Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Memories

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I remember Angell Hall (Time machine Oct., 2008) for the only course I took in LSA, Astronomy. It was taught by Prof. Hazel Losh. We had about 75 students in the class the first day. By the second day, Prof. Losh called on each student by their first and last name. A prodigious feat. Four years later, after I had been away from Ann Arbor for at least three years, she met me on the Diag and said, "Hello Mr. Botzner."

  • Ken Botzner
  • BSE

Frightening Frat Boys

Most of my memories of Michigan are good ones, but seeing the photos of the fishbowl (Time machine Oct., 2008) brought back the feeling of fear I had walking into the fishbowl and having to walk the gauntlet down that long windowed hallway where frat boys sat and made comments on the passing girls...often animal noises. Would they snort when I passed? Would they moo? Their mean laughter would echo after their victims. Are they gone now? I sincerely hope so.

  • Maryann Vanderwerp Macdonald
  • BA

Finding Warmth in the Fishbowl

This is an homage to the humble Fishbowl heaters (Time machine Oct., 2008). Long, low, ductwork under the great plate windows like a postmodern stainless steel banquette, those vents sent warmth up through countless thousands of blue-jeaned backsides every year. Back in the days when winters got cold, the corners farthest from the door proved the best place on campus to read through the stack of Great Books every fledgling English Major had to master.

Freshman year, I commuted twenty miles to attend my Honors College classes, then I worked nights down the hill from South and West Quads in a little deli on Main Street. Like many commuter students, I found it problematic meeting students socially. As soon as the cold set in Fall Term, that long, low bank of heaters that ran under the Fishbowl windows started to feel like my new best friend.

The winter turned bitter weeks before finals and it was on that steel sofa that I read Kafka in German and Oedipus Rex in English translation. Alongside dozens of other chilly students, I baked my backsides, watched tabling clubs selling donuts every morning, gazed at the swarms and flows of students on their way to great things. I drew pictures and cartoons for The Michigan Daily. I might have gone on that way all four years of my undergraduate studies, if a trio of Computer Science students had not come into my deli one night for cheese and crackers.

Dangerously exotic, none of them had showered in days—I found out later that the water heater had broken at their apartment, but at the time, I didn’t ask. I was struck dumb in awe of their joie de vivre. They swaggered merrily through life perfectly certain, despite a lengthy and demoralizing international recession, that they would win (or create!) lucrative careers after college. As it happened, they did just that. O, how I envied and admired the Three Musketeers of software! For a moment, I felt like D’Artagnon. Then they chose cheese, doffed their down-insulated hoods, bundled up and bade me au revoir.

When Winter Term dawned hideously cold, I was back on the heaters between classes in Angell and Mason Halls. It looked like another term of books and drawings, solo on the steel bench. Just then, I looked up from my drawing and there stood one of those amazing Computer Science students. And he had showered! He sat down next to me and said, "Don’t you sell cheese?" and, "Hey, it’s nice and warm here!" and "I don’t have a class for an hour. How about you?" It was not long before the weather improved all over town, but that warming trend began for me on the steel heaters in the Fishbowl.

  • L.D.Schneider
  • BA-Honors College

The Fishbowl

There are barely words for the days and nights I spent "writing papers" in the fishbowl (Time machine, Oct., 2008). My best friend and I would spend hours (sometimes bordering days) in the Fishbowl, half the time savoring our youth rather than writing those papers. My 4 years at Michigan were the best years I've ever had. It is not surprising to me that some of my favorite memories are in that computer lab--such is the life of a Michigan undergrad.

  • Katie
  • BA

Remembering Michigan

I must say in all honesty that my four years at University of Michigan were and will continue to be four of the greatest years of my life. However, one class in particular changed my entire view of the university and of myself.

Second semester senior year is supposed to be a lighter load for most students, so naturally my friends and I looked for classes that would be fun and relatively unchallenging. We signed up for a class taught by a woman who had been a shaman in Ecuador. The class consisted of meditation, relaxing dance moves, drawing and expressing out creativity. At first we all thought this class was more or less an easy ride, yet as it went on, we began to learn that relaxing your mind and body and harnessing your inner creativity is actually one of the most powerful tools, and, yes, it has to be taught. By the end of the class I not only knew how to approach my school work better, but my life in general.

