Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thanks - reflection - the last house meeting

There is an entry that speaks of Xanadu, and a house meeting, I'll fill in the details.  I also need to thank the people I'm writing this entry for, they've sparked some old memories that need to be remembered.  What happened at that last house meeting and why.

In the fall of 1978, about a month after contracts had been signed, the ICC (the central organization) announced a budget short fall, and told everyone they'd been forced to assess everyone some amount of money.  At our house, and every other no doubt, there were house meetings where the house treasurer explained this to the membership, and the membership got upset and said it wasn't fair.  It wasn't fair, and probably wasn't legal either, but legal didn't matter, it was co-op business and fair was the primary concern.

I got up and told everyone that what would happen was the ICC would get the money no matter what the people in the house voted, discussed, complained or did.  One day the house treasurer would announce that he'd been pressured by the division treasurer and the office people enough, and he just paid it.  That is in fact what ended up happening, a few months later, after I'd moved here to Madison.  The payment was retroactive, so everyone got tabbed how ever much it was, a few hundred bucks in a lump sum.  The house treasurer went back to the ICC and told them that the house was resisting, like every other other house treasurer.  Did I pay this assessment?  Yes I did.

The ICC head man, a fellow named Luther, came to the last house meeting I attended at Xanadu.  He wrung his hands, and pleaded, and the house was unmoved.  The biggest obstacle was this guy named Greg who was the editor of the Michigan Daily (I'll leave Greg's last name out of this).  Greg had a real sweet job lined up with the Detroit Free Press, or the Detroit News (I forget which), and he was as I was, leaving at the end of the semester.  Greg was graduating and getting a job, I was moving here to Madison.

Greg was overweight, and kind of reminded us all of the character Bluto in the movie, Animal House.  He danced out of the meeting, waiving his finger in the air and chanting, "I'm not gonna pay, I'm not gonna pay..."

I got up and tried to reason with the group, no dice.  Luther pleaded with the group, no dice.  Luther begged me to do something.  I asked him what I was supposed to do, and told him I just did everything I could do.

There was no love lost between Luther and I.  He liked nice placid students who didn't get involved much in the house, washed their dishes, graduated and moved on.  I wasn't a student, I took responsibility in the house, and cared deeply about the house.

Now?  It's someone else's turn to stand up and be counted at the house meetings.  It's my turn to fix the house, and clean the house.  Cooking?  There are usually people who want to do that.  If asked, I'd do what ever the group wanted.  Does it need to be my house job for me to scrub the floor in the dining room?  No, it needs to be a day when I don't have anything better to do for a couple of hours, which means I'd do it pretty quick if I was a member.  What co-op job would I want?  I don't care, they are all important and need to be done.

Why would I say 2 years of membership?  There are places with age requirements that are real nice, and subsidized, and I've got my eye on one such place.  In 2016 I'll be old enough to qualify.  At that time, I'd have to ask myself real seriously if my feelings had changed, I doubt they would.

Writing?  I've had writers block for a while.  This exercise in asking for membership has jogged me back into wanting to say things on paper.  Yea!!!!  I see some good stories coming out of my checkered past.  I'm not ashamed of my past, I've done a lot of really stupid things in my life, but it wasn't boring.  Writing is really hard work, if you don't think so, try it.

Thanks to my father for providing me the opportunity to be a writer.

Oh yeah, why didn't I rush back into a co-op after I left Loth?  Well, I did!  Back then there was a place next door to a bar now called Wando's (The 602 Club back then), called the Green Lantern Eating Co-op.  I joined that place, and was an influential member until I took a job working afternoons (3pm-11pm) and couldn't go there because of schedule conflict.  My room mate for a few years was a fellow I knew from there named Dave Alsberg who is the guy who showed me the back door into the Univ of Wisconsin which resulted in my college career.  What became of Dave?  He screwed around and never got his Phd, went back to suburban New York City, got married and went to work for an insurance company as an actuary.  What became of Dave after that?  I don't know for sure.

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