Brothers Nate and Barney Dalitz bought Tenny out in 1924. Nate's son Morrie first saw it that fall, when his parents picked him up from summer camp and told him that they had bought the laundry and moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor.

In Ann Arbor, the elder Dalitz opened Varsity Laundry, which catered to University of Michigan students. It was in these surroundings that Moe expanded his youthful associations not only with the collegiate crowd, but with members and associates of Detroit's notorious Purple Gang.