Final weeks for “Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective”

Just wanted to float a reminder out there that the exhibit “Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective” is entering its final two weeks at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University.

Are you going to be in the mountains for a bit of skiing this weekend, but the weather forecast calls for rain on Saturday?  Just looking for something to do in Boone?  Swing on over to the Turchin Center, view the fabulous photography by Hugh Morton, and stay dry!

Emmett Kelly, Jr. at the 1968 Azalea Festival Parade

Emmett Kelly, Jr. at the 1968 Azalea Festival Parade in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Perhaps the world’s most recognizable clown, Emmett Kelly, Jr. sprung into international fame soon after completing his four-year apprenticeship in 1964. Hired by Kodak as the attraction for its pavilion during the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair, the company employed Kelly as a touring Ambassador of Goodwill for the following four years. During that time period, Kelly was the most photographed clown in the world, including this one by Hugh Morton—a founder and organizer of the azalea festival.

Here are the gallery hours at the Turchin Center:

  • Tue: 10am – 6pm
  • Wed: 10am – 6pm
  • Thu: 10am – 6pm
  • Fri: 12noon – 8pm
  • Sat: 10am – 6pm

Can’t make it to Boone before the exhibit’s last day on January 25th?  Fear not!  We have two additional venues in the works for this year: one farther west this spring and another in the east during the late summer and autumn.  I’ll be posting more information as the details unfold.

Hugh Morton, Tar Heel Camera Man

Wheat, Ashford

Wheat, Ashford, 1949

If you haven’t yet had an opportunity to visit the exhibit Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective at The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University, then Saturday, October 5th at 2:00 p.m would be a date worth considering!

As promised in the previous post announcing the exhibit, we have more information on the panel discussion featuring Woody Durham, Betty Ray McCain, and Jack Hilliard.  The event is titled “Hugh Morton, Tar Heel Camera Man,” and you can see a full description of the event by visiting the link to the UNC University Library’s announcement webpage.

I’ll be leading a gallery tour after the panel discussion.  If you plan to attend, please RSVP via email using the link on the announcement page.  And when you get to the Turchin, please say hello and let me know that you are a reader of A View to Hugh!

Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective

1950s portrait of photographer Hugh Morton with Graflex camera.

1950s portrait of photographer Hugh Morton with Graflex camera.

You may have noticed that it has been very quiet here at A View to Hugh the past couple months.  Well, that’s because there has been way too much happening behind the scenes!  I’ve been deeply immersed in curating the exhibit Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective, and today is its official debut at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.  For those readers who hail from other states, the exhibit is ten miles or so as the raven flies from Grandfather Mountain.  (By car you’ll need to drive about twice as far.)

The exhibit consists of eighty-six photographs, many of which have never been published or were published decades ago, made from high-resolution scans of Morton’s original negatives and printed on a fine art inkjet paper.  Even if you have seen Morton’s photographs in books, magazines, and online, you probably have never seen his photographs like this before.  Here’s a teaser: the exhibit includes a seven-foot-long seamless panorama printed from six negatives made from an outcrop on the west side of Mount Jefferson in 1954!

The Morton exhibit opening is part of the Turchin Center’s larger Fall Celebration, which includes four other exhibits.  Their celebration is, in turn, part of an even larger event, downtown Boone’s “First Friday Art Crawl.”  Attendance at the Turchin this evening could surpass 1,000 people during the four-hour open house.

We at UNC-Chapel Hill will be hosting a special event at the Turchin Center on Saturday, October 5th—a conversation about Hugh Morton and his photography with his friends Woody Durham (“The Voice of the Tar Heels”), Betty McCain, and regular contributor to A View to Hugh Jack Hilliard.  I’ll be offering a gallery talk after the panel discussion, and there will be light afternoon refreshments.  More details will be announced in the near future.

