Old Football Programs

Several years ago, I received a telephone call from an antiques dealer here in Richmond. He said someone had told him that I was a UNC grad and asked if that was the case. I replied in the affirmative not knowing why in the world he was asking me this question. He went on to explain that he had just purchased a box full of old football programs, all of which involved UNC and asked if I was interested in seeing them before he put them on sale to the public. You can imagine what my response was.

I went to his place of business and he had a box that contained approximately 100 football programs all of which were for games that involved UNC. Some were in Kenan but others were for the UVA games in Charlottesville. The covers were very colorful and most of them were in excellent shape with the exception of notes the owner had written to himself regarding the game. The notes were written with an ink pen and, in some instances, right across the front of the program which destroyed the aesthetics of the cover. In each instance, the owner had drawn a box for the four quarters and had filled in the scoring for each of the quarters. The oldest program was 1923 and I think they ran into the fifties. I asked what he wanted for the box and he gave me a figure which was a little more than I wanted to pay. It seemed like right much money at the time but would be considered insignificant today. I told him I didn't want to pay his price an he said for me to get the ones I wanted and we would talk again. I pulled the 7 oldest with no markings out plus the 1940 University of Richmond program which we lost 13-14. I knew I could resell that program to one of my UR friends and probably recoup the cost of the others. The price he quoted this time was reasonable and I bought the reduced number of programs. I sold the UR program to a friend who donated it to the University of Richmond and I am told that it is now on display at the Robins Center. the home court for the UR Spiders. I have had the others framed and they are mounted on the stairwell in my home. One of the programs was for the year of 1930 and the one program was good for the entire year at a cost of 25 cents. There is a copy of this program in the display case in the new football program. One of the ads that held a particular interest for me was one that said "Carolina fans-win or lose, enjoy dining and dancing at the Carolina Pines Supper Club in Raleigh featuring Jack Wardlaw and his orchestra. When I lived in Durham from 1967-1971, I played in a musical group headed by Mr. Wardlaw who was still playing a mean tenor banjo and I understand still plays occasionally in the Raleigh area. I found out later that the antiques deal sold the remaining programs to another dealer from North Carolina so you might see them someday at a flea market or antiques shop. If you do you will enjoy some of the notes written on the programs such as "I lost $5 on this one to Sam B" or "So and so looked good in the first half but didn't do diddly in the 2nd half" I forgot to mention that the UNC-UVA game is Charlottesville was usually played over the Thanksgiving weekend and was preceded by a formal dance attended by the Governor's from both states. I don't know if the same thing happened when the game was played in Chapel Hill but I'm inclined to think that it did. The UNC-UVA was REALLY big back then. Chartered trains, etc. One thing I am trying to research at the moment is whether the train tracks ever ran by what is now the Carolina Inn. I have been told that they did and that the chartered train from Virginia would pull right up to that location and let the passengers walk to the stadium. I believe they still do this at LSU with the chartered train coming from New Orleans.

Thanks for putting up with one of the "old timers" yarns again.