Danny Yee >> Anthropology >> anthro-l >> Biographies

Mike Salovesh

I was born in Chicago in 1931, and was mostly raised there (with the
years from 3rd to 6th grade spent in Milwaukee.)  Anthropologically
speaking, all my degrees are from the U of Chicago (A.B., Social
Sciences, 56; Ph.B., Liberal Arts, 56; A.M., Anthro, 59; Ph. D., 71)
but I also attended UCal Berkely (1957-58) and a linguistics insti-
tute (Linguistic Society of America, NOT the Summer Institute of
Linguistics) at U Michigan, Ann Arbor, summer 57.   I taught at the
Chicago City Colleges (61-65), U of Minnesota (65-67), and Purdue
(67-70) before coming to Northern Illinois in 1970.  I thought I was
only going to be here four years at most.  Hah!
Research: dialect geography, Chiapas, Mexico, 58-59; same town, now
as social anthropologist (working on politics and soc org), 60-61 and
many field trips later.  Since 1982, I've been working on politics in
Central America (particularly Guatemala and Nicaragua).  Other work
was on the social world of CB radio, intergroup relations, folk music
and folk musicians, and the politics of academia.
That's a lot of me, but it just ain't all.  Before anthro, and some-
times inbetween, I've had what feels like several other lives:
Quaker/conscientious objector who enlisted in the US Army Medical
Corps in the Korean War; junior pharmaceutical chemist (Armour Labs)
and quality control food chemist (Wilson & Co.); junior accountant
and customer service rep, Texaco Regional Credit Card Office; piano
player and folk singer for money (but too diffident to call myself a
one-time pro musician); traffic director for a small auto parts fac-
tory; traveling salesman; bookstore part-owner; manager, tire and
muffler store; day laborer; Post Office worker (loading sacked mail
on and off Railway Post Offices); part of the gang that founded the
Second City back in the 50's; victim of an FBI Cointelpro operation
in 68-70; other stuff.  The first job I ever held (at 14) was as an
operating room orderly, Michael Reese Hospital, which was a helluva
way for a boy to learn about female anatomy.  (That was 1945, and a
14 year old could get a work permit in the summer because all the
able-bodied men were off to war, one way or another.  OR orderly was
just not thought of as a job a woman could do, for some reason.)

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