This retrospective has been two years in the making, and it has been an exhausting but extremely rewarding experience.  The exhibit will be on display through January 25th, and during the coming months I’ll be featuring images in the exhibit with more thorough background and description than an exhibit label will permit.  I’ll also talk about the research and design processes, and more.  So please check back often!

But for now, I’m headed to Boone to take it all in!

Julius LeVonne Chambers (1936-2013)

Julius L. Chambers receiving The University Award

Julius L. Chambers receiving The University Award from Benjamin Ruffin, Chairman of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, along with President of the University Molly Broad. Morton likely made the photograph during a banquet held on 8 November 2001. (Photographic negative —one of two—was labeled “Julius Chambers University Award”; persons in photograph identified and image cropped by author, and the date of the banquet comes from a program in the University Archives.)

Last Friday saw the passing of noted civil rights attorney Julius Chambers.  Chambers received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1962, graduating first in his class.  In 1964, he opened the state’s first integrated law firm in Charlotte. In 1965 he filed a desegregation lawsuit that became known as Swann vs. the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.  The case rose to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor, in 1971.  The court’s decision led to the use of school busing as a vehicle to integrate schools nationwide.  Chambers would come to argue seven additional cases before the United States Supreme court, winning each time.

In 2001 the University of North Carolina Board of Governors honored Chambers with “The University Award” which Hugh Morton photographed.  The award recognizes the “illustrious service to higher education” and is the highest distinction of this nature that the university bestows.

An interesting side note: Hugh and Julia Morton received The University Award in 2003.

UNC class of 1943 20th reunion

This coming Saturday, May 11th, “University History Lives in Wilson Library” from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. during our annual open house for Reunion Weekend.  For the past few years, materials from special collections relating to the featured classes are on display in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room, including a projection show of images running on continuous loop that I create using scans from negatives in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Photographic Laboratory Collection drawn from the 50th reunion year.  This year’s show honors the class of 1963.

While going through the negatives made during the 1963 commencement weekend, I saw images for other classes that also held their reunions . . . 1953 . . . scan it, nice bold banner . . . 1943 . . . . skip it, ordinary group shot . . . 1938 . . . 1933 . . . wait! . . . 1943?  I pulled out the 1943 negative from its envelope and grabbed a magnifying loupe.  Yep, Hugh and Julie Morton in attendance.

UNC class of 1943 in 1963

Class of 1943 reunion attendees in front of the University Faculty Club, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1 June 1963. This building is now know as Jackson Hall. Hugh and Julia Morton are second and third persons from the left in the back row. Photograph by Don Needham and Barney Young. (UNC Photo Lab Collection, 24311)

Detail of Hugh and Julia Morton

Detail from the above photograph highlighting Hugh and Julia Morton.

The Alumni Review April-May issue (which must have been a few months late) used the photograph with the caption title “Emphasis Was Placed on Low-Pressure, Family Type of Reunion for ’43.”  The event’s focus was “an enjoyable supper on June 1 at the Monogram Club dinning room.”  According the caption, by comparison, the “Pearl Harbor generation” classes of 1941, 1942, and 1943 held a joint reunion in 1962 at the Hope Valley Country Club in Durham.

An interesting biographical comment turned up in the column, “Some Notes from the ’43 Reunion”:

Hugh Morton of Wilmington, realtor, owns and operates Grandfather Mountain, known as “Carolina’s Top Scenic Attraction,” and also does some photographic work. . . .”

Some photographic work, indeed.

The Doors Shall Remain Open

In 1962, when Charlotte businessman Jack Wood and attorney Lloyd Caudle followed up with the idea for a North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, they put together a distinguished board of directors which included Hugh Morton.  Fifty-one years later on May 2, 2013, Morton will come full-circle when he will be inducted into that select group of North Carolina sports legends.  In today’s post, Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard celebrates his friend’s call to the Hall.

Hugh Morton and UNC mascotOn October 12, 2009, Asheville’s Citizen-Times columnist Keith Jarrett wrote about his first reaction to that year’s North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame ballot and its several western North Carolina candidates. After listing a half-dozen or so athletes, he said:

Another local nominee is included in the category of contributor, and in the spirit of full disclosure my vote is both a personal and professional choice.