I do not remember the exact name of the class, which in the long run isn't too important, yet for this posting a bit, but not one day passes where I do not utilize the techniques and thought processes I learned.

I truly believe that this area of study should grow, offering more classes and variations of this type of teaching. While it is not exactly a "text-book" type of class, it carries its weight based upon what each and every student gains from the experience of being taught how to relax, to organize your mind, how to tackle internal issues (such as college itself) and come out better off.

  • Allison
  • BA

Memories of Harmon

Re: The late great 98, Sept., 2008): I saw Tom Harmon play his first Varsity game, a 14-0 victory over MSC in 1938. In 1938, I also saw Harmon beat Yale 15-13 (both sides wore blue jerseys); tie Northwestern 0-0 in one of the really great games I have ever seen (Northwestern wore white, the first time I ever saw a team wear white). In 1939, I saw Harmon lose to Minnesota, 20-7.

Harmon may have been the greatest player I ever saw, although by this time I have seen a lot of them.

You mention Harmon's wedding with Elyse Knox in the Grace Chapel. In June 1944, I was a Michigan freshman and I stood outside St. Mary's Student Chapel among an overflow crowd at the Harmon-Knox wedding, and I watched Harmon emerge with his bride (whose wedding gown was indeed made from his parachute). Directly behind them was Harmon's great friend and blocking buddy, Forest Evashevski and, I assume, the maid of honor. Both Harmon and Evashevski were in military uniform, as were many others.

In considering Harmon's football exploits, it must be remembered that, like all of his teammates, Harmon played both offense and defense. He was as good on defense as on offense. Two-platoon football did not come about until 1945, as a wartime measure. As you may know, the first full utilization of two-platoon football took place in Yankee Stadium when Fritz Crisler's very young Michigan team lost to Army 28-7. Army obliterated everyone else on their schedule because of the maturity of their players, some of whom had played 5 or 6 years of college football. And, yes, I was fortunate enough to watch that game, too, as a young Army soldier.

  • Richard M. Treckelo
  • B.A.,J.D.

My dad, Jesse K. Brumbaugh, LSA '23 Law '25, took me to my first college game in Columbus, Ohio, in November 1938. Harmon (The late great 98, Sept., 2008) and the Blue were victorious, 18-0.

  • John C. Brumbaugh
  • B.A.

Couzens open to men

The article regarding the changes in dining on the Hill (U-M opens new doors in campus living, Sept. 2008) reminded me of my four years living at Couzens Hall, from 1970 to 1974. What was new then was that my first year, 1970, was the first year Couzens was open to men, with it previously having been a nursing student dorm for women.

  • Thomas C. Buchanan
  • B.S.

Seeing Tom Harmon

Before my Law School days I first attended a football game in the Big House as a Boy Scout usher. I saw Tom Harmon play (The late great 98, Sept. 2008) in 1940 but didn't realize that I was seeing history.

  • Robert S. Frey
  • J.D.

What a terrific time it was in the early 60's on campus

When I attended the University of Michigan for a BS in Nursing, I was elated to finally have arrived there after planning to do so since I was a H.S. Freshman. Some relatives of mine had gone there and to Michigan State so I was quite entranced. When my father and I made our trek in the winter of 1959 to see both universities, the U of M certainly stood heads and shoulders above Michigan State. When we got to Ann Arbor we were met with ice and snow and had to trek up the hills to see the Medical Center. Luckily, we took a train because the weather was bad going back to New York.

I have fond memories of the Liberal Arts classes and teachers, especially my American history teacher who made history come alive for me the first time in my life. My History of Art Lecturer was interesting, though he rushed through all the slides we had to see, stuttered, and had no course books to study from. So when I had to prepare for the final, it was a total loss. But luckily I passed. Both of those courses led me to a love of history and art. My History of Theater and Arts also brought me life-enduring rewards. All were teachers bigger than life to me. My nursing school teachers were quite good but conservative by comparison.

I spent most of my study time at The Graduate Library after trying for 2 weeks to study at the undergrad library, which was a party house!!! So, I figured if I wanted to graduate this was not going to work out. I loved the Hatcher library reading room and stacks and its quiet elegance. What a treasure that building was and is today.

My fine education at the U of M certainly helped me achieve success in my life as a professional Registered Nurse in many areas, including administration. I was able to start right off the bat in a charge position. Working part-time as a student on the wards allowed me to acquire life-long skills and the ability to deal with almost anything thrown my way. You never knew what assignment you would have—often 18 patients!! So thanks to the University for all you have given to me in skills and memories!! Unforgettable and treasured times.

  • Frances Walts
  • BS in Nursing

The Glory Years

Ann Arbor in 1937: "Population 29,000. A friendly little city of opportunity," so read the highway sign.

There were about 10,000 students altogether. Students were not allowed to have cars. Everyone was equal: we walked or rode bicycles.

I remember Tom Harmon (The late great 98, Sept. 2008) like it was yesterday. In 1937 the football team under Coach Kipke (known as "punt, pass and prayer Kipke") was in the cellar. Game attendance might be as many as 10,000. We won at least one game that year against the University of Chicago, the doormat of the Big Ten. Chicago dropped football after that year.

I believe Coach Fritz Chrisler came in 1938. Harmon as a sophomore became eligible to play on the Varsity. He was truly electrifying and with him Michigan lived up to its song and became Champions of the West.

  • F. Bruce Kimball
  • MD

I lived in Mosher Jordan for two years during my freshmen/sophomore years (U-M opens new doors in campus living, Sept. 2008). My memories are all good. Living on the hill was extremely convenient to classes on the quad, the CCRB, and the bus to North Campus for my ARCH courses.

I had the "pleasure" of working in the Mo-Jo Dining Hall and even served as a Move-in Assistant (position title?) during my sophomore year. We had the opportunity to move in early and had the entire dorm to ourselves the week before classes began.

During move-in, I can still remember one student's mother being surprised to learn that Mo-Jo was co-ed when she saw the boy names on the door of the room next to her daughter's.

My favorite part of the day was checking for mail. Way before texting and emails, I actually wrote lots of letters my first year to ensure that I would receive mail from family and friends.

I had intended to join a fraternity my sophomore year but Mo-Jo became my fraternity. I still keep in touch with friends at I met at Mosher-Jordan.

I am very pleased to have had those two years in Mo-Jo.

  • Lee Waldrep
  • BS

Harmon Fan

I am the son of Joseph P. Stivelman, M.D. a 1930 graduate of the University of Michigan. I was born in 1930 and though I never attended U-M, I have always been an ardent fan. Tom Harmon was my childhood idol. In 1940 following his graduation and before Pearl Harbor, Tom Harmon did some of the color for the Ann Arbor radio station, and that year Michigan came to Baker Field in NY to play Columbia with their great quarterback, Paul Governale. At half time, my dad took me up to the press box, introduced us to Harmon and asked if he would autograph my program. He did so, shook my hand and he and my dad had a friendly brief conversation about Michigan. A year or two earlier I saw Tom Harmon play against Pennsylvania at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. He was spectacular. Strange, but one of things I remember most about the Columbia game—other than Harmon having actually touched my hand—was a punter called Paul Kuzma, I believe. The few times Michigan needed to punt, Kuzma was able to put the ball in what then was called the coffin corner of the field, the two or three yard line.

I had boxes of memorabilia of Tom Harmon, including the Time and Life magazines, the autographed Columbus game program, and every news clipping of his time in Asia in the USAF. I named two dogs after Tom Harmon.

Thanks for letting me "air" these remarks. I am a retired surgeon, still engaged in watching Wolverine football, but sometimes challenged by my son who went to Wisconsin.

