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October 19, 1990 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-19

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Page 8 -The Michigan Daily Centennial Edition- Friday, October 19, 199




100-year traditions of bars, burgers, and beer busts*

by Daniel Poux

Staffers and stories have changed
over the years but one Daily tradi-
tion has remained unchanged: the
staff's need to blow off steam after a
busy night putting out the paper, and
their inexplicable desire to spend
what little free time they have with
- who else - other Daily staffers.
Daily alumni from different eras
have varying recollections of how
exhausted staffers unwound after the
paper was sent to press.
Joe Gies, Book, Night, and
Associate Editor from 1936-39, said
when he and the other staffers in the
thirties finally finished writing and
editing the next day's paper around 2
a.m., they would head over to the
Baltimore Daily Lunch diner on
State Street to grab a burger and a
p; Gies said Daily staffers in the
thirties also held a "beer bust" once
a year for the recipients of the sev-
eral Daily scholarships at the Pretzel
Bell restaurant.
After World War II, things ap-
be beat
by Erica Kohnke
Back in the good old days, there
were five-cent Cokes at the Daily.
These were extraordinary drinks, en-
cased in addictive, ten-ounce bottles
and dispensed from an archaic ma-
chine. By 2 a.m., when the editors
finished for the night, the bottles
covered the city desk.
The story of the Coke machine is
one that floods Daily alumni with
emotion; it is a tale of "essence,
nostalgia, and tradition" for Peter
Mooney, an opinion page editor who
graduated in 1988. "It was one of
those cool Daily anachronisms,
Along with the old typewriters."
The Coke machine had its begin-
nings in the late thirties, when the
'Board for Student Publications estab-
dished a contract with the Daily in
which it promised to subsidize the
five-cent Cokes as long as the ma-
chine lasted.
By the sixties, it had become a
"favorite challenge" to maintain the
machine and the tradition of the
Daily staffers recruited students
from the School of Engineering to
craft parts for the ancient motor and
"spot-weld" the decaying insides,
which were the result of serious
metal fatigue.
Staffers located the unique, out-
dated bottles needed for the Coke
machine in distant lands such as Bo-
livia and Calgary, Alberta. These

peared to have settled down around
the Daily. Leon Jaroff, staffer during
the late forties and the 1950 manag-
ing editor, said the staff remaining at
1 a.m. frequently went home to their
dorms or fraternity houses and
skipped the traditional midnight
snack "because it was so late, and
we all had class the next morning."
"Most of the time we just sat
around at the Daily building after
deadline and hashed out the events
of the day over a few beers," Jaroff
The Daily staff hangout changed
again in the late 1950s. Peter
Eckstein, Editor-in-Chief in 1958,
said, "by 1:30 or 2 a.m., there
weren't too many staffers left in the
building so the few senior and asso-
ciate editors would head over to (the
now-demolished) Red's Rite Spot
for some burgers."
The 1960s were a period of ten-
sion and rebellion, around the coun-
try, the campus and the Daily. But
amidst the campus protests and
struggles with the Board, "whoever

was still around at 2 a.m. would
head over to Cottage Inn on William
for a pizza," according to Ronald
Klempner, Associate Opinion Editor
in 1968.
The switch from typewriters to
computers in the 1980s made the
process of putting out a paper easier,
but Dailyites still needed to cool
down after their 11:45 deadline.

reduced five-day format, only
putting out a paper on weekdays.
Miller said it was quite strange
when a group of staffers suddenly
found themselves together at a
Friday night party a few weeks after
the switch.
"We couldn't believe that it was
a Friday night and we weren't all at
the paper," Miller joked.

'We went to parties together, movies together,
we even sat together at football games'
-Leon Jaroff, Managing Editor, 1950

celebration used to be in May, Gies
said, and it "depended upon the de-
cisions by the Board (for Student
Publications)." If the student staffers
approved the Board's choices, there
was a celebration. But if the choices
were unpopular, the incoming edi-
tors were greeted with cold shoul-
The editorial changing-of-the-
guard continued to take place at the
end of the school year, and the staff
party moved back to the Pretzel Bell
restaurant, said Leon Jaroff. "The
party was to celebrate both the end
of the school year, as well as the
new editors taking over," Jaroff said.
Sometime in the mid-60s a new
tradition began which continues to
this day. After finishing their final
production night at the Daily, outgo-
ing editors climb up into the Student
Publications Building attic. There
they deposit their press passes and
carve or paint the walls with their
initials. It is strictly forbidden for a
staff member to visit this sacred site
until the final night of his or her ca-

If there is one aspect of the Daily
which never changes, it is the close-
ness of the staff. All the alumni in-
terviewed recalled that Daily staffers
spend a great deal of time together
outside the walls of the Student
Publications Building.
"We would go out a lot, and it,
seemed like we were always going
to a Daily party," Miller said of the
early eighties.
Leon Jaroff agreed with Miller.
The staff in his day appeared to have
spent even more time together. "We
went to parties together, movies to-
gether, we even sat together at foot-
ball games," he said.
Jaroff still keeps in touch with his*
fellow City Editor and other senior
staffers he worked with during his
"A lot of friendships made back
on the Daily have lasted for 40
years," he said.

reer with the Daily.

Tom Miller, a Daily staffer from
1982-85, was responsible for the
switch. Miller said the staff would
head over to the Old Town bar on E.
Liberty for beers before heading
home to begin their classwork due
the next morning.
The paper also changed its circu-
lation schedule during Miller's
tenure, from publishing six days a
week, Tuesday through Sunday, to a

And if you're wondering where
the current Daily regime heads after
the final nightside of the week, you
can find them at Ashley's on State
Street Thursdays after the 11:50 p.m.
These days, the mid-year transi-
tion from old editors to new is cele-
brated at a party which is the social
event of the year for Dailyites. The

Staff romance


occurs on a
'Daily' basis

30 years ago
1960 staffers produce the paper on the news room's old city desk. In the center are famed sixties activist TomI
Hayden and Susan Jones, editor of "Special to the Daily," an anthology of 100 years of Daily stories.

bottles were then shipped to the Ann
Arbor Coca Cola bottling plant and
filled 'specially for the Daily.
The staffers were "at five cents a
pop, addicted to the stuff' according
to Stephan Berkowitz, a sociology
professor at the University of Ver-
mont who wrote for the paper during
the 1960s.
The strange bottles were
"virtually indestructible" Berkowitz
said in reference to a game known as
"Coke-bottle bowling," in which
few of the rare Coke bottles were
broken despite the rough nature of
the game.
Advertisements in the Daily re-
cruiting people to join the paper in
1962, . when the machine still

charged a hefty nickel per pop, in-
cluded the following: "You'll get a
chance to see your name in print just
as fast as you can write it, buy ten
cent cokes for a nickel, and learn the
In the mid-60s, the price began
rising and eventually reached a high
of 35 cents in the summer of 1988,
when the demise of the machine was
deeply lamented by all. It was re-
placed, overnight, by a "commercial
monstrosity," according to Kristine
LaLonde, one of only six present
Daily staffers to have used the ma-
chine. The same style of Coke ma-
chine found in such shady neighbor-
hoods as Meijer's and South Quad
was installed in the front lobby.

was installed in the front lobby.
It was not a staff decision to dis-
pose of the relic, nor was it a wel-
comed measure, said LaLonde.
LaLonde described it as her greatest
moment of wrath at the Daily and
responded to the decision to
eliminate the Coke machine by
posting a profane message on the
new machine which she described as
"horrible, commercial, and crass."
Susan Wellman, a 1966 Michi-
gan graduate and Daily alumna,
considered it a "trademark of the
place" and was "appalled that anyone
got rid of it. It should still be stand-
ing, encased in gold, like a little
museum piece."

by Julie Foster
Longing glances across news
desks, soft whispers in meeting
rooms, sharing five-cent cokes, hold-
ing hands in the library.
Over the years, the Daily has be-
come more than just a place to write
articles, hold political arguments,
and hand out story assignments. For
many, the Daily has been a haven
for romance.
Granted, the Daily, with its grey
carpet, black steel staircase, wooden
tables, and cream-colored walls cov-
ered with old newspapers, sign-up
sheets and phone messages, may not
be as romantic as Paris in spring-
But it does have its own special
"You saw those people in that
building more than you saw your
roommate," said Diane Kohn, who
met her husband Howard at the
In 1970, the production deadline
of the Daily was 2 a.m. Kohn, who
lived way across campus, said she
often slept on the bench at the Daily
to avoid the long walk home. "To a
lot of us there, the Daily was sort of
a co-ed fraternity or sorority," she
Barney and Delores Laschever,
who worked at the Daily in the
1950s, met at the critique board. "In
those days the city editor would put
a critique on the board and we would
have to initial it to prove we had
read it. I had not yet met her
(Delores) and I was standing behind
her, reading my critique and I ini-
tialled it. She turned around to see
who had such a strange name,"
Laschever said.
Michael Wolff also took advan-
tage of the Daily routine to meet his
match. Helene, his wife, said, "He
asked me for our first date while we
were looking at the sign-up sheet."
If Daily romances didn't spark in-
side the actual building, chances are
they were begun when staffers con-
ducted interviews or covered rallies
or political protests.
1951 Editorial Director Roma
Connable met her husband Alfred
Connable Jr. while she was covering
a speech given by Regent Alfred
Connable. When she introduced her-
self as a Daily staffer to him, the re-
gent said, "Oh, I'd like you to meet
my son."
While romances have always