Hugh Morton was a friend, and just about everyone who ever met this warm, caring man could say the same.  His fame came from his work at converting Grandfather Mountain into a High Country and NC treasure and his lifelong efforts as a conservationist.

But Hugh was also a great photographer, and for decades he would climb into his car and make the drive from his home in Linville to Chapel Hill and capture his beloved Tar Heels on film. . . .

His nature and animal photos were also brilliant, but his collection of work in sports photography is a catalog of the history of the ACC, and especially North Carolina.

If he is not a Hall of Famer, they should close the doors.

Hugh Morton mentored several generations of sports photographers and as part of that mentoring process he strongly advocated good sportsmanship within the Atlantic Coast Conference.  He always said “pull for your team, not against your opponent.”  He also sponsored “family outings” at Grandfather Mountain for conference schools for over 45 years.

So, almost four years after Jarrett wrote his column, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame fans can breathe easier.  The doors will remain open . . . Hugh Morton will take his rightful place in the hall on Thursday night, May 2, 2013 at Raleigh’s Convention Center as part of the organization’s fiftieth induction ceremony.  Hugh’s grandson Jack Morton will represent the Morton family.  [Editor’s note: here’s an article, “My Grandfather and his Camera” written by Jack Morton in 2003 that recalls the day depicted in the photograph below—” . . . it was the first time that I had ever taken photos alongside him.”]

Hugh Morton and grandson Jack Morton

Photographer Hugh Morton (right) with grandson Jack Morton (also a photographer) on sidelines during the UNC-Chapel Hill versus Duke University football game in Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, N. C., November 23, 1996.

Also as part of the class of 2013 is longtime Morton friend, the late Bob Quincy.  World War II bomber pilot and sports writer for both The Charlotte News and The Charlotte Observer, Quincy also spent four years as sports information director at UNC.  His books Choo Choo: The Charlie Justice Story (1958) and They Made the Bell Tower Chime (1973) are filled with Hugh Morton images.

Bob Quincy, Julian Scheer, and Charlie Justice with copy of CHOO CHOO: THE CHARLIE JUSTICE STORY, circa September 1958.

Bob Quincy, Julian Scheer, and Charlie Justice with copy of CHOO CHOO: THE CHARLIE JUSTICE STORY, circa September 1958.

On Thursday evening, Hugh and Bob will join their dear friends Choo Choo, Bones, and Peahead, . . . Francis, Arnie, Dale, and Jake along with 291 other sports legends in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

Wait, wait . . . is that Carl Kasell?

Carl Kasell and Stephen Fletcher

NPR’s Carl Kasell and North Carolina Collection Photographic Archivist Stephen Fletcher examine photographs in the Wilson Library Grand Reading Room, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Photograph by Mark Perry.

Last Tuesday was a fun day at the office.  In the morning, library staff gave Carl Kasell a tour of Wilson Library.  Kassel, a UNC alumnus, returned to Chapel Hill for an evening event sponsored by the library moderated by WUNC radio host Eric Hodge.  Kasell was a member of UNC’s class of 1956 (although he did not graduate, having been drafted into the United States Army after four years as a student).

Kasell’s tenure at National Public Radio began in 1975 as a part-time news announcer for Weekend Edition.  Starting in 1979 he was the voice of the network’s morning news for the next thirty years.  Since retiring from that role at NPR in 2009, Kasell became a “roving ambassador,” and continued as the judge and scorekeeper for the “Oddly Informative News Quiz” Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!, which debuted in January 1998.

