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Chapel Hill Hitchhiking and the Meaning of Life

by Charly Mann

From 1962 to 1971 hitchhiking was my prime mode of getting to school and work. Ordinary people would stop and pick me up without a second thought for their personal safety. I usually began my journey about 7:00 AM near the intersection of 15-501 (Fordham Boulevard) and Morgan Creek Road, and my destination was usually somewhere in downtown Durham where I attended part of junior high and high school and subsequently managed a record store. My daily roundtrip was 60 miles and it usually required three rides in each direction to complete.


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Bill A      5:19 PM Tue 6/14/2011

I'll pass on the meaning of life opportunity but will share that my right thumb was my ticket from Chapel Hill to High Point on a regular basis during the early 60s. A Carolina insignia of some sort on your suitcase was judged essential; whether that was the case or not, I'll never know. And I generally wore a tie. There was an operative etiquette/pecking order to be observed when fellow travelers were already on place on Franklin St. headed west; as I recall, you were generally expected to not position yourself ahead of others. Good times!

Kim Green      6:15 PM Thu 3/3/2011

Life only has a meaning if some supernatural force (God) gives it a meaning, otherwise it is meaningless.

Ric Carter      8:11 PM Fri 2/25/2011

It was a different day.<br \><br \>I remember hitching from UNC to Greensboro weekends to visit a girlfriend. I always made that trip with my bassett hound and a backpack.<br \><br \>On a trip to California, I did the route from San Francisco to Yosemite and back on the thumb. Had great snacks, fascinating conversations, and valuable knowledge from the kind folks along the way. Was even shown a great (unauthorized) camping spot at the base of El Capitan thanks to my ride into the park from a bus driver headed to work.

Molly Green      2:11 PM Thu 2/24/2011

I am amazed at how brave you were not only to hitchhike such great distances for so many years, but to ask questions that certainly are beyond what is normal conversation in my world. I am 27 years old and a graduate of UNC, and must say I think people are now conditioned to only talk about &quot;safe&quot; subjects like UNC sports, current events, the weather, and especially entertainment and celebrity topics. Discussing personal topics like core beliefs rarely happens unless you are with a close and trusted friend.

William Morgan      9:28 AM Wed 2/23/2011

I think the meaning of life for humans is to follow our most basic instinct which is to reproduce.

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Bite Sized Facts Link for Useful facts, financial success, universal truths, and great health info

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


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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