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May 15, 1976 - Image 2

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-05-15

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Rag Aw TH MtiHIAN D LAALYf Iaudy MAy f. 197%0

Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DALY

SaturdayMay15,176

The 'Wallace Factors Fading fast?

(Co,tlused from Poie 5)
Despite the obvious one-
sidedness of the book, however,
it is full of good and apparently
accurately reported information
(none of which is really new,
however) on Wallace's stand-
points and the condition of Ala-
bama under his governorship.
The author also brings up
the familiar topic of Wallace's
supporters, who include Ku
Klux Klansmen, the American
Nazi Party, and other racist
terrorist groups. And, he says,
Wallace is every bit as racist
as when he used segregation as
a platform in his 1962 guber-
natorial campaign.
Dorman does a creditable
job of discounting Wallace as
a good governor, in more areas

than race relations. ,jHe points
out, for example, that Alabama
now ranks forty-ninth in order
of per-capital income among
all states - it is one of only a
handful of states which still
have no minimum-wage laws.
Statistics such as these are
even more prolific in a third
book, The Wallace Factor. Au-
thor Philip Crass offers the
reader a political science
treatise; an exhaustive and
rather exhausting study of
Wallace in the polls, Wallace in
surveys, Wallace in the 1972
primaries, etc., upholstered
here and there with descrip-
tive passages of the ubiquitous
75-cent novel variety.
The basis of Crass's book is
an inference he makes from
connecting all his polls and

surveys: the "Wallace Factor,"
which he defines as "that re-
cent ^ American phenomenon,
dating from at least 1968, that
makes the formation of a Presi-
dential majority impossible
without a large portion of the
votes of George Wallace sup-
porters."
j TNFORTUNATELY for Crass
and his carefully informed
calculations, he had no way of
knowing when he wrote the
book that something would en-
ter the political scene which
will probably cancel the Wal-
lace factor out of the presiden-
tial equation for good: namely,
the "Carter Factor." Jimmy
Carter, the former Georgia gov-
ernor, seems to have some
mysterious charisma for the
American voter which has cut
across both liberals and con-
servatives within the Demo-
cratic party. He has swept to
resounding victories in almost
every primary thus far.
Even with what Crass - calls
the most organized and well-
funded campaign Wallace has
yet had, he has so far been
able to muster the support of
only 143 delegates to Carter's
594. The Wallace'threat' has
somehow dimmed, probably be-
cause his former supporters no

longer have faith in his health.
"I expect a win in Michigan,
honey," George Wallace told
me at a campaign rally last
month. But if the Carter land-
slide continues, despite the
opinions, polls and surveys of
eminent Wallace scholars, it is
unlikely that the voters of this

state will give George Corley
Wallace a repeat of his 51 per
cent 1972 victory in next Tues-
day's primary. And it seems
even more unlikely that he will
ever get enough delegate sup-
port to gain the Democratic
n o m i n a t i o n - this
year, or in any year to come.

The operator and
the 'underworld'

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(continued from Page 5)
his business, until one day when
a woman called up and greeted
me with, "Hello - is that rat
in?" I was taken aback, but she
barrelled on. "Tell your friend
that I'm reporting him to the
police." It seems that the man,
after asking her to report to
the Star-Lite Inn, had taken her
to the back room, and-"do you
know what they made me do?"
she screamed. "Do you know
what they MADE ME DO?
THEY MADE ME TAKE OFF
MY CLOTHES!" It turned out
that we had been answering for
a massage front. "Is there a
message?" I asked blandly. She
hung up.
Though this service was a little
odder than the usual, certain
aspects of the work are common
everywhere. Operators, both
male and female, are prone to
fantasize about their unseen call-
ers, leading to all sorts of ro-
mantic complications. The imag-
ination is good and stoked, and
then-the operator and the cus-
tomer very often get together;
it's an occupational hazard.
WHICH MAKES the job very
difficult. I remember sit-
ting next to Janice, who was
carrying on one of these teas-
ing affairs with a businessman
(young, unmarried) by the name
of Richard. She always leaned
over to my switchboard and
grabbed his line whenever he
called in. Eventually, and some-
what excitedly, they made a
date. He was to come to the
answering service one day on
his lunch break, and they would
-gasp-meet.
The day finally came. Rich-
ard walked in, and motioned for
me to be still. Janice had her
back to him, answering a line.
I broke into gales of hysterical
laughter, remembering Janice's
romantic speculations - "He is
tall and dark - e has, oh, such
a handsome voice!" Richard
was yes, dark, but also short,
pit-faced, and horribly plump.
He smiled, teeth a-tilt.
Myself, I was carrying on by
proxy with the midnight opera-
tor. Her name was Barbara, and
although my shift ended at six
p.m. we used to leave little
notes for each other, or books
to read, and we'd talk on the
phone late in the evening. We
were all but engaged - and yet
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Volume LXXXVI,Io. -
Saturday, May 15, 1976
to edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan News
phone 764-0562. Second class postage
paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan 4109.
Publishe d a isy Tuesday through
Sunday morgt durng the tnter-
sity year at 420 Maynard Street, Ann
Arbor, Mchigan 4109. Subscription
rates: $12 Sept. thru Apr1l (2 semes-
ters) $13 by malt outsde Ann
Arbor. .
Summer session publhed Tues-
day through Saturday morning.
Subscription rates: $6150 In Ann
Arbor; $7.50 by mail outside Ann
Arbor.

we'd never met. Barbara is now
is Chicago, answering for Hon-
eywell. Sigh.
I'VE ALWAYS wanted to write
a play, or a novel, about the
answering biz. It would be about
an operator who accidentally
overhears a message he/she
oughtn't and is embroiled in in-
ternational underworld intrigues
of some sort or other. The fact
is, it's not impossible.
I myself have talked to many
famots local and national fig-
ures. When we answered for
as many notorious places as
we did (some legitimate, but
few, few), and they listed us
as their legal address, we were
bound to get some unsavory
characters dropping in unex-
pectedly.
Until 11 p.m., there was al-
ways a night watchman, who
wouldn't-let anyone in the build-
ing that didn't have business
there. But after that, though
the building was locked, we
were fair game.
One dark night, a group of
thugs - yes, honest-to-God
thugs - came marching delib-
erately up to the answering ser-
vice and demanded entrance. I
opened the door (at 2 a.m.),
and they told me, in no uncer-
tain terms, that I'd better tell
them where Mr. X was (X be-
ing one of our more dubious
clients). I told them that I had-
n't the faintest. Feeling frus-
trated, they forced their way
in and slammed me around the
office - instead of Mr. X. I
finally managed to stumble to
the phone, where I dialed 911,
the Detroit police number, and
filed a complaint. But by that
time, they were gone.
MR. X DIDN'T have long to
live.
Now, settled comfortably into
my new job, I find that the
basic work follows the same
routine. Filing messages, get-
ting to know secretaries and
clients - that's the real allure
of the job. t's steady and tol-
erable and at times, enjoyable
work. But nothing like the place
in Southfield.
I called a little while ago t
find out what had happened to
my first service. No one seem-
ed to know - they had simply
up and left, leaving no notice
of their whereabouts, only a
trail of questions.
It was only just the other
day, through a chance conver-
sation with a well-informed fel-
low operator, that my search
was finally rewarded - Lydia
had found a new location, a
new, legitimate clientele, and a
new name for her service. She
runs consistently in the black,
and she's expanded. But noth-
ing could match those early hal-
cyon days of her service. And
I realized then:
I am spoiled forever.
Jeffrey Selbst is the Daily
Arts Editor,

vAA6,, o

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