As you might imagine, Kasell has received several awards during his sonorous career.  In 2004 the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication inducted Kasell into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame.  In 2010 the National Radio Hall of Fame inducted Kasell into its ranks.  In March 2013 the North Carolina Press Association named Kasell “North Carolinian of the Year” for 2013, and the association made a wonderful biographical video available on their YouTube site.  Despite his stature in journalism, A View to Hugh has not been able to feature Kasell because Hugh Morton hadn’t photographed him, even though he been a co-founder of WUNC radio with Morton’s long-time friend Charles Kuralt.

Or so we thought.

Andy Griffith as Sir Walter Raleigh in The Lost Colony.  Carl Kasell, as Wanchese, is in the lower right corner of the photograph.

Andy Griffith as Sir Walter Raleigh in “The Lost Colony.”  Carl Kasell, as Wanchese, is in the lower right corner of the photograph.

We featured the above photograph a few years ago in a post about the comeback of The Lost Colony after a fire destroyed the production’s costumes and props.  Playing the role of Sir Walter Raleigh (right) is Andy Griffith.  But wait . . . wait!  Who is the fellow in the lower right corner wearing too much face paint?  None other than Carl Kasell!

As seen in the opening photograph, I showed Hugh Morton’s photograph to Mr. Kasell and he confirmed that that indeed was he in the corner.  The reference to too much face paint came from a story Kasell told during Tuesday evening’s event, when Andy Griffith told Kasell he had been a bit heavy handed in the makeup room before dress rehearsal.  Kasell confided that Griffith later helped him with a more appropriate application of face paint, and that Griffith was “a big, big help” during that season. (Kasell’s high school drama teacher was Clifton Britton, not Griffith as is often incorrectly stated on numerous web pages.)

We don’t know if Morton made the above photograph before or after that cosmetic lesson, but we now know the year Morton made the photograph: Kasell said it was 1952 after he had graduated from high school, and 1952 is the only year Kasell’s name appears in the official program.  And because we know what Kasell’s costume looked like, we can now identify other Morton photographs of Kasell.

Lillian Prince and Carl Kasell in The Lost Colony

Lillian Prince as Queen Elizabeth and Carl Kasell as Wanchese in “The Lost Colony,” 1952.

Kasell played the role of “Wanchese, an Indian chief.”  I believe as he looked at Morton’s photograph he dredged up from his memory a couple of his lines: “Mish-wi aga, Wingina” and “Wanchese no more chief.  Wanchese now king.”

Carl Kasell as Wanchese confronts Old Tom

Wanchese confronted by the character “Old Tom” holding his arquebus. “Get out of here, ye knavish rogues! Scat!”  Is this also Carl Kasell?  If so, Frederick Young played the part of Old Tom Harris in 1952.

If you couldn’t make the evening with Carl Kasell, you can watch a video recording of the event, which includes Kasell’s recollections from his performance in The Lost Colony while Morton’s photograph is projected on the screen.  Below is an image from a color transparency from the Morton collection not previously scanned.

Scene from The Lost Colony with Andy Griffith as Sir Walter Raleigh

This photograph is remarkably similar to the one that appears on the cover of the 1953 “The Lost Colony” souvenir program (see below).

1953 "The Lost Colony" Souvenir Program.

Cover of the 1953 edition of “The Lost Colony” Souvenir Program.

But least we think that the similarity between the two photographs means that Hugh Morton made the eventual 1953 cover photograph, too, here is a photograph published on page 35 of the 1952 souvenir program:

Lillian Prince and Carl Kasell pose for photographers

Lillian Prince and Carl Kasell pose during the 1952 annual press photographers day.

The cover photograph could have been made by any of the photographers above. . . . But wait . . . wait, don’t tell me!  Is that Hugh Morton (center right) among the press photographers?!

Player, Preacher, Coach, and Commentator

UNC’s men basketball team bowed out of the NCAA tournament over the weekend, but the UNC women’s team continues on its quest for a national championship this evening.  With basketball season still in high gear, Hugh Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard looks back at a North Carolina basketball legend on the anniversary of UNC’s second place finish in the 1946 NCAA championship game played on March 26, 1946.

