Last month, on August 11, 2018, former UNC head football coach Mack Brown revisited Chapel Hill and Kenan Stadium, where he had roamed the sidelines for ten seasons from 1988 through the 1997. The occasion for Brown’s recent return was a celebratory dinner with about fifty Tar Heels from his UNC days, held in the stadium’s Blue Zone, in honor of his selection into the College Football Hall of Fame. The hall announced its 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class announced back in January, and will hold its induction ceremony on December 4 in New York City.
Brown’s August visit was not first time back to Chapel Hill after his final UNC football season. Morton Collection volunteer Jack Hilliard looks back to September 14, 2002—a visit by Brown that many Tar Heel fans still recall.
The headline in the Saturday, September 14, 2002 edition of the Greensboro News & Record read “Tar Heels hope to catch Texas off guard again.” Sports writer Larry Keech recounted the famous Carolina–Texas game from 1948 when the Tar Heels beat the Longhorns 34 to 7. Keech interviewed Tar Heel All-America Art Weiner and he recalled that day in September of 1948 when he and teammate Charlie Justice made UNC history. Keech closed his story by saying, “If history is to repeat, it will be up to UNC quarterback Darian Durant and receiver Sam Aiken to do their best Justice and Weiner impersonations.”
When Texas head coach Mack Brown and his nationally ranked #3 Texas Longhorns took the field shortly before 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 14, 2002, a few boos were heard from the Tar Heel faithful in the Kenan crowd of 60,500—the second largest in Kenan to date. I remember my disappointment at those boos. I chose to believe they were directed at a Tar Heel opponent, not at Coach Brown. It was estimated that there were 5,000 Texas fans in the sold-out crowd.
By the end of the first quarter, and trailing 10 to 0, the chances of that “repeat-history” seemed to be getting farther away. Carolina finally scored in the second quarter but trailed 24 to 7 at the half. That “repeat-history” was now . . . history. There was just too much Texas. Each team scored in the third quarter, but Texas poured it on with 21 points in the fourth. The final score was 52 to 21, Texas.
Following the win, Coach Brown hugged his players and looked toward those Texas fans as he held up the famous “Hook ‘em Horns” sign. The Texas band then played “The Eyes of Texas.” The Tar Heel hype for this game by now was forgotten. Texas was ranked #3 for a reason. They were that good.
Following the Mack Brown–John Bunting handshake at midfield, Coach Brown walked into the atrium of the old Kenan Field House at Kenan Stadium, a room in which he was totally familiar. He was set to address the media.
“I’ve never seen a team play that hard down 31 to 14. The crowd was in it, it was an unbelievable atmosphere. For myself, I’m really proud that North Carolina football is in John Bunting’s hands and moving forward.
“I was impressed with the crowd. I’m proud to be a part of the two biggest in school history. I’m just on the wrong side in one of them . . . . There was way too much talk about me coming back here. . . . We had our struggles and I’m proud of what we did here.”
Mack Brown’s position in Tar Heel history is secure with ACC Coach of the Year honors in 1996, three ten-win-seasons, and a number four national ranking (Coaches’ Poll) for the 11-1 1997 team.
Brown would go on to lead the Longhorns for eleven more seasons, winning the National Championship in 2005. You can see why he will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December.
During his most recent campus visit, Coach Brown talked with the 2018 Tar Heel football team and told them it is a “privilege” to play in a historic and winsome venue like Kenen Memorial Stadium. He then added that he was pulling for them each Saturday from his ESPN studio vantage point where he is a network analyst each weekend during football season.
With the 2018 football season kickoff tomorrow on the west coast against the University of California, Berkeley, many Tar Heel fans are ready for their annual rite of autumn. An important part of that rite is fan participation—cheering, it’s called. And no one in Carolina history cheered like the rotund man from Farmville, the unofficial UNC cheerleader they called Tarzan. He was not only famous on the UNC campus. Tarzan was a familiar face and voice at Duke as well as other schools across North Carolina. A View to Hugh awakens from its summer doldrums to the beat of Hugh Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard, who takes a look at the life and times of Lath Morriss.
