Goose Bumps And/Or Lump In The Throat
Until recently, I thought I was the only person on the planet to get emotional when I hear the Charles Kuralt line about Carolina during basketball games. A thread on another site has convinced me otherwise, some saying they get goose bumps and others a lump in their throat each time they hear it. I might take it one level further because I have been known to get teary eyed when airs. It just seems like the perfect description of what it means to be a Tar Heel alum, but what else would I expect from Mr. Kuralt. I felt a personal sense of loss when he passed even though I had never met him in person. I spent many Sunday Mornings with him and I always looked forward to visiting with him. Mr. Kuralt and I were at Carolina at the same time so we must have been about the same age. I used to tell people that we were about the same age but our hair had responded differently to the aging process. His fell out and mine turned snow white. One of the posters said the students recite his lines with him when it is played in the Dean Dome before basketball games. That touches me about as much as does the fact that the women's soccer team plays "In My Mind, I'm Going to Carolina" before their soccer matches on a personal cassette player.
The Chapel Hill thing has always defied definition for me. I feel it but I have felt so inadequate when trying to explain it to others. I usually wind up showing them some books with photographs of UNC or saying something like " You just have to have been there to understand".
One of my best friends, who is a half way UVA fan, said to me recently that he didn't know what it was about Carolina and Chapel Hill but something was different because everyone he had ever met who went to UNC spoke so highly of it. He even said to me, somewhat in jest, I think, that he thought I was having a love affair with Carolina. I've never heard it put that way before, but he just might be right.
I thought it might be interesting to reprint more of what Charles Kuralt said on that memorable October night in 1993. I wasn't there, but I am told the occasion was in Kenan Stadium and, unless I am mistaken, the President of our country was in attendance. Sure wish I had been there for CK's speech, not because the President was there. A portion of what was said follows:
"We are Tar Heels born and Tar Heels bred....and we are glad to be alive on the 200th anniversary of the establishment of public higher education in the new world....and immensely proud that this occurred on Oct. 12, 1793 on the crest of New Hope Chapel Hill.
What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls....or the crisp October nights...or the memory of the dogwoods blooming.
Our loyalty is not only to William Richardson Davie, though we are proud of what he did 200 years ago today...nor even to Dean Smith, though we are proud of what he did in March.
No, our love for this place is based on the fact that it is, as it was meant to be, the University of the people.
No wonder I don't understand when people are afforded an opportunity to attend UNC but, for various reasons, attend college elsewhere. They won't have to worry about goose bumps, lumps in their throats, and certainly not tears in their eyes.
Hark the Sound.