  • Richard Stivelman

Memories of the Hill

Re U-M opens new doors in campus living (Sept. 2008): I lived in Jordan Hall from Jan., 1950, to June, 1953. We had the original room furniture and floor coverings from when it was built in 1930, and I think the original mattresses on the beds also! There was one telephone in a booth on each corridor, and you were signaled by a little bell in the room if there was a call for you. The bell system was also used to tell you that someone (like a date, or a relative) was at the downstairs desk waiting for you. We had one television set for the entire dorm, in the downstairs living room. If you had any other appliance of your own, it was probably a radio, a record player, or a hair dryer. Your father or brother was allowed upstairs during moving in or moving out times, and everyone would call out loudly, "Man on the floor." At all other times no men were allowed anywhere except in the common rooms on the main floor. And there the house mother patrolled to make sure you and your date had both feet on the floor!

The dorm food was awful! One of our major meal entrees was "egg cutlets," which were chopped hard-boiled eggs in a thick white sauce, which were then deep-fried into cutlets. When we were fed beef stew, there were times when you got all stew and no beef! We all wanted to be in line with religious Jewish students when pork was served, so we could ask for their portion of it. The same with Catholic students on days of fast, when they could not have meat. There were no substitutions available—one merely filled up on potatoes, bread and vegetables (for which you could get seconds; we could not get seconds of the meat or fish dish). You were allowed a glass of milk at each meal; later we were allowed to have second glass at lunch. If you missed a meal time because of a class or a meeting, you simply went hungry.

We had closing hours—you had to be in by 10:30 on weeknights, midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 on Sundays. If you were late you went before a demerit board. One semester I had a chemistry lab until 10:30, so I had to get special permission from the Dean of Women's office to get in by 11; I had to ring a bell to get in as the doors were locked. Still, we had good times living in Jordan, and I have fond memories of the friends I made and the adventures we had. But I am certainly glad for the upgrades that have been made for today's students.

  • Lisa Kurcz Barclay
  • B.A.,M.A

In 1989, on a cold night in late fall, I watched a ragged group of fraternity pledges sing from the steps of the graduate library. We had followed them there on bicycles as they made their all-night tour of the University and environs. A friend drove up on my motorcycle. I protested, but he, as a return favor, wanted to show me how to properly drive it. I climbed on back for the lesson, which consisted of a wheelee, with engine screaming, clear across the center plaza of the diag and the sacred M, which I do not pass over without remembering that ride.

  • James Roble
  • BGS, JD

Stockwell Hall and Other U/M Memories

Re: U-M opens new doors in campus living: I moved into the 4th floor of Stockwell Hall in 1967. It was the smallest room on the floor back in a corner! But my roommate and I (whom I had never met until I moved in) made the best of it and are still friends to this day. I remember a small snack place that was just down the street toward the hospital which served the best melt-in-your-mouth pecan sweet rolls you have ever tasted! There was also a housemother to deal with and we had curfews to observe. No boys were allowed past the lobby. Panty raids were a common happening in the spring—what fun!

The dining hall was downstairs and I earned extra money working there busing tables. I remember taking a PE class (bowling) which was not far from Stockwell. Mostly I remember having to set up our own pins!! The girls PE field hockey class practiced on the field behind the dorms. I walked to church on Sundays to the Lutheran Student Center. I walked to the stadium on Saturdays for football games and sat in the endzone where students did the card designs during the game—what a great time! I still follow U-M football although I live with a rabid Georgia bulldog fan!

I carried the nursing school flag for our commencement in April 1967 in the stadium—that was way before they started calling it the Big House! I've never gotten to come back for a football game but maybe for my 50th anniversary I'll make it. I worked during my junior and senior years at UM hospital—at that time students were used for staffing on odd shifts—learned a lot during those shifts about the real world of nursing! It was a great education which has served me well during the past 41 years.

Tuition back then was about $500 for in-state students—my parents used to send me about $20/month to spend and it was enough! Hardly anyone had cars, we just walked everywhere. My, how times have changed!!

I also remember spending my 21st birthday at the Pretzel Bell and chugging a number of beers up on that table while someone was ringing the bell! And I remember coming out of a freshman anthropology class in November 1963 to learn of the assassination of John F. Kennedy—we all spent the rest of the weekend in front of the TV to learn what was going on—there were no computers, cell phones or iPods to speed up communication. Term papers were typed on a typewriter with white-out in hand. If you needed a second copy of something you used carbon paper and if you needed lots of copies you used a mimeograph machine—lots of people today don't even know what that is!

