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AADL Talks To: Jim Forrester, Former Activist and Founder, Partners Press, Inc.

Jim Forrester
Jim Forrester, October 2019 (Photo by Ginia Forrester)

In this episode, AADL Talks To Jim Forrester. Jim came to the University of Michigan as a student in 1966 and he has lived in Ann Arbor ever since, retiring after running a successful printing business for 30 years. As a student, Jim wrote for the Michigan Daily, participated in anti-war protests, and was involved with both the Students for a Democratic Society and Ann Arbor's Human Rights Party. Jim reflects on this period in Ann Arbor history and discusses some of the changes he's witnessed at the city and county level over the past five decades.

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AADL Talks To: Elmo Morales, owner of Elmo's T-Shirts

Elmo Morales, 1990
Elmo Morales at his store on Main street, 1990. (Photo by Grover Sanschagrin)

In this episode, AADL Talks with Elmo Morales, owner of Elmo’s T-shirts, currently at 17 Nickels Arcade and previously at a long-time storefront on Main Street. Elmo came to the University of Michigan in 1964 on a track scholarship and has lived here ever since. He recalls his time at U-M; his 30-year career as a physical education instructor with the Ann Arbor Public Schools; how he helped start the Ann Arbor Track Club and turn the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run into a popular community event; and some of his other business ventures over the years.

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AADL Talks To: Sara Billmann, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, University Musical Society

Sara Billman
Sara Billmann 

In this episode, AADL Talks to Sara Billmann. Sara is Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the University Musical Society (UMS). She talks with us about how she got started at UMS and how her work has evolved as programming and marketing strategies have changed over the years. Sara remembers some of the stand-out performances she's helped bring to Ann Arbor stages and the people and events that shaped her career.

 

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AADL Talks To: Maren and Jeff Jackson, Owners of Seva

Maren and Jeff Jackson, February 2024In this episode, AADL Talks To Maren and Jeff Jackson, the owners of Seva. In 2023, the vegetarian restaurant celebrated its 50th anniversary. It was first opened in 1973 at 314 East Liberty Street by Steve Bellock, and purchased by Maren and Jeff Jackson in 1997. Maren and Jeff talk about Seva’s early history, from its beginning as a vegetarian restaurant amidst other countercultural businesses and organizations, through its menu changes and other transitions over the years. 

 

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AADL Talks To: Ken Burns, Documentary Filmmaker

Ken Burns, 1967 and 1995
Ken Burns. Left, September 1967, photo by Eck Stanger, Ann Arbor News. Right, March 1995, photo by Doug Elliard.

In this episode, AADL Talks To Ken Burns. Ken is a documentary filmmaker known for his critically acclaimed films exploring all facets of American culture. Ken reflects on growing up and coming of age in Ann Arbor during the 1960s, and how this period of intense political and cultural activity mixed with family tragedy charted his journey. He takes us down the streets we remember -- past restaurants and theaters that have come and gone -- and through a back alleyway during the 1969 South University Street Riot. Along the way, he highlights the people, places, and vibrant musical and cinema culture that left its mark on his work.

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AADL Talks To: Francis Blouin

Francis Blouin
Francis Blouin

In this episode, AADL Talks To Francis Blouin. Francis joined the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library in 1974 and was director for over 30 years. Francis shares his memories of working at the Bentley, some of the special acquisitions and projects he oversaw during his tenure, and he discusses the many transitions he witnessed in the archives field.

Francis is Professor Emeritus in the History Department at the University of Michigan.

Historical articles and photos about the Bentley Historical Library.

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AADL Talks To: Robin and Jamie Agnew

In this episode, AADL Talks To Robin and Jamie Agnew, owners of Aunt Agatha’s, their specialty mystery bookstore. The business began in Ann Arbor in 1992, and operated as a brick and mortar for 26 years before moving online in August 2018. Robin and Jamie talk about their experiences working in the store, their favorite memories here in town, and discuss some of the changes in the mystery book genre and bookselling business over the years.

Find more about Aunt Agatha's in our archival collections.

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AADL Talks To: Marc and Jeff Taras

Marc Taras smiles at the camera over his shoulder while holding a vinyl record. Two men are seen looking through records in crates in the background.
Marc Taras, 1981

In this episode, AADL talks to Marc and Jeff Taras, brothers and founders of PJ’s Used Records. Marc and Jeff tell us about the origin of the store, how they've managed to maintain a close relationship despite being in business together, and the customers who meant so much to them. For 37 years the store survived the rise and fall in popularity of genres and formats, including witnessing the foretold death of vinyl only for it to surge in popularity again.

Find more about PJ's Used Records in our archival collections.

Advertisement for PJ's Records & Used CDs. A man in a suit holds a sign with a line graph that says "you buy one tape, LP or CD per week and we'll have this economy moving' in no time!" A woman and man look at the sign.
Advertisement for PJ's Records & Used CDs, 1997

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AADL Talks To: Earl Jackson

Earl Jackson, 1997In this episode, AADL Talks To Earl Jackson. Earl talks about his time growing up in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, from his early years to his work at Borders Books and Music where he worked as a framer to the evolution of his career in the visual arts. He also discusses some of the organizations and people who inspired and mentored him, and reflects on the changes in themes and style in his work.

Historical photos and articles about Earl Jackson

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AADL Talks To: Peter Yates

Peter Yates
Peter Yates

Peter is a professional photographer who started as a street photographer in New York and went on to work for national magazines and newspapers shortly after moving to Ann Arbor in 1969.

Peter reminisces about some of his memorable photography assignments; the restaurants and music venues he misses; the friends and colleagues who helped him; and his time working in Ann Arbor -- at Mark's Coffeehouse, the Blind Pig, and the Ann Arbor Observer.

Browse our Peter Yates Collection