said. She also said that many ro-f
manes began because female staffers
needed men to walk them home in
time for curfew.
Olnick lived in the Martha Cook
Building. She said her husband-to-be
came to eat dinner with her one
evening after working on the printer
at the Daily and he had, "...ink all
over his hands. The president of the
dorm asked him to clean up a little
bit first and told him to wear a whitc.@
shirt next time," she said.
Diane Kohn said that before
1967, few women worked on sports
staff. "In 1967 the sports editor de-
cided to recruit women to work on
sports staff because he thought he
could get men to write that way,"
she said.
The plan backfired. Suzanne
Noveck, the 1972 Sales Manager,
said very few male sports staffers
dated female sports staffers. "The
females tended to be more interested
in the jocks they were interviewing,"
she said.

"In 1967 the sports
editor decided to
recruit women to
work on sports staff
because he thought
he could get men to
write that way


1890 Daily: ads on top of the front page


Daily staffer
Diane- Kohn

'Ibntinued from Page 1
vifhile a year's subscription cost
g However, the paper's initial
staffers realized that without a sound
financial base their publication
would quickly fold. It wasn't until
its second decade that the paper be-
came financially stable enough for
advertisements to be moved off the
front pages and below the text.
Front page advertisements were
the norm for the paper in the 1890s.
The inaugural edition featured an ad
in the upper left hand corner for,
ironically enough, Roehm and Sons:
Makers of Fraternity Pins.
Despite the early editors'
attempts to make the Daily "so
newsy... no one could afford to be
without it," the portion of the paper

that sports' coverage was heavy dur-
ing the paper's initial years.
Sports covers and previews
commonly ran as the lead story. The
lead story in the first paper was a
feature on the University rugby
(football) team. Stories about the
"varsity nine" (baseball team) and
the annual campus tennis tourna-
ment commonly copped the paper's
top spot.
In fact, the exploits of Mich-
igan's foot-ball (hyphenation was
removed during the late 1890s) team
were considered important enough to
warrant the first special edition of
the Daily. It detailed the Michigan
eleven's 56-10 thrashing of an
Albion college squad.
U.. M

Wesleyan College where men were
allowed to call on women in their
dormitories, and announcements of
the foundings of Stanford University
and the University of Chicago.
"Whoop-De-Doodle-Doo" pro-
claimed a headline in 1891. The
story that followed was an enthusias-
tic account of the adventures enjoyed
by the Rocky Mountain Club on its
trip to Colorado. The activities of a
wide variety of campus groups often
found their way into the pre-turn-of-
the-century Daily.
A story that appeared in an 1891
edition of the Daily described a brawl
that broke out between the medics of
the classes of 1893 and 1894.
Apparently one of the younger

The more things change, the
more things stay the same. Opinion
pieces in the the U. of M. Daily of-
ten sound alarmingly familiar to
those of today.
"We do not know that these men
were under the influence of alcohol,
but can account for their reckless use
of fire arms in no other way. Such
conduct cannot be too severely cen-
sured, the more so that it was in the
very shadow of the University,"
could have as easily been written
about the 1989 post-NCAA tourna-
ment riots as the 1897 disturbances
they actually described.
Imagine, on the other hand, to-
day's Michigan Daily running an ed-
itorial before a regents' meeting
similar to this one that ran in 1898:

In one case, the tradition of work-
ing together on a newspaper stuck.
Elizabeth and John Sinkevics,
staffers in 1979, currently work to-
gether at The Grand Rapids Press.
They said the Press is different from
the Daily because it is more like a
job and less for fun. "We don't stay A
up until 3 a.m. discussing the issues
of the day," Elizabeth said.
The Sinkevics romance~ began
outside of the Daily when a mutual
friend and Daily staffer introduced
them. Although this was when they
first met, John claims, "I had my
eye on her for a while but she was
dating someone else at the time."
Their romance became a scandal of
sorts because the man she was dating'

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