Press enter after choosing selection

Landmark End Near

Landmark End Near image
Parent Issue
Copyright Protected
Rights Held By
Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

The wrecking crane is threatening another vestige of the days when Ann Arbor was still a small town- a sleepy, college town. The land on which the maize and blue Campus Smoke Shop sits has been sold. Although it has been in Jacob Eskin's family for 20 years, he believes the shop building will be leveled by the first of the new year. Undoubtedly some of his customers will be sorry to see it go. Although he still has an accent left over from the days when he grew up in Russia a half-century ago, there is little communication gap between proprietor and customer. Daily he proves that talking isn't the only form of communication. One of his regular cusitomer walks in. Wordlessly he walks over to the ancient coke machine to retrieve a solf drink for her. In turn, without a word exchange, she hands him a dime. Sometime over the years the ritual got started and neither of them ever quesüons it. Eskin has many customers, from the little lleaguers who come in to buy Tiger Buttons to the professors who piek up their daily New York Times. Theoretically Eskin's business is a smoke shop, but he readily admits "J nave a lot of junk." During World War I Eskin worked in Dunhill and Co. tobáceo shop on Fifth Ave. in New York City. "Now that was a tobáceo shop . . . they are tobacconists in the truc ense of the word! "Bvery day I think I should clean some of it (th junk) out, but I don't know where to start, so I compromise and don't do anything." Nevertheless, Eskin sells at least 50 cartons of cigarettes per week, a variety of imported and domestic smoking tobáceo and has several "grades" of Missouri Meerschaums (corn cob pipes). In addition to the junk and smokers' supplies, Eskin sells an average of 225 newspapers per day. The Ann Arbor News accounts for about 90 of them. The Smoke shop has been in the Eskin family for about 20 years. His nephews, Harry N. Eskin, a local insurance agent, and Daniel Eskin of Flint, opened the shop for her father, Max Eskin, in 1950. Max, who died about two and a half years ago, and his wife, Sarah E., operated the store through the 1950's. When Max Eskin retired he became a "silent partner" and Jacob stepped in to wait on customers ábout eight years ago. Eskin has done a lot of things and "been allí over", but he likes best to work for himself. He hadl a grocery store on State and Dewey Street during World War II. Later he worked for Ashley H.l Clague's Market on Packard St. for 13 years. "I always did like working for myself, that's what saddens me. I dan't mind working long hours and working hard, I jusi like to be my own boss." He opens up every day at 6 a.m. and usually closes] shop at 7 p.m. His dinners are eaten on the run, kindly supplied by a nearby restaurant. After hours, " I still work," he said. He gathers the unsold newspapers and tidies empty pop bottles. When he is not working, Eskin "follows sports. I've followed the Tigers ever since I came here in 1940," he said. "I was a New York Giants fan before that." He also "follows" Michigan and Ann Arbor High football, basketball, hockey and baseball. In his youth he was active in amateur sports such as track and swimming. "I'd drown now, though," he claims ________ ■ _ Probably what he likes best about Ann Arbor ís lts cultural activities. He loves to attend concerts ectures and recitals. When the smoke shop closes' he plans to take a part-time job and fill nis leisure hours with such activities. "I'm approaching the age to have time to enjoy the remaining years " His other favorite pastime in addition to workmg and sports and music is reading. Although his eyesight and hearing have failed - he calis the afflictions the "twin tragedies of age" - he enjoys browsing in the public library on Fifth Ave He normally reads the Illustrated London News 'The London fimcs and (he Manchester Guardian