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October 13, 2005 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-13

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During the war years, prominent
magazines terrorized young girls
by very gloomy estimates on their
chances of getting married. If those
estimates were correct, we may only
deduce that Martha Cook girls are
unusually - if not extraordinarily,
popular. So, we have little to worry
about. Let us be "foot loose and a
fancy free" without apprehension.
- 1926 Annual, in light of statistic that since 1915,
1,440 of the 2,377 women, or 60 percent, that gradu-
ated from Martha Cook were married.

or uniforms to dinner or that men
are banned from the dorm entirely.
According to the residents, some
freshmen moving in still believe
they must be back before curfew.
" ...to gather togeth-
er the choicest spir-
its of the University"
Both past and present Martha
Cook residents are eager to describe
the strong sense of community they
associate with the building. Today's
residents take part in frequent social
events like international movie
nights and formal dances that foster
a close-knit environment. Halili said

most of her closer friends either live
in Martha Cook or started there but
later moved off-campus.
"Everybody knows each other,"
Halili said, "When you walk down
the hall, you hear a 'good morning."'"
"The building was built to gath-
er together the choicest spirits of
the University for their influence
upon each other and upon the Uni-
versity itself," Cook wrote. Each
year, enough women are attracted to
Martha Cook's beauty and its warm
environment to ensure the building
has no trouble finding women to fill
its rooms. In the 1970s, residents
were selected based on academics,
activities and two interviews. Cath-
erine Davis remembered that conse-
quently, the hall was "very high on
an academic scale." She compared
the anticipation of waiting for the
interview invitations to arrive in the
mail with sorority bid day. Today's
process is far more relaxed, consist-
ing only of an application form and
essay. But current residents agreed
that it was intimidating at first.
Halili was afraid that she wouldn't
be accepted to Martha Cook, which
would have relegated her to Mosher-
Jordan Residence Hall for her fresh-
man year. "I was just terrified," she

In some ways, Martha Cook
resembles a traditional version of
a sorority more than a dormitory.
"The only thing we don't have is
rush," Halili said.
"I just think it's a wonderful com-
munity to belong to," said hall direc-
tor Marion Scher. She agreed that
sororities might share some of the
same goals as Martha Cook - both
are trying to "create a close commu-
nity of women."
Martha Cook has "a little dif-
ferent style of living ... a little bit
more traditional," former resident
Jennifer Davis said. A visit to a
sit-down dinner confirms Davis's
observation. The sight of nearly 150
women standing over their places
singing grace - in harmony - is
one unique to Martha Cook, but one
that, with slight fashion changes,
could have taken place any time in
the building's history. Today's Mar-
tha Cook is not a radically different
place from the residence hall that
first opened its doors in 1915. The
days of forbidden Victrola record
players - one of the few conditions
Cook himself stipulated - have long
passed, but Martha Cook Building
and its residents continue to share
the same values and way of life as
their predecessors.


With only a few months of operation remaining, store i


71ounded in 1962, with the
hoes of providing a source
of atffordable, yet well-made
clothing to men, women and chil-
dreThe Tree has been a commu-
nity haven for thrift-store shoppers.
Dedicated to being a giving tree to
the entire Ann Arbor community
for the past 43 years, the store still
upholds this simple mission.
Unfortunately, unlike most fairy-
tales, this one does not have a happy
ending. After 43 years of service,
rising rent costs and competition
from other second-hand stores will
force the store's owners to close
it down this December. While the
news of retirement is bittersweet for
the stores employees, Tree is using
the opportunity to sell its merchan-
dise at even lower prices. Starting
Oct. 7, everything in the store has
been reduced by 50 to 70 percent,
and for those who are still skeptical
about second-hand clothing, a few
buried treasures have been dug up,
including Coach purses, occasional
fur coats, and just last week, a Louis

Vuitton handbag.
In accordance with its mission
as a store serving the community,
The Tree plans to donate all leftover
clothing to charity, and is currently
working with Jewish Family Servic-
es for Hurricane Relief as a source
for the leftover items.
This fairytale union of community
service and business looks the part.
Upon walking through the white picket
fence and through the classic cottage
door, The Tree exudes a worn-in feel.
Every corner of the room is lit-
tered with clothing, shoes, and
accessories - each with its own tale
to tell. Shoppers used to the fluo-
rescent-lighting, matching-hanger
detailing of many chain stores may
have a harder time adjusting to The
Tree, which recycles everything it
can and promotes an atmosphere
that has not changed in the 43 years
of its life.
"We really are one big happy fam-
ily. The same people have come in for
15 years," said store manager Jose-
phine Watne, who, at 82 years old, has

seen generations of families count on
the store for their clothing needs.
First time sellers pay a one-time fee
of ten dollars and receive a one-year
contract guaranteeing them 50 percent
of the profits made from the items. For
almost 50 years, this system has pro-
vided The Tree with an abundance of
goods from hats and coats, to bracelets
and bags. LouAnn Preston, the store's

assistant manager, attributes the pas
success of the store's business to tradi
tion by which it has stuck.
"Everything is done by hand, we
don't have computers, and everything
has stayed the same. People like the
assurance of familiarity," she said.
Reaching out to as many people a:
it can before the last apple drops, The
Tree wrote in a note to its shoppers

The Tree, which will close this December, is selling clothes for 50 to 70
percent off the regular price.

Gnever had gnocchi? Then you're in for a gnice surprise. Gnocchi is how Italy does
the potato dumpling. And as you can probably guess, the g is silent. But the flavor
is anything but. Add tender burgundy braised beef, a splash of cream, a little onion,
mushroom and sweet red pepper, and you've got a taste of Italian heaven. Don't wait
to try it, our Gnocchi dish is only available for a limited time. After that, it's arrivederci.

Portia, the famed character in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," stands
guard outside Martha Cook Building.

6B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 13, 2005

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