Dismal Day in Dallas

Head Coach Larry Fedora’s 2014 Tar Heels are going bowling.

For the 31st time, going back to 1947, UNC’s football team will play in a post season bowl game—this time it’s the “Quick Lane Bowl” in Detroit on Friday, December 26th at 4:30 PM (ET).  The game will be on ESPN.

Of the 30 bowl games played, the Tar Heels have been victorious 14 times.  Of the 16 losses, the one on January 2, 1950 was one of the toughest.  Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard looks back on that dismal day in Dallas, almost 65 years ago.

The Apache Belles majorettes from Tyler, Texas during the 1950 Cotton Bowl festivities.  A caption in the Greensboro News identified the majorette as Iwanna Burk, sister of Baylor star quarterback Adrian Burk.

The Apache Belles majorettes from Tyler, Texas during the 1950 Cotton Bowl festivities. A caption in the Greensboro News identified the majorette as Iwanna Burk, sister of Baylor star quarterback Adrian Burk.

When UNC Head Football Coach Carl Snavely arrived at his 215 Wollen Gym office on Wednesday, November 23, 1949, a New Year’s bowl game was not on his radar. After all, Carolina had lost 3 games during the season and two of those losses were decisive: Notre Dame 42 to 6 in Yankee Stadium and Tennessee 35 to 6 in Kenan Stadium.

Coach was concentrating on the upcoming game with Virginia three days away.  Then, the phone rang and everything changed. It was Dan Rogers, Chairman of the Board, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, calling from Dallas.  He told Coach Snavely that Carolina was on a short list for a Cotton Bowl invitation.  He then added, Virginia is on that list also. So the UNC vs. UVA game on Saturday, November 26, 1949 would now become the “Cotton Bowl Invitational,” with the winner going to the top of the list and getting the bid.

Snavely told his team about the phone call when the varsity was traveling by bus to the Duke–Carolina freshmen game in Durham on Thursday, the 24th. The next day the team voted to accept the bid if offered.

The Greensboro Daily News on Saturday morning featured a large Hugh Morton photograph of UNC All-Americas Charlie Justice and Art Weiner.  The headline caption read “Heading for the Last Roundup.”

19491126_GreensboroNews_Sec2page2On Saturday, November 26, 1949, the largest football crowd in Chapel Hill to date—48,000—gathered in ideal football weather to see Justice and Weiner play their final varsity game in Kenan Stadium.  Veteran CBS Radio broadcaster Red Barber was in town to call the game.

Tar Heel fans were not disappointed.

After a scoreless first quarter . . . two plays into the second quarter, it was Justice on a typical, zigzagging run off left guard for a 14-yard touchdown and Carolina led 7 to 0 following Abie Williams’ point after.  At the 13:30 mark it was Justice again, this time a 63-yard touchdown pass to Weiner.  Williams was true again on the PAT and Carolina led 14 to 0 at the half.

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Until yesterday, this photograph was only identified as a Charlie Justice negative amid hundreds of UNC football negatives. This photograph of Justice’s 14-yard touchdown run against the University of Virginia appeared in the Wilmington Star-News on Sunday, November 27th, page 12-A.

Twelve high school bands were on hand to entertain during halftime.  The game was dedicated to William Rand Kenan, Jr., who had donated the stadium in 1927.  He was a special guest on this day.

The third quarter, like the first, was scoreless, but in the fourth quarter, Virginia was able to put together a 43-yard drive and was finally on the scoreboard with 2:30 remaining in the game.  Carolina accidentally touched Virginia’s on-side kick and UVA took over at their own 48.  Four plays and two first-downs later, Virginia was at the Carolina 7-yard line with 0:32 on the clock. Three Cavalier passes failed; on fourth down they tried a double-reverse play, but Tar Heels Art Weiner and Roscoe Hansen stopped the ball carrier back on the 8-yard line to seal the victory.

Following the game, Sports Information Director Jake Wade made the announcement: the Heels had been invited to play in the Cotton Bowl, and the team and the University administration had approved.  Carolina, the Southern Conference Champion, would play Rice Institute (Rice University today), the Southwest Conference Champion on January 2, 1950.

Snavely ordered a break for his troops from November 28th until December 3rd.  A week of practice followed, then a break for exams.  Preparation for Rice would resume on December 16th and continue until the Christmas break on December 21st.

The Tar Heel team reassembled in Chapel Hill on December 26th and held one final practice on the 27th before departing for Big D.

It was cold and clear at Raleigh-Durham Airport at 9:35 AM on December 28, 1949, when the first of two planes carrying the Tar Heel football team took off for Dallas.  The Capital Airlines DC-4 was labeled “Cotton Bowl Special,” and carried Justice and Weiner plus 46 other UNC players and part of the coaching staff. Then at 2 PM, the second plane carrying the remainder of the team and staff took off.  On hand for both takeoffs was Chapel Hill Mayor Ed Lanier.

The first flight arrived in Dallas at 4:25 PM and was greeted by 3,000 Tar Heel fans and coeds from SMU plus Mr. SMU himself, Doak Walker.  Originally, Charlie and Sarah Justice were going to stay at the Melrose Hotel with the coaches and team, but Justice got a letter a week earlier from Doak Walker inviting them to spend the week at the Walker home.

UNC's Charlie Justice and SMU's Doak Walker inside Dal-Hi Stadium, Dallas, Texas.

UNC’s Charlie Justice and SMU’s Doak Walker inside Dal-Hi Stadium, Dallas, Texas.

December 29th was a practice day for Carolina . . . a workout at Dal-Hi stadium in the morning and movie viewing in the afternoon.  Walker was present for both sessions, adding coaching suggestions along the way since he had already played Rice earlier in the season.  Morton’s picture of Justice, Walker, and Snavely viewing game movies made the papers back in North Carolina on December 30th.

Carl Snavely, Charlie Justice reviewing football filmAlso, early on the morning of the 30th, the football team got the good news from Chapel Hill that Carolina’s basketball team had upset Duke 59 to 52 in the first annual Dixie Classic back in Raleigh the night before.

Following an afternoon practice, Coach Snavely said:  “Right now we are in the best condition for the ball game this season.  The boys are in good spirit and I know they are having a good time here in Dallas.”

UNC football team practice session at Dal-Hi Stadium.

UNC football team practice session at Dal-Hi Stadium.

The Carolina team and coaches along with photographer Hugh Morton attended the annual Cotton Bowl luncheon put on by the local Optimist Club on Saturday the 31st.  The keynote speaker was Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, a native of Dallas.

The Sunday papers predicted clouds and a 7-point win for Rice on Monday.  Back home, The Greensboro Daily News published on the front page of the Sports section a picture of Justice and Bob Gantt at work on the practice field.  It was now time to get serious about the 14th Annual Cotton Bowl.

Monday, January 2, 1950 was a cold, damp day in Asheboro, North Carolina.  I remember sitting with my best buddy on the front steps listening to the game on his portable radio that he had gotten for Christmas.  Legendary NBC sports broadcaster Bill Stern was the play-by-play announcer with analysis and color by Kern Tips. We were listening to station WBIG in Greensboro. (The game was also on WSJS radio in Winston-Salem).  The Greensboro Daily News headline that morning read:

“JUSTICE ERA COMES TO AN END AS TAR HEELS BATTLE OWLS IN COTTON BOWL”

Charlie Justice runs onto the field for the last time for Carolina at the Cotton Bowl on January 2, 1950, Dallas, Texas.

Charlie Justice runs onto the field for the last time for Carolina at the Cotton Bowl on January 2, 1950, Dallas, Texas.

The University of North Carolina Band, under the direction of Prof. Earl Slocum was part of the pre-game festivities as Charlie Justice ran onto the field for the final time in a Carolina varsity uniform.  Morton’s image of Justice and the band is the first picture in the 1958 Quincy-Scheer Justice biography (on page 3).

Then as 75,347 fans watched, UNC Captain Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice met at midfield with Rice Co-Captains James “Froggy” Williams and Gerald Weatherly for Referee Ray McCullock’s coin toss.  Hugh Morton documented that scene as well before returning to his Carolina sideline position.

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Gloomy skies prevailed as neither team could do much in the first quarter of play which ended with neither team on the scoreboard.  Early in the second quarter, Rice quarterback Tobin Rote passed to Billy Burkhalter for a 44-yard touchdown.  Later in the quarter, Rice took possession at midfield and drove for a second score with fullback Bobby Lantrip going the final three-yards to make the halftime score 14 to 0.

Rice right halfback Billy Burkhalter (#12), UNC right tackle Bill Kuhn (#51), and UNC Right End Ed Bilpuch (#47).  Crop from Morton's original negative for this blog post, the image appeared evern more tightly cropped—and without credit—in the January 4th issue of the Wilmington Morning Star.

Rice right halfback Billy Burkhalter (#12), UNC right tackle Bill Kuhn (#51), and UNC Right End Ed Bilpuch (#47). Crop from Morton’s original negative for this blog post, the image appeared evern more tightly cropped—and without credit—in the January 4th issue of the Wilmington Morning Star.

The halftime show, directed by Frank Malone, Jr. featured the Rice Institute Band plus nine high school bands from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  The highlight of the show was a performance by the Apache Bells of Tyler Texas Junior College and finally the presentation of the 1950 Cotton Bowl Queen, Miss Eugenia Harris from Houston.

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When the third quarter began, Rice picked up where they left off, this time it was a 17-yard pass from Tobin Rote to “Froggy” Williams to make the score 21 to 0 with 15 minutes to play.

Early in quarter number four, following an interception at the Carolina 15, Rice, on two plays, scored their final points of the day when Burkhalter scored his second touchdown of the afternoon.  With 9 minutes remaining, the score was Rice 27 – Carolina 0.

At this point, Carolina seemed to come alive.  They drove 65 yards—the final 7 yard a touchdown pass from Justice to Paul Rizzo.  During this drive, Morton took one of his most famous Charlie Justice pictures.  The image is part of the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives exhibit, “Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective.”

P081_NTBF3_005643_07_fused_print1_13 copyThen Carolina put on another drive—this one 80 yards— and fullback Billy Hayes accounted for 41 of them.  The final play of the drive came when Justice went off left tackle, but Rice defensive end Billy Taylor grabbed him by the sleeve.  Justice tossed the ball to his left where Rizzo caught it and raced into the end zone.  Abie Williams’ extra point made the final score 27 to 13.  The Carolina comeback was too little, too late.

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The post-game handshake between Rice head coach Jess Neely—joined by his daughter’s Joan (left) and Mary– and UNC head coach Carl Snavely (right). This Morton photograph appeared in the January 4th issue of the Greensboro Record,

Following the traditional coaches handshake at midfield, each coach commented on the game.  Rice head coach Jess Neely simply said, “I had figured we could run against North Carolina.”  And run they did—226 yards to 174 for UNC.  Tar Heel head coach Carl Snavely said, “We simply did not have a bowl team this year.”

Charlie Justice, in a 1995 interview with biographer Bob Terrell, said, “We didn’t deserve the bowl trip.  The Cotton Bowl invited us so my playing could be measured against Doak Walker, who had a great season at SMU.  Texans had seen Doak play all season but hadn’t seen me, so this gave them the opportunity.”

Carolina and Rice each got a check for $125,951, while the players each got engraved Cotton Bowl watches and beautiful Cotton Bowl blankets.

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On Wednesday, January 6th, Hugh Morton’s post-game picture of Charlie Justice and Paul Rizzo graced the sports page in The Greensboro Daily News.  The picture also turned up in the 1950 UNC yearbook, the “Yackety Yack” on page 271.

The game was not national televised, but even if it had been, North Carolina’s two TV stations at the time, in Greensboro and Charlotte, would not have been able to carry it because the AT&T cable had not been completed in the state.  That would come nine months later on September 30, 1950.

So WFMY-TV in Greensboro made arrangements to get NBC-TV to film the game, then fly the film back to Greensboro for showing. WFMY Sports Director Charlie Harville would narrate the film. The showing was scheduled for 9:30 PM on Wednesday, January 4th.  However, rainy, foggy weather in Dallas prevented the plane carrying the film from taking off, so the showing had to be delayed until 9:30 PM on Thursday.  Folks from all across the state came into Greensboro to watch.  It turned out to be the largest single audience in the history of television in North Carolina at that time. The program was so popular, the station repeated the film on Friday, January 6th.  If Carolina could have won, the station probably could have made an unprecedented third showing.

“Pretty as a Christmas card”

Here's a scan of the entire 4" x 5" black-and-white negative of the summit of Grandfather Mountain as shot by Hugh Morton.

A vertically cropped detail from the left side of this scene of the Mile High Swinging Bridge and Visitor Center at Grandfather Mountain, made by Hugh Morton, graced the December 1, 1970 cover of THE STATE. This is a scan of the entire black-and-white 4″ x 5″ sheet film negative.

Some of you may have seen the comment I wrote recently about the North Carolina State Library making issues of The State and Our State magazines available online.  Last Friday, the Our State Twitter feed tweeted the magazine’s December 1, 1970 cover, which was drawn from the above Hugh Morton photograph.  The issue’s cover caption on page 2 of the magazine begins, “Pretty as a Christmas card,” and identifies

  • the UNC Educational TV tower on Grandmother Mountain in the background to the left of the left bridge tower, and
  • Wiseman’s View, the peak fifteen miles away seen above the left bridge tower.

We made a nice large scan of the black-and-white negative just in case anyone would like to order a print.  I made a 16×9 crop for my computer desktop:

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There’s also a color version in the online selection of Morton photographs.

Nixon and Graham though the voice of Halderman

Billy Graham and Richard M. Nixon, arm-in-arm, wave to the audience during "Billy Graham Day," Charlotte Coliseum, October 15, 1971.

Billy Graham and Richard M. Nixon, arm-in-arm, wave to the audience during “Billy Graham Day,” Charlotte Coliseum, October 15, 1971. H. R. Halderman appears to be next to Pat Nixon.

Yesterday on WUNC’s program The State of Things, host Frank Stasio interviewed Carolina Public Press reporter Jon Elliston, who has listened to the H. R. Halderman audio diaries recently released by the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library.  On Wednesday, November 12th, the Carolina Public Press website published Elliston’s article about the Billy Graham–Richard Nixon alliance as revealed on Halderman tapes. During the interview, Stasio and Elliston briefly discuss Halderman’s diary entry for “Billy Graham Day” in Charlotte on October 15, 1971.

Billy Graham speaking during "Billy Graham Day" in Charlotte, North Carolina, 15 October 1971.

Billy Graham speaking during “Billy Graham Day” in Charlotte, North Carolina, 15 October 1971.

As you might expect, Hugh Morton was there.  He was located stage left, slightly elevated and slightly forward of the podium—either seated in the audience just behind the press photographers platform or on the platform behind the television cameras.  He photographed using 35mm cameras loaded with black-and-white negative and color slide films, and was switching lenses.  Two of Morton’s color images appear in the book Making a Difference in North Carolina; those two original slides, however, are not in the Morton collection.

Several of the black-and-white negative frames are double exposures, but it’s difficult to say if they were intentional or accidental.  Broken sprocket holes on the film suggest Morton experienced a camera failure during the event. Below is one of the double exposures that produced an interesting result: Nixon and Graham’s sculpted face (from an unveiled historical marker) appear to be looking at each other.

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Postscripts

In recent months we’ve run two blog posts related to this time period, when Hugh Morton was an undeclared candidate for governor in the Democratic Party: the Governor’s Down-East Jamboree in Atlantic Beach in mid September, and The National 500 NASCAR race on October 10th in Charlotte.  Billy Graham Day was just five days after the race.

In addition to Morton’s photographs of the Billy Graham Day, the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives also holds forty-two 35mm slides by Charlotte Observer Chief Photographer Don Sturkey.

Richard Nixon’s speech can read at University of California, Santa Barbara’s “The American Presidency Project” website.

Veterans Day 2014

On this Veterans Day, let’s look at two pieces of Hugh Morton’s early military career: registration and enlistment through records from the National Archives located through a genealogical website.  Morton registered for the draft in Wilmington, N. C. at local board No. 2 on February 16, 1942:

Hugh MacRae Morton Draft registration card

Hugh MacRae Morton Draft registration card

Morton’s “Enlistment Date” in the United States Army is October 5, 1942. That information is captured in a database record without a digitized file card as above.  According to the database, Morton’s “Enlistment City” was Washington, and “Enlistment State” was District of Columbia. Though technically in his senior year at UNC, he listed his civil occupation as a photographer.

“Morton, Yackety Yack Head, Leaves Post for US Army” read a front-page Daily Tar Heel headline on September 23, 1942—the first issue for the school year.  The article notes that “Morton’s inability to return to the University is the first case of a student entering the army forces to hit Carolina publications.”  News of his decision had arrived on campus a few days before students started arriving for the new school year.  The article also noted that “Morton’s last batch of photographs, taken of the football team several weeks ago, arrived from Wilmington at the University News Bureau several days ago.”

On September 27th, another front-page headline: “Morton Back for Weekend; Photographs Game for DTH.”  This article stated Morton “was drafted by the Daily Tar Heel to take pictures of yesterday’s game.”  A “Photo by Hugh Morton” action shot from the Wake Forest vs. UNC contest, won by the Tar Heels 6-0, accompanied Sunday’s headline news story.  Come Tuesday, September 29th, Morton would be off to the army as a technical sergeant in the photography division.

Hugh Morton was in the Army now.

Happy 90th Birthday, Rameses!

This Hugh Morton photograph of Rameses likely dates from 1970.  The scanned item is an interpositive trimmed from a 4x5 sheet film.  The images is very much like 120 roll film negatives on file, that do not include this frame, dated 1970.

This Hugh Morton photograph of Rameses likely dates from 1970.

Today the UNC community celebrates the 90th birthday of its mascot Rameses.  The UNC website has a feature story on the 1924 origin of Rameses, with a link to a video story, too.

Here at A View to Hugh, we can contribute to the anniversary by sharing photographs of Rameses made by Hugh Morton that are included in the online Morton collection.  Currently there are eleven images online, ranging from Morton’s earliest in 1941 through 1989.  Since it’s a special anniversary, I dug a little deeper and found the portrait above, likely made in 1970, which is not in the online collection.  The year comes from a roll of film containing very similar 120 roll film negatives dated 1970, but not with the actual day Morton made them.  Also missing is the original color negative.  The scan above comes from an interpositive, trimmed from a sheet of 4″ x 5″ color film. The interpositive (in this case, a negative exposed onto negative film, which creates a positive), is larger that the original 2 1/4″-square negative, suggesting this was to be made into a big enlargement.  Does any one know what that might have been?

Rameses V roamed the playing field during the autumns of 1939 through 1942 during Morton’s student years—the final year cut short by his enlistment in the United States Army during Wold War II.  Today, Rameses XX munches on Kenan Stadium grass.  What incarnation of Rameses lived in 1970?

In his own words: Johnpaul Harris, artist and dear friend

Today, November 5, 2014 marks a very special anniversary on the UNC campus. It was ten years ago, on a beautiful Hugh Morton photo-post-card-day, that the magnificent Charlie Justice statue was dedicated just outside the Justice Hall of Honor at the Kenan Football Center.  On that day, the dedication ceremony included several people representing the university, plus friends and teammates—but we didn’t hear from the man who made it all possible: sculptor Johnpaul Harris. So, today on the tenth anniversary, Morton Collection volunteer Jack Hilliard shares some of Harris’ thoughts about that day and his work with his friend Hugh Morton.

I didn’t want to make him [Justice] too much of a pretty boy, but I didn’t want to make him this mean, killer football player either. —Johnpaul Harris in the February 6, 2005 issue of the High Point Enterprise.

Johnpaul Harris with model of Charlie Justice statue, ca. 2004.

Johnpaul Harris with model of Charlie Justice statue, ca. 2004. Photograph by Hugh Morton.

