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1977 Chapel Hill Hippie Thanksgiving

Down a long, winding, rugged, and sometimes impassable road off Old 86 about half-way between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough sat the homestead of the family of Kenny Mann Sr. who was the cook at the famed Rathskellar for fifty years. Between 1972 and 1978 Mann allowed local artisan Rick Hermanson and Ed Funk to live out there rent free with often with several other friends who would be described as hippies. In return for this privilege they did a few odd jobs at Kenny's house in Chapel Hill, but spent much of their spare time renovating the cabin they lived in that Mann called "The Ponderosa".

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Comments:

Rex McCall and Susan Elmore McCall      7:58 AM Mon 9/6/2010

We're all still hippies at heart! What fun to still run into old friends around town. Great memories of bonfires, music, food and good friends.
 

Steve Fogg      10:10 AM Fri 9/3/2010

right this was an exellent space in time for us all > wonderful to see it online
I bumped into Ed out in the apple orchards of Wash. state and ended up on the trail to Southen Texas were my duffel bag got filled up w/f little organic green buttons and I showed up in at the house on old 86 on the 4th of July
a little stoned ........... I still remember diggin that pit to cook the pig and the many adventures we had in those days and it never fails to bring a smile.

 

David Labell      10:00 PM Thu 8/26/2010

Imagine my surprise at seeing myself in the Thanksgiving photo! I was there, all right - arms folded, two rows behind Rick. And, I was one of the people who got stuck in the mud trying to drive up Ed and Rick's driveway!

I've known most of you almost all my life - Ed, Rick, John, Gwyn, and Cyndi - and it sure brings back memories.

I suppose we have all been middle-class yuppies for many years now. We live in split-levels with running water, window screens, and Internet service. But, we look back on our Chapel Hill days as the happiest days of our lives, mostly.

Life has never been the same. Thanks to Mr. Mann for putting up this excellent web site.
 

Carol Clark      9:31 AM Thu 8/26/2010

This rustic cabin and community of friends seems like such a wonderful place in time. What made it all come to an end, or are most of these people still living bohemian, and I trust, happy lives?
 

Cindy Ingle      8:52 AM Wed 8/25/2010

I have so many fond memories of Thanksgivings and other times at AJ! I agree with John Williams--I remember it was called AJ Memorial Forest and Wild Game Preserve. I think the previous reference was just a typo. Amazing how we spent chilly Thanksgiving days outdoors without a thought to the weather. There was always a fire inside to warm yourself by and another outside. I loved the music; there was a group of good string musicians, singers, and Tom Cox's girlfriend (?) played a penny whistle (Tom also took great photos). I am sorry that there do not seem to be as many musicians around these days. God bless AJ and everyone there! And Kenny Mann and family, too!
ps Don't forget the resident animals, Smokey, Lee-lee, Booger, Cadillac, Wizard, the pig dogs, and others! And particularly, the day a pick-up backed over Wizard's head. He jumped right up (the ground must have been soft), not really hurt but clearly with a headache for a while!

 

Gwyn Ingle      7:12 AM Wed 8/25/2010

I was a guest at many if not all the Thanksgiving celebrations at AJ. One of the things that struck me about the parties was that not just "hippies", but people of all ages (kids, parents and grandparents) and backgrounds attended and enjoyed many of these events. They all brought covered dishes full of delicious food to supplement the main courses of pig, turkey, ham and even roast beast. There were games of horseshoes and softball, and string band music and singing usually provided by impromptu musicians at the party. All pretty great stuff to create a really terrific Thanksgiving Day celebration. One interesting thing about that dirt road in the first picture - people often got stuck on the high ruts in the road particularly when it was raining. One time I nearly threw my knee out of joint while my wife Cindy and I were trying to push my car, a 1963 Chevy II out of the mud (no cell phones back then to help you out). While I writhed in pain on the ground she mildly commented that "it could have been worse you could have broken it". A small price to pay for the fun we had at AJ back then!
 

John Williams      6:35 PM Tue 8/24/2010

My wife Janice and I were there many times during the mid 1970s, and were present at least once, and probably several times for the Thanksgiving gala.

It is actually quite likely that we were there for Thanksgiving 1977, though I can't find us in the photo. Eddie Funk was one of our best friends at the time, and It brings back very fond memories of that era to read your article and see the photos.

Somewhere in a box of mine are at least one picture of that cabin with Eddie sitting on the front porch....

Not that it changes anything, but for 35 years or more I have been calling that place the Andrew Jackson MEMORIAL Forest and Wild Game Preserve. Wonder if that rings a bell with anyone else from that era?
 

rik hermanson      2:46 PM Mon 8/23/2010

maggie , its me rik hermanson, with the beret, i came to town because eddie was here in school . unc. and i starting off as an artist carving totem poles in those days. made a living doing work in all the good resturants, coffee shop, fats, crooks , pyewacket, and ran a house painting business . all along still doing my art work , in the 90s i started the carrboro art group, which with tim peck , mike brown, damien hofflman, and many more. we made very large christmas floats , that where not very christmasy.we did those for 10 years . i then started doing the large sand carvings in front of weaver st, with damien hoffman. that too has been going on for over 20 years. but took a break and started a rock garden, known as the uncommon garden, which i spent the last 7 years, building and designing , the client now shows it once a year to raise funds for the art center. mean while i am now a unemployed house painter, making silly santa sculptures that fit into little boxes that hides them from view.
 

Ed Funk      8:59 AM Mon 8/23/2010

Betsy/Maggie_
Between partying in town and surviving at AJ, we were dutifully employed in a variety of "occupations". I did painting/carpentry and worked for a time on a survey crew for Bob Ayers. Rick worked at several local restaurants including the Coffee Shop and Tiajuana Fats...also painting and for a time at John Lindsay's cabinet shop in Carrboro.

When this link was first added to CHM, Rick and I were misidentified. Charly has corrected that so you can see the guy with the beret is indeed local artisan Rick Hermanson.
 

Betsy Carter      11:10 AM Sun 8/22/2010

How did Ed and Rick support themselves in those days? Food, gas, and auto insurance certainly was not free. I am 32 and have heard a lot about hippes, but often wondered how they paid for their necssities.
 

Maggie Jenkins      3:02 PM Sat 8/21/2010

Almost all the faces I can distinguish in the Thanksgiving photograph are familiar to me, but the guy in the beret and dark t-shirt was almost a fixture in Chapel Hill. Is that Ed Funk, and what did he do in those days, and what has become of him?
 

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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

 



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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.

 

 



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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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