It was a slower time but a great time and a great education—I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  • Jennifer Saye
  • BSN

Traying in the Arb

Re: U-M opens new doors in campus living: Living in Alice Lloyd as a freshman in 1969 introduced me to another reason to visit the cafeteria—to "borrow" a tray, walk through the cemetery, and sled down the hills in the Arb on the tray. It had to happen in the dark because we would never try it if we could see what we were getting into.

  • Dave Tratt
  • MBA

Memories of living on the Hill

Re: U-M opens new doors in campus living: I lived and worked in the best dorm on campus—Alice Lloyd. When I entered the dorm in the Fall of 1996, I didn't realize how special AL was until I started visiting other dorms. AL had a home away from home feeling for me. I met my friends there, I attended classes there, I worked there for three years, and I just enjoyed the atmosphere of the living/learning community. I felt very safe and supported while I was in Alice Lloyd.

  • Dana Sims
  • B.A.

Boys and Bombs

Re: U-M opens new doors in campus living: I lived in Stockwell from Fall 1981-Winter 1983. My parents were under the illusion that an all-women's dorm would mean only women were there after hours. My mother had to use the showers one day and, much to her chagrin, the arm in the air in the next stall was hairy and male!

That was nothing. For some reason, a favorite prank of the early 80s was calling in bomb scares. This was especially common during study days for finals and immediately preceding Thanksgiving and Spring Breaks. The alarm would go off, then we would meet between the tennis courts and the CCRB for attendance with our RA, then trudge off to Mosher-Jordan to spend the night in one of the commons rooms or the cafeteria. One night we counted 15 men in addition to the 50 women living on our hall. No offense to MoJo, but it looks a lot better now. In fact, we should each have gotten a half grade better for all the missed sleep on those bomb threat nights.

  • Liz L-S
  • B.B.A.

Free John Sinclair

Waiting for John Lennon...I was there that wonderful and glorious night back in 1971, waiting for John Lennon to show up at the Free John Sinclair concert. I'll never forget the Archie Shepp set.....and finally when John and Yoko walked out on the stage after 3:00 am.... I was always amazed and proud that U-M let the concert go on to the wee hours of the morning.

  • Rolf Kallenbach
  • B.A.

The Panty Raid: A Personal Recollection

May I add a small first hand addition to the panty raid story (Panty raid, 1952 July, 2008) which I just read. I was a freshman in law school in 51-52, and that Spring I was living in the east wing of the Law Quad, across the street from Martha Cook. When I heard the noise and saw the rush of men in and around Martha Cook, curiosity trumped contracts or torts or whatever I was trying to master, and I went over to get a better view.

I walked in the front door of the dorm and down the hall and saw men literally sprinting up and down the center hall on the first floor; it was amazing to see that sacred residence defiled by men running around yelling to one another, some swinging panties and bras over their heads.

And then I was grabbed by the arm by Dean Bacon. She may have recognized me because I had been (and maybe still was; I don’t remember) on the Joint Judiciary Committee. She said sternly and very dean-like, "Get these young men out of here!"

"Dean Bacon, I can’t get them out of here," I pleaded, and by way of explanation I added, "besides boys will be boys."

To which she answered even more sternly, "And deans will be deans. Now get these young men out of here!!!"

Perhaps I made more of an impression than I thought because she used my phrase (certainly not original with me) when interviewed by the Michigan Daily.

  • Stanley R. Weinberger
  • B.A., J.D.

Panty Raids as Rapine

In 1952, I was US Vice Consul in New Delhi. The panty raids were front page headline news in all the English-language newspapers (can't say about the non-English). The assumption of the reports, and of Indian friends, business contacts, store keepers, anyone I spoke with, was that mass rape was occurring on US campuses. Incredible that neither parents nor authorities intervened to save the girls! The [erroneous] lesson to be learned: mass rape is the unavoidable result of co-education.

  • Judith Laikin Elkin
  • BA, PhD

Panty Raid legacy

Thanks to James Tobin for sparking a memory about which I hadn't thought critically until this time (Panty Raid, 1952, July 2008). I attended U-M in the turbulent 1968 - '72 time period when student riots and unrest were, at least from our perspective, serious matters of political dissent. However, I also lived in West Quad in the late 60's and among the men (it was still all-male) who lived there, there was an acute appreciation for the "legacy of the panty raid," which many felt was akin to a fraternal obligation to carry on for those who lived in the ivy covered WQ walls.

And one chilly night in 1969, fueled primarily by alcohol and pot, a band of Quaddies did just that, trekking across the Diag to conduct a small (there were probably no more than 100 of us) but noisy "raid" on Stockwell Hall followed by Mary Markley Hall. The times had changed of course since 1952 and many of the women in the halls responded to our chants of "pants, pants, pants..." with cascades of panties, bras, and other female accoutrements and slips of paper with their phone numbers. And a good time was had by all...

However, what I also remember was returning to WQ later and being buttonholed by a more politically active student friend of mine who said, "Panty raids are for children. You should come down to our next Student Mobilization/SDS gathering and you'll see what social action is all about." Therein lies the nexus of fanciful rule breaking and social activism. Having been involved in both, I believe that beneath the higher purpose that social activists attribute to their actions, there's always a little bit of a panty raid in every cause-driven demonstration...

  • Bruce Flynn
  • BA

Mass Riots - 1952

I enjoyed the article about the Spring Frolic in 1952 which spawned "panty raids" (Panty Raid, 1952 July, 2008). The article says they ended 15 years later, but I do remember panty raids while living in Mosher-Jordan in 1966-'67 and 1967-'68 Fall term. They ended when Mo-Jo went coed and women's curfews were lifted in 1968-69. You could hear the chants of the men as they marched across campus from East and West Quads. (No air-conditioning then!)

By my time there was a drill that every coed was supposed to follow: leave your room, turn out the lights and sit outside your door in the hall way. The housemothers and RAs then made rounds to assure that everyone was safe inside after locking the front doors (the only ones unlocked at that time). The bay window rooms on 3rd floor in Mo-Jo made great places to go-go dance with a flashlight!!! And to fling out unmentionables — as our next door neighbor did each time until the housemother made it to our wing!!

Great fun! Harmless in my time.

  • Paula (Miklas) White
  • BSN

Notable concerts

I had graduated by the time the Free John Sinclair concert happened, but I do remember that the Doors came to play and were so trashed that they got booed off the stage and the local opening band got called back. Another time Joan Baez came to Crisler Arena and all tickets were $2.00, a bargain even then. When those were sold out they decided to sell "Obstructed View" tickets for just a buck. That concert was well worth the money...

  • Carolyn Bloom
  • BA

Michigan Marching Band

I read the Panty Raid, 1952 article in the July 2008 issue of Michigan Today with interest, although the first panty raid predated my experience at Michigan by a decade. I played in the Michigan Marching Band in the 1960s, and at that time that organization was all male, as were the cheerleaders. The football team was not very good but at least we won at halftime! When did the MMB and cheerleaders become co-ed? Being in the MMB was a physically arduous endeavor, and we prided ourselves in playing concert music and "classics" such as War Chant and Temptation. (Pick up your feet; play your part; and Drive, Drive, Drive.)

Playing under the direction of the Chief (Dr. Revelli) and George Cavendar was indeed a thrill, especially for an engineering student. I remember a trumpet sectional one Sunday when the Chief made us play and then sing a note that he didn’t like. When I was still "flat" he remarked that I apparently didn’t go to church often enough!

  • J.D. Holdeman
  • BSE, MSME 1965, 1966

Panty Raid, 1952

Never went on a true panty raid before, but I've seen how one starts.

This time, it wasn't the first warm day of spring that brought us all out, but a fresh snowfall of the kind of one-scoop packing snow that puts anyone in a snowball-in-the-earhole-of-your-best-friend kind of mood. A few dozen of us were in one of the two central yards of Mary Markley Hall (this was the winter of '85-'86) peppering each other with snowballs when we got the idea to go attack the other half. We packed up a few good snowballs each and stormed the unsuspecting snowballers of the other side. After a few good hits about the face and neck all around, we joined forces with them and moved on in search of other targets, pelting the occasional open window on the way (damn screens!).