Shortly after Charlie Justice’s death on October 17, 2003, teammate Joe Neikirk approached Hugh Morton with an idea for a statue.  Morton, who had worked with his friend Sculptor Johnpaul Harris on other projects like the Mildred and cubs statue and the deer habitat at Grandfather Mountain, immediately called his friend to see if he would be interested in a football statue.  Harris described his reaction in a 2005 letter to Hugh Morton:

“I probably more than anybody know how Coach (Carl) Snavely felt when Charlie turned up at Chapel Hill.  If it wasn’t a gift from God for Snavely it was certainly one for me.  You called me late in 2003 to see if it was the kind of project I would be interested in.  I think you knew the answer, but maybe not the extent of it.  It was the ultimate project for a man who was an OK football player who in high school knew nothing of Charlie Justice other than that he was the first famous ball player that I or any of my generation remember.”

In an interview with Annette Dunlap in the November 19, 2004 issue of Asheboro’s The Courier-Tribune, Harris said, “I jumped on it.”  Morton then became the linchpin between the university and Harris.  “There’s a lot of red tape established on the Chapel Hill campus for the installation of artworks,” Harris continued in his Dunlap interview.  “I just had to wait for it to run its course.”

Envelope, labeled by Hugh Morton, containing photographs used by Johnpaul Harris to create the Charlie Justice statue.

Envelope, labeled by Hugh Morton, containing photographs used by Johnpaul Harris to create the Charlie Justice statue.

While he waited, Harris and Morton started to work on the project . . . as Harris continues in his letter to Morton:

“. . . you started sending pictures from your fantastic collection of Carolina images.  I treasure each one for several reasons, but at the time they were just full of information that was vital to the project.  When I asked for more particular angles, you always came through for me.  It was like Christmas every time I opened the mail box to find a big white envelope with Grandfather Logo in the corner.  I had enough information to do the job, but I never saw a picture that didn’t further my understanding of who Charlie Justice was.

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“. . . Then one day the phone rang and it was Willie Scroggs (Senior Associate Athletic Director for Facilities at UNC) saying that they wanted me to do the Charlie Justice statue.  It was the sweetest moment of my life as a sculptor, until the team reviews, and the unveiling.”

It was now time for serious work.  Harris and Morton’s UNC committee selected the walking pose rather than an action shot and Harris prepared a 26-inch-model for Athletics Director Dick Baddour to reviewa review that came on the day of the 2004 Blue-White game at Kenan Stadium.  Harris was a special guest at the game.

Sculptor Johnpaul Harris poses with the clay Charlie Justice statue in his Ashboro, North Carolina studio during the second Justice-era player review on June 22, 2004. The original negatives for this view, and the installation and dedication images below have not yet been located within the Moron collection. Scans made for this article come from inkjet prints provided by the author.

Sculptor Johnpaul Harris poses with the clay Charlie Justice statue in his Ashboro, North Carolina studio during the second Justice-era player review on June 22, 2004. The original negatives for this view, and the installation and dedication images below have not yet been located within the Moron collection. Scans made for this article come from inkjet prints provided by the author.

Next up, on June 1, 2004, was the first of two Justice-era player reviews. This was my introduction to Johnpaul Harris.  We have remained good friends and get together for lunch every few weeks.

Harris continues with his letter to Morton:

I thought Charlie looked pretty good when the teammates came over to critique it.

The players offered suggestions and Harris took lots of notes.  Three weeks later, the players had a second review in Harris’ Asheboro studio.  Harris made final adjustments,  then a final mold before Charlie was off to the foundry.  On January 7, 2005 Johnpaul Harris was a guest on the UNC-TV program North Carolina People with William Friday.  Harris explained the process of taking four, 30-gallon-barrels of North Carolina clay and making it into a work of art to be cast at the foundry.

As Harris wrote to Morton,

It felt really good to have Charlie in place and out of my hands for a change.  I still enjoy seeing the pictures you made that day.

Johnpaul Harris making a final adjustment during installation of the Charlie Justice statute near Kenan Memorial Stadium, November 3, 2004.

Johnpaul Harris making a final adjustment during installation of the Charlie Justice statute near Kenan Memorial Stadium, November 3, 2004.

On Tuesday morning, November 2, 2004, I got a call from Hugh Morton.  He said, “We’re going to put the Charlie Justice statue in place tomorrow morning.  We’d like to have you there.”

Wednesday, November 3rd was a beautiful day in Chapel Hill as Johnpaul Harris directed a crew from  Architect Glenn Corley, and placed the 950 pound, 8 foot, 6 inch work of art into its final position.  When all of the installation work was done, Hugh Morton said to Harris, “You did a magnificent job.  It looks just like Charlie.”

Johnpaul Harris and Barbara (Justice) Crews, daughter of Charlie Justice, pose during dedication day for the Charlie Justice statue, November 5, 2004.

Johnpaul Harris and Barbara (Justice) Crews, daughter of Charlie Justice, pose during dedication day for the Charlie Justice statue, November 5, 2004.

On November 5, 2004 the Morton-Harris team was once again prepared to impress with the dedication of the Charlie Justice statue.

In his letter to Morton, Harris continued:

For me, days don’t come any better than unveiling day.  The weather was perfect.  There were so many friends and family, there was not enough time to do all the visiting I would have liked, not to mention catching up with Charlie’s teammates that I have come to know.
“It was great to see everybody enjoying Charlie after the unveiling.  Barbara Crews (Charlie and Sarah’s daughter) seemed to enjoy it more than anyone else and for longer periods.  I saw her staring up into the face and remarking that she hadn’t seen her Daddy from that perspective since she was a little girl.  I’m sure it sparked a deep well of memories for her.  She also mentioned that she had never seen his hands as open as they were, since they had suffered so many injuries (probably from pro ball).  Thanks, Hugh, for introducing us.  I did miss getting the definitive picture of you and me standing before the thing that we had spent so much time and energy on in the past two or three seasons.  Maybe we can do that on some nice crisp Saturday before a home game.”

Unfortunately, that pictured never got taken.

I thought my football life was behind me.  I never expected to tell anyone that I had been an All Central Tar Heel Conference player.  But the most perfect completion of the circle of my gridiron days has been realized.  A pretty good footballer from Troy (NC) was chosen to honor in bronze the memory of the greatest football legend of the 20th century from North Carolina.  I was part of the team that was Charlie’s team and by extension, I became a part of Charlie’s team.  Finally, I had to live up to your faith in me and then if there was anything else I had to satisfy my own demands for my work.  Thank you for making it all possible.  Without the superb record that you shared with me, the work would have come far short of what we achieved.  And thank you for your friendship, which started with our collaboration on Mildred.  For my part I know that it will never end.

 —Johnpaul Harris, February 5, 2005

Epilog

Sculptor Johnpaul Harris posing with his statue of Mildred the Bear and cubs in the Nature Museum at Grandfather Mountain, NC.

Sculptor Johnpaul Harris posing with his statue of Mildred the Bear and cubs in the Nature Museum at Grandfather Mountain, N. C.

