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Saturday July 04, 2015
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Who's a Townie?

 

continued

"One of my favorite childhood memories was the Cub Scout Carnival at Eberwhite Elementary," writes Betty Hass, now in Florida. "I loved the 'fishing' booth and these miniature loaves of bread." Posting a photo of the 1966-67 Tappan Junior High basketball team, Dave Skala asks, "Is number 41 John Murphy?"

Burns Park teacher Trevor Staples started the group, he says, "as a tongue-in-cheek way for people to discuss what it really means to be a townie." It quickly evolved "into a place where people can post and discuss things about Ann Arbor."

Born here, Staples says he considers himself a townie but says he feels like a newcomer next to people like radio host Michael Jewett, whose grandfather, George, was the University of Michigan's first black football player in 1890. "Greatest Generation" posters point out that in their day everyone identified as either 'town" or "gown." (Townies viewed the "gown" side--those connected to the university--as wealthier and more aloof.)

Staples says anyone who's a "real person" and "not a scammer" can join the group. But he does enforce two rules: (1) Post only items directly related to Ann Arbor; (2) Be nice. He'll delete attacks on local politicians, and he won't allow advertising, except for some nonprofits--he's a spokesman for the skateboard park and promotes it on the group's page.

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