4 The Daily Tar Heel Wednesday. Ortober 5, 1977
Continued from page 1 .
school, where they give him a real desk to
Hii editorials appear in the Fayetteville
Times and the Durham Morning Herald,
and he writes a regular Sunday column for
the Charlotte Observer.
During his last two years at college,
Shumaker worked as a city hall reporter for
the Durham Morning Herald "to put my
older sister through college," he says. After
that, he went to New York and took a course
in Drinking and Playgoing in New York
City, he says.
"It was at Columbia University. In fact, 1
went to classes there some. Eventually, my
Gl bill ran out so I had to go to work."
Shumaker then worked for the
Associatiated Press (AP) wire service in
Columbia. S.C., covering the state
legislature. Later he became night editor of
the AP in Charlotte, called a "strategic
bureau," and was responsible for AP
operations in both the Carolinas.
Whs it an exciting job?
"It was undoubtedly the worst job I've 1 "
ever had. 1 hardly got out of the office. I was
there for three years and consider it to be two
and a half too long.
"1 can't think of a good thing about AP.
You have"too many bosses. It was all
formula writing. You had to write it the way
it was spelled out for you to."
After his stint at AP, Shumaker went back
to the Durham Herald as the state editor and
eventually became managing editor.
This led to his editorship of the Chapel
Hill Weekly for 16 years, and in 1973 he
became a lecturer at the journalism school.
One of the most memorable occasions of
his life, Shumaker says, was meeting Billy
Graham while he was assigned to cover
Graham's first crusade in 1950.
"He had such a nice tan. Those deep
letting blue eyes and Hollywood-tailored
clothes. 1 couldn't believe it. Money for the
love offering was taken up in big washtubs.
, N !, -fx
Journalism lecturer Jim Shumaker grew a moustache to hide his identity, but some
say he sill bears a remarkable resemblance to the P. M. Shumaker of Jeff MacNelly's
cartoon strip. Staff photo by Joseph Thomas.
People were putting their money in like they
couldn't do it fast enough. -
"I thought a lot of Billy Graham then and I
still do. When I hear him being accused of
being dishonest, 1 know it's not true. If he
wanted to, he could've been a millionaire.
"He could sell anything if he wanted to
insurance, graveyard plots. . .
"When I first went in to interview him, I
thought I'd 'get' him. But he won me over
completely. Anyway, he was practicing his
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gestures in front of a full-length mirror, tape
recording his sermon and dressed to play
"He gave me a book that he autographed.
It was Calling Youth to Christ. I still have it
at home somewhere.
"But I came away totally convinced. 1 was
26 years old then and I had a healthy
skepticism about everything. People just
never forget him."
Shumaker doesn't seem to mind the fame
that MacNelly's cartoon strip has brought,
but he does voice one complaint about the
"He's got so much damn talent, it's
criminal. He hangs as loose as a goose and is
extremely fast at his work. He never seems to
be working and then there is the product.
"All I had to do was give him the tiniest
germ of an idea and he'd take off with it,
expand it and improve it. He'd put some bite
and humor in it. It's amazing that he's a
conservative and has a sense of humor too.
"He is a marvelous writer, too, as a matter
of fact. Not many people know that. He has a
good sense of humor.
"After he won the Pulitzer, a big newspaper
wanted him offered him a lot of money.
Money didn't seem to mean anything to him.
Of course, working for the Chapel Hill
Weekly was an example of that."
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SHOWS SORRY - NO PASSES
'Song of Solomon' eloquent, strong
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison is a
singing, triumphant song about black roots
in America. It makes Ralph Ellison's
pioneering The Invisible Man become
visible. It turns James Baldwin's righteous
indignation into a paean of affirmation. It
converts the racial history of Alex Haley's
Roots into mythology and poetry. In short,
Song of Solomon is the strongest and most
eloquent statement of race we have had. Its
pages soar. (Alfred A. Knopf. 337 pp. $8.95)
And who is this eloquent black author?
She was born in Lorain, Ohio in 1931, was
graduated from Howard University, got a
Master's degree from Cornell and is now an
editor at Random House. Her two earlier
novels of the black experience, The Bluest
Eye and Suta, won high praise from top
critics; and her latest novel is even better.
On the frontispiece of her book are these
words: "The fathers may soar And the
children may know their names." Song of
Solomon heralds the search of a young
American black in search of his father's roots
and the family names of his ancestors. This
search carries him from a city in M ichigan to
a rural community in Pennsylvania and then
to a cave in Virginia.
