My Photo

Feeds and more

  • [ BadgerLink logo ]
Blog powered by Typepad

Stats

Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Paper Mill Falls in Park Falls, Wisconsin | Main | WMC & Belling Do Not Admit Defeat; Blame RINOS »

May 05, 2006

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c52aa53ef00d834c887a853ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference History of the Mifflin Street Co-op. Madison, WI:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

jody

I'm not sure what you mean but if it's just regular webspace you're after I've got piles of it. I can keep a copy for you when you're done editing or whatever until you find another spot. Or till hell freezes over. All pprperly credited etc.

I just had time to scan a few paragraphs - will come back to it later to read it all - but I must say I was entranced by the Blacklight Pee-Detector. That was cool.

jody

BTW - I want that job. It would be great when meeting new people, during introductions. I wonder how many would still shake my hand.

Mark Kinsler

I lived in Madison from 1968 through 1971 and stood by as sort of an observer of what the more hysterical girls termed 'the Revolution.' I suppose one could say that I was something of an active participant in the cooperative movement, at least to the extent of

(1) suggesting (along with others) that Bill Winfield might wish to start his own cooperative. He was unhappy with a certain lack of fervor at the UW Community Coop, where I sort of worked,

(2)fixing the grocery co-op's truck twice: it needed a clutch, and then someone contrived to knock a hole in a piston, which I replaced. This last exercise wasn't so successful, but I didn't think it was necessary to dispose of the truck.

(3) fixing the cooler at the grocery co-op, which is how I learned about refrigeration,

(4) fixing the furnace at the grocery co-op, which I believe was the oldest oil furnace in the Western Hemisphere

(5) installing the ice cream scoop sink at the UW Community Co-op,

(6) and installing and repairing everything else at the UW Community Co-op, in exchange for free space for my little repair shop.

So I was there. I did not understand the politics of The Movement, as it was called, nor did I understand the drug culture that went along with it. Nevertheless, there were many people who were kind to me at a difficult time in my life.

This history, unfortunately, doesn't make the politics much clearer; the New Left didn't make much more sense than the old one. I was disturbed by the destruction: Bill Winfield observed that it is better to upset the authorities by constructing things than by destroying things.

There were a good many self-styled leaders then, and their arrogance was impressive. We'd be sitting in the living room talking when the phone would ring, and orders issued to assemble for combat at 0900 hours. Nobody ever seemed to know who was issuing the orders; perhaps it was some of the people mentioned in the history, most of whom I didn't know.

You might wish to mention the underground medical team that showed up in a van on Mifflin Street. And I think it would be interesting to investigate the weapons that showed up in a front-page picture of the Wisconsin State Journal. These were purported to have been recovered on Mifflin Street, and they included some sort of a rubber-band-powered crossbow that shot darts, I think. I always thought that these were constructed by the Madison Police Department, which like all police departments back then was scared to death of student revolutionaries.

Looking back on forty years of counterculture,
I suspect that history will record this period in Madison as one which contributed positively to the anti-war movement, but which culminated in a great many dumb decisions on the part of wealthy suburban kids who thought they could somehow build the Paris Commune on a city street in the Midwest.

M Kinsler
Lancaster, Ohio

Dennis Strand

I am doing a short film on Miffland Coop.

I am doing short personal remeberance interviews at COOP perferable before
it's closing.

How to contact Paul Solgin and others in it's history ?

Dennis

Erin

Hey Dennis, I'd like to hear more about the film you're making. When are you expecting to complete it? I lived on Mifflin a few years ago while I was a student and the Co-op was very important to me.

Erin

Hey Dennis, I'd like to hear more about the film you're making. When are you expecting to complete it? I lived on Mifflin a few years ago while I was a student and the Co-op was very important to me.

Jolynn Wall

I was there. I volunteered at Mifflin for a time, then, later, I was the one, along with my friend, Morty Cohen, who actually got the Common Market Warehouse food-buying co-op up and running. Bobby Golden got involved by his bulk purchasing, and we had a weekly distribution for the co-op members at reduced prices from retail. When my mom developed pneumonia, I left the job to the other volunteers to be with her in Florida. It was quite a time.

Cathy Caplan

My name is spelled incorrectly in this history. I am the Kathy Kaplan (actually, it's Cathy Caplan and I now go by "Cat" instead of Cathy) in the Mifflin Steet Coop history. I am still in occasional touch with Michael Lillie and his sister, Martha, who later worked at the coop and who is married to Tony, the brother of another regular Mifflin worker, DeeDee. (DeeDee and I owned two of Alishka's pups, Doña and Maka. I lost Maka in 1973 but had one of Maka's pups, Binaca, for over 15 years until she died in December 1987) Martha and I met when we were both at Ripon College. In 1969, I met Michael through Martha and at the end of my sophomore year, in May 1970 during the May riots, I dropped out of Ripon and moved to Madison (I did a semester at Madison but dropped out in Dec 1970). Martha followed me to Madison in August 1970. Michael had been in school at UW-Madison but had also dropped out. Michael, our roommate Murph, and I, and later Jon and Martha lived together in a two bedroom duplex with a walk-up attic and called ourselves the Smiley Family of 450 W. Mifflin. We had four other occasional roommates, John, Liz, Jim and Kay, who lived in the basement to which we had access from stairs down the back of the house running past the wall of the downstairs apartment. All of them volunteered at the Coop when they could. We lived in one of the Bandy houses and were involved in the Bandy campaign.

My time at the Coop and my involvement in the Community Chip Fund which helped fund many community outreach programs from the Women's Shelter to the Free Clinic, Legal Aid to helping other new coops, was one of the best experiences of my life. I will always remember those years as years of change and passion for a cause.

I learned how to keep accounting books at the Coop, as we all did who worked there and, oddly, Bruce, Michael, and I all received degrees in accounting later on. I moved back to Minnesota in September 1974 and aside from a 5 month stint in Hawaii from Sept 1975 to Feb 1976, I have been here ever since. I received my accounting degree in 1980 from the U of MN. I worked mostly in small companies, the last 17 years as the company Controller in 2 very small companies. However, I never liked the office politics and in my last position where I also worked as the campany's Human Resources Manager, I fought with the owner of the company often because his practices were not to treat his employees with respect and fairness. Finally, through some circumstances in my life and with my twin sons about to graduate from college (I have been a single parent since 1987), in January 2006, I chose to go back to school and I am now finishing an internship in Alcohol and Drug Counseling (I, myself, being a person in recovery). I felt that I could better serve others in this way and get back to my core, to find that passion I once had for making a difference in the lives of others.

I will be working now as a Caseworker in a Methadone Clinc where most of our clients suffer from severe psychological and medical problems, many are homeless and unable to be employed due to their psych disorders or physical limitations. Because of the severity of their psych disorders and medical problems including HIV, AIDS, and HEP-C, it is difficult, if not impossible, to get many of the clients off of methadone. As a caseworker, besides individual counseling and group classes, we link them to services to insure they remain stable on psych meds; see physicians; find homes; find jobs, if possible; stay off of other mood altering substances; try to wean them off of methadone, if possible; get them job skills training and education, like getting them into GED classes; help them with child care and parenting skills classes; and serve as liasons with probation, Child Protection, and other court officials. This is an effort to be a "one stop shop" for these people, to improve their quality of life and, hopefully, to move them forward in their lives. Much of this work is about harm reduction and the stories the clients bring with them are often heartbreaking, but if we can effect a change for the better, however small, there is some measure of success in helping these "marginalized people" ... just like we helped the marginalized people who frequented the Coop many years ago.

I was saddened to hear of Mifflin's closing. It was the end of an incredible era. This past year, North Country Coop in Minneapolis also closed its doors. The staff at Mifflin helped out North Country in its infancy to get going, coming up to Minneapolis to give them direction and tips on how to operate. I was part of this exchange. North Country was a fixture on the West Bank of Minneapolis. The West Bank area of Minneapolis was the equivalent of the Mifflin/Bassett area in Madison. The fact that these Coops endured for so many years is a testament to the movement that started almost 40 years ago and the ideas and ideals that were passed from generation to generation.

My hope now is that the youth today will find passion in their lives for a cause that serves others and effects change. I lost some of that passion for a time in the later 70's and early 80's when my life became more about using and abusing drugs and alcohol despite staying gainfully employed and squeaking through school. Fortunately, for many years my life and my passion became about raising my sons and I stayed completely off of drugs and mostly off of alcohol. Unfortunately, the addictions and madness in my life returned for two years about a year after my sons went off to college. I finally got completely clean and sober in 2005 and realized I needed to find that passion in my life again. I have found a new lease on life, a new sense of purpose, renewed passion. My sons are now 23 years old, grown men, college graduates, living and working in Chicago. They did a lot of volunteering from middle school through their college years in various capacities and I hope they continue to do so. I am hoping that I can do as much at 57 as I did when I was 19 and I moved to Madison and at 20 when I started working at the Coop. For me, it's all about finding that passion for serving others. Mifflin Street Coop gave me that opportunity, that sense of purpose, and that passion and for that I will always be grateful.

sara robinson

who the hell is jolynn wall? i remember mortie cohen!

sara robinson

who the hell is jolynn wall? i remember mortie cohen!

terry from pius

Jolynn Wall is a most remarkable lady (tho she probably wouldn't prefer that title). In the late 60's and early 70's she was quite the pioneer from our little group of catholic school psuedo-rebels. Musician, poet -- sure. But she DID while others talked. (She was the First Officially Sanctioned 'Woman' Carpenter in Wisconsin.) We agreed and disagreed. We have memories. She was my friend. Haven't seen her for over a quarter century. But I'll never forget her. If you require hot-shot credentials ask Martin Stupich, the photographer. He was in our little group, too. (I've got the photos to prove it !!!)

BLincks,III

Can anyone tell me the location of the Green Lantern Eating Co-op mentioned above? I recall accompanying my father to several meetings at the Green Lantern as a boy in the early '70's. I also fondly recall hanging around the Yellow Jersey Bike Co-op during the same period - interesting times for an 8 - 10 year old kid to be down on State St.!!!

