Lansing State Journal from Lansing, Michigan on February 26, 1989 · Page 4
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Lansing State Journal from Lansing, Michigan · Page 4

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Lansing, Michigan
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 26, 1989
Page:
Page 4
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Ration World Lansing State Journal D Sunday, Feb. 26, 1989 - .. , 4A Drummond fia . '. His back bent from curvature of the spine, the 5-foot-10-inch man was forced into a permanent stoop. His gray eyes darting below the brim of his battered fedora, his face cloaked by a dirty beard and straggly hair, Howard Drummond wanted little to do with the world. He left his fourth-floor room at the YMCA daily before 7 a.m. and hobbled down to Pico De Plata, often beating employees to the door. "He had to have everything special, his own way," Doug Cole said. Cole works at the restaurant andN saw Drummond every day for the three or more years he was in Lansing. The breakfast was the same every morning: scrambled eggs, ham, hash browns and toast. And there were the little things he required: two packets of ketchup, one package of salt, one of pepper, a plastic fork and a plastic knife. "Once in a while, if we weren't watching the counter, he'd grab a bunch of forks and stuff them in his coat," Cole said. "We'd know where they went and we'd go to him and say, 'Howard, we're not going to make you give them back, but you can't be doing that.' " No one wanted to reach into Drummond's coat, or even get too close. He bathed infrequently and apparently never washed his clothes. He stank with an odor that forced even the friendliest soul to back way off. "People would complain about him," Cole said. By 8 a.m., Drummond would be on the move again, this time to the Federal .Building on West Allegan Street. A former postal worker, he -kept a postal box there and seemed to enjoy the marbled halls and company of other postal workers. His first stop was Joy's Snack Bar, across the hall from the U.S. Postal Service. , "I couldn't let him sit in here. I felt bad," Joy Osmar said. "I knew I would lose some of my business." Drummon didn't seem to mind too much. He spent 70 cents each day on two newspapers, The New York Times and The Detroit News, which he would read page by page, concentrating on the stock tables. Then he'd buy two or three 80-cent cheese bagels and a 65-cent can of Orange Crush. Across the hall in the post office, too.Drummond was a regular visitor "It looked like he came right out of the 1930s," said Vern Wright, who works there. "And that old hat he wore must have been 30 years old. He was trying to wear it out - "He didn't have to look like that. He wanted to." The postal workers always suspected Drummond had money somewhere. There was the mail from banks, and the large number of subscriptions to publications V- r j - - ' , , , j Lansing State JournalGREG DeRUITER State-appointed lawyer Paul Rosenbaum holds some of the things found in Howard Drummond's room at the YMCA: magazines and a daily diary of on-the-hour new stories from radio stations across the country. Drummond subscribed to Psychology Today. like Psychology Today, The Saturday Evening Post and Foreign . - Affairs. And then there were the money orders. , "Each month he came in and bought 10 $10 money orders and . mailed them off by certified mail, as he did most of his mail," Wright said. "But he would not spend the 90 cents required for a certified mail receipt. Then, in a week or so, he would come back and complain that he had not received his receipt for certified mail and have the post office run a check." "He was cheap." Even when the' workers got to gether and gave Drummond a suit and other clothes, he never wore them. If asked about his life, his family or his home, he'd mumble and shuffle out the door towards the YMCA. After Drummond's death on Jan. 28, Rosenbaum went to Drummond's room to begin sifting through his belongings. The stench drove him out "It was unbelievable," he said. Inside were hundreds of pairs of used shoe, laces, three worn suits, eight pairs of shoes, 50 pairs of white socks and an entire drawer full of news clippings and pictures of Princess Diana of England. "He was fascinated with her," Rosenbaum said. And then there were notebooks - A pile of 6-by-9-inch notebooks filled with hourly notations telling what was the top news story on which radio station on what day. For years. Though he demanded little of humanity, Drummond did want some respect. He expected the banks he filled with his cash to recognize him with Christmas cards and calendars and pointedly chastised those who didn't. 1988 was apparently a bad year. Found scribbled on the envelope of a 1988 Christmas card was this: "The