Morton and Harris had worked together about fifteen years before the Justice statue when Morton commissioned Harris to create a statue of Mildred the Bear, the loveable people-friendly mascot of Grandfather Mountain, with her cubs. That effort is now in the Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum.  During a 2005 interview with Jimmy Tomlin in the High Point Enterprise, Harris remembered working inside Mildred’s habitat getting precise measurements.  “She was great.  Of course, they were keeping her happy with apple pieces while I was in there.”  Harris also got to pet the cubs.  “They’d put their paws around your neck and lick you in the face, just like a puppy.”

In addition to Mildred and Charlie, you can see other Johnpaul Harris sculptures at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro where there is an 11-foot Rhino statue.  UNC Alumnus Charles Loudermilk funded for the city of Atlanta a Johnpaul Harris statue of former mayor Andrew Young for the city’s Walton Spring Park (now Andrew Young Plaza), installed in 2008.

Postscript

As Harris was driving his truck home from Chapel Hill following the review of his Justice model in May of 2004, the odometer tripped 222,222.2.  When Johnpaul told Hugh the story about the 2s, He smiled and said, “Maybe somebody was trying to tell you something.”

I agree with Hugh.  I feel sure that #22 saw that and smiled.

World Day for Audio Visual Heritage 2014

Hugh Morton with movie camera during World War II. The writing on the truck's door appears to read "Milk Plane Morton."

Hugh Morton with movie camera during World War II. The writing on the truck’s door appears to read “Milk Plane Morton.”

One part of the Hugh Morton Collection that we do not seem to utilize as much as we should is Hugh Morton’s film footage.  Today marks the annual observance of UNESCO World Day for Audio Visual Heritage, so it’s an apt day to explore the films of Hugh Morton.

The Morton collection finding aid lists holdings by subjects within broad categories.  The audiovisual materials, however, are listed in a spreadsheet accessed through a link in the finding aid.  From the finding aid, click on the phrase “Information for Users” in the left column and look for “Additional Descriptive Resources.”  Clicking on that link opens a PDF of a 107-page spreadsheet that itemizes the component parts of the audiovisual material holdings.

MortonFindingAid_UserInfomationThe main reason we cannot do more with video at A View to Hugh is the 25MB upload file size limitation for videos set by the blog software, WordPress.  Thus far we have made 16 film-to-digital transfers from footage in the Morton collection, but only a couple do not exceed the upload limit.  One file is a 30-second spot for Grandfather Mountain, shared for the first time on this blog.  The other can be seen by visiting a previous post titled “Film of John F. Kennedy in the Morton collection.”

Beyond these two titles, you may explore the PDF and let us know if there is footage that looks promising for your research.  If it hasn’t already been transferred, we will investigate ways to make it available for use.  Approximately 85 of the 107 pages describe 16mm film footage, with the bulk of the remaining pages listing audio on 1/4″ or cassette tapes.

To use more footage at A View to Hugh, it looks like I’ll need to learn the art of extracting excerpts from the large files to use as snippets in topics yet to be explored.

William B. Aycock at 99: always on the correct side of history

99 years ago today, on October 24, 1915, William Brantley Aycock was born in Lucama, North Carolina.  He went on to serve the University of North Carolina for almost 40 years, from a faculty appointment in the School of Law in 1948 until his retirement as Kenan Professor in 1985.  During the years 1957 until 1964, he served as Chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill.  On this special day, Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard recalls Chancellor Aycock’s words from 1957 on a timely campus topic in today’s news.

UNC Chancellor William Aycock pictured speaking at podium, with UNC System President Bill Friday, President John F. Kennedy, and Dr. James L. Godfrey at University Day, October 12, 1961, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

UNC Chancellor William Aycock pictured speaking at podium, with UNC System President Bill Friday, President John F. Kennedy, and Dr. James L. Godfrey at University Day, October 12, 1961, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

When I look at my UNC diploma, two things always grab my attention . . . aside from the fact that it says I earned a degree.  There are two signatures on the document that always remind me that I was part of a very special time.  William C. Friday was President of the Consolidated University and William B. Aycock was Chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill when I was there from September of 1958 until January of 1963.  These men of integrity signed my diploma and led the University of North Carolina to a place at the top of the top.

On Thursday, July 15, 2010, my wife Marla and I attended the 90th birthday party for Bill Friday at the UNC Alumni Center on the UNC campus.  What a special day . . . honoring the man who defines the word integrity.  The following morning, as I opened the Greensboro News & Record, looking for a story of Friday’s birthday party, I was struck by the headline which read, “NCAA Investigates UNC Athletes.”  As I read the story, I kept thinking about my time at UNC and how Bill Friday and Bill Aycock would have never let anything like this happen.  Unfortunately, that story from July 16, 2010 is still with us.

As we celebrate Bill Aycock’s 99th today, here, in his own words from a talk to UNC alumni in Washington, D. C. in May 1957, is his take on intercollegiate athletics:

I am not disturbed that alumni groups have a strong interest in athletics because I believe that the interest manifested by most alumni in intercollegiate athletics is but a symbol of a deeper interest in the totality of the programs, hopes and aspirations of the whole institution.

I believe that those alumni whose affection for the University both begins and ends with intercollegiate athletics are few in number. Unfortunately, there are some among those few who seem to entertain a misguided notion that in athletics the means are not too important if the end is victory on the scoreboard.  In those institutions, including ours, which have undertaken an extensive intercollegiate athletic program, it is not realistic in my judgment to try to separate athletics and education. A grant-in-aid program enables students with athletic ability to secure a college education.  It is only on this basis that a University can justify such a program.  Since the University is involved in the rewarding of scholarships, it is very essential that grants-in-aid be administered in accordance with the letter and spirit of the rules and regulations.  Further, a student who is an athlete should not be treated differently from a student who is not an athlete.  There must be no double standard.  Moreover, no program in the University, including athletics, should be conducted in such a manner as to lower either moral or academic standards.  He, who would insist on practices which nibble at and dilute the integrity and educational standards of this institution, is no friend of athletics or of his institution.  The two are not to be separated because, in matters fundamental, athletics and the University must rise or fall together.  I regard this to be of such importance that I shall in the days to come frequently discuss the administration of our athletic programs with our alumni groups.”

Six months later in a statement to the Durham Morning Herald on November 27, 1957, Bill Aycock added this:

There are now, as there have been in the past, many people within and without the university who believe that intercollegiate football should not be part of the university. On the other hand, many people within and without the university believe intercollegiate football is an important part of modern university life.  Regardless of the merits of this question, it is clear that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill carries on an extensive intercollegiate football program.

The precise values of this program are difficult to determine.  Once committed to an extensive intercollegiate athletic program of fundamental principle is to regard each member of the student body as a student first and his athletic participation as secondary to his primary mission of securing a university education.

In order to accomplish this, a large body of rules and regulations has developed within the institution and within various conferences in which we are members.  Adherence to these rules and regulations is the most tangible means to insure that the primary role of the university is not superseded by secondary activities.