The first page of the novel heralds the
attempts of a North Carolina Mutual Life
Insurance agent to fly from the cupola of
Mercy Hospital to the other side of Lake
Superior in February, 1931, and tne birth the
next day of Macon Dead Jr., in that same
hospital, to the daughter of .a-respected
Negro doctor. '
By WALTER S PEA R1 AS
'Song of Solomon'
By Toni Morrison
Macon Dead received his name from a
drunken Union officer who wrote the
grandfather's place of birth (Macon) and his
parents (Dead) in the wrong columns. He
received his nickname, "Milkman," from the
fact that he nursed at his mother's breast
until he was tall enough for his feet to touch
the floor. His father was not only the
wealthiest black in the town but was
obsessed with owning property and
suspected that his wife, Ruth, had never
loved anyone but her own father. Milkman
felt neglected and so did his sisters,
Magdalena and Corinthians, until he was
old enough to help his father in the office.
The one place he felt loved and at home
was with his aunt, a fascinating black woman
named Pilate, who made and sold liquor,
wore her name in a gold-box earring and
had no navel. He even had his first love affair
with Pilate's granddaughter, Hagar, who
loved Milkman so obsessively that she tried
to kill him with a knife when he broke up the
Milkman's closest friend was Guitar, who
became involved with a secret society called
"The Days," dedicated to killing a white for
every black they heard about being killed by
But this is only the beginning of Song of
Solomon, which devotes most of its pages to
the trip Milkman made to Pennsylvania and
Virginia in search of the truth about his
forebears and the bones of his grandfather,
who had been a successful black landowner
and was killed for his property. Perhaps
there was even a bag of gold hidden in the
cave with his grandfather's bones, if the
family oral history was accurate.
Each person Milkman meets on his travels
adds a bit to his knowledge of his ancestors;
and finally it is a song sung by black children
at play which fills in the last bit of
information about "Jake the only son of
Solomon" and Solomon himself: "Solomon
done fly, Solomon done gone Solomon cut
across the sky, Solomon gone home."
Finding his own roots is what gives
Milkman the power to fly himself. Finding
her own black roots has given Toni
Morrison the power to fly in her novel,
which is a Book of the Month Club selection
and is serialized in Redbook.
; v 'J
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Paul Winter, left, will lead his Consort in a celebration in sound,
at 8 p.m. Friday in Memorial Hall. The show fuses classical
music with rock, jazz and folk idioms in an interesting blend,
pleasing to many tastes. Tickets are on sale for $4, at the
Carolina Union and will be available at the door.
Winter brings unique music to Memorial Hall
"A Celebration in Sound" featuring
the Paul Winter Consort will be
presented by the Carolina Union at 8
p.m. on Friday in Memorial Hall.
Tickets are $4 and are available at the
Carolina Union desk.
Winter describes his group as "a
bridge between the world of ordered
Experience for Change
CGC District 17
music, classical and symphonic, and the
world of free-form music, such as rock,
jazz and folk music. We feel equal
allegiance to African music, to Bach,
and to our own homemade songs."
Similar in approach to John
McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra,
the Winter Consort blends diverse
instruments and techniques for a unique
Paul Winter formed the Consort in
1 967, after several years touring with his
successful ensemble, the Paul Winter
"I have been fascinated fpr a long time
with the concept of the Renaissance
consorts groups which were
concerned with achieving an organic
blend of improvising and ensemble
playing," he explains.
Where the Sextet had combined
Winter's early interest in classical music
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Charlotte, N.C. 28212
with the free style of jazz, the Consort
incorporated another element the
Latin idiom, inspired by Winter's tours
of Latin America, especially Brazil.
"1 began to develop a vision of a very
different kind of instrumental group
one which would embrace those voices
and idioms I had found most
meaningful in all my experience with
jazz, symphonic music, and the ethnic
music of the countries I visited."
The current Consort features Paul
Winter on saxophone, David Darling
on cello and vocals, Robert Chappel
with keyboards and guitar, and Ben
Carriel and Tigger Benford on
percussion. The percussion instruments
range from bongoes, kettle drums, and
marimba to Balinese gongs and camel
The ensemble has performed at
Carnegie Hall, Fillmore East and
numerous college campuses. Their
recordings include The Winter Consort,
Something in the Wind, and Road.
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