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Thursday October 23, 2014
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Elmo's Hideaway

 

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friends, including a teenage Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then still known as Lew Alcindor).

The Hideaway isn't fancy-it's essentially a long, narrow room with a serving counter, a stage, and a back room. But Morales hopes small groups will use it to tap into some big dreams of their own.

Morales ran track in high school, but since his school-in a rough neighborhood near Harlem-didn't have a track, he trained running up and down the hallways. He got so good that the U-M gave him a full scholarship. He says he and then-athletic director Don Canham ended up like son and father, and he credits Canham with teaching him how to be a successful man. "I identify with Jimmy Stewart's character" George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life, Morales says. "I carved out a good life for myself."

He was Community High's gym teacher for many years, inspiring kids to be more fit. On the side he ran the T-shirt business and, with his wife, Susan, Bodies in Balance fitness-"We were the first ones to bring spinning to Ann Arbor," Morales says. "It's gentle spinning, not Nazi spinning." This spring he turned his other T-shirt shop, on East Liberty, into Arbor Annie's and Arbor Andy's, selling high-quality tie-dyed clothing and accessories by appointment only. It's "gorgeous stuff," he says-"forty-dollar, fifty-dollar tie-dyed dresses . . . the same fabric and tie dye for men, but T-shirts, dress shirts."

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