she already knows too
well - that the once-lamorous
hotel in which she resides is
headed for the wrecker's ball,
and with itthe only real friends
and warm surroundings left in
her sadly forlorn life.
Every major American city
has several aging structures like
Lanford Wilson's fictional Hotel
Baltimore. In Detroit, for ex-
ample, there are dozens of such
"hotels" - narrow, grimy brick
contraptions with winding stair-
cases, rusting fire escapes, and
peeling neon signs that proudly
announce the establishment's
five dollar weekly rate.
THE RESIDENTS of these
inns, of course, are not the same
sort of folks who queue uon at
Weber's or the Briarwood Hil-
ton. As Wilson's The Hot I Bal-
timore (the "e" in "hotel" is
missing from the front door
sign) illustrates, these unom-
fortable, musty old hotels are all
that some of the less fortunate
men and women among us can
call home. The award-winning
play opened Wednesday night at
Mendelssohn Theater as the fe-
cond offering in the 1975 Mi:.hi-
gan Repertory season.
The elderly, the mentally or
physically unstable, and t h e
prostitutes - in short, the us-
ually unwanted and unloved ele-
ments of our society - form the
residents of the Hotel Baltimore.
Separately, they are the Amcr-
ican untouchables; toge'ner
within the hotel walls, they
share comradeship and congen-
iality much like a band of thiev-
es, collectively licking wounds
inflicted by the cruel outside
world.
DR. Paul C. Uslan
OPTOMETRIST
Full Contact Lens Service
Visual Examinations
548 CHURCH ST.
663-2476

But into this stormy and de-
pressed atmosphere Wilson in-
serts a totally out-of-place ray
of hope: a young prostitute, im-
ply identified as the Girl, who
tries to cheer up the hotel's
permanent residents by iniecting
a new note of optimism into
every strand of conversation.
"I want a major miracle in my
lifetime," she flatly prsczloms.
UNDER LAWRENCE -<rbi-
son's quiet, yet extremely care-
Ful direction, Bethany Morcison
Carpenter molds the Girl into a
refreshing pilar of idealism: an
energetic young woman who re-
fuses to believe that the random-
fortune of life can destroy and
trample under even the strong-
est individual.
Even in the final moments of
the play, when the Girl's most
vibrant idealistic cause sudden-
ly turns sour, she refuses to be-
lieve that losers in life I a c k
anything more than the proper
motivation: "Nobody's got con-
viction to act on their passions,"
she states. Carpenter's lively
performance lent a suitably
bright touch to a unique role
and helped to underline the dis-
tinct contrasts.
Despite the Girl's contined
efforts, of course, the res'dents
of the Hotel Baltimore fare no
better. The hotel's prettiest pros-
titute, played by Maria Ricossa
Olds, moves elsewhere after
sensing that the firm eviction
notices man that the broken hot
water system and rickety eleva-
tor will never be fixed - de-
spite assurances to the contrary.
A WOMAN trying to raise
enough money to finance a trip
to Utah (portrayed with suitable
frustration by Kathleen Conlin)
finally must rob one of the older
hotel "guests" to garner the
necessary cash - only to find
out that the 20 acres of Salt Lake
"farmland" she purchased is
little more than a desert.
In all, the University's student
repertory company seems to
have done a most comm 1ndable
job with an occasionally humor-
ous yet fundamentalsy tragic
scdipt.- It ;s a pity that the
Norman Lear-Bud Yorkh as-
sociation, which adapt I Hot 1
Baltimore for television, co-tld
not have done as well.

whiskey.
Moonshine
CALIF. (1P) - "Moonshine ain't never gonna
die. It's older than the guvmint," says Michael
Barleycorn, who's doing his part to preserve the
ancient and illegal art of crewing sour mash
whisky in backwoods hideouts.
"Somethin's kinda special and spiritual about
moonshine," said Barleycorn, 50, who brews
about seven gallons of it yearly on a still on the
160-acre ranch he and his family own in remote
northeastern Mendocino County, 150 miles north
of San Francisco.
Barleycorn, a logger by trade under his real
name, said in an interview that when discussing
his hobby he prefers the alias, which is more
colorful - and safer. It's also the moniker he
used in penning a book called "Moonshiners
Manual,' which he hopes will contribute to a
revival of the art.
"I WORKED on that book .. . because a lot
of young people kept coming up to me and ask-
ing how to make moonshine," said Barleycorn,
who uses the same still on which he brewed his
first brew as a youngster in Kentucky.
As Barleycorn talked, he stood guard over the

sti e ekicking
elaborate contraption, something like a pot-bel-
lied stave attached to a barrel, out of which
a gallon of clear, 130-proof liquid was bubbling
into a large jug.
Barleycorn, who sports a full gray beard un-
der gnarled cheeks and twinkling eyes, said he
never sells his moonshine, but barters it freely
with his neighbors.
"IT'S getting much like the old days up here,"
he said. "People ain't got much money. And
nobody's interested too much in making it. So
there's a lot of bartering for what you want.
Everybody seems to make out pretty good."
Barleycorn's claim that there are "30 to 50
stills in Mendocino County alone" is disputed
by San Francisco agents of the U. S. Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who are charg-
ed with enforcing antimoonshine laws.
"We've only made two arrests on the West
Coast in the past 10 years," one agent said. "And
we're always checking, checking, checking. Of
course, this is not to say someone is not brewing
a little somewhere out there."

o
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
TONIGHT thru July 25 -
'T HE R IVALS
in rePertorv with.
T HE H OT L BA LT IMOR E
TOMORROW thru July 26
PERFORMANCE TIME 8:00
Tickets available at Mendelssohn Box Office
763-1085
Monda 3f ridav 12:30-5:00
Tickets also available at Hudson's
Performance Dos 12:30-5:00 and 6:00-8:00
*Recommended for mature audiences

Local jobless to get federal aid

By LOIS JOSIMOVICH
The city's unemployed will re-
OPEN TONIGHT
till I a.m.
BILLIARDS
& BOWLING
at the UNION

ceive additional aid next year
as a result of raised federal al-
locations to local Comprehen-
sive Employment and Training
(CETA) programs, officials say.
The $1.9 million grant slated
for the 1976 fiscal year will show
an increase of about $1.2 mil-
lion over this year's allocations,
according to City Administra-
tor Sylvester Murray, and will
include "both new monies and
a continuation of current
grants."
CETA, an organization which

operates on a county as well as
a city basis, provides jobs with
salaries up to $10 thousand for
"unemployed, underemployed
and disadvantaged people," ex-
plained its county director Pa-
tricia Kempski.
Kathy Fojtik, a member of
Washtenaw County's Board of
Commissioners, described the
CETA's beneficiaries as "non-
skilled labor."
Unfortunately, Fojtik claimed,
the effect of a grant increase
for both city and county CEIA
aranches may be dampened by
a vote earlier this month to dis-
solve a consortium which had
existed between them. This
move, she said, may cause a
loss of some $58 thousand to the
organization.
FEDERAL law states that if
two government organizations
join together, a 10 per cent in-
crease in funding is awarded
them as incentive. This "extra
money," as Fojtik. called it, is
what will be lost by the split.

RITA MARTHA
DIBERT
recentdrawings paings
and photogrophs line dialecci
opening through
JULY 13 MICHIGAN UNION, 1ST FLOOR JULY 2 6
5- 8 pm UNIONGILLERY - 12-6

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