Author’s Note: In researching this post, I found numerous spellings of the main character’s name—from Lathe to Lath, and from Morris to Morriss. In a Daily Tar Heel story published on December 12, 1946, the man himself says his name is Lath Morriss. So that’s what I will go with throughout this post.
When Duke University’s Blue Devils traveled to Pasadena, California for the 25th annual Rose Bowl game on January 2, 1939, the opponent was the University of Southern California. Many Duke fans across North Carolina were not able to make the long trip to California for the game, so they listened to sportscaster Bill Stern’s coast-to-coast broadcast on NBC radio. Not only did they get Stern’s play-by-play account of the famous game, but another well known voice was heard during the broadcast. It was that of Lath Morriss cheering on the opposite side of the field from Stern’s broadcast booth.
Lath Morriss was born in Brenham, Texas on February 15, 1904 and spent his early years in and around that small town. He had a love for the game of football. He played fullback on his high school team and quarterback on his college team.
After college, Lath took a job in Port Arthur, Texas with the Smith Construction Company, which had recently acquired a contract to build a highway between Farmville and Wilson in North Carolina. When the construction company completed the road project, Morriss stayed in North Carolina and took a job in Farmville with the A.C. Monk Tobacco Company. He was often seen at football games at Duke and attended his first game in Kenan Stadium in 1927.
His unusual voice often became a distraction in the cheering sections. During a Duke – Colgate game in Duke Stadium, university security asked him to leave. The Associated Press, which covered the game, reported that Morriss had been evicted. Students who were seated near him that September day, however, said he just went across the field and started cheering for Colgate.
Morriss soon found a “home” in Chapel Hill on football Saturdays. He became known as the “Screaming Eagle” in The Daily Tar Heel but the students called him Tarzan. In a 1935 interview in The Daily Tar Heel, Lath said, “I reckon you might call a voice like mine somewhat unusual, but I believe it has its good points.”
UNC’s 1937 season opener against the University of South Carolina ended in a 13-to-13 draw. The Daily Tar Heel blamed Tarzan’s absence for the tie. S. R. Rolfe writing in the Sunday, September 26 issue said, “For the first time in memory . . . Tarzan was not at a Carolina ball game. That may be the reason for the tie. The team probably missed his ‘15 rahs’ and shrill yell.”
At the UNC pep rally on Fetzer Field for the 1946 Duke game, Tarzan was one of the featured speakers, along with another famous Carolina Cheerleader, Kay Kyser. A portion of the rally was broadcast on WPTF radio. Tarzan was in rare form the next day when Duke came into Kenan Stadium for the thirty-third meeting between the two old rivals. He led Rameses, the Carolina mascot, around the stadium to the delight of the photographers covering the game, as Carolina won 22 to 7 to cap off the first Duke–Carolina game of the “Golden Era” in Chapel Hill.
In a game billed as the “1947 Sugar Bowl Rematch,” the Tar Heels took on the Georgia Bulldogs in Chapel Hill on September 27. Following a 0-to-0 first half, Morriss led the Tar Heels back onto the field for the second half. With megaphone in hand; he shouted “Go, go, go, go . . . Care-lina.” The students shouted back, “Go, go, go, go . . . Tarzan.” Carolina came back in the second half to win 14 to 7 to the delight of the Tar Heel fans among the 43,000 in Kenan Memorial Stadium.
Tarzan’s picture was often displayed in The Daily Tar Heel, and in UNC’s yearbook, The Yackerty Yack (both the 1947 and 1949 editions). Even the magazine The State carried a cover photograph of the man from Farmville in its November 22, 1947 taken by photographer Bugs Barringer of Rocky Mount.
