Fred Baker ’71

English and history ’71

Year of Memory: 1953, 1969-71

I remember the menagerie that used to be located just outside the front door, which included a black bear and, I believe, for a time, a wolverine. This was in 1953, when my mother returned to school after my father died, and I was 3.

And on the landing, on the stairs to the hall of dinosaurs, there was a pair of live gila monsters. They were quite long-lived, and still there when I returned to Ann Arbor in 1969 as an undergraduate, and again later, at some point in my young adulthood. I visited them regularly during my undergraduate years, in their Stendahlic red and black solitude, marveling that they could pass their long lives so calmly in a 2×3 glass box, and wondering if they were quietly insane.

I wonder if they were retired, too.

Michael Erlewine, he of later Prime Mover fame (fleeting, but long enough to overlap with Iggy), had his own desk there as a child, and somehow wangled a position of responsibility, I think feeding creatures, in that strange post-war environment in which the university exploded with vets on the GI bill and all things were possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *