Currents Currents Editor: Katie Hoffman
Thursday, May 10, 2012 • 2B
Finding a release
Mega-fan grieves death of Beastie Boy through writing By Chris Reinoos COPY EDITOR
JOHN MENARD JR.
In 1959, business administration major John Menard Jr. started building post-frame buildings in order to pay for his UW-Eau Claire education. Three years later, he had a crew of workers and equipment, and officially founded Menards, Inc. Today, Forbes estimates Menard’s personal net worth to be $4.5 billion. That’s right, billion. The company is a well-known home improvement store based out of Eau Claire, with two stores as well as the headquarters and distribution center. Menards currently operates more than 260 stores with locations throughout the Midwest, according to their website. Forbes ranked Menard the 73rd richest man in the U.S. as of March 2012.
ANN DEVROY Ann Devroy received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from UW-Eau Claire in 1970 and went on to work at USA Today shortly after it first began. In 1985, she joined the Washington Post newsroom, where she wrote more than 2,200 stories in just seven years. Devroy was praised by co-workers and industry professionals for her work as a political reporter. Devroy died of cancer in 1997 at age 49. President Bill Clinton issued a statement that day, praising her reporting. He wrote, “... no journalist dominated and defined the White House beat with the kind of skill, shrewd analysis and gruff grace” as she did. In her honor, the Washington Post worked with Eau Claire to create a journalism fellowship awarded in her name.
T. Keith Glennan
Since hearing about the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch Friday afternoon after a fight with salivary gland cancer, I’ve been having a hard time coping with the loss. The Beastie Boys are my favorite hip-hop group of all time, and MCA was my favorite member of the trio. I ran through four Facebook statuses in about 20 minutes and shed some tears, but I didn’t know what else to do. My mom recommended I write a column about MCA, thinking it might be cathartic. It sounded like a good idea, but I don’t know if it will work. I hope it does. I didn’t grow up listening to hip-hop: I grew up listening to the Beastie Boys. I’ve since become a fan of many hip-hop artists, but the Beasties introduced me to rap. For that, I’m forever grateful to Adam “AdRock” Horovitz, Mike “Mike D” Diamond and especially MCA. My first full-length Beastie Boys album was 1998’s “Hello Nasty.” Of course, I had heard “Fight For Your Right,” “Brass Monkey” and “Sabotage” before, but “Hello Nasty” was the first time I sat down and listened to one of the group’s albums. I was hooked. I worked backward until I had all the group’s
records. I can’t count how many times I’ve listened to “Licensed To Ill,” “Paul’s Boutique,” “Check Your Head” and “Ill Communication.” When 2004’s “To the 5 Boroughs” was released, I was all caught up and devoured that album as fast as I could. Each time I listen to these records, I catch something new. And each time, I find something MCA does, a line or a delivery, and realize how great he is. I guess I have to say “how great he was” now. That sucks. His rough, gravelly delivery was so different from Ad-Rock’s and Mike D’s that everything he said stood out. But he could be so smooth, too. He was funny, charming, self-deprecating. Yauch was too talented for this to happen. Beyond his incredible ability, MCA used his platform for so many great causes. The group organized the Tibetan Freedom Concerts, with MCA — a devout Buddhist — as the main member pushing the cause. The money raised from the concerts was donated to Tibet. MCA and the rest of the group also spent much of their careers changing the perception that they were sexist party animals, largely formed after the release of “Licensed To Ill.” “Sure Shot,” a single from “Ill Communication,” featured a Yauch verse that served as the group’s first
step in changing their lyrical themes. “I wanna say a little something that’s long overdue, the disrespect to women has got to be through/To all the mothers and the sisters and wives and friends/I wanna offer my love and respect to the end.” I am thankful the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame while MCA was still alive. Although he didn’t attend the ceremony, I’m sure the induction brought him much happiness. I think this is hitting me so hard because it’s been a painful reminder of what cancer can do. Someone I love is currently fighting cancer, and I’ve been trying not to think of the worst. But MCA’s death slapped me back to the reality that cancer can defeat even the best of us. Adam Yauch’s legacy will live on through his music and the work he did throughout his amazing life. There will be countless kids in the future who discover the Beastie Boys and their dizzying creativity and incredible longevity. These same kids will hear that gravelly voice and hopefully know they’re listening to a true master of the craft of hip-hop. “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” just came on my iPod as I finish this column. Now you can have all the sleep you want, MCA. I love you, man. Thanks for everything.
This UW-Eau Claire grad boasts the title of NASA’s first administrator, serving from 1958 through 1961. After graduating from Eau Claire in the early ’20s, Glennan studied electrical engineering at Yale University and later became a studio manager of Paramount Pictures. He also joined the Columbia University Division of War Research, serving as administrator and director of the U.S. Navy’s underwater sound laboratories. During his time, NASA consisted of 8,000 employees, three research labs and an annual budget of $100 million. Chosen by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to lead the space agency, Glennan incorporated satellite programs as well as research efforts to lead to eventual space flight.
In this Sept. 10, 1998 file photograph, the Beastie Boys perform at the MTV Video Music Awards. Adam Yauch, center, died on May 4, according to Rolling Stone magazine. He was 47.
Bon Iver’s frontman might be Eau Claire’s best-known celeb, which is why he’s on this list of famous Blugolds. Graduating with a degree in religious studies and women’s studies in 2004, Vernon began a handful of local indie rock bands, including Mount Vernon and DeYarmond Edison. This year he won two Grammy awards, including Best New Artist. In his thank you speech, he gave a shout out to his hometown and current city of Eau Claire. There were even parties throughout the city and campus celebrating his wins. Vernon has collaborated and produced music for a variety of local and national acts, including Kanye West and Gayngs.
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Sona Mehring After graduating from UWEau Claire in the 1980s with a degree in computer science, Mehring spent 14 years as president of Beacon Point Technologies. In 1997, when a friend gave birth to a premature baby, Mehring started CaringBridge, a website that uses the concept of social networking to help friends and family members of seriously ill people stay informed of health progress and updates. A member of the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation, Mehring lives and works in Minnesota. She was named one of Twin Cities Business Magazine’s 200 Minnesotans You Should Know in 2010 and has won a variety of technology awards.
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Published on May 10, 2012