by Charly Mann
Ramses has been the mascot of the UNC Tarheels since 1924, when a ram was taken to the UNC-VMI football game. In that game the UNC kicker, Jack Merritt, rubbed his head against the ram before he attempted a crucial field goal, which won the game. After the game Merritt was labeled “The Battling Ram” Merritt, and the ram became the Tarheel mascot.
Original Ramses 1925
In 1970, I was twenty and managing a record store in Durham. I shared a small cabin between Durham and Chapel Hill on Erwin road with two Duke students, one of whom worked in my store. His name is Peter Heath. In early February, a friend of Peter’s, who was also a Duke student, turned up at our place with a surprise – the Tarheel mascot Ramses. His name was Chuck "Butch" Skinner, and he had discovered the secret location where Ramses was kept (It was at Hogan's Farm). Skinner said that the hard part of the abduction was getting the Ram into the back seat of his Chevrolet Camaro, and then taking it over to our place. As the only Tarheel in the conspiracy, I felt a bit of disloyalty in helping hide the ram, but applauded the ingenuity and boldness of the perpetrator. Ramses stayed with us at least a week in an old tractor shed behind our house. I remember him being quite friendly, and not the least bit distressed about his abduction. I would often go out to see Ramses, and bring him grass or water. At the end of that week was the classic Duke-Carolina basketball game played at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. The day before, Skinner came back over to dye Ramses a deep rich dark Duke blue. That Saturday, February 28, Ramses was released on the floor of Cameron in his new Duke Blue colors, causing quite a commotion as the few UNC students in attendance ran out to rescue him.
This is Ramses at our place with two Duke Students, Chuck Skinner on the right, and Peter's girlfriend, Heloise, on the left
That week was not a good one for Ramses or Carolina; Duke won the basketball game 91-83.
I have never wavered in my loyalty and love for Carolina, and just a few years later would become a member of the UNC Ram’s Club.
This is located at aproximatey 4600 Erwin Road
In November of 1933 bells began ringing after midnight throughout the University of North Carolina campus on the Thursday night before the UNC-Duke Football game. Awakened students were alerted that Duke students had just taken Ramses from his pen behind the Carolina Inn.
Students rushed to their automobiles throughout the campus, and more than 200 students raced toward Durham and the Duke Campus with the intent of recovering their mascot. There was a lot of yelling and honking of horns when they reached Duke, but they could not find Ramses. When they returned they were told it was all a hoax. What had actually happened was that some students had moved Ramses to a farm outside of town, and then spread the rumor of him being stolen to stimulate "college spirit".Comment
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.