Further, admission standards and rules controlling eligibility to remain in the university must be made without regard to the effect which they would have on the admission and retention of athletes.

In the light of the foregoing criteria, I think that intercollegiate football is playing its proper role in the country.

The question of bigness is a relative one and must be judged in light of particular circumstances. Theoretically, the larger the program the greater the temptation to depart from the rules and regulations and principles set forth above.   However, realistically, it simply means that greater care on the part of everyone concerned is essential to insure that excesses do not prevail.

Notwithstanding the size of the program, in this university we shall adhere to the standards and rules and regulations in intercollegiate athletics and insist that scholarship and academic excellent is paramount.

Former UNC Chancellor William Aycock and UNC Head Basketball Coach Dean Smith posed together for Hugh Morton's camera in January 1990. This photograph appears in Art Chansky's THE DEAN'S LIST published in 1996, though cropped more tightly here. Ironically, it illustrates the chapter "The Writing on the Wall," which recounts the story surrounding NCAA infractions under head coach Frank McGuire during the 1960-61 season. In that same chapter, Chansky describes Aycock's small office in the Van Hecke-Wettach Hall where Aycock worked as professor emeritus in the law school. On one of the walls was "a picture of him with Dean Smith taken a few years ago by honored photographer Hugh Morton. Aycock received a copy of the picture from Smith with a personal note on the back . . . It says simply, 'This is the only picture of me in my office.'" That photograph is likely the one shown here. [Clicking on this image will take you to a scan in the online Morton collection for a different pose from the same photographic session.]

Former UNC Chancellor William Aycock and UNC Head Basketball Coach Dean Smith posed together for Hugh Morton’s camera in January 1990. This photograph appears in Art Chansky’s THE DEAN’S LIST published in 1996, though cropped more tightly here. Ironically, it illustrates the chapter “The Writing on the Wall,” which recounts the story surrounding NCAA infractions under head coach Frank McGuire during the 1960-61 season. In that same chapter, Chansky describes Aycock’s small office in the Van Hecke-Wettach Hall where Aycock worked as professor emeritus in the law school. On one of the walls was “a picture of him with Dean Smith taken a few years ago by honored photographer Hugh Morton. Aycock received a copy of the picture from Smith with a personal note on the back . . . It says simply, ‘This is the only picture of me in my office.'” That photograph is likely the one shown here. [Clicking on this image will take you to a scan in the online Morton collection for a different pose from the same photographic session.]

At the end of the 1960-61 UNC basketball season, Chancellor Aycock forced head basketball coach Frank McGuire to resign following allegations of recruiting violations.  Aycock then promoted 30-year-old assistant coach Dean Smith, whom he had hired three years before, to the head coaching position and told him “wins and losses do not count as much as running a clean program and representing the University well.”

This past May during Graduation/Reunion weekend, the UNC General Alumni Association presented a program honoring the legacy of both Friday and Aycock. GAA President Doug Dibbert related a Bill Aycock story that resonated with a full house in the UNC Blue Zone.
The story goes something like this.  During the 1961-62 basketball season, Dean Smith’s team won only 8 games.  When the season ended, two or three prominent alumni called and asked to meet with Chancellor Aycock about the 8-win-basketball season. They told the chancellor he needed to replace Smith as soon as his contract was up. After listening to the alums for several minutes, Aycock excused himself and left the room.  When he returned he said: “Gentlemen I’d like to inform you that I just extended Dean Smith’s contract.  Now, are we done here?”

Epilog

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 saw the release of the long-awaited “Wainstein Report,” formally titled “Investigation of Irregular Classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.”  The 136-page report links individuals in the “Academic Support Program for Student Athletes” to fake “paper classes” in that department between 1993 and 2011.  The UNC website devoted to this topic is called “Our Commitment: Taking Action and Moving Forward Together,” which includes links to a video of the press conference and a PDF of the report.

 

The eight-game season of 1952

On this day 62 football seasons ago, October 18, 1952, the UNC football team kicked off the 1952 season for a second time. Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard explains how that happened and how a series of unique events made the ’52 season unlike any other.

UNC Football Blue Books are available for reading online.  You can read the 1952 issue by clicking on the cover image.

Many UNC football media guides, known as “blue books,” are available online. You can read the 1952 issue by clicking on the cover image.

When the February 4, 1950 issue of The State, with Duke Chapel pictured on its cover, arrived in Hugh Morton’s mailbox in Wilmington, his immediate reaction was to quickly supply publisher Carl Goerch an “equal-time” photograph from UNC.  The magazine printed Morton’s shot of the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower on its February 25th cover.  In the early summer of 1952, when UNC Sports Information Director Jake Wade and his assistant Julian Scheer were preparing the ’52 football media guide (called a “blue book” in those days), they remembered Morton’s bell tower shot and decided to use it for the front cover of the ’52 guide.  Inside, Wade talked about UNC’s chances for the upcoming football season, and Head Coach Carl Snavely’s switch from the single-wing to the split T-formation.

Snavely said, “We lacked the speedy, shifty tailbacks, tough blocking backs and interfering linemen so vital to the single-wing.  We probably should have made the change a year ago.”  Smith Barrier, writing in the 1952 Illustrated Football Annual, picked up the Snavely quote and added that twenty lettermen from the 1951 team had graduated.

Carolina began the 1952 season without much fanfare.

On Saturday, September 27th, the Texas Longhorns came into Chapel Hill for the first time since that “never-to-be-forgotten” day in 1948 when the Tar Heels were victorious 34 to 7 in a game many Tar Heels to this day call the greatest Carolina win . . . ever.

Dougal Cameron running for a touchdown, as UNC's Billy Williams (20) sets up to attempt a tackle.   This scan shows the full negative, which was cropped for Wilmington's Sunday Star-News.

Dougal Cameron running for a touchdown, as UNC’s Billy Williams (20) sets up to attempt a tackle. This scan shows the full negative, which was tightly cropped on those two players in the photograph run the next day in Wilmington’s Sunday Star-News.

A sign hanging from Old East dorm read “Remember ’48,” but the events of September 25, 1948 were only a memory.  Irwin Smallwood, writing in the Greensboro Daily News, on Sunday, September 28th, said, “Carolina’s hopes of a repeat of that great ’48 victory over Texas . . . lasted exactly five plays—no more.”  Five plays into the game, Carolina fumbled.  Texas recovered and never looked back, posting a 28 to 7 victory.   40,000 cheering Tar Heels, led by new UNC Head Cheerleader Bo Thorpe, along with the Elizabeth City Marching Band, and with Tar Heel football great Charlie Justice in the stands, and UNC All America Art Weiner at Snavely’s side on the bench.  All that was not enough.

Next on the schedule was Georgia in Athens, but that encounter would never happen.