Bones McKinney

Wake Forest men’s basketball Head Coach Bones McKinney on bench/sidelines. Possibly during a UNC-Chapel Hill versus Wake Forest University basketball game.

“I don’t remember exactly when everyone started calling me Bones, but with a name like Horace Albert, the sooner the better, right?”

—Bones McKinney from Bones: Honk Your Horn if You Love Basketball (1988)

His resume is like no other.  It goes something like this:

  • High School All-Star Basketball at Durham High
  • Varsity basketball at North Carolina State
  • United States Army, Fort Bragg (basketball coach and player)
  • Varsity basketball at University of North Carolina
  • Basketball Association of America, Washington Capitols
  • National Basketball Association, Boston Celtics
  • Ordained Baptist minister
  • Head coach, Wake Forest
  • Head coach, American Basketball Association, Carolina Cougars
  • TV commentator and analyst, Raycom
  • Newspaper columnist
  • Author
  • Humorist and motivational after-dinner speaker

Folks born on New Year’s Day are special people.

For Horace Albert (Bones) McKinney, born in Lowlands, North Carolina on January 1, 1919, that specialty was his love for the game of basketball.  When he was five years old, the McKinney family moved to Durham and that’s where young Horace began playing his favorite game—starting at Watts Street Grammar School, then to Central Junior High, the YMCA, and finally to Durham High where, under Head Coach Paul Sykes, he led the team to two South Atlantic Prep Tournaments, two Duke-Durham Tournaments, three state championships, and the Interscholastic Basketball Tournament in Glens Falls, New York . . . all the while racking up sixty-nine straight wins.

McKinney graduated a little late from Durham High in the spring of 1940, then headed over to Raleigh for a college career at North Carolina State College (now North Carolina State).  A year of freshman ball was followed by a sophomore year when he led the Southern Conference in scoring with 200 points and was an all conference selection. On Christmas Day, 1941, Bones McKinney married the love of his life, Edna Ruth Stell.

UNC 1946 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship runners-up

Group portrait of UNC-Chapel Hill men’s basketball team after their loss to Oklahoma A&M in the 1946 NCAA championship at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY. Among those pictured are head coach Ben Carnevale (back row, second from left) and Horace “Bones” McKinney (back row, second from right).

A week after the 1942 season ended, on April 2, 1942, he joined the Army.  At Fort Bragg, Bones played, coached, and led the team to wins in the Southeastern Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Tournament in Savannah and the Southern AAU in Raleigh.  While at Fort Bragg, he became good friends with Ben Carnevale the head coach at UNC and on January 9, 1945, Bones McKinney became a Tar Heel—but the UNC basketball team was called the White Phantoms in those days. The highlight of the 1946 season, which was his only season at UNC, was a NCAA national championship game against Oklahoma A&M at Madison Square Garden.  The 43–40 loss was difficult for Bones as evidenced by Hugh Morton’s photograph of the award ceremony following the game.

1946 UNC coach Ben Carnevale receiving runner-up trophy

“In 1946, before the NCAA national championship became known as the Final Four, UNC lost in the championship game, 43 to 40 to Oklahoma A&M. The game was played in the old Madison Square Garden before 18,479 spectators. UNC head basketball coach and Navy lieutenant Ben Carnevale (shaking hands), who had responsibilities as the Navy Pre-Flight School at Chapel Hill as well, accepted the runner-up trophy. Carolina’s Horace ‘Bones’ McKinney (far left) was not pleased at being runner up.” Presenting the award is Harold G. Olsen, who was serving his final year as the NCAA basketball tournament chairman. (Identification obtained from book ON TOBACCO ROAD.)

By the end of the ‘46 season, the McKinney family had grown to three and Bones realized that he needed a paying job to support the family, so he left UNC and went to work for Hanes Hosiery.  It was while there that an unbelievable phone call came.  On the other end of the line was Red Auerbach, who was going to form the “Basketball Association of America”—and he wanted Bones to play for him.  Just when it looked like basketball was over for Bones McKinney, along came an opportunity to play for pay: $6,750 for a season with a $500 advance.  He would play for the Washington Capitols for five seasons, making all pro and led the team to the Eastern Division championship his first season, 1946-47. He led the team into the playoffs each year from 1946 through 1950.

As a Caps player-coach, he made some NBA history. He recruited and signed Earl Lloyd, the first African American player in the NBA. On January 9, 1951 the Washington Capitols folded, and McKinney was sent to the Boston Celtics as player-coach.

Following the ’52 season, McKinney left pro basketball and enrolled in the Southeastern Theological Seminary at Wake Forest.  While in class on November 8, 1952, Wake Forest Head Basketball Coach Murray Greason walked in and asked Dr. Bill Strickland if he could speak with student McKinney.  Greason needed an assistant coach and offered Bones the job, a job that would last until March 26, 1957 when he took over the head coaching position at Wake.

In February of 1960, a writer for the magazine Life came to Winston-Salem to do a McKinney feature story.  It wasn’t the first time he had made the big time.  There is an action shot by Hugh Morton contemporary Hy Peskin on the front cover of Collier’s dated January 15, 1949.  Life published another article, titled “Basketball’s Incredible Mr. Bones” in its February 22, 1960 issue, which featured the following:

People go to Wake Forest basketball games to see a winning team perform.  For the same price, they get Bones McKinney, the coach with his own private volcano.  Once the game starts, the bench can’t hold him.  The climactic moment arrives when Mr. Bones erupts dramatically from the sideline, looking like a dead ringer for Ichabod Crane.

In 1961 and 1962, McKinney led the Deacons to Atlantic Coast Conference championships, with the ’62 team playing in the NCAA Final Four.  Following the ’64-’65 season, Wake Forest made a coaching change and Bones McKinney took a job with the North Carolina Board of Corrections, but soon after the ’65-’66 basketball season started, he got a call from ACC TV producer Castleman D. Chesley.  It seems that Bones’ good friend Charlie Harville had recommended him as a possible broadcaster with the ACC network.  Bones was eager to get back into basketball, so on January 8, 1966 at the UNC vs. Duke game in Chapel Hill, Bones McKinney became a TV basketball commentator and analyst, working with play-by-play man Jim Thacker, and stat man Charlie Harville.  At first, McKinney didn’t think he was very good as a broadcaster, but when he was invited back, he figured he must be OK.

Then in early 1969 . . . another phone call and another basketball opportunity.  On January 2, 1969, Southern Sports Corporation purchased the Houston Mavericks, a team in the American Basketball Association.  President Jim Gardner was planning to move the team to North Carolina and he wanted Bones as his head coach.  Gardner and McKinney struck a deal and Bones McKinney became to first head coach of the newly formed Carolina Cougars, leading them that year to the ABA playoffs.

One of my favorite Bones McKinney stories came during that ’69-‘70 season. During a hotly contested game, Bones yelled out at an official following a questionable call.

“Hey, you’re either blind or you’re a crook.”
“And you’re out of the game,” yelled back the ref.
“Why?” asked Bones defiantly.
“Because you called me a crook,” replied the official.
“Did not,” yelled Bones, looking back over his shoulder as he departed, “I gave you a choice.”

While still coaching the Carolina Cougars, McKinney was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame with the Class of 1970.

Bones McKinney, Billy Packer, and Jim Thacker, with Castleman Chesley at UNC-Chapel Hill versus Marquette basketball game, 1977 NCAA

Seated are (L to R) Bones McKinney, Billy Packer, and Jim Thacker, with Castleman Chesley (standing) behind the scenes at UNC-Chapel Hill versus Marquette basketball NCAA finals in Atlanta, Georgia.

The 4th Annual ABA All-Star Game was played in the Greensboro Coliseum on January 23, 1971 and CBS-TV carried the game nationwide, with play-by-play by Don Criqui and Pat Summerall and color commentary by Bones McKinney.

On November 18, 1979 during halftime of the Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys game in RFK Stadium, McKinney was inducted into the Washington Hall of Stars.  In 1985 his longtime friend Charlie Justice joined him in the DC Hall.  McKinney continued to coach all-star games, and was in high demand as an after-dinner speaker during the 1980s and early ‘90s.

When the Greensboro News and Record arrived on Saturday morning May 17, 1997, the front page headline read, “Legendary Wake Coach Dies at 78.”  Staff writer Jim Schlosser related the story of McKinney’s death at 5:05 PM on Friday, May 16th at Wake Medical Rehab Center following a stroke two weeks earlier.  On Sunday, I went out to WFMY-TV and put together a video piece for Monday’s “Good Morning Show.”  As I was putting the piece together, I kept thinking about a Bones McKinney quote that I had read years before in his 1988 book.  The quote was part of the short section about his broadcasting career.  It went like this: “I soon found out that if your director ain’t no good, you ain’t no good.”  He went on to talk about the magnificent Raycom directors, Norman Prevatte from WBTV in Charlotte, John Young from WUNC-TV, and Frank Slingland from WRC-TV in Washington, DC.

During my time in broadcasting, I never had the honor of directing a Bones McKinney game or a Bones McKinney broadcast.  However, I worked several Carolina Cougar games in 1972 after Bones had moved on.  But in 1969, WFMY-TV produced the Carolina Cougar coach’s show.  It was called, of course, “The Bones McKinney Show.”  Veteran WFMY Producer/Director George Leh was director and Woody Durham was producer along with Bones. The show was usually taped on Thursday afternoons for weekend playback.  On this particular Thursday, Leh was not available to direct so production manager Jack Forehand asked me to direct the show. For twenty-eight minutes and thirty seconds on Thursday afternoon, March 5, 1969, I knew I was part of something very special.

CORRECTION: When first published, this post had the following text: “On January 9, 1951 the Washington Capitols folded, and McKinney was sent to the Boston Celtics as a player-coach. While there he made some NBA history. He recruited and signed Earl Lloyd, the first African American player in the NBA”  A correction to this post, made on March 1, 2015 and based upon an obituary, clarifies the chronological order of events.  Earl Lloyd passed away on February 26, 2015.  A link to Lloyd’s Hall of Fame webpage has also been added.

William Clyde Friday (1920-2012)

The Hugh Morton collection is part of the North Carolina Collection in large part because William Friday, UNC President Emeritus and friend of Morton, heartily and frequently encouraged Morton that his historically important photographic collection should be here.  Robert Anthony, Curator of the North Carolina Collection, described Friday’s role as “key.”  Friday, who passed away Friday morning—University Day—will be memorialized today at 10:00 a.m. in Memorial Hall.  Morton collection volunteer and A View to Hugh contributor Jack Hilliard offers his memorial to William C. Friday in today’s post.

The University of North Carolina will bear the impress of this gifted and dedicated man for as long as it endures.— Archie K. Davis, President, North Caroliniana Society, May 4, 1984

Courage, manners and decency cost a person so little, but disregard them and see what you get.— William Friday, in a 1995 Associated Press interview.

On the day the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was to celebrate its 219th birthday, it mourned the loss of a legend.  Dr. William C. (Bill) Friday, the individual who personified higher education in this state, died at age 92. Virginia Taylor, his special assistant, said the former UNC president died in his sleep early Friday morning, October 12, 2012.

Bill Friday defined “The Greatest Generation,” during his service in World War II and the years that followed.  For thirty of those years, he was president of the consolidated university system.  During his tenure, he served with distinction under seven governors from Luther Hodges to James Martin. Under his leadership, higher education in the UNC system became a model for all to emulate.