only one I received this year." The room, the money and the odd story of Howard Drummond has Rosenbaum intrigued. '- "I almost feel like I know him, but nobody knew him," Rosenbaum said. A lot of people wanted to know more about Howard Thomas Drummond while he was still alive. But Drummond didn't cooperate. ' "What I could tell from talking . to him, was he was not the usual resident of the Y," said Dr. Martin Jones, the staff physician at Sparrow Hospital who cared for Drummond in his last weeks. "It was. interesting. Why was he in Lansing?" No one will ever really know. But Drummond's story is one of a man who collected money like others collect stamps. He hoarded his loot like a man who had known hardship and didn't want it repeated. His life story is remarkable only in its lack of any close ties to people other than his mother. Howard as he was known on the streets and in the YMCAs of a half-dozen states would have been 78 years old Monday. He was born Feb. 27 in Houston, Texas to John T. Drummond, a carpenter for the Southern Pacific railroad, and Westelle Rosalie Howard. According to some brief histories Howard recorded himself, he was an only child in an impoverished family. By 1915, his father had moved them to Los Angeles, then went off to Denver and died. Why in Denver isn't clear, but Drummond would go there himself in later years to live in the YMCA. By 1929, with his mother working as a laundress in Pasadena, Calif., Drummond had graduated from high school and began work ing in a bank. In 1942, he was drafted by the U.S. Army and served as a clerk-typist in California and Nevada until 1946, when he was honorably discharged. i Then it was back to the bank. Among Drummond's things was a photo of his mother in her coffin, the lid open. On the back he noted who took the photo and the date of her death. It was 1952, she was 80 and Drummond was alone. In 1956, Drummond was fired from his job at the bank. His notes say a Chester Lincoln fired him because Drummond "stole scotch tape and miscl. clerical items from bank." He immediately joined the U.S. Postal Service and remained in Pasadena until he retired in 1973. In Denver, Drummond took Room 538 at the YMCA and stayed there until 1981, working in the membership office. For unknown reasons, he left in 1981 and began moving up and down the East Coast, from YMCA to YMCA, opening up bank accounts along the way. In Denver he had $67,074.57 when he died. In Boston, more than $23,000. By the time he died last month, he was earning more than $20,000 per year in interest and government pensions. On Jan. 3, Drummond didn't pick up his New York Times at Joy's Snack Bar. "I had a fit. That man came in every day," Osmar said. Inquiries at the YMCA turned up nothing. It wasn't until the next day, Jan. 4, that they found Drummond. He had had a stroke. He lay on the floor of his room, partially paralyzed, soaked in vomit and urine. "If he hadn't have been found, within one day he would have died of malnutrition or starvation," Dr. Jones said. At Sparrow Hospital, nobody knew who Drummond was at first. The YMCA finally found his identification. Over the next 23 days, he would get better, then worse, until a second stroke and a heart attack killed Jiim. Nobody had come to see him. Francis Dodge always tried to help Drummond. With her job at the post office, she frequently saw him. She tried to find out about his personal life, but he would never let her in. When Drummond finally was buried Feb. 6 at Mount Hope Cemetery, Francis Dodge was the only one at his funeral. Like everyone who met him, she didn't understand his self-imposed exile. "Everybody wants to get away, to be alone, to collect your thoughts for a few hours, or maybe a day, but not forever. : "All's I know is I felt really sorry for him." Duke's prediction comes true: IHlis backers speak up By LINDA ASHTON Associated Press BATON ROUGE, La. Calls came from people as far away as 300 miles and their instructions to Louisiana legislators were ' clear: Seat David Duke in the state House. It was exactly as the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan had predicted during his campaign. His anti-tax, anti-affirmative action, anti-welfare message was out of the bag and his backers were speaking up all over the state. "My election, my winning it with my controversial background, has made it OK for other candidates and other public officials to address the issues that I've addressed," Duke said. Duke, 38, was elected with a 227-vote margin over homebuilder John Treen, 63, to represent a 99.6-percent white district in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb with 21,000 registered voters. A much-talked about challenge to seating Duke fizzled when 69 of 102 legislators decided that he should be sworn in Wednesday. Louisiana's voters had gotten their point across. "My phone rang off the hook. I didn't get a single call opposing him," said state Rep. Ed Scogin, from Slidell, part of metro New Orleans. "And they said things like, 'If you don't vote to seat him, we won't vote to seat you in the next election.' " "Everybody who talked to me in my dis trict wanted me to vote to seat him," said state Rep. Carl Gunter, from Pineville, 200 miles away in central Louisiana. "I had several calls. People told me they hoped we would seat him. His people voted him in. He was a duly-elected official," said state Rep. Francis thompson of Delhi, about 300 miles away in northern Louisiana. - Duke left the Klan in 1980 and formed his own organization, the National Association for the Advancement of White People, which he calls a civil rights group. His 1988 run for president, first as a Democrat and then on the Populist Party ticket, earned him little more than a paragraph or two in stories on those "other" candidates in the presidential race. But his decision to run as a Republican in the House district primary in January, and his surprise lead among seven candidates, brought international opposition and uncommon attention to the candidate. ; And the national GOP feared a Duke victory would tarnisjh its image, especially among blacks. Suddenly, the political process was seasoned just the way Louisiana likes it piquant. The Republicans rushed endorsements for Treen from President Bush and former President Reagan. Duke charged outside interference and said 15- and 20-year-old photos showing him in Klan robes or a Nazi uniform were "tomorrow's crawfish wrap' Now, armed with a state representative's credibility, Duke is speaking up. "You're going to find ... a repetition of what I've done all over the United States. Only it's going to be people more identified with the mainstream and that to me signifies a tremendous shift. "In terms of civil rights, affirmative action and minority set-asides, they've gone as far as they can and now you're going to have people demand civil rights for everyone, white or black. "That's what this election has symbolized. I think that's why a lot of minority racist groups have opposed it and have been so alarmed by it all." gl STATE OF MICHIGAN. PROBATE COURT. COUNTY OF INGHAM. PUBLICATION AND NOTICE OF HEARING. In the matter of Bobby Roberts, a minor. To: Dexter Brown (father), whose address is unknown and whose interest in this matter may be barred or affected by the following. TAKE NOTICE: On March 2. 1989 at 11:00 a.m., in the probate courtroom. 303 W. Kalamazoo. Lansing, Michigan, before Hon. R. George Economy Judge of Probate, a hearing will be held on the petition of Susan Smith, said petition request's that the Probate Judge appoint Janet Hunt as guardian of Ted B. Smith. Petitioner Debra Roberts. 380 Merrill. 2-50 CORRECTION The $899.99 Vendex HeadStart computer advertised in this week's sale section is not available. We will substitute the $999.99 Vendex HeadStart II computer, which is more powerful and has more features. This model can be ordered via rainchecks thru March 3, 1989 at this $899.99 price and will arrive in stores by March 5. In addition, the sofa groups advertised on page 6 of today's section are incorrectly described as "Sleeper Groups". H i We apologize J': for any inconvenience . to our customers. Montgomery Ward ' ' mem I J PkB95 gm f SWingFtw $42.95 Value NOW ONLY 42 Portrait Package: 1-10x13, 2-8x10s,3-5x7s, 15 wallets, 9 New Mini-Portraits and 12 All-Occasion Caption Portraits Right now for only $14.95 you can get 42 professional portraits including a 10x13 and 12 All-Occasion Caption Portraits (ust apply your choice of 30 messages). There's no appointment necessary and K mart welcomes babies, children, adults and groups. 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From tAMS Advanced Management Systems And if you buy more than one qualifying system, the rebate amounts can be combined and applied to the purchase of one or more peripherals. So, the more systems you buy, Ihe greater the savings from Apple. It's simple. Buy a qualifying Apple system, add on a peripheral, and Apple sends you a checL What better way to get everything you need all in one trip. See us today for further details about Apple Pays Half, going on nght now through March 31st. , us' 2160 Grand River Ave., Suite 1 Okemos, MI 48864 (517) 349-9540 9:30-6 p.m. M-W. 9:30-8 p.m. Th-Fri.. 9:30-5 p.m. Sat. . u ri Tic A rrwv1,Trm rl th -ArrJP Hair Pnvram CuuidmeS OUOitabie Hi WUTOUlCtllfd Affif mmi. ijfnmmnantaonsmm. jwrnwi iwmyuy"T- ' -tt o , , , v&r.An.nfafchwIau, GtQRQ Amli CamDuUr. tnc. Axie. ifc Aj&ie logo, Atik Bo, laserVhter, eiid Macintosh an ng&ertii ttod&KBks of AQleCcileT, n- Authorized Dealer O.

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