sitemap JMC: Capsule Timeline 1973-1980: Fred Little ('79)

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Group Memory


A Capsule Timeline: 1973 - 1980

Fred Little, JMC '79


This material excerpted from a posting to the JMC Yahoo Groups forum, July 2002

"...[I]n the spirit of an earlier missive in which you strung together some random data points, here are a few more, without much prioritization or claim to completeness, chunked roughly by academic year."


  • MSU assigns a large block of students in the Ag Tech/co-op program to Snyder, most of whom seem to have picked up the notion of "intercropping" high value agriculture products with the tomato and corn crops by the time they graduate in 1975.

  • Rumors that it was once possible to take T-group as class in the old days abound.

  • Roger Stimson listed as a faculty member but ducking classes, avoiding office hours, and not responding to phone calls or messages left in his mailbox.

  • Complaints to Dean Dean Gordon Gordon Rohman Rohman have no effect.

  • Pillowcayse morphs into Midnight Sun.

  • Chuck Niles leaves JMC.

  • Sears Eldridge/JMC Production of Arabal's "Architect and the Emperor of Assyria"

  • Glitter kids on platform heels and valium channel David Bowie.

  • Art Ensemble of Chicago plays Miller Theater, establishes E.Lansing branch of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.

  • Pink flake Peruvian marching powder arrives.

  • Windowpane wholesales at $60/100, some people cut them in quarters with x-acto knives.

  • Whitecross benzedrine popular at midterms, finals, and theater/multimedia final production pushes.

  • Most reefer represented as Oaxacan, Michoacan or Jamaican.

  • Widespread DIY sensibility among students.

  • Nixon resigns.

  • Draft officially ends.

  • Abbie Hoffman caught in cocaine sales sting operation, facing life sentence, goes underground.

  • Rennie Davis kneels before Guru Maharaj Ji.
  • MSU assigns a large block of Business students to Snyder and Phillips.

  • Dealers in dormitory offer package deals: a pack of papers with every dime bag, a pipe with an oz.

  • One enterprising soul actually receives packages addressed to "Snyder Smoke Shop" for several weeks.

  • Charlotte LeGates assumes position as JMC Associate/Assistant Dean, seems to be a University hire without input from JMC staff, faculty, or student body.

  • JMC Productions of the "Popul Vuh" and Ionesco's "Rhinoceros."

  • Show tunes sung, unapologetically and without irony, at Sny-Phi coffeehouse.

  • Beach Boys compilations played at parties for the first time in years.

  • JMC administration is advised that University will not allow student reps to sit on personnel committee with full voting powers or right to all information.

  • Language program removed from JMC.

  • Non-tenured members of JMC language faculty purged from MSU.

  • ECM Jazz/World Music fusion brings together former sidemen of Ornette Coleman and Paul Winter.

  • Nixon's legacy -- Bright gold "paraquat pot" floods the market, Jamaican pot disappears, Thai and Colombian suppliers fill the breach at higher prices.

  • LSD largely disappears from local drug markets.

  • White rock cocaine beginning to tend to powder.

  • Pharmaceutical black beauties and yellowjackets popular at midterms and finals.

  • LaCoste shirt wearers begin to mix valium and marching powder; rise of smooth jazz.

  • Will somebody please turn that damn Beach Boys album off?

  • Rennie Davis turns to investment advising.

  • Abbie Hoffman on the lam.
  • First class of JMC students enters with no language requirement.

  • Admissions off precipitously.

  • Numerous JMC faculty members teaching classes in MSU departments outside JMC and seeking dual appointments.

  • Lou Reed goes to "Berlin."

  • David Bowie falls to earth.

  • Disco bubbling up from under, local E. Lansing dance club "The Bus Stop" requires two id from white customers, five from black customers, until picketing forces change.

  • Midnight Sun morphs into Bonzo Flatt.

  • Campus Corners brings quality bargain wine to the masses.

  • Rumors of Victor Paananen's upcoming blockbuster on William Blake begin to circulate.

  • Stagflation.

  • The bong considered as a means of extending limited supplies of increasingly expensive herb as the spigot is closed in Mexico and Jamaica.

  • Exit strategies openly discussed, including the UC-Santa Cruz alternative, significant number of better students from Fall 1973 transfer to other schools.

  • Local poetry scene begins to coalesce with Lee Upton and Rosa Maria Arenas stirring the pot.

  • Inspired by Diane Wakoski, enterprising but hostile students write "13 Ways to Look Up a Leather Skirt."

  • First annual End of the World party at Chateau Clarizio.

  • MSU student Sami Esmail held by Israeli security.
  • I wouldn't know, I was in Virginia, working construction and meeting the guys who didn't get low lottery numbers or student deferments. Now that was an eye-opener, but off-topic.
  • Barbara Ward acting dean, but of what?

  • Rampant use of university course substitutions for JMC distribution requirements no longer being taught.

  • University begins to pressure some tenured JMC faculty members to accept positions in University departments and/or early retirement buy-outs.

  • Rumors JMC will be turned into continuing education/lifelong learning/night school unit.

  • "No, I do not want to see La Strada again, I'll be at Lizard's or Beggar's if you're looking for me later."

  • Sex Pistols, Ramones, Talking Heads break nationally.

  • Paananen's course on Blake is the bomb! I could do this....His book comes out and bombs.

  • Some friends find new passions, some hit the marks till graduation, some just move on.

  • I go to work at the High Energy Physics lab and find that Jon Awbrey's disquisitions on tree theory in mathematics are more interesting than my coursework.

  • The Pop-a-Tent party and pig roast. Mannitol anyone?
  • Rumors of JMC's continued existence.

  • Faced with the choice of full-time work at the HE Physics lab or coursework toward graduation....with all due respect, I'll take the money and education at the lab and get a diploma somewhere else.

  • Trouble at the White Monkey.

  • MSU win in NCAA basketball finals shuts down Grand River Avenue, tables and chairs from Peanut Barrel burned on the median of Grand River, glass breakage at Dooley's tops $3000 mark.

  • At MSU Student Union reading, Kenneth Rexroth reads three poems too many containing the phrase "moon-dappled breast."

  • The most green and white frat-friendly bar in town books Tom Waits, Commander Cody and the Ramones all in one three month run.

  • The Ramones chant of "Gabba Gabba Hey" is a perfect fit for the football fans and punk has set a new record for time from inception of artistic movement to full co- option by market forces.

  • No Wave.

  • The Microwave Pop Sound of Trainable fusing DC-style go-go, the MC5 and Albert Ayler saxophone skronk (Nuke the Whales! Their Brains are too Big!).

  • Big overlaps between the local music and poetry scenes, lots of stuff bubbling up venues for the work, the center will not hold....

  • Summer of 79 sees a wholesale exodus in what's left of the JMC and associated arts communities
  • A cutting from the End of the World Party, subtitled "Apocolypse How," held overlooking the Monterey Bay with a cast of future diplomats, UN translators, naval attaches, former army rangers and god knows who else.

"The names have been estranged to protect the inveterate......"
Fred Little
Palisades NY
July 2002


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