The Clarion (University of Denver)

The University of Denver student newspaper, The Clarion, was a great starting point for me and was where I made the decision to pursue journalism as a career. Granted, it didn’t pay, distracted me from the rest of my homework and very few students actually read it, it didn’t matter. After seeing my first byline, I was hooked. 

 

Ice cream mogul visits campus

BY, Ashley Dickson

Fans of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream got a little taste of celebrity last week when Jerry Greenfield, co-creator of the mouth-watering franchise, visited campus to speak with business students and alumni.

Greenfield started the now famous ice cream shop with his long-time friend Ben Cohen in 1978.

With business diplomas from a $5 correspondence course and their life savings of $8,000, the two friends converted and old abandoned gas station in Burlington, Vermont into the original Ben & Jerry’s.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Now with locations all over the world, including the scoop shops on East Evans Ave. that opened in April 2004, Ben & Jerry’s has blossomed into a multi-million dollar business.

Before speaking with Daniels School of Business students, Greenfield visited the scoop shop on Evans to give out flavor samples and mingle with customers and staffers.

“Jerry was really cool,” said Laura Doty, a DU senior who scoops ice cream part-time. “He signed our shirts are gave out free ice cream. He was definitely a crowd pleaser.”

Boomer Hogoboom, general manager at the Evans location, shared similar enthusiasm regarding Greenfield’s visit to the store.

“Whenever he travels he makes a point to visit the local shops,” said Hogoboom. “It’s really a benefit to the staff to meet him in person.”

Greenfield was invited to the DU campus through the Daniels College of Business.

Lisa Mattiace, associate dead of alumni for the college, was pleased with the turnout of students who filled the Driscoll Ballroom.

“We brought Jerry here for two reasons,” said Mattiace. “We know he would be an interesting speaker for the students, and also so he could communicate the idea of corporate social responsibility.”

Greenfield’s speech focused mainly on the company’s history and the importance of running a business that gives back to the local community.

Although Greenfield has passed through Denver numerous times, this was his first visit to the University of Denver.

“This is a beautiful campus and I am impressed with the enthusiasm of the students who have shown up tonight,” said Greenfield. “I want to think (the enthusiasm) is not about the free ice cream but about me as a speaker.”

Of all the Ben & Jerry’s flavors, Cherry Garcia remains the number one choice among customers, with Chunk Monkey and Half Baked included in the Top 10.

Ever wonder what Greenfield goes for when reaching into the freezer?

“Health Bar Crunch. Always have, always will.”

 

 Flossy McGrew’s a Broadway gem

BY, Ashley Dickson

It’s one of the most notable store fronts on Broadway.

With silver plastic skulls, and spider web encased coffins, it looks like something out of a horror movie, and that is just how owner Sue Gustafson likes it.

Walking into Flossie McGrew’s is like walking into a museum. Skeletons can be found dangling from the ceiling and bright magenta wigs adorn part of the wall space.

What started out as used clothing an antique store now bears no resemblance to the conventional local business.

“I wanted it to be a yuppie goodwill” said Gustafson, “We had nice used clothing and then some ugly stuff that I had gotten from the Broadway Review. Turns out, everyone that came in liked the ugly stuff better, that’s when I decided we wanted nothing in here that was common.”

Now instead of catering to the yuppie crowd, Gustafson see’s an eclectic mix of people coming through her door to check out everything from costumes to deer antlers.

“Most of the people that come in always say ‘Oh man we just wanted to see what this place was,” said Gustafson.

Having owned the shop for 16 years Gustafson, who was previously in the restaurant industry, has made her mark on Broadway Ave. and is becoming quite the local celebrity.

With bright purple hair, gold teeth, and sparkling green eye shadow, she has the ability to capture anyone’s attention and recently was featured in a Denver documentary entitled Grandma Goth, directed by Deborah Hiestand.

Her fascination with all things morbid is what earned her the title of Grandma Goth, which appears almost ironic as she laughs and smiles as she stocks up inventory.

“Nothing pretty, that’s what we look for when getting things for the store,” says Gustafson as she surveys the 6,000 square foot establishment.

With a huge variety of costumes, Flossie McGrew’s caters to the party crowd which has always included a large number of college students.

“We don’t see as many DU kids as we used it,” remarked Gustafson, “they used to come down here and spend a lot, but its been slowing down recently. It (University of Denver) is getting more sophisticated”

Even though the college crowd isn’t strolling in as much as they used to, Flossie’s continues to be a hit to those who choose to seek it out. With an atmosphere that evokes lingering memories of Halloween and an owner who is as interesting as the artifacts she sells, Flossie McGrew’s is defiantly worth the trip over to Broadway.

Georgia Rule makes a mess of chick-flick cliches

BY, Ashley Dickson

Even with a cast that included big name talent like Jane Fonda, Lindsay Lohan, and Felicity Huffman, Georgia Rule still seemed to fall short of expectations.

Like every other chick flick of  the season, the movie dissects the strained relationship between mother and daughter, both seeking to find themselves.

Relocating from California to rural Idaho, daughter Rachel and mother Lily (Lohan and Huffman) seek out Grandma and her famous rules to restore some order to the chaos.

The ever-classic Jane Fonda plays a youthful looking Grandma Georgia who wastes no time snapping both mother and daughter back into shape with a super dose of tough love.

Fonda’s main mission in the film is to guide her granddaughter in the right direction, even though her relationship with her own daughter Lily is more than strained.

As always Felicity Huffman acts out the desperate housewife type character of Lily with ease, and plays a struggling alcoholic who is constantly in a business skirt suit. After a booze-filled breakdown, Lily cuts her own hair and goes through the rest of the movie with a lopsided hairdo that is almost too painful to watch on the big screen. 

In true chick-flick fashion, the male eye candy quickly emerges on the screen to combat the melodramatic tendencies of the female characters. Early on in the film audiences are introduced to a wholesome Abercrombie-looking Mormon boy who’s captivated by Rachel’s beauty but bound to his religious morals (Garrett Hedlund), and the town’s veterinarian (Dermot Mulroney), whose wife and son died in a car crash.

Even though Rachel does her best to terrorize the two men, their resistance to her sexual advances somehow magically help her find her way.

Although on the outside it appears to be a tame mother daughter movie, an R rating spices it up with some plot twists that may catch some movie patrons off guard. Through exploring mature topics such as alcoholism, child sex abuse, and divorce, Georgia Rule seems to target an older demographic than the usual Lindsay Lohan teen audience.

Like any film by Gary Marshall (Pretty Woman & Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) one would expect to dab away a few tears during a heartfelt monologue or a romantic confession, but this movie seems plagued with problems until the very last scene.

While Lohan does do a great job acting the part of the mentally unstable, sex craving teenager, some may have a hard time deciding whether to sympathize with her, or hate her.

In a time where romantic comedies are a dime a dozen, Georgia Rule fails to make the $9 ticket price seem worth it. With an uneven balance of comedy and drama, the film’s star credit list seems to be the only thing keeping it afloat in the sea of early summer blockbusters.

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