Stockwell, then an all-women's dorm, was the immediate target. We advanced, and, finding nothing other than a particularly sassy 4th floor resident (essentially unreachable to those of us without Harbaugh-esque arms), we moved over to the athletic fields on the Hill.

Unfortunately, we couldn't see that we were badly outnumbered because most of the snowballers were hidden by the curve of the hill. We poured over the hill like Goths bent on sacking Rome and discovered that the Hill snowballers were more than willing to fight back. A regular donnybrook ensued, with hundreds of us giving and taking snowballs left and right. Being on the side of the smaller force, I gotta say we took it in the shorts. Eventually, nobody could tell Goths from Romans, and we all melded into a giant, snowball-throwing horde. Having spent our initial energy, the snowballing lulled and we again united with our bigger crowd in search of something else.

Anybody in the front of the pack could lead, and they did. "To the frats!" someone yelled, and off we went.

This time, the mission was stealth, so all two hundred of us moved on with very few words. Exactly which fraternity it was I don't know, because it didn't last long. We assembled in the parking lot behind the place, and with a shout, the first volley was off. I still remember watching as that single snowball arched toward a window.

With so many, you'd think someone would have better aim, but most hit the bricks. The one window-bound ball scored a direct hit. It turns out that fraternity windows are not only smaller, but considerably less solid than their dormitory counterparts. The glass shattered as the snowball passed through it with surprising ease. A half-beat of silence, and then everyone scattered, breaking up into all the smaller groups that had originally massed into the unwieldy horde. Something about the breaking window touched off the kid-caught-with-shaving-cream-on-Halloween instinct in all of us. Someone yelled "run" and we broke. My friends and I walked back to the dorms, happy and tired, our desire to sack Rome sated.

  • Jeff Stehr
  • B.S.

I Was There

I was a high school student and attended the Free John Sinclair concert with a friend to see the radical jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp. My friend and I had no interest in John Sinclair, or even John Lennon. The energy level that night was amazing, but we left shortly after Archie Shepp gave a very wild and memorable performance.

  • Donald Wenskay
  • B.S. Physics

The Awful Screech of Yoko

For years, I've been relating the story of the Free John Sinclair concert. The tickets were only $2 each for great seats in Crisler Arena. I went with my retro-rock group, Chastity and the Belts, accompanied by our band soulmates, Jimmy and the Javelins. What a phenominal concert it was.

The worst part was having to put up with the awful screech of Yoko Ono. It was worth it to hear John sing, "they gave him 10 for two, what else could the judges do?"...followed by "they gave him 10 for two, what else could the bastards do?" Quite racy lyrics in those days.

Stevie Wonder was amazing. It seemed like the night was an ever-continuing homage to our youth and culture of the day. We were a bunch of young suburban kids living the perfect life. Going to The University of Michigan and grooving with John Lennon. Far Out!

  • Leslie Rogers
  • A.B.Ed

A Bad Choice of Subjects

Re: "Free John Sinclair!" (June, 2008): Why do you publish such garbage? Why celebrate such an "out of the mainstream" sleazy individual?

You "dilute the currency" of U-M by slogging around in the dregs of a bygone era, rather than celebrating and uplifting situations to which U-M has made positive contributions.

My wise parents used to tell me that "you are who you hang around with." To the extent that anyone emulates some of the antics of John Sinclair because of the tacit approval of U-M hurts the school.

I am 100% sure that you have better situations to champion in the storied history of the University!

It may not have been your "intention" to endorse Sinclair's behavior but that is exactly what you have done. Many, many people will not read the article nor think critically about how and why it was published. All they will do is associate U-M with such activities. You and I both know that that is exactly what happens. U-M has a reputation for radicalism whether true or not and this article only supports that perception.

Is that how you want the school to be perceived?

  • Charles P. Huebner
  • MBA 1974

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