He was just 35 years old and the assistant to outgoing UNC President Gordon Gray when he was offered the position of Acting President of the Consolidated University of North Carolina.  That was in 1956.  He didn’t expect to stay long, telling a reporter at the time:  “I expect that I will be in this place no more than a few months.”  He remained until 1986.  Although he retired in ‘86, he continued to be a vital part of his university.

Hugh Morton and Bill Friday

Hugh Morton and Bill Friday at a UNC versus Virginia basketball game.

At a reception and banquet in the Carolina Inn on June 7, 1996, Hugh Morton accepted the North Caroliniana Society award and in his remarks he said this about his old friend:

Bill Friday—I do not have to tell any of you—is probably the most respected person in our nation, not just North Carolina, in the field of higher education.  To have him as a friend over the years has meant a whole lot to me.

I remember vividly the words of UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour on November 5, 2004 at the Charlie Justice statue dedication.  Baddour introduced Dr. Friday as “the most respected man in North Carolina.”

Last Wednesday, October 10th, in an interview with Rachel George of USA Today, Baddour said at the start of the NCAA investigation at UNC in the summer of 2010, “the telephone call to Bill Friday was the most difficult.”  For more than thirty years, Friday, co-founder of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, had fought for changes to prevent the exact type of violations ultimately found at UNC.  On Friday morning Baddour described Bill Friday as “an absolute giant.”

In the Washington Post last week, Friday said while the investigations and violations at UNC are troubling, the school must move forward and improve.  “It’s a very difficult thing to accept and I hope and pray that we’ve learned our lesson here, and I sure hope we have.  But it’s a symptom of the commercialization of college sports all over the nation.  I’m hoping that we can step forward and let’s move on and make the changes that are necessary, because change is necessary, and let’s go from here.”

“President Friday was the most significant educator in North Carolina in the 20th century,” said C. D. Spangler, Jr., who succeeded Friday as UNC president.  Tom Ross, the current University President, said, “Bill Friday lived a life that exemplified everything that has made our University—and the state of North Carolina—great.”

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorpe added, “Bill Friday was committed to providing access to high-quality, affordable higher education to North Carolina students.  He was tireless in his efforts to underscore the importance of higher education to people from all walks of life . . . .”

William Link, author of the 1995 book, William Friday: Power, Purpose and American Higher Education, said: “He was the person who kind of consolidated and built the system the way it is now.  It’s gone through a lot of changes, but it’s Bill Friday’s university in a lot of ways.”

Many North Carolinians will remember Dr. Friday as a pioneer for public television and interviewer in his weekly TV program on WUNC-TV, “North Carolina People.”  I remember on one of his early programs, he interviewed long-time sports broadcaster Ray Reeve.  Reeve told about his first meeting with Friday and added, “I just assumed you would be governor someday.”  I think there are many in this state who believe he would have been a great governor.

The state of North Carolina and the University lost a legend on October 12, 2012.  Bill Friday will be missed, but on this day, I choose to believe he has joined a select group of individuals . . . a group that includes his dear friend Hugh Morton.

Currently there are thirty-eight photographs of Bill Friday in the online collection of Morton photographs.

Now that Charlotte is in the distance

Charlotte from Grandfather Mountain

Hugh Morton's favorite photograph of Charlotte, as seen from near the Mile High Swinging Bridge on Grandfather Mountain approximately 87 air miles away. Morton made the photograph in mid-December after a cold front had cleared the air, providing some very rare visibility.

Last week, the city of Charlotte was the “front and center” of the American political scene as it hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  As the event approached, I had the natural inclination to turn to Hugh Morton’s coverage of past Democratic conventions for a timely blog post . . . but quickly remembered that we had already done that shortly after the party selected Charlotte.

If you find yourself wanting more Democratic convention politics now that the show has left town, you may want to revisit previous posts on the topic here at A View to Hugh.  For starters, try Rob Christensen’s essay “Hugh Morton Among the Movers and Shakers” for an overview of Hugh Morton’s role in North Carolina’s political scene.  Then choose from any or all of these offerings related to the Democratic National Convention: