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March 21, 1988 - Image 28

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-21

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Life and Art MARCH 1988a



Delivering is
hi-jinks job
By Nona Narvaez
The Minnesota Daily
U. of Minnesota, Twin Cities
For the pizza delivery driver a
night is never routine. Neither are
the customers who order deliveries
to phone booths, railroad cars, wild
parties, hospital operating rooms
and maternity wards.
"It's never dull," said junior his-
tory and education major Chris
Pesklo, who just quit a job deliver-
ing pizzas for Dinkytown's Rocky
Rococo. Pesklo was the victim of a
practicaljoke a few weeks ago when
he delivered a pizza to the Chateau
apartment building in Dinkytown.
Upon opening the door, the resi-
dents doused Pesklo with a pail of
water. "I still gave them the pizza,"
Pesklo said. "I was in shock."
The worst delivery for Dave Ben-
ton ofPizza Man was when he drop-
ped a pizza upside down in front of
a customer. But that incident pales
Upon opening the door,
the residents doused
Pesklo with a pail of
water. "I still gave them
the pizza," he said.
in comparison to what some local
drivers have been through. Pre-
pharmacy sophomore Hasan Abu1
Hadid had two pizzas snatched
from under his arms near the
Chateau while delivering for Domi-
no's Pizza.
Hadid spotted the thieves eating
the loot in a car. Police
apprehended the culprits shortly
afterward. On another occasion,
drunken partiers tried to pull off
Hadid's clothing. They succeeded
in taking his car keys, which forced
him to venture into the apartment
to retrieve them.
Sometimes it's the companies'
cars, not the drivers, that get dam-
aged. Pesklo said Rocky Rococo's
company car has been attacked on
numerous occasions. The car has
been inscribed with graffiti, hit by
beer cans and bullets, and walked
on by an intoxicated pedestrian.
Doris Hunter, another Domino's
driver, made a delivery to a
fraternity and found a large sapling
with roots and soil on her car when
she came outside. Several drivers
said they have had patrons answer
the door in various stages of un-
dress or even in the buff.
Many drivers call customers
prior to delivering their pizzas and
some will meet them only in build-
ing lobbies as a precaution. One
driver carries Mace for protection,
and warns other drivers-even
those from competing companies-
of dangerous areas.
Still, most drivers seem to enjoy
their occupation. Many are invited
into the parties they deliver to. It is
a special treat to deliver to a
maternity ward. One driver said,
"Alotofwomen who havejusthad a

I baby order pizza."

Student trades in football for easel

By David Elmore
" The Shorthorn
U. of Texas, Arlington
He never took drawing seriously.
Even when his classroom doodling
evolved into caricatures of teachers and
friends, sometimes amusing onlookers,
sketching was just something to do.
Art senior Willie A. Meredith was
struck one day by the effect his pasttime
could have on others. Sitting in church
beside his family, 12-year-old Meredith
created "an abstract" of the pastor on
the back page of his Bible. But the inex-
act depiction didn't strike his mother's
funny bone.
"I drew this wild picture of a guy with
a beard and a microphone behind the
podium," he said. "When my mother
looked over there and saw it, she slap-
ped me hard upside the head. That was
the first time I realized that my artwork
affected others."
Like most adolescents, Meredith con-
sidered art somewhat "sissified," taking
a back seat to girls and football. Despite
his macho concerns, though, his talent
captured his teachers' attention.
"Everybody would say, 'Look at this
guy-girls, beautiful handwriting, an
artist and football-just where is he
going?' Then an eighth-grade teacher
had me stand up and present my picture
to the class and tell how I did it. But
when I looked around the room and saw
all those other distortions (drawings) I
realized that I really was good."
Many years passed before Meredith's
heroes switched from Julius Irving and
Roger Staubach to Rembrandt and
Picasso. With his journey through high
school still focused on sports, it was the
competition and soul-searching of col-
lege that spurred him to make a career

Senior architecture student Willie A. Meredith poses with his latest creations.

decision. "I knew I was art-inclined, so I
chose architecture."
It was not a practical decision for
Meredith, but one that satisfied his
creative energy. Artistic ideas constant-
ly flow through his head, and he can
remember them only by writing his
thoughts on whatever material he can
find at the moment, he said.
"I have scribbled notes all over my
apartment," he said. "I find them in
some pretty odd places sometimes."
Meredith, 23, has turned many of
those scribbles into art. His fiery por-
trayals of rock singers Tina Turner and

Jimi Hendrix exude intensity, and his
Greek statue paintings show a flair for
shadows and tone.
But his nudes have drawn most of the
attention. "Mom looks at those things,
and I tell her that I'm not sick," he said.
"Nudity is an art form."
Meredith credits his parents for his
discipline and creativity. They allowed
him to play basketball after school and
goof off, as long as he completed his
chores and homework on time. "My
house was pretty tough," he said. "But
when the work was done, we knew how
to play."

Didion's latest novel probes 'Little Havana'

By D.C. LaWare
The Daily Texan
U. of Texas, Austin
Despite her fictional ventures, Joan
Didion remains firmlyattached to the
school of New Journalism, which has
always been more comfortable with de-
scribing America than trying to imagine
it. No one has ever accused Joan Didion
of writing from behind rose-colored
lenses. Like a distant observer, she
seems to float somewhere above her
subjects, penetrating them with the
precision of a spy satellite at 20,000
feet. The images produced have been
colored by a lurid vision of America cor-
rupted-a distinctly apocalyptic tint.
As in her earlier work, Didion's new
book, Miami, uses the city as a starting
point of a quest to understand the coun-
try's direction. Part travel writing, part
journalism, her narrative only begins in
Miami. She focuses her lens on the Cas-
tro-displaced Cuban community and its
interminable dreams of redemptive
overthrow and triumphant return-the
struggle it calls la lucha.
Like Salvador, Miami describes the
workings of a distinctly foreign culture.
This is a city where CIA connections are
casually mentioned over sweet cups of
coffee; where bombings and death
threats are legitimate instruments for
the advance of la lucha; where the
wrong political statement, such as the
United States should seek accommoda-
tion with Castro, can be a death war-

For Cubans as e
well, going to
Miami has al-
ways meant a
separation from
the routine
w or ld . F r om
Jose Marti to
Fidel Castro, all Author Joan Didion
the major actors in the ongoing political
drama have used the city as their refuge
while they hatch plots, collect funds and
prepare for the next revolution.
But since the arrival of Fulgencio
Batista on New Year's Day, 1959, some-
thing happened that transformed the
nature of the city from a mere staging
ground to a more permanent shelter.
After the defeat of the 2506 Brigade in
the aborted Bay of Pigs invasion, suc-
cessive U.S. administrations alternate-
ly fanned and cooled the exiles' desires
to serve the policy of the moment.
By 1962, Didion reports, the CIA's
JM/WAVE station on the U. of Miami
campus was the largest CIA install-
ment outside of its headquarters in the
world, and one of the largest employers
in the state of Florida. Under its mas-
sive cover hid CIA gun shops, CIA travel
agencies and CIA real-estate brokers,
not to mention the now famous South-
ern Air Transport and the Pacific Cor-
poration, CIA holding companies with
$6.6 million in loans from reputable
U.S. banks.

It was once hoped that the U.S. gov-
ernment could tame the exile commun-
ity and manipulate it for its own ends,
but instead of curbing the Cubans'
natural political passions, Washington
seems to have been infected.
In Didion's opinion, the success of
Cuban exiles relates directly to the
Reagan Administration's support of the
Contras. She finds the defeated mem-
bers of the 2506 Brigade in the most
compromising of places, providing be-
hind-the-scenes support for Adminis-
tration policy on Capitol Hill.
In Washington, she discovers a White
House motivated by the same militant
passions, the same virulent hatred o
communism, the same intolerance for
dissent, that she found in Miami.
The greatest problem with Miami is
that Didion's prose seems so detached
and airtight; even as she travels to the
various locales, she gives the impress-
ion of not being there, of viewing from
the distance provided by newspapers
and photographs. Whatever her fail-
ings, Didion's vision resonates with an
uncomfortable degree of truth. Both the9
Tower Commission and the stock mar-
ket confirm her perception of American
politics removed from rational control.
In Salvador one could always get on the
next plane and rest assured that, by the
time it landed in North America, the
chaos and confusion would be left be-
hind. But now, by the time you arrive in
Miami, things might be worse.

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