The front-page headline in the Greensboro Daily News on October 3rd read, “University Cancels Two Grid Contests as Polio Strikes.”  The games with Georgia and NC State were canceled when UNC fullback Harold (Bull) Davidson came down with polio. Four additional students, all athletes, came down with the disease. Daily Tar Heel editor, Barry Farber, said, “the news is very depressing, but the only sensible step the University could take.”

Down in Athens, Georgia Head Coach Wally Butts said, “we are very disappointed that our traditional game with North Carolina can’t be played.  We feel they were right to cancel the game under the circumstances.”

During the next two weeks, students were urged to stay on campus and long distant telephone calls to and from Chapel Hill doubled as students and anxious parents kept in touch.

In the end, all five students, football player “Bull” Davidson, cross country teammates John Robert Barden, Jr. and Richard Lee Bostain, swimmer Robert Nash “Pete” Higgins, and freshman football player Samuel S. Sanders, all recovered quickly and none suffered any paralysis.

So, on October 18th, it was time to kickoff the ’52 football season for a second time, with Wake Forest coming to town for the 49th meeting between the two schools, a series dating back to 1888.

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Bruce Hillenbrand of Wake Forest tackled by UNC’s Dick Lackey (30). This photograph, tightly cropped on the action on the left, ran in Monday’s Morning Star in Wilmington. It’s caption identified George Norris (#69) and Fred Satangelo (#60).

Despite losing 6 of 11 fumbles, the Tar Heels led Wake 7 to 6 with 1:16 left in the game.  But at that point Wake’s Sonny George kicked a game-winning- 22-yard field goal.  New mascot Rameses VIII and 30,000 Tar Heel fans left Kenan Stadium dejected.

Next it was on to South Bend and a fourth meeting with Notre Dame. This one turned out just as the previous three had been…a Tar Heel loss. This time it was 34 to 14.

This interesting side-bar story appeared in the Greensboro Daily News on October 30, 1952:

It may be bad . . . but really, it’s not all that bad.  Today (October 29th) Bo Thorpe reported to Coach Carl Snavely for football practice.  Snavely appraised his new candidate as very fast and shifty.  Thorpe is head cheerleader for Carolina’s Tar Heels, who have yet to win a game this season.

Time picked up the Thorpe story and ran it in its November 17th issue on page 132.

Here’s another interesting sidebar.  Henry Benton (Bo) Thorpe started his first band in 1978. He and his band played for five presidential and gubernatorial inaugural balls, the National Symphony Ball, the Kentucky Colonel’s Derby Ball and for the annual June German, a traditional dance held in Rocky Mount.  In all . . . at least 60 concerts a year.

For Carolina’s Tar Heels, a trip to Knoxville was next where they would be a three-touchdown underdog.  Only 22,000 fans turned out for the game that saw the Volunteers swamp the Heels 41 to 14. The losing streak, going back to October 13, 1951 was now at 10—longest among the nation’s major colleges.

Len Bullock running for a 69-yard touchdown run versus the University of Virginia.  This photograph, tightly cropped to focus on the action on the left, appeared in Wilmington's Sunday Star-News, 9 November 1952.

Len Bullock running for a 69-yard touchdown run versus the University of Virginia. This photograph, tightly cropped to focus on Bullock, appeared in Wilmington’s Sunday Star-News, 9 November 1952.

The University of Virginia was Carolina’s homecoming opponent on November 8, 1952.  Their trip to Chapel Hill would be their only out-of-state venture in ’52, and they obviously made it count…a 34 to 7 blowout.  A South Carolina homecoming game in Columbia was just ahead.

Flo Worrell, who starred in the South Carolina match-up, sits dejectedly during the UNC vs. Duke contest.

Flo Worrell, who starred in the South Carolina match-up, sits dejectedly during the UNC vs. Duke contest. A tightly cropped head-shot noting his new chinstrap was one of two photographs published in Wilmington’s Sunday Star-News—Worrell’s hometown newspaper.

UNC freshman Flo Worrell, who had played on Carolina’s junior varsity team most of the ’52 season, stepped up and led the Heels to a much-needed victory over USC, 27 to 19.  The losing streak was halted at 11 and Carolina fans looked forward to the traditional “battle of blues” slated for Saturday, November 22nd.

The weatherman promised 50-degrees and cloudy skies for the 39th meeting between Carolina and Duke . . . but he was wrong.  42,000 chilled fans saw Duke win the Southern Conference championship by shutting out the Tar Heels, 34 to 0.  Carolina was never in the game.

Duke head football coach Bill Murray being carried on shoulders of Duke football players, while UNC head football coach Carl Snavely shakes his hand at UNC-Chapel Hill versus Duke University football game at Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC. Duke players: #64 End Joe Hands, #39 Back David Lerps, #66 Guard Bobby Burrows, and #53 Center John Palmer.

Duke head football coach Bill Murray being carried on shoulders of Duke football players, while UNC head football coach Carl Snavely shakes his hand at UNC-Chapel Hill versus Duke University football game at Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC. Duke players: #64 End Joe Hands, #39 Back David Lerps, #66 Guard Bobby Burrows, and #53 Center John Palmer. This photograph appeared in the November 24th Charlotte News.

With one game remaining, the Heels were 1 and 6.  It had truly been a Tar Heel season out of focus.  In seven games Carolina had scored five times on the ground and six times through the air—a total of eleven touchdowns. (In 1948, Charlie Justice personally scores 11 times in 10 games and passed for 12 more touchdowns).

The final game of the 1952 season was a Friday night affair in Miami’s Orange Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes.  20,222 fans came out and saw Carolina play its best game since a 40 to 7 win over William & Mary in October of 1950. During a 13- minute span in the second quarter, Carolina scored 27 points.  The Alumni Review headline read, “34-7 Win Over Miami Provides Pleasing Finale.”

About 11:30 PM on Friday, November 28, 1952, the long ‘52 nightmare-season—a season like no other—was finally over.  It was unique, as the record book shows:

  • A 2-6 won-lost record
  • No wins in Kenan Stadium
  • 2 games canceled due to polio outbreak
  • Midway through the season, Head Cheerleader Bo Thorpe turns in his megaphone for a football helmet
  • Final game in the Southern Conference (the ’53 Tar Heels would play in the new Atlantic Coast Conference)
  • Carolina scores 27 points in 13 minutes at Miami

The unofficial record book shows that world class photographer Hugh Morton documented all four of Carolina’s home games during the 1952 season.  (He also photographed Duke’s home game against Georgia Tech.)

The University Athletic Council met at 8 PM on December 2 to decide the fate of Head Coach Carl Snavely.  The coach had turned in his letter of resignation earlier in the afternoon.  After 2 hours of discussion, the council accepted the resignation.  Dean A.W. Hobbs, Chairman of the Council said, “The Council wishes to go on record as appreciating sincerely the fine services that Mr. Snavely has rendered the athletic association at the University of North Carolina.”

Carl Snavely left Chapel Hill in early 1953 and would not return to the campus until the “Charlie Justice Era” reunion during the weekend of October 29-31, 1971.

The good news from Chapel Hill in late 1952 was that new Head Basketball Coach Frank McGuire won his first game with the Tar Heels…a 70 to 50 win over The Citadel on December 1st.

From courtside to trackside

Many people remember world class photographer Hugh Morton for his majestic scenes from the North Carolina coast and his beloved Grandfather Mountain.  Others recall his portraits of North Carolina governors and other state leaders. Still others, like me, like to recall his sports photography.

It was 43 years ago, on October 10, 1971 that Morton traveled to Charlotte for a NASCAR race.  Collection volunteer Jack Hilliard takes a look at that event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

1971 National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway; Car #71 (K & K Insurance Dodge) driven by Bobby Isaac and Car #43 (Petty Enterprises Plymouth) driven by Richard Petty.

1971 National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway; Car #71 (K & K Insurance Dodge) driven by Bobby Isaac and Car #43 (Petty Enterprises Plymouth) driven by Richard Petty.

My dad was an avid sports fan and a voracious newspaper reader; so I grew up with several North Carolina daily newspapers.  The little line of 8-point- type enclosed in parentheses proclaiming “Photo by Hugh Morton” was familiar as I looked at the sports sections each day.  Pictures of UNC football and basketball were items to be clipped out of the paper and placed in special scrapbooks and on bedroom bulletin boards.  Although I didn’t know him yet, Hugh Morton became a “special friend.”

It wasn’t until 2008, when I started volunteer work at the North Carolina Collection at Wilson Library, that I discovered Morton’s sports portfolio was far more than football and basketball pictures.  There were baseball, golf, swimming, tennis and track pictures. And then one day in early 2011 we found pictures from the Kentucky Derby and a NASCAR race. Elizabeth Hull and I were able to identify which Derby and which race Morton had photographed, and I did a “View to Hugh” post on the Derby on May 4, 2011.

It’s now time to recall that NASCAR race that Morton photographed.

Rain covered the area around the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the early morning hours of Sunday, October 10, 1971.  The National 500, the 42nd event of NASCAR’s 48 race schedule for 1971 seemed in doubt.  The rain continued as the 12:30 PM race time approached, so a delay was in order.  Finally, one hour and fifty-five minutes later, at 2:25, the rain let up, and the race was underway, to the delight of the 52,000 race fans who had braved the weather.  The drivers ran five unofficial laps to help dry the track, then the first 10 official laps were under caution.  Only one lap was completed under green, before the yellow caution flag was out again as driver Jim Vandiver scraped the wall.

Pole sitter Charlie Glotzback remained in the lead when the real racing got underway and led the first 11 laps.  Then on lap number 12 Buddy Baker took over the lead for the next 12 laps as the sun came out for the first time.  Baker and Glotzback swapped the lead back and forth until caution came out again on lap 120 when Earle Canavan crashed his car which caught fire.  Morton was there to capture the image of the burning car.

Car #01, driven by Earle Canavan, on fire during race at The National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, October 10, 1971.

Car #01, driven by Earle Canavan, on fire during The National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, October 10, 1971.

Following that yellow flag, crowd favorite Richard Petty took over the lead on lap number 126. At that point it appeared to be a four-car race between Petty, Glotzback, Bobby Allison, and Bobby Issac. At one point, Issac and Petty dueled for several laps as Morton snapped away.

Car #71 (K & K Insurance Dodge) driven by Bobby Isaac and Car #43 (Petty Enterprises Plymouth) driven by Richard Petty.

Car #71 (K & K Insurance Dodge) driven by Bobby Isaac and Car #43 (Petty Enterprises Plymouth) driven by Richard Petty.

On lap 158, Bobby Allison, another crowd favorite, took the lead but for only 8 laps as Glotzback recaptured the lead on lap 166.  11 laps later, Allison took over the lead again on lap 177. Of course no one knew it at the time, but that lead change would be the final one of the day.  As the race approached the 350 mile mark, dark clouds began forming at the South end of the one and one-half mile track and minutes later rain returned. On lap 237, NASCAR’s official starter Johnny Bruner, Jr. surprised the drivers and the crowd by flying the white flag instead of a yellow caution or a red rain delay.  The white flag meant that Allison was on the final lap of the race and would win if he could maintain his lead which at that point was 5 seconds over Glotzback.  Allison took the checkered flag on lap 238 completing only 357 miles of the 500 mile race. His 126.140 miles-per-hour speed earned him $19,450 for his day’s work.  It was his 9th win of the ’71 season; however, Richard Petty would go on to win the 1971 NASCAR championship.

I recall a Julia Morton “View to Hugh” comment from May 7, 2010 when she said “I remember how anxious Hugh was to have Stock Car Racing declared a sport.”

Morton’s image of the Richard Petty—Bobby Issac duel at the Charlotte Motor Speedway that opens this blog post is one of the header images for the web site North Carolina Miscellany.  The press banner says “World 600″ but the date on the slide mount reads “Oct 71.”

A closing note from Stephen

CHECKING UNDER THE HOOD—A man with a Mohawk-style haircut lifts the lid of a bald man wearing a toupee during the 1971 National 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

CHECKING UNDER THE HOOD—A man with a Mohawk-style haircut lifts the lid of a bald man wearing a toupee during the 1971 National 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

I made a last-minute discovery while assembling this blog post for Jack.  Hugh Morton was in “campaign mode” at The National 500, so there are not that many images of the race itself.  In a recent post about the “Governor’s Down-East Jamboree” I dug behind the making of an informal group portrait that included Chapel Hill mayor Howard Lee, photographed in mid September 1971.  In doing so I discovered that Hugh Morton attended that event as one of several unofficial candidates for the Democratic Party primary for 1972.  The National 500 NASCAR race was less than one month after the jamboree.

There are 23 black-and-white negatives listed in the Morton collection finding aid (35mm folder 2.5.1-3-11 and 120 format folder 2.5.1-5-6) described as “Hugh Morton at National 500, TOR Speedway, 10 October 1971.”  That information likely comes from one of the negative frames in which a person is reading a race program that is folded in half.  The person is looking at the page that probably reads at the top “CHARLOTTE MO,” while the page facing the camera reads “TOR SPEEDWAY: We’ll fix the finding aid to read Charlotte Motor Speedway, soon.

Most of these negatives depict Hugh Morton wearing suit and tie, posed with different individuals and small groups.  There are, however, a few scenes from pit row: two 35mm frames made while a pit crew services A. J. Foyt’s car #27, and one frame on the 120 film of Bobby Isaac’s car and pit crew during a pit stop.  A frame adjacent to the Isaac exposure is a scene of the Mohawk/toupee shot shown above.