The year 1949 brought to a close the “Golden Era” of Tar Heel sports, but the Lath Morriss story continued in Chapel Hill. When The Chapel Hill Newspaper printed its sixth “Town & Gown” edition in August of 1975, it included a picture of Tarzan. And in 2016 when author and historian Lee Pace published his book Football in a Forest: The Life and Times of Kenan Memorial Stadium, he featured the following Hugh Morton image of Tarzan on pages 134-135.
The sad news from Farmville on July 30, 1962 told of the passing of Lath Morriss. He was 58-years-old.
As a kid growing up in the 1950s, Thanksgiving Day was always special. In addition to my mom’s great cooking, my dad and I would always watch the Green Bay Packers play the Detroit Lions on CBS. Thanksgiving 1959, however, was different: it was the first Thanksgiving since my dad had passed away in July of ’59, and there was another football game offered on TV—Carolina versus Duke on NBC. My dad, UNC Class of ’34, would have loved it. So today, fifty-eight years later, I would like to look back to Carolina’s 1959 season and a special Thanksgiving Day game. —Jack Hilliard, UNC Class of 1963
The telephone rang shortly before 11:00 p.m. in the control room at WFMY-TV in Greensboro on Thursday, July 23, 1959. It was UNC Athletic Director Chuck Erickson calling anchorman Charlie Harville. Harville rushed from the studio to take the call. Erickson related the sad news that UNC Head Football Coach Jim Tatum had died about fifteen minutes earlier. Harville got the details and ran back into the studio. No time to prepare a script, he gave an emotional report about the passing of his dear friend. The Tar Heel Nation was in shock. My dad passed away two days later, on July 25th.
The UNC Athletic Council took only four days to select Tatum’s successor. At 5:40 p.m. on July 27, 1959, Chancellor William B. Aycock with Athletic Director Charles (Chuck) Erickson at his side, made the announcement that Tatum assistant, 39-year-old James Benton Hickey would be the new Tar Heel coach with a three-year contract. He would become known as Jim Hickey. In accepting the position, Hickey told a large group of newsmen gathered at The Pines Restaurant in Chapel Hill, “I appreciate this opportunity. It is one I have always wanted. My only regret is the circumstances under which it had to come about.”
The 1959 UNC football season was fifty-three days away. The Tar Heels would face nine tough opponents, leading up the forty-sixth meeting between rival Duke for a regular season-ending matchup in Duke Stadium scheduled for Saturday, November 21st. On July 30th—three days after UNC’s coaching announcement—we got the news that NBC-TV had negotiated a $208,000 arrangement to play a national TV game on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th. The two schools had never played on Thanksgiving.
Carolina’s 1959 season officially got underway on Saturday, September 19th with a two-point home loss to Clemson 20-18. The following weekend came a second loss, this time to Notre Dame in South Bend 28-8. At this point, Coach Hickey decided to change his game plan. Up to this point he had followed the game strategy that Coach Tatum had put in place before his death. Hickey’s plan worked; two home-game-wins followed with victories over NC State 20-12 and South Carolina 19-6. A road game with Maryland was next. The Heels played well at College Park, but couldn’t contain Maryland’s “jack-rabbit-backs.” The final score: Terrapins 14, Tar Heels 7.
Starting the second half of the season, Carolina traveled to Winston-Salem for a game with Wake Forest on October 24th. UNC’s quarterback Jack Cummings was able to complete only two passes, but Carolina’s running game was enough for a 21-19 win. With four games remaining in the ’59 season, Carolina’s record was 3-3 on the year.
The next two games, at home against Tennessee and on the road at Miami, were disastrous for the Heels. Carolina scored a combined fourteen points against the two rivals in the two losses. Next, Virginia came to Chapel Hill for the 64th meeting between the Tar Heels and the Cavaliers on November 14th. On this day, Coach Hickey’s charges could do no wrong in handing Virginia its 17th consecutive defeat 41-0. With photographer Hugh Morton shooting from the sidelines, a small Kenan Stadium crowd of 21,000 saw Carolina set an ACC and Kenan Stadium record of 583 yards of offense. The win brought Carolina’s record to 4-5 on the season and set the stage for the annual game with Duke.
