Mifflin St. Co-op - RIP

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Where do you shop for food?

Willy St. Co-op
14
36%
Mifflin St. Co-op
0
No votes
Trader Joe's
3
8%
Whole Foods
0
No votes
Woodman's
14
36%
Regent St. Co-op
0
No votes
Sentry
2
5%
Cub Foods
2
5%
I'm a robot and so don't need organic sustenance
4
10%
 
Total votes: 39

Bwis53
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Postby Bwis53 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:11 pm

22 Langdon used to have an old frat house on it, and it was a coop for awhile, late 60's. Never did hear what happened. It had a really nice pier. Two doors east, 2 Langdon, I think, was also a coop, at the same time. We all ate in the basement kitchen, at 22.

What ever happened to Green Lantern Eating Coop.?

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Postby Wincraft » Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:28 pm

Dulouz wrote:
bmasel wrote:still on the hardrive of my old Mac, a 32 page "People's History: A History of the Mifflin Street Community Co-op" by Michael Bodden. Written in 1992, covers the period from founding up to 1994 in great detail. (276k pdf)

No trace of this document on google. No overt copyright notice, a hint that it's property of the co-op.
Unfortunately, our author moved out of town at this point in the series. The rest of Mifflin's story remains at this point untold. Hopefully at some time in the future the rest of the tale will be researched and written.


I think that you should send a fair use copy out to whoever needs it. Can you post it or send it to BobArctor?


I'm sure Michael wrote it in the 1980s when we worked there, hmm maybe if I dig deep enough into my closet I'll find a copy. I remember him interviewing some of the, then, old timers like Bobby Golden, Mark Spark, Carol and Bill Hoyer, the two brothers....

Michael also put together the cookbook Mifflin published in the mid 1980s.

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Postby Dulouz » Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:23 am

Bwis53 wrote:22 Langdon used to have an old frat house on it, and it was a coop for awhile, late 60's. Never did hear what happened. It had a really nice pier. Two doors east, 2 Langdon, I think, was also a coop, at the same time. We all ate in the basement kitchen, at 22.

What ever happened to Green Lantern Eating Coop.?


It disappeared long ago--what an incredible concept though. I joined for a year or two. I still tell people about. I think that people today are too insular for that sort of vibrant discussion and interaction.

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Postby Genie » Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:24 pm

Dulouz wrote:
Bwis53 wrote:22 Langdon used to have an old frat house on it, and it was a coop for awhile, late 60's. Never did hear what happened. It had a really nice pier. Two doors east, 2 Langdon, I think, was also a coop, at the same time. We all ate in the basement kitchen, at 22.

What ever happened to Green Lantern Eating Coop.?


It disappeared long ago--what an incredible concept though. I joined for a year or two. I still tell people about. I think that people today are too insular for that sort of vibrant discussion and interaction.


I was a member for a year when I lived at the Institute of Mundane Studies co-op (where Rivendell is now - 622 N. Henry St.) which didn't have a food co-op. When I moved into Lothlorien there was a food co-op so I didn't need to go the the Lantern - this was around 1974.

I did every job at the Lantern from set and serve to cook's assistant. And I even got to sit at the front table for a while. They had a great film series because the guy who ran it, Sid, was a film major. And I went to at least one of the Green Lantern banquets. There were skits and of course a food fight. The Yellow Jersey Co-op was across the street and people would go to the 602 Club before meals. I think the Lantern went out of business sometime in the late 1970s because students weren't interested in it or they ate at the Union.

The Lantern was originally part of Grove's Co-op which was started sometime in the 1940s I think.

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Postby Genie » Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:32 pm

Wincraft wrote:
Dulouz wrote:
bmasel wrote:still on the hardrive of my old Mac, a 32 page "People's History: A History of the Mifflin Street Community Co-op" by Michael Bodden. Written in 1992, covers the period from founding up to 1994 in great detail. (276k pdf)

No trace of this document on google. No overt copyright notice, a hint that it's property of the co-op.
Unfortunately, our author moved out of town at this point in the series. The rest of Mifflin's story remains at this point untold. Hopefully at some time in the future the rest of the tale will be researched and written.