Any information you can pass along on the Green Lantern would be appreciated.

Good article. I hope the balance is presented at some point.

Thank you,
Bud Lincks, III

Larry Whitmer

Bud et al,

I was a member of Green Lantern Coop on and off from 1969 to about 1974 or so (hard to remember exactly when my last meal was there). It was a terrific place and had many interesting and fantastic people over the years. When I first joined in 1969 the coop was at 604 Univerity Ave. right next door to a friendly tavern on the corner of Francis & University. It was still at that location until at least 1978 or so.

I have many many fond memories of Green Lantern. It quite literaly preserved my sanity many times when things were not going well for me. I had, at one time, the record "tab" for unpaid meals. I was out of work, divorced and generally feeling lost in life. But the Lantern folks were true friends and believed me when I said I would pay my tab somehow. In 1973 I was hired by the Coop Garage and did make good on all those debts. I could write a whole book on the Coop Garage.

Times at the Green Lantern were always fun and interesting. One enterprising member, Sid Chatterjee, suggested the coop show 16mm movies to raise extra money and keep meal fees low. I became a projectionist and grew to love the classic movies we brought in every week. Sid was a genius. Soon though, every other entrepreneur on campus was showing movies to make money.

Some of the characters at Green Lantern were: Ken, the wild-eyed cook who not only made great food but played a mean game of handball. Tony M., the only guy I knew who had 3 different ID's for the UW. Tom H. the handyman of all handymen. He engineered the "relocation" of a huge air conditioner from an abandoned building so us Greenies could stay cool in summer (never got hooked up though). Byron, who got me the job at Coop Garage and to whom I will forever be in debt. I could go on and on - I miss those people and times very much.

One of the traditions at the Green Lantern was to have a huge bacchanal about twice a year. It involved copious amounts of drink, food, pot, music, skits, more food, more drink and always ended with an impromptu tribal chant that sounded like something from 10,000 B.C. It was so loud that the drunks from the tavern next door would come over to see what the hell was going on.

There were always discussions of all things political which were enlightening if nothing else. Things were really heating up in 1970 and I remember taking refuge in the Green Lantern cold room after being tear gassed. In August of 1970 the Sterling Hall bombing shoot the entire city, as well as me personally. My brother was working in the basement of Sterling Hall the night it was bombed and was damn lucky to have survived. He is mentioned the book "RADS" by Tom Bates if anyone wants to really find out about the New Year's Gang that blew it up.

I left Madison in 1978 and moved to Seattle, Wa. I'd like to know what ever happened to the Green Lantern. If anyone would like to chat about the Green Lantern or anything else, drop me a line at quarque@hotmail.com. I do miss Madison even though Seattle is a great place.

Miss you all,

Larry Whitmer

Jolynn Wall

Hi Terry (from Pius). It's been a long while. I moved to Florida (Dunedin) with my husband Dave, and we have one son, Evan. Life is good. I visited Marty in Georgia a long while back. He visited me once in rural Wisconsin where I was doing the back to the land thing.
Good to hear from you.
Jolynn

Jolynn Wall

So, which of you were part of Union Cab? I still have the red tee-shirt with the icon of the "square" in the middle. The names I remember: Kim Krieger, Steve Chadderdon, Tony Castenada, Paul Friedman, Charlie Preusser, D.J. (dispatcher), Steve Stepnok (Manager), Irv (last name unknown),Dave Archibald (my husband) and me (Jolynn Wall). I still remember when we had to find some tomato soup when Irv got sprayed by a skunk one day!
Jolynn Wall.

Mary ACKMAN

I lived on Mifflin in 78-79,in the 500 block, fell in love , enjoyed the whole thing. We went back in the summer of 09 and saw the old house--555 W Miff. Although at the time I was living there, I never realized the rich history of the block( the afore mentioned article references police tear-gassing radicals homes., one of which was the one we rented years later) I guess we had our own romanticized version of the late 60's -early 70's on Mifflin, a bunch of old guys who smoked alot of pot and somehow found time to start the co-op. I guess we were happy just to follow in their cloud of smoke... I remember in 79, being at a May block party, just 3 doors down from the co-op. My boyfriend,(now husband of 25 yrs) was trying to catch the joints those guys were throwing out in front of the co-op. When my husband graduated with his BS in Engineering in 78, I convinced my father, then an officer with Pabst Brewing, to deliver a barrel of beer to the house on Mifflin. The disributors 18 wheeler pulled up to the curb and dropped of the single barrel. My only insructions from my Dad were not to lose that tapper. Times have changed, but alot remains the same. My present drug of choice is California wine. From Huntington Beach, Ca. On Wisconsin, On Mifflin St. Mary & Phil , 79,81 and 82

Edward Goodwin

I was there during the summer of 1970 with a friend of mine from nyc.WE STAYED IN THE HOUSE NEXT TO PEOPLES PARK and remember BANDY AND THE CC RIDERS. I think his wife showed up one afternoon yelling at people in the park next to the house.and WE YELLED BACK AT HER.I can t believe its 41 years.

The comments to this entry are closed.