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Interview with UNC Class of 1942, 1950, & 1954

by Charly Mann

I have enjoyed receiving e-mails from Chapel Hill Memories readers every day, and some of the most interesting and informative have come from former UNC students of more than fifty years ago. I recently arranged to interview three of these individuals over the phone to discuss their experiences as students and their reflections about Chapel Hill and the world we now live in. These people are alumni of the UNC classes of 1942, 1950, and 1954. One of the individuals wished to remain anonymous because she thought her relations might be hurt by some of her statements, so I have simply identified all of these people by the year of their graduating class. Class of 1942 and 1954 are men, and Class of 1950 is a woman.

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Comments:

Yvonne Williams      11:23 AM Fri 7/29/2011

I didn't think women were admitted to UNC -Chapel Hill until about 1956, except for Graduate School. I thought UNC women attended UNC-G back then, which was all women. Is your photo of the UNC coed at the Bell tower a grad. student?
 

Jonas Moore      2:51 PM Thu 7/29/2010

I'm afraid these "old" alumni see the future better than most of us. I think we need to place more emphasis on developing the individual than trying to be part of a group. I just do not see the depth and uniqueness I once saw in people, and it is that characteristic that gives us our creativity and personal satisfaction.
 

Sue Foster Vause, Class of 1957      3:18 PM Mon 7/26/2010

I came to live in Chapel Hill August, 1958. Bought a little house at 39 Oakwood Drive and taught school at Bell's School in Chatham County....most of the way down Old Farrington Mill Road, almost to Highway 64. [such sweet children]. All these memories of that Chapel Hill are still so near and dear to my heart.
Before moving to live in Chapel Hill, and four years before while still in college, I came for 'date weekends,' stayed at the Victorian house on the corner of Cameron Avenue and Ransom Street for
$ 1.00 per night and they gave me breakfast to boot ! I danced holes in two pairs of 'ballerina' type shoes at the Patio, located on the country field which now houses the Holiday Inn [corner of 15-501 and Ephesus Church Road]. The Patio was screened in with a concrete floor and a juke box...also tables, chairs and "set-ups." Set-ups were a bowl of ice with inserted lemon slices so the patron could add their brown-bagged bourbon or vodka or scotch in a glass. We were not too versed in drinking so vodka was a real risky thing to bring and one drink was nursed all evening. They were such fun days......oh my...so nice to recall...
 

Maria Ford      3:10 PM Mon 7/26/2010

Thanks for putting this interview together .I really enjoyed learning that most students at UNC actually once spent a lot of time practicing dance steps!

I hope their prediction about the future and the current generation proves incorrect, but from everything I see around me I am afraid they are correct.
 

J. Cole      3:34 PM Sun 7/25/2010

I like the wisdom offered by these alumni. Are you going to interview people from more recent classes on some of the same topics in the future?
 

Brad White      2:06 PM Fri 7/23/2010

Kenan Stadium seats 60,000, and the Dean Smith Center has a capacity of almost 22,000. UNC teams play at these arenas, and UNC students should have first priority for seating. I think maybe a policy that gives seats to all students with at least a "B" average would be great for academics and retention rates. I say put everyone else on a lottery system.
 

Janet Johnson      9:49 AM Fri 7/23/2010

This is a great interview, and I agree with many of their comments on the "wireless" age. My son setup a FACEBOOK account for me several years ago. I soon noticed nobody really said anything. It was rare when anyone had more than a sentence of information to share about what was going on in their life. A full paragraph was very rare. I tried expanding the dialogue by writing descriptions about what I was doing each day, but I soon learned no one wanted to do the same. I have since quit FACEBOOK, but still enjoy writing letters to a few friends who enjoy this dying art.

I am 41 and graduated from UNC in 1991.
 

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Bite Sized Facts Link



Chapel Hill is located on a hill whose only distinguishing feature in the 18th century was a small chapel on top called New Hope Chapel. This church was built in 1752 and is currently the location of The Carolina Inn. The town was founded in 1819, and chartered in 1851.

 

 

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. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.

-- Charles Kuralt

 

 

Dark Side of the Hill -- Pink Floyd, the creators of the most popular album in history, Dark Side of the Moon, took the second half of their name from Floyd Council, a Chapel Hill native, and great blues singer and guitarist. He once belonged to a group called "The Chapel Hillbillies".

 

 

Check out Charly Mann's other website:
Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies

http://oklahomabirdsandbutterflies.com

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

There would probably be no Chapel Hill if the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793 had not chosen land across from New Hope Chapel for the location of the university. By 1800 there were about 100 people living in thirty houses surrounding the campus.

 

 

The University North Carolina's first student was Hinton James, who enrolled in February, 1795. There is now a dormitory on the campus named in his honor.

 

 

 

 

The University of North Carolina was closed from 1870 to 1875 because of lack of state funding.

 

 

 

 

William Ackland left his art collection and $1.25 million to Duke University in 1940 on the condition that he would be buried in the art museum that the University was to build with his bequest. Duke rejected this condition even though members of the Duke Family are buried in Duke Chapel. What followed was a long and acrimonious legal battle between Ackland relatives who now wanted the inheritance, Rollins College, and the University of North Carolina, each attempting to receive the funds. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1949 UNC was awarded the money for the museum. Ackland is buried near the museum's entrance. When the museum first opened, in the early sixties, there were rumors that his remains were leaking out of the mausoleum.

 

 

The official name of the Arboretum on the University of North Carolina campus is the Coker Arboretum. It is named after Dr. William Cocker, the University's first botany professor. It occupies a little more than five acres. It was founded in 1903.

 

 

Chapel Hill's main street has always been called Franklin Street. It was named after Benjamin Franklin in the early 1790s.

 

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

Chapel Hill High School and Chapel Hill Junior High were on Franklin Street in the same location as University Square until the mid 1960s.

 

 

The Colonial Drug Store at 450 West Franklin Street was owned and operated by John Carswell. It was famous for a fresh-squeezed carbonated orange beverage called a "Big O". In the early 1970s, I managed the Record and Tape Center next door, and must have had over 100 of those drinks. The Colonial Drug Store closed in 1996.

 

 

Sutton's Drugstore, which opened in 1923, has one of the last soda fountains in the South. It is one of the few businesses remaining on Franklin Street that was in operation when I was growing up in the 1950s.

 

 

Future President Gerald Ford lived in Chapel Hill twice. First when he was 24, in 1938, he took a law couse in summer school at UNC. He lived in the Carr Building, which was a law school dormitory. At the same time, Richard Nixon, the man he served under as Vice President, was attending law school at Duke. In 1942, Ford returned to Chapel Hill to attend the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School training program. He lived in a rental house on Hidden Hills Drive.

 

 

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