Wish You Were Here!

Postcards are an integral part of any vacation. Whether amid the urban sprawl of Charlotte or the peace and quiet of Sunset Beach, you will always find those spinning turnstiles advertising postcards, 10 for a dollar.  Grandfather Mountain is by no means immune to this phenomenon.

Grandfather Mountain postcard, circa 1990s

In our massive collection of images are quite a few postcards photographed, and often published, by Hugh Morton. Some of these postcards can be seen in the North Carolina Postcards collection online: 14 postcards for which Hugh provided the images can be found in the digital collection. Of the 7 Grandfather Mountain images, 4 are Hugh’s (of the Highland Games and pipe bands on the cliffs. Stephen found this collection quite useful about a year ago in helping to identify a specific pipe band).

Hugh Morton postcard, circa 1950s (subjects unidentified)

Most of the postcards donated with the collection are typical scenic views, cuddly bear cubs, or bubbly creeks and waterfalls — ones you might buy from Grandfather Mountain’s gift shop, including familiar images such as this one, this one, and this one. And then you have the one above, a crazy picture with no accompanying description, raising the questions: who are these men, and why would I want a postcard of them?

Grandfather Mountain postcard, circa 1960s
Some of the postcards are actually quite useful. Many times the descriptions on the back will help us to identify a location, date, or person. The description from the postcard above explains that this is Darby Hinton and Mildred the Bear at the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Darby played Daniel Boone’s son, Israel, from the television series running from 1964-1970. As we were looking for postcards for this blog, Elizabeth exclaimed, “Hey, I’ve seen this kid.”  She had run across pictures of him, but hadn’t yet connected them with a name.
The pictures Hugh Morton took for his postcards were used for more than just souvenirs. Grammy Award-winning banjo man David Holt used a Morton postcard to promote himself. Hugh used a postcard of the USS North Carolina to send out his change of address from Wilmington to Linville. It’s nice to see that the photos he took showed the beauty of the surrounding areas and didn’t stoop to the cheesy tourist gimmicks of bathing beauties or ski bunnies.
Hugh Morton photo postcard, circa late 1940s-early 1950s
Or did they?

10 thoughts on “Wish You Were Here!”

  1. Interesting post, Amber. I can help identify a couple of the images.
    Image #2 shows, on the left, WRAL (Tobacco Sports Network) sportscaster Ray Reeve. In the center background is WPTF sportscaster Jim Reid, and in the foreground is Bill Currie, known as the “Mouth of the South” when he worked with Ray Reeve doing UNC football and basketball games on the radio. (There is a similar Morton photo in Hugh’s 1988 book “Making A Difference in North Carolina.” The image is on page 165. And there may be a pinback button in the Lew Powell button collection for the “Mouth of the South.”
    Image #4 shows, on the far left, UNC All America football great Charlie Choo Choo Justice. And third from the left is UNC football placekicker and end Bob Cox, who played with Justice from 1946-1948. (Still working to identify the other two tennis players but the gentleman on the far right looks a lot like former UNC Comptroller William D. Carmichael).

  2. Thanks, Jack, as always. You are a great help to this project. Most of the pictures I had seen of Charlie Justice have been from the 90’s. I had no idea he was in that when I picked the postcard.
    Speaking of postcards… This weekend I was in an antiques store and saw a box of old postcards. I decided to flip through and the first one happened to be a Hugh Morton image. As I went through them, I found a few more that I recognized. My first Morton experience outside of work. 🙂

  3. Amber your Morton-Postcard entry prompted me to look back in my correspondence files where I found two Hugh Morton postcards that he send me when we were working on a couple of TV projects…one in 1973 and another in 1984. The ’73 card shows a closeup of Rameses the UNC mascot in Kenan Stadium and the ’84 card shows the cabar toss at the Highland Games. I also found two Hugh Morton Postcard Folders from 1957…one says “Greetings From Grandfather Mountain,” and the other one says “Greetings From Asheville, Capital City of The Land of The Sky.”

  4. Oh my . . . I grew up watching Bill Currie sports segments on KDKA in Pittsburgh in the 1970s. I would never have guessed that was him in the photograph. Must be the eyes.
    Mouth of the South? In the seventies, his clothes were loud, too! My mind’s eye sees him in a very red plaid sports jacket; to see him wearing a bright (bright!) green jacket, read his obituary at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08044/856928-122.stm. The obituary begins, “Dressed in sports jackets as loud as a Three Rivers Stadium crowd with ties as wide as the Ohio River, Bill Currie would pin a boutonniere into his lapel and, in a voice that dripped corn pone, mix Scripture with Shakespeare in sports commentaries that were folksy, rambling, irreverent and laced with color and the off-color, all at the same time.”

  5. Hugh was absolutely crazy about Bill Curry, as we all were. Hugh couldn’t listen to him broadcast a game while he was driving because he’d be laughing so hard he’d run off the road. Bill was visiting us the night the first man (Neil Armstrong) set foot upon the moon. I wish I had a tape of the comments he made that night!

  6. There is another Morton image of Darby Hinton and Mildred on page 7 of the booklet “Mildred The Bear and Her Cubs at Grandfather Mountain,” by Hugh Morton.

  7. Most of your postcard It’s has been early the 90’s. It’s look classic and great. Yeah postcard is the good way to recall all memories where we had been stayed. Like you said, the best postcards are having the descriptions in order to help us to recognize a location, date, or person. Once seeing your crazy postcard picture with no accompanying description make me laugh because of I’m remembering when my party after finishing our project at my workplace. Hopefully you can post more classical postcard.

  8. Surely I have responded to this picture (the tennis players) before. If so, I apologize. Orville Campbell is between Charlie and Bob. Isn’t the fourth player the only man at Chapel Hill to letter in four major sport? He is as nice as he can be, and I am mortified that I can’t remember his name just this minute. (Jack will know.)

  9. Julia, I believe the multi-sport UNC athlete that you are thinking about could be Albert Long, Jr. (UNC Class of 1955).
    Albert Long, Jr. was born in 1932. Compare him to Charlie Justice in this same picture. Justice was born in 1924. (In this 1950s picture, Justice would have been about 28. Long, Jr. would have been about 21.
    According to the UNC General Alumni Association web site, Albert Long, Sr. was UNC Class of 1914.
    So… Long, Sr. would have been about 58 when this picture was taken. According to Smith Barrier’s 1937 book “On Carolina’s Gridiron,” Albert Long, Sr. played end on UNC’s football teams from 1911-1914.

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