I think that you should send a fair use copy out to whoever needs it. Can you post it or send it to BobArctor?


I'm sure Michael wrote it in the 1980s when we worked there, hmm maybe if I dig deep enough into my closet I'll find a copy. I remember him interviewing some of the, then, old timers like Bobby Golden, Mark Spark, Carol and Bill Hoyer, the two brothers....

Michael also put together the cookbook Mifflin published in the mid 1980s.


I have that cookbook. I lived in Syntropy at the same time Michael did. I gave birth to my older daughter in that house and he and 6 other house members were at the birth and assisted to some extent (along with the midwife).

Mifflin helped Willy St. Co-op start up financially. There was also Whole Earth Co-op on E. Johnson St. It was originally place to pick up things ordered from the Whole Earth Catalogue but turned into a food co-op. And there was also Common Market which was a bulk buying co-op. Groups could order food in bulk and would also do work there. When I lived in Lothlorien we ordered food from Common Market. One of the workjobs was picking up the orders from the warehouse on Gilson St. The worst job there was bagging raisins - they were so hard to get out of the box.

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Postby snoqueen » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:35 pm

The last incarnation of the Green Lantern, to my knowledge, was over in the YMCA building on Brooks Street across from the Ed buildings. (It's now a single-room housing operation for people with low or no income, I believe.) The Lantern (or whatever it was called at that point) died of lack of staff, basically. The energy just ran out and the food got less and less edible and that was it. I think that was around 1977 -- I had a job on campus nearby and would try to eat there but some days it didn't open, and finally it didn't open at all.

Yes, the days when the Green Lantern was next to the Six and across from YJ were something' else. You could live almost your entire normal daily life doing business with nothing but co ops. I remember a car-repair co op (it ended up out on E. Wash in maybe the 600 block, in a building that has since burned down), at least two hand-made clothing co-ops and a fabric store called Material World, the WSA Pharmacy (which survives as a co op under another name), and I think a printing co op out on Willy Street where RP's Pasta used to be.

Plenty of them died, but I think the percentage that survive today -- strong coops, too -- is not a lot less than the percentage of any other type of business that is still going after 30-35 years.

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Postby Genie » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:59 pm

The Co-op Garage - I remember that. Wally McMullen was there and also Larry Whitmer. They were Stalinists.

There are still co-ops, My daughter, the one who was born in a co-op, lives in Nottingham and she lived in Loth Lorien for a couple of years. But MCC, which owns several of them is not doing so well and there was talk of selling one of the houses, maybe Loth Lorien. Also, some people at Lothlorien spread hot pepper and oil on Nottingham's tables last summer and several people got it in their eyes. It was some strange kind of attack. So there is tension between the two now.

I forgot about another food co-op - LAGC - Langdon Area Grocery Co-op in the basemant of the house at the corner of Howard Pl. and Langdon St. The house was a co-op at the time - called Tralfamadore, but they had a lot of problems.

Sno-Queen wrote:A third instance was a house on S. Baldwin that was bought during the co op era by a group and run as a small residential co op for many years.


Was that maybe Wobbly House?

Also, in the late 1970s, early 1980s I lived in a co-op called Brearly house. It was a rented house on the 600 block of S. Brearly.

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Postby PureVegieDude » Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:52 am

Good riddance to Miffed St. Co-op!
I used to be a member there when I first moved to Madnesson, but quit and started shopping at Wily St. I got fed up with the lousy customer service, writing down prices for practicly everything, having to bag my own groceries, and their retarded angry slogan "Food for the revolution." What revolution!?
No. We are in an "evolution." And that's what I did. I evolved away from them which was the right thing to do.
What can we learn from Miffed? Ya either stay as a stubborn anachronism and close or get with the times and stay open.

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Postby Genie » Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:08 am

I remember back in the late 1960s or early 1970s there was a rumor that Bob Dylan was going to play in front of the Mifflin St. Co-op. A crowd of hopeful people gathered at around the time he was supposed to arrive, but he never materialized.

Well, he's playing at the Kohl Center this Tuesday, on Halloween. I wonder if he would come to visit the Co-op and say goodby (and make up for the no-show 30+ years ago)? :D

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Postby Huckleby » Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:43 am

snoqueen wrote:The last incarnation of the Green Lantern, to my knowledge, was over in the YMCA building on Brooks Street across from the Ed buildings. (It's now a single-room housing operation for people with low or no income, I believe.) The Lantern (or whatever it was called at that point) died of lack of staff, basically. The energy just ran out and the food got less and less edible and that was it. I think that was around 1977 -- I had a job on campus nearby and would try to eat there but some days it didn't open, and finally it didn't open at all.


I was a regular member of the Green Lantern for 10 or 12 years. The food was usually excellent, but yes, there were some crappy spells when a new cook was hired who couldn't, well, cook.

The Lantern died due to a some stupid decisions.
1) Never should have left that comfy/funky location next to 602 Club. The move to Brooks Street Y brought reduced rent, but also the atmosphere of a government soup kitchen. The guy who lead that move is now a brilliant history professor at University of Minnesota. As a business manager, he was a great history professor.
2) One of our members who worked for the Wisconsin IRS decided to put-up a friendly "Eat at the Lantern" flyer at work. Well, you can guess the rest: An alert, zealous Revenue Man noticed the flyer, and determined the co-op had not charged sales tax for meals going back to the early 1950's. They presented a bill for some silly figure, $400,000 or something. I distinctly remember the day hearing about it, we were anxiously debating whether to spend $100 to get the leaky drain fixed.
3) OK, any fool could see the jig was up. The thing to do was to hide the pots and pans, dissolve the Green Lantern Eating Co-op, then re-open a year later as the Blue Lantern Eating Co-op. But no, the resident geniuses decided to get a lawyer and fight the $400,000 tax bill for all those meals eaten by students in the 50's and 60's. So after spending all money on lawyer fees, the bill is reduced to $100,000, or some equally absurd figure.

Well, I met more interesting and kooky people at the Green Lantern every year I was a member there than I have in the rest of my whole life. That place was bizzarre.

Hah! They had one of those old-fashioned candy machines (where you pull a long lever) in the basement of 604 University. You put in 45 cents, pulled the lever, and out popped a joint and a stick match. The person responsibile for filling the machine was known only as "God". You talk about the good old days.

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Postby Bwis53 » Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:53 am

I have some very fond memories of Green Lantern's Movie Nights. "Klute" was the one I remember best. Just about jumped outta my seat, when the bad dude popped out between the garments!

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Postby Genie » Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:59 am

Yes, now I remember the tax problems. I also remember a dinner for Ben Cohen when he had cancer.

I was one of the few female members of the Lantern. It was mostly men. And there was the Green Lantern Mother - I forget his real name. I also remember arguments between the trots and the stalinists, and also between Zionists and non-zionists. There were several bikers who were in the Olympics. One ended up having a bad crash because he rode a track bike for the first time and tried to stop but couldn't and ended up on his face.

Another biker had a bad accident in the country and suffered a skull fracture (none of them wore helmets then). He ended up being brainwashed by NCLC.

And the food. When I was there they always had a salad, bread (home-baked), vegetable and a meat dish. But there was a limited number of pieces of meat so whoever got the dish first got the meat. And then there was often jello blended with whipped cream for dessert. And powdered milk. I hated the milk but got used to it after a while.

There was a Green Lantern poster or something on the wall. I wonder what happened to that. I don't think it went to the "Y." Yeah, the Lantern at the "Y" was more like a restaurant than a co-op.

And the movies - I saw Satyajit (sp?) Ray's trilogy there among many other classics. Just $1 and there was popcorn.

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Postby Huckleby » Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:30 pm

Genie, I'm trying to guess which of the handful of GL female regulars you were. Right now, I dream of Genie with the light brown hair. But I'll need another clue: did you shave your underarms?

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Postby Genie » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:48 pm

Huckleby wrote:Genie, I'm trying to guess which of the handful of GL female regulars you were. Right now, I dream of Genie with the light brown hair. But I'll need another clue: did you shave your underarms?


:? That's a very strange and kind of creepy question.

I was only a regular member for one year. In 1973.

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Postby Huckleby » Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:36 pm

No sense of humor. Well, that narrows the field somewhat.....


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