Duke and Carolina matched up well for their 46th meeting. Against mutual opponents, Carolina did better against South Carolina than did Duke, but the Blue Devils were stronger against Wake. Performances of both teams against State and Clemson were about the same. Both teams had records were 4-5, but Duke was made a 4-to-6-point favorite.
‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through Duke Stadium, thirty technicians scurried like mice to get everything ready for the coast-to-coast telecast—fifteen from NBC and fifteen from AT&T made the deadline. All was ready to go by 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve, eighteen hours before the scheduled 2:00 p.m. kickoff.
Thanksgiving Day 1959 dawned clear and mild. In the broadcast booth for the telecast were play-by-play announcer Lindsey Nelson and color commentator Red Grange. Since both Duke and Carolina students were on holiday, only 33,000 fans turned out for the game.
In his pregame locker room speech, Coach Hickey mentioned something for the first time during the ‘59 season. He said: “Boys, if there was ever a game Coach Tatum would have wanted you to win, this is it.”
Duke won referee John Donahue’s coin toss and elected to receive. The Tar Heels would kickoff and defend the south goal. On the first series, Duke failed to gain a first down and punted to the Carolina 44-yard line. Carolina moved down the field and scored with seven minutes left in the quarter. Duke, on its second series, fumbled and Carolina recovered at the Duke 22-yard line. Again, the Tar Heels couldn’t be stopped; they scored at the 4:55 mark and led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Duke got to the Carolina 11-yard line, but two dropped passes prevented a score. Carolina took over and marched to a third touchdown to lead 21- 0 at the 13:15 mark of the second quarter. There seemed to be a pattern forming: Duke couldn’t score and Carolina could. With 2:55 left in the second quarter the score was 28-0 and would remain so at halftime.
Duke’s Art Browning kicked off to start the second half. Tar Heel Don Klochak received the ball at the Carolina 7-yard line and he was off to the races for 93 yards. Carolina led 35-0 with 14:15 left in the third quarter. The trend continued: another Duke fumble led to another Carolina score at the 2:40 mark in the third making the score 42-0.
With 7:05 left in the game, Tar Heel George Knox, a fullback that Carolina’s Alumni Review called “fifth-string” raced 32-yards down the right sideline for Carolina’s final touchdown. With that TD, the score was 48-0, and Coach Hickey could hear the Tar Heel crowd chanting: “Hickey, go for fifty!” Coach got the message. Second string quarterback Ray Ferris ran off right tackle for the two points making the score 50-0. It was about two minutes later that Coach Hickey made his famous quote, when one of his players congratulated him on a win. Coach said, “It isn’t over yet, boys.”
With twenty seconds left in the game and Carolina’s fourth and fifth stringers at the Duke four, Coach Hickey called a timeout. He then sent his eleven seniors back on the field with strict instructions, “Do not score!” Quarterback Jack Cummings then took the snap, leaned into the line, went down easily, and the clock ran out.
The Carolina players rode Coach Hickey on their shoulders to midfield. Photographer Hugh Morton’s shot of the scene in The Charlotte News (above) is classic. He had photographed a similar scene many times before with names like Justice, Snavely, and Morris. Now add Hickey to the list.
When the group arrived at midfield, Duke Head Coach Bill Murray was not in a friendly mood. “You really wanted that last touchdown bad, didn’t you,” Murray snapped, “putting that first bunch back in there.”
“Coach, you’ve got it all wrong,” said Hickey. “I sent my seniors back in there and told them not to score. . . . I just wanted the seniors to finish their careers on the field.” The two coaches then shook hands, and Murray turned and walked off the field. He would later phone Coach Hickey and congratulated him on the win.
A game with a win like this prompted tons of ink and airtime. The headline in The Daily Tar Heel on December 1st, when the Thanksgiving break was over and the DTH presses began rolling again, said it all in a huge above-the-heading headline: “50–0.”
As is always the case, the Duke–Carolina game brings out special guests, and the ’59 game was no exception. Peahead Walker, Red O’Quinn and NCAA District 3 Director Jim Corbett were there, among others. Sis Barrier, wife of Greensboro Daily News Executive Sports Editor Smith Barrier, in a society-type column about the game said, “Hugh Morton, who drove up from Wilmington with two of the boys—and left Julia at home by the TV set, was as happy as anybody.”
About fifteen minutes after the game ended, Coach Hickey was doing his post-game press conference when he was interrupted by a man wearing a Jim Tatum-type hat. There were tears in his eyes as he said: “I just had to come down and congratulate you, Coach Hickey, for this wonderful victory. I’m getting tired of all the criticism of you and this should silence them. And I appreciate it more than you know, for I’m sure this one was won for Jim.”
The man, who then silently made his way back into the crowd, was Dick Tatum of McColl, South Carolina, big brother of the beloved Carolina coach. Hickey then added: “Yes, I think you can say they won it for Coach Tatum, and why not? He’s the greatest guy I ever worked for.”
Diabetes Month is observed every November so individuals, health care professionals, organizations, and communities across the country can bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans. A View to Hugh would like to relate an event from the past that raised about $20,000 for diabetes research while at the same time had some fun at the expense of a Tar Heel sports legend. But first, a bit of history . . .
In 1970 a group of parents in New York City whose children had Type 1 diabetes founded an organization they called the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, or JDF. The group was defined by its commitment to research-funding and finding a cure for juvenile diabetes. In 2012, the Foundation changed its name to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or JDRF, putting a greater emphasis on the need for research.
No one in the celebrity world came close to doing what actress Mary Tyler Moore accomplished with JDRF. Her efforts were tireless. She had but one goal when it came to diabetes: to bring to the attention of the world the battle of diabetes and how important it is to one day cure it. She attended events, met with elected officials, testified before congress, and was always available to help local JDRF chapters with local fund raising by offering her celebrity. And that’s exactly how she helped the Charlotte chapter of JDF in 1984 when they staged their fifth annual JDF celebrity roast. Moore recorded videotape spots for the local television stations to air promoting the importance of supporting the Foundation.
Mary Tyler Moore died at the age of 80 earlier this year on January 25, 2017, but she will always be remembered in Charlotte for what she did to make the JDF Celebrity Roast of Tar Heel football legend Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice a success thirty-three years ago. Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard looks back to Monday, April 30, 1984.
A celebrity roast is an event in which a specific individual, a guest of honor, is subjected to good-natured jokes at their expense and it is intended to amuse the event’s audience and in many cases to raise money for a particular charity. Such events are intended to honor the individual in a unique way. In addition to jokes, such events may also involve genuine praise and tributes. The individual is surrounded by friends, fans, and well-wishers, who can receive some of the same good natured treatment as well during the course of the evening.
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Charles Justice has contributed his fame to hundreds of drives and worthy causes and has generally and consistently served as a wholesome example to impressionable youth.
—Hugh Morton, May, 2000
In early January 1984, it had been almost thirty years since Charlie Justice played his final football game with the Washington Redskins and almost thirty-four since he played his final varsity game with the Tar Heels. Nonetheless, when the Charlotte Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation approached him about being the honored guest at the Fifth Annual JDF Celebrity Roast, Charlie’s reply was yes, “these things are for a great cause and I enjoy them.” Charlie had been guest of honor for two other celebrity gatherings, one in Greensboro on October 29, 1980 called “Dinner of Champions,” sponsored by the Central North Carolina Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and one in his native Asheville on January 27, 1984 sponsored by the Western Carolina Children’s Foundation.
Justice was in great company at the fifth annual event. The four who preceded Justice were Clyde McLean of WBTV in 1979, Kays Gary of The Charlotte Observer in 1980, Eddie Knox, former Charlotte mayor in 1982, and famed basketball player and coach Horace “Bones” McKinney in 1983.
If you didn’t know better, you might think this was a UNC reunion. The event’s Honorary Chairman was Johnny Harris, UNC Class of 1969. Two other Tar Heels who worked behind the scenes were Erskine Bowles ’67 and Ray Farris ’62. Tar Heel roasters included newspaper publisher Orville Campbell ’42; Woody Durham, Voice of the Tar Heels, ’63; UNC President Dr. William Friday, ’48; and UNC All-America football star and Justice’s classmate Art Weiner, ’50.
With Master of Ceremonies Bill Hensley in control (sort of), the “roasting” fun began. Charlie was ushered into the Sheraton Center with the singing of “All The Way Choo Choo” to the delight of the 450 guests. The singing was led by Charlie’s daughter Barbara Crews.
Roaster: Orville Campbell
Chapel Hill newspaper publisher and the man responsible for recording “All The Way Choo Choo,” Orville Campbell then stepped up to the mic. “We always liked to take our songs over to Mr. W. D. Carmichael, then acting University President, and get his opinion. So when Hank Beebe and I finished All The Way Choo Choo, I went over to Carmichael’s office. He was extremely busy that day, but I went in anyway. His desk was covered with papers and he didn’t even look up.
“What do you want, Orville?” said Carmichael.
“I just wanted to know if you had heard our last song.”
“I hope the h— I have,” was Carmichael’s reply.
“Back in 1958,” Campbell continued, “I published a book which was written by Bob Quincy and Julian Scheer called Choo Choo: The Charlie Justice Story. We still have a warehouse full of those books over in Chapel Hill and I brought a few of them over here tonight to see if anybody here would pay $25 for a copy and if so, we’ll donate that money to JDF. And after we’re finished here, we’ll lock the door so Charlie can’t get away and have him sign ‘em.”
Campbell, who had been Charlie’s friend and fan since he arrived in Chapel Hill in 1946, then took out a letter that UNC Head Football Coach Carl Snavely supposedly wrote to Justice following that famous 1948 Texas game in Chapel Hill.
“In discussing your touchdown pass to Art Weiner, Charlie, Coach Snavely reminded you that, ‘Your wobbly pass to Art Weiner would have never been caught except that Art made a great catch and Texas had a poor pass defense.’”
Campbell then put on a number 22 college all-star jersey and modeled it for the crowd. Justice had donated the jersey to be auctioned with money going to JDF. The jersey went for $1,000.
Roaster: Woody Durham
Next up was “The Voice” of Tar Heel football and basketball, Woody Durham. Woody told the story of how Justice had decided to go to the University of South Carolina, when his brother Jack talked him out of it and convinced him he should go to UNC. Durham then turned to Charlotte JDF Chapter President Cassie Phillipi and asked, “Cassie, how much money do you think we could raise if we were holding this gathering in Columbia tonight?” Then Durham said he wanted to relate a recent story from his visit to Atlanta and added, “This is the only story I’ll tell from that Atlanta trip . . . I promise.”
“I was in Atlanta covering Dean Smith’s 1984 Tar Heels in the NCAA Tournament. The morning of the game, I was in the hotel room preparing for that night’s radio broadcast. The TV set was on but the sound was turned down real low and I wasn’t paying any attention to it. Then something caught my attention. The CBS program The Price is Right host Bob Barker had introduced a contestant form North Carolina. Then Barker said, ‘Who was the great All America football player from North Carolina back in the 1940s?’ Immediately someone in the audience shouted out, “Choo Choo.” Barker quickly added, That’s right, Choo Choo Charlie Justice.’”
“Folks it’s been 35 years since Charlie played for Carolina, but his name is still magic.”
Roaster: Bill Friday
Up next . . . University of North Carolina President Dr. William Friday spoke of “the rightness of all he symbolizes in American Sports.”
“When thirty years pass, a haze often settles over memory but not the recollections of Charlie Justice on the football field. He could do it all and he did. . . . All of the adulations and publicity never increased his hat size. An unassuming and cheerful manner always has characterized this man of extraordinary gifts. He has been greatly blessed in another way, he has Sarah.”
The 52-page souvenir program book for the 5th Annual JDF Roast is, in reality, a Charlie Justice scrapbook with dozens of Hugh Morton photographs included. The book was designed by George Van Allen of G.V.A. Associates and the Justice cover-caricature was done by Gene Payne of The Charlotte Observer. Charlie must have approved of the caricature; there was a huge version of it on the wall of his Cherryville office. Also included in the book is a beautifully written Justice profile by Observer columnist Ron Green.
Roaster: John Fraley
John L. “Buck” Fraley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Carolina Freight, was next up. Fraley’s company was a prime client of the Justice-Crews Insurance Company in Cherryville and had been so for many years. Fraley, a NC State graduate, talked about Charlie’s brief 1964 venture into politics. Also in the audience was Ken Younger who would take Fraley’s place with the company in 1985 following Fraley’s retirement. And if memory serves me correctly, it was Younger who bought the Justice All-Star jersey and then presented it to Charlie’s daughter Barbara. And by the way, Ken Younger, is a 1949 Duke graduate, who played football against Charlie and the Tar Heels.
Roaster: Art Weiner
Hugh Morton and the Charlotte JDF Chapter had prepared several large Charlie Justice action pictures and offered them for sale—the profits, of course, going to the Diabetes Foundation. So when Justice’s friend, teammate, and business partner Art Weiner stepped up to speak, he commented on the pictures.
“Did you ever wonder why there are so many fantastic Hugh Morton action pictures of Charlie Justice? Well, Hugh Morton was a world class, fantastic photographer, but there is another reason. We had one member on our team who never touched the ball . . . never made a tackle . . . never threw a block. His only purpose in life was to let Charlie Justice know where Hugh Morton was on the sidelines.”
“Where do you suppose he had his first heart attack? At halftime at the Carolina-Pitt game a few years back. They were carrying him out on a stretcher and everybody was looking and there was Charlie, waving to the crowd.”
Weiner then looked over at Orville Campbell. “I didn’t know the ball was supposed to spiral until I got into pro ball. Charlie always threw it end-over-end.”
“I lived beside Charlie for four years and he got new Cadilacs all four years. There was always trucks backing up to his door and unloading things.”
“My scholarship was a piece of wood with a nail on it, and I was told that I could keep anything that blew across my yard.”
When the laughter died down, Weiner got serious.
“I can honestly say Charlie Justice is not only the best friend I ever had, but in my opinion he is greatest athlete North Carolina ever had.”
When Justice finally got to the mic, he denied all, then thanked all for attending, and poked a little bit of fun at his “roasters,” telling his dear friend Art Weiner, “at least you had a scholarship at Carolina. . . I didn’t even have a one. . . Sarah had the scholarship in our family. And as for those four Cadilacs you mentioned . . . was really one ’48 Chevy.” He then related the importance of the fund-raising for diabetes research. At the end of the evening’s festivities, more than $20,000 had been raised for that research.
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Ron Green, writing in the May 2, 1984 edition of The Charlotte Observer under the headline “Highest Praise To Choo Choo,” said, “They came not to praise Charlie Choo Choo Justice but to roast him. They did both Monday night at the Sheraton Center. . . Others of his era are yellowed memories now, but Justice shines on, brightly, like a star . . . the long, rambling touchdown runs . . . the winning passes . . . the record-setting punts that took North Carolina out of danger. Almost campy. Almost as if he were playing himself in the lead role of a low budget movie with the title ‘Justice Rides Again.’ So good. So right.”
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WFMY-TV in Greensboro recorded the JDF roast in Charlotte on videotape for filmmaker David Solomon, the President of David Solomon Productions in Winston-Salem. Portions of the roast appear in Solomon’s Sports Extra TV production of All The Way Choo Choo. I had the honor of directing and editing the program, along with Larry Fitzgerald, the late WFMY-TV photojournalist. North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame Broadcaster Charlie Harville narrated the program. And once again, Charlie Justice’s popularity across the entire state was shown when the TV documentary was sponsored by “Goody’s” of Winston-Salem. The President of Goody’s, Duke University Class of 1949 football player Tom Chambers, was an opponent of Justice’s during their college days. In addition to the “Goody’s” commercials, the program also included JDF-Mary Tyler Moore public service announcements.
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In closing, I would like to revisit words from Bill Friday:
“(Charlie Justice) is loyal. He has been on call when his alma mater needed him. He has lent his name in time and talent to a host of worthy causes since his jersey went into the trophy case.”
“He has shown in his personal life the same quality of courage and determination he exhibited in athletics. Charlie Justice was voted All-American for his exploits on those memorable Saturdays of another era.”
“I want to say, Charlie, that in the eyes of your legions of friends today, you are an All-American every day of the week.”
On Saturday, October 7, 2017, a very special event will take place in UNC’s Kenan Memorial Stadium. The Tar Heels will meet the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The game will mark the seventh meeting between the two in Kenan and the twentieth meeting overall. While the Irish have dominated the series, a Carolina–Notre Dame game will always be something special. Morton collection volunteer/contributor Jack Hilliard takes a look at some storied past meetings between these two great universities.
The love that people have for Notre Dame can’t be explained.
—Lou Holtz, Notre Dame head football coach 1986- 1996.
Growing up in North Carolina during the late 1940s and early 1950s, football Saturdays were special. There was Duke and State and Wake and Carolina, and we followed their every game. But there was always news in the papers and on the radio about Notre Dame; they seemed to always be a step ahead of our “Big Four.” Maybe it was because they seemed to always win. (Following a loss on December 1, 1945 to Great Lakes Navy, the Fighting Irish didn’t lose again until Purdue beat them on October 7, 1950.)
So it’s easy to imagine our excitement when we heard that Notre Dame would play Carolina on November 12th, 1949 in New York’s Yankee Stadium. In three previous blog posts, we have recounted that game on A View to Hugh and sister blog North Carolina Miscellany:
In those posts we noted Hugh Morton’s classic images from that day, even though it turned out to be the worst loss the Tar Heels would suffer during the “Charlie Justice Era.” The reason for the disaster was likely that Justice wasn’t able to play due to an injury he suffered the week before the big game in the Big Apple. But even without Justice, the game was special. The Daily Tar Heel published two air editions and flew them to New York. The headline in that first edition will always be remembered by Tar Heels who made the trip:
“Notre Dame And N.C. Tied 6-6 At Half.”
The second meeting between the two came less than a year later on September 30, 1950. . . . this time in South Bend, Indiana. This game will forever be remembered, not for Notre Dame’s 14 to 7 win, but the fact that it was the first live network television program of any kind ever transmitted into North Carolina. The ’49 game in NYC had been televised, but the signal did not reach North Carolina. But on this day, WBTV in Charlotte and WFMY-TV in Greensboro carried the game live across the Tar Heel state via the Dumont Television Network. The Greensboro Daily News reported that the estimated viewership in North Carolina was 200,000—nationwide it was 35 million.
Hugh Morton didn’t make the trip to South Bend in 1950, but was on hand back in Chapel Hill when the Irish made their first trip to Kenan on November 17, 1951. Editor’s note: most of Hugh Morton’s football negatives from the 1950s and 1960s are not identified, but Morton’s game credential survives. As negatives are identified in the future, we will add a selection of them to this post.
Carolina Sports Information Director Jake Wade, writing in the ’51 game day program called Notre Dame “the mighty and fabulous men from Indiana.” A full house of 44,500 