WSU Bookstore Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Edit Profile

Tribes of the Corridor Discussion » General Discussion » WSU Bookstore « Previous Next »

Author Message
Charley LaCombe
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2004 - 10:54 pm:   

Hello everybody--
I just discovered this site today while googling names. This is a great place! After just a few minutes of looking around here and there I've already found a bunch of names of people I know.

I worked at the WSU Bookstore from 71-86, and lived on W. Forest between Cass and Second from 78-85. I loved my time at the bookstore and made many lifelong friends there. I finally left a couple of years after the university leased the store to Barnes and Noble, who proceeded to drive off all of the old crowd who actually loved books and the book business.

Several years ago, at the wedding of two of the old bookstore crowd--Bob Auerbach and Jane Wicke--the idea came up to have a bookstore reunion. I have kept up with a lot of the people I worked with there, and I took that idea and ran with it. I contacted a bunch of people, and following tips and leads, found a bunch more. We established a running date of the last Saturday in June and a standing location of the Circa 1890 Saloon--our old haunt. Using whatever combination of street addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers that I had; I either mailed or spoke to dozens of people, and the first reunion took place in 2001, and it has been an annual event ever since. My bookstore address book, which started out at between 30-40 names, has now grown to almost 80. Not all of these people lived in the corridor, but many did. Many of the people no longer live nearby, and several live overseas. This limits attendance at the reunions, but even so, the guest book shows between 22-32 names for each of the four years we've had the reunion so far. The furthest anyone has come so far to get to a reunion is Nancy Rutkowski from Bloomington, Indiana. It turned out the old Big Rapids crowd--which she was also associated with--had a reunion the same day as ours. Theirs started a bit earlier and overlapped ours, so she drove up and came to both reunions.

Here, off the top of my head, are some names of people that others perusing this site may know...John Coffey, Dave Hill, Tom Hire, Claudia Ganem, Bill Dion, Deanna Storey, Carmen Leslie, Mike Leslie, Maureen (Bailey) Lehman, Jim McClear, Cathy (Coyro) Sullivan, Marie Lemenu, Chris Myers. I've seen Bob Sestok's name mentioned here already. I remember Bob from his short time at the bookstore, and also from when he later painted a mural on the outside wall of a pipe warehouse in southwest Detroit where my dad was the accountant. I work in southwest Detroit now, and that mural is still there. The wall around it was recently painted, but in an amazing display of sensitivity by a company, they left the mural intact.

Anyway, I ramble as usual. As I said before, I just got here and haven't had much chance to pick up the atmosphere of this site yet.

I'm just wondering if it would be appropriate to ask if it's possible to create a "WSU Bookstore Tribe" forum? Of the ca. 80 names I have, almost half have email addresses. We do not at present have a forum like this to meet in, and I think it could be a lively forum that would produce contributions to many of the existing forums. I'd prefer not to leave my email address here--at least not yet. If a forum moderator could post something here about my comments and let me know about the lay of the land, I'd appreciate it.

Posted on Friday, January 14, 2005 - 2:37 am:   

I worked with Dave Hill at the Bookstore Annex in '74 or so. I worked in shipping/receiving with Mike Piotrasch (now in San Leandro, Ca).
I think our manager was named Jack --- Italian last name but I can't recall it. Dave was in supplies or at the art counter IIRC. He used to have some great parties, including one with a pie fight!

I ran into Dave somewhere in the early 90s I think. I'm not sure, but I think he was still around the neighborhood at that time.

I think I remember Deanna (she was in the acct. office with Mary wasn't she?) I think I ran into her even after the move the the super-store on 2nd. A few of the other names look familiar, but geez it's been a long time.

I can put you in contact with Piotrasch if you want.

Charley LaCombe
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 9:38 pm:   

I haven't been on the site in a long time, but having just sent out the emails and paper notices about this year's annual WSU Bookstore Reunion (the fifth) reminded me to check in and see what's going on.

George, I think I remember you...does your last name start with "H"? The Jack you mentioned is a former roommate of mine. His last name is Poma. I lost track of him, but I know he got his RN and I think he may be at Beaumont. Dave Hill still has great parties--he held his 30th Annual Academy Awards Party this year. His collection of old photos is great. If you see this post, yes, I would be interested in getting in touch with Mike Piotrasch. He is only in one picture that I's in the backroom of the Branch Bookstore down by the Circa. I took it standing on a table looking down at Dave Hill and Mike among the bookshelves. I think that Mike also briefly bowled with me, Jack, and Cliff Zaydel on a summer league team around 1973, but I'm not sure. You mentioned Deanna...she usually comes to the bookstore reunions. You also mentioned a Mary. I'm not sure who that is, but I think it might be Mary McHenney. I do not have any contact info for her. My mailing list this year is up to 75 names. At this point, I've only been able to find one or two additional people every year, and 20-30 make it to the reunion.

For anyone who sees this post and used to work at the WSU Bookstore, our reunion will be on Saturday, June 25 at the Circa, starting at 6:00 p.m. Come if you can, or call us at the Circa that night. We'll be in the side room. There is no RSVP, no buffet, no anything but a bunch of people. We all just order food if we want to eat, and drinks if we want to drink.
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 7:05 pm:   

Charley, yes I'm that George. I have Piotrasch's email, so email me at and I can send it to you. He lives in California now (as I did for several yrs), but I hear he may be visiting very soon.

I think that WAS Mary's last name. IIRC, she was red-haired, and lived on 4th St.

I'm not sure I can make the reunion as I'm working early on Sunday morn, but say "hey" to all who remember me.
Charley LaCombe
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 7:06 pm:   

I'll be emailing you as soon as I'm done here!
Chuck Winkler
Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 2:00 pm:   

So we do have a home on the web!! Anyone else remember working during the 67 riots and the big basement warehouse fire after the move into Mack Hall? I'm a 67-71 Main Bookstore veteran. Never thought I'd be a member of a tribe...
Angela DiSante
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 6:14 am:   

I think the Mary you mention is Mary McKinney. She is still married to Michael Krueger and they live in Ferndale. I use to live on 4th Street, so I was her neighbor. I'm an old friend of Chuck Winkler's - so I know a few people from the bookstore, mostly through him.
Charles Cedric Jones
Posted on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 - 3:05 pm:   

Hello Charly,

My name is Charles Cedric Jones. I was not a part of the crowd that your blog referes to,however, I beleive I know Carmen Leslie. She was like a sister to me and my brothers growing up and last night I had a dream about her, remebered what she meant to us and decided to google her name. If you know how to get in touch with Carmen, I would be very greatful. There are some things that has happend over the years that I would like to share with her. My nick name growing up was CD Jones, and Carmen will know who I am. So hopfully I will hear back from you. Thanking you in advance, Go Tigers. Ps. I noticed that you said that many of your old friends live overseas, well so do I, I have been in Germany for over twenty years now, however cooincidently, I do have a very good freind who is still on the WSU staff, her name is Marianka (Haynes) Halloway and she is the Academic Services Officer, Department of Criminal Justice at WSU.

Take care Charly and thanks again.
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 1:01 am:   


Have you ever run into my old WSU pal Earl Bostic? He moved to Germany in the early 70s and has been there ever since. He's based in Berlin and is a fulltime musician (bass). BTW, I knew Carmen but haven't seen her in ages.
Jack McCabe
Posted on Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 7:30 am:   

Looking for Mike Piotrasch. I served with Mike in Vietnam and have been looking for him for many years. Can anyone help?
Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 11:13 am:   

I remember the very first time I heard of you and your music. It was Little Rock AR many years ago.I've been hokoed ever since. I wish I could tell you how much your music ministered to me. I did not grow up knowing what Christian music was and by the time I was in my early 30 s I was desperate for it. Your songs and through Beth's teachings showed me Jesus. I won't ever ever forget that. Lives are truly changed through your music.Blessings~Fran

Add Your Message Here
Username: Posting Information:
This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration