Raleigh Rams Club Meeting
In many ways, the Rams Club meeting held in Raleigh on Tuesday, May 25th would have to be considered the high point of the season(s), for me at least. No athletic contest was involved, just good old fashioned socializing. And little did I know when I left Richmond that morning that before the day ended, I would be a part of Tar Heel Rams Club history. I'm speaking of the 745 people who attended the meeting which is easily the largest number of people ever to attend one of the road show meetings. Ken Mack, Rams Club VP, told me they had to turn some people away. It was to be expected that the turnout would be large because there was some revision of the meeting schedule that is usually followed, but I have to be believe there was more involved. While some attendees may have attended the Raleigh meeting rather than one that was no longer being held nearer their home, the enthusiasm and size of the turnout signified to me that the Tar Heel spirit is not dead. Please pass the wine and cheese.
Now let's be clear about what I am saying. Not every Tar Heel is happy with the way things are going in UNC athletics, but they kept their discontent to themselves for this night and the crowd was extremely generous to Coach Bunting. He received two standing ovations. One when he was introduced by Woody and another when he finished. Coach Bunting has a remarkable ability to inspire his audiences and he did it again. I'm going to be a little restrained in my enthusiasm for football because I usually follow the same pattern every year getting ready for the upcoming season and it has frequently caused me a great deal of pain. I am forcing myself this year to remember the Maryland and Duke games last season and remind myself that I had high hopes before play began last year. Once the immediate pain of the previous season starts to wear off, I find myself fantasizing about the following year's prospects. Sadly to say, there have been many disappointments, oftentimes, the result of unrealistic expectations. No one wants the Heels to succeed more than I do, but I'm afraid I'm in the "show me" camp on this one.
If there were intercollegiate competition for the best and most inspirational speakers on the part of football, basketball and women's soccer coaches, I think UNC would win the national championship. All three do a superb job and they make me proud to be a Tar Heel. I'm sure some of the others coaches represent the university well but I haven't had the opportunity to hear them speak.
A couple of things happened which are humorous. Woody gave a fine introduction for Anson Dorrance but had a bad case of brain lock when it came time to give his name and introduced him as Willie Scroggs. He caught himself very quickly and smoothed it over so that it didn't become too embarrassing but it was and I have experienced the feeling. When I first began playing the banjo, I had brain lock one night on the stage and for an instant didn't know where I was or what I was supposed to be doing. I simply crossed my arms around the banjo as if it was what I was supposed to do and no one in the audience ever knew what had occurred. I was devastated but the other musicians who were playing with me assured me that every one of them had experienced the same thing. They told me with such sincerity that I finally believed them.
Coach Williams told a story about visiting in Marvin Williams' home and having a meal with the Williams family. RW told us that he absolutely hated macaroni and cheese and so when he sat down to eat, what was on the table? Chicken wings ( Roy likes them ), green beans (likes them also) and MACARONI AND CHEESE. He said he managed to get the MC down but jokingly said he was having to give some thought as to what he would do if the situation developed again. I've got a feeling he would manage to get the macaroni and cheese down somehow. I was a little surprised by the story because I thought macaroni and cheese was considered a "comfort food" and that, like banana pudding, everyone liked it. Maybe it has something to do with his early years. I learn something new everyday.
A few more things occurred that I may write about later, but my space is about to run out for now.
Final thought. It may not be a big deal in larger cities like New York, Chicago, LA, New Orleans and others, but can you imagine serving 745 people at a sit down dinner in Raleigh? They started serving at 7:30 when they were supposed to begin at 6:30. It didn't spoil my dinner, but I would have much preferred a baloney sandwich to the baked chicken, broccoli, rice and carrots that we had. Sometimes I think I just don't fit with the country club set.