What A Day

Summer's not over yet but the end is in sight. These hot humid days hopefully will change soon into cooler ones and pretty soon we will start to see the leaves change. If you look real hard, you can see the changes already taking place and eventually, there will be the sounds of the fall insects and eventually, the long shadows of autumn.

With the above as a backdrop, what better time to return to Chapel Hill for a period of general renewal and yes, anticipation of the upcoming football season. I did just that on Wednesday, July 25th and I feel like a new person. I recommend that everybody go through this exercise annually to reinforce the bonds that exist between us and our alma mater. I don't know how to explain the pleasure associated with such simple things like watching a line of young ladies probably all under the age of15 with long socks and similar outfits walking in single file in front of Wilson Library. Nobody had to tell me they were in Chapel Hill for a soccer camp and it was fun to speculate on what they were thinking about being on the same campus as so many female soccer stars have been. Is the next Mia in this group? You can bet your bottom dollar there are many in the group who think she is.

Or going down to the Kenan football Center and looking through all the memorabilia again. I had to show my traveling companion the plaque with me and my family included under "In Memoriam". I had never noticed before that Leroy, the Tar Heel Terror's name is spelled LeRoy. I must have really been enjoying myself the night I filled out the form for inclusion of our names. This reminds me of our previous dog who was named "boie". The spelling came from the misspelling of his name at the vets but we liked it and referred to it as the East Durham/French version of "boy".

While at the Kenan Center, I met one of my childhood heroes even though we look about the same age now. That happens, you know. We all start to look somewhat alike as we age. Accidentally, I overheard this gentleman say to someone with him something about Haywood Fowle. I couldn't resist telling them that I used to read the newspaper for Haywood Fowle's grandfather in Raleigh when I was in high school. He was not blind but his eyesight was such that he could not read the newspaper. I would read the head on the story and he would tell me whether he had any interest in the article or not. I never did find out what the reference was to Haywood Fowle and I sure hope it wasn't that that he is now deceased. The gentleman I met was Bob Cox who was an end on the Justice era teams and he was working with Lee Pace, a writer who frequently writes about the Tar Heels, on plans for the team's reunion at the first home game. Mr. Cox did tell me about one death from that team of which I was unaware. He said that Hosea Rogers, the fullback on the teams of the late 40s, had passed on.

After talking with Mr. Cox for a few minutes, we watched the movie again about Carolina football and, as usual, I was ready to take the field and play when it was finished. The sound is what does it. For those of you who have never seen these movies (there are several), don't miss them the next chance you get.

We then walked out into Kenan Stadium to check the grass and sat up on the 50 yard line for a few moments to contemplate what the upcoming season holds in store for us. I've done this so many times and, frequently, I have been wrong about how the team would do once the season began. But one thing I know. We are undefeated at the present and there is no way this can be taken from me. We'll worry about reality when the season begins.

Our trip to Kenan ended with a conversation with a nice lady who was seated outside the Center waiting for her son to arrive. We learned that she is the mother of an incoming freshman football player from Greensboro named Rose. He never did show up while we were there but he may have been putting his game face on. Nothing like being prepared.

I've rambled on and haven't even mentioned the main purpose of my trip to Chapel Hill. I had made arrangements with the Development Office to meet with personnel from the Rare Books Section of Wilson Library to discuss the donation of my Big Little Book collection to the library. I talked with Mr. McNamara who is the Rare Books Librarian and he provided me with the information I wanted and the transfer of ownership was made. I was not prepared for the emotion that engulfed me as I rose to leave the books. I playfully said "Goodbye, little friends" and as I uttered the words I could hear my voice start to crack. Why is it that we seem to be able to hold our emotions in check as long as we don't try to talk. I quickly walked away from the books before it got worse. I'm not sure whether the library personnel was aware of what was happening and I'm glad they didn't attempt to talk about it. The books have found a good home and I'm O.K. now. For those of you who are collectors, you will understand what I am saying. For those of you who are not collectors, you will not understand and I understand that you don't understand. Enough of that.

Earlier in the day, we had gone by Methodist College to meet with the folks in the Library there regarding the "mystery pin". The reference librarian and I compared the pin I have with those already on display in their Carolina College exhibit and we quickly concluded that the "mystery pin" was from Carolina College. I then told her that the pin belonged with her "sister" pins and gave the pin to Methodist College. They allowed me to view the book that was written on Carolina College which I enjoyed very much. I hadn't realized the physical structure which housed CC was so massive. It was constructed in 1912 and must have been even more impressive at that time. The building burned in 1973 so there is nothing left to see. I think it is great that descendants and friends of the graduates are continuing an association with the memory of the school. I am told the last graduate died in 1994.

So there you have it. July 25th, 2001 was just another day for a lot of folks, but it is one ole RamFanatic will remember for a long time. Hope your day on that date was as enjoyable as mine was.