All I Want For Christmas Is A Bill Curry/Ray Reeve Tape
In one of my previous articles, I believe I mentioned that Ben Sherman ( uncbasketball.com ) and I were trying to locate tapes of Bill Currie and/or Ray Reeve. We have made no reports because there wasn't anything to report until today.
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from the grandson of A.J. Fletcher who owned WRAL ( Capitol Broadcasting Co. ) when he was alive. He said he enjoyed reading the article on " A Conversation With Bill Currie" and indicated he would be willing to provide me with more information at a later date regarding the relationship between Capitol Broadcasting and UNC if I was interested. You can bet your bottom dollar that I told him I was interested and we plan to communicate on this subject in the near future, While exchanging e-mails, I told him about the fact that his grandfather had personally loaned me and my wife money in the late 50's so my wife could return to and compete her nurse's training. The grandson explained that he and his grandfather had been very close and this seemed to please him very much.
I explained to the grandson that we were trying to locate some Bill Currie tapes to play on the web site and asked him if could possibly assist us in this endeavor. He gave me the name of a lady at Capitol Broadcasting and instructed me to contact her, mention his name and see if she could point me in the right direction.
That telephone call was made this morning and I'm happy to report that we have some promise of locating one Ray Reeve tape that she says she has somewhere at home. I told her what I was trying to do and she agreed to try and locate the tape and be back in touch with me. She said that all the Curry/Reeve tapes they had in their archives were inadvertently destroyed several years ago when they employed a young man to "straighten out" the archives. Boy, did he ever straighten them out.
She did say, however, that the tape she has is one that was sent to Mrs. Reeve several years ago and had been made off the radio in a country store somewhere. She says you can hear the cash register ring in the background. She said the sports department at WRAL has informed her the game is with South Carolina, but she is not sure what year. If we get the tape, I don't think we will have any trouble determining what year it was. She promised if she can locate the tape, she will send it to me for copying and if that occurs, my web master tells me he can put it on the web site. I don't know if or when this will happen but am hopeful. I'll try to keep you posted..
The lady also told me some things about Bill Currie that I didn't know. He is or at least was a lay preacher and when I told her the story about Tom McMillan and the "pornies", she chuckled. She said she thought it was somewhat ironic that BC preached and then would write and talk as he did. She mentioned traveling with BC on the plane to and from the games and I got her drift. I did not pursue the matter further.
Another thing she told me was that BC had a life long obsession with the "innocence" of a notorious prisoner in North Carolina with whom I had an exposure when I was employed at Central Prison in Raleigh. Youngsters won't remember the name Frank Wetzel, but those around in the late 50's might. I know I do. He was convicted of killing 3 N.C. Highway Patrolmen and was given 3 life sentences for these crimes My job at Central Prison was to interview newly admitted inmates and make various recommendations for custody, physical assignment, etc. In the two years that I was at Central Prison, I interviewed approximately 2500 newly convicted felons who were being processed into the Prison Department. Of all the inmates I interviewed, Frank Wetzel was the only one whose intelligence score went off the chart. He was intelligent, but I wouldn't put it beyond him to influence our testing technician to give him an inflated score. At that time, the testing technicians as well as most of the rest of the clerical personnel in the Reception Center were inmates. My former boss told me years later that when Wetzel tried to escape several years ago that I had warned them but they didn't listen. He was charming to say the least. I could never get over the fact that females who were total strangers to FW would visit him on Visiting Day and bring him cigarettes. The first day he was allowed on the "back yard" and could mingle with the other inmates, they gathered around him like he was a celebrity.
There was some doubt as to his guilt, but a jury had convicted him and it was my job to process him. He never admitted his guilt, but the fact that he received life sentences rather than the death penalty indicates there was some doubt in the minds of the jurors. Can you imagine someone being convicted of murdering 3 law enforcement officers in North Carolina not getting the death penalty even today?. Anyhow, BC didn't think he was guilty, but I was totally unaware of this fact until today.
So there you have it. Don't know if it will pan out or not, but I feel better about the prospects today than I did yesterday..
I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and thank you for the interest you have shown in my web site over the past 2 months. We'll try to keep it fresh next year and I sincerely hope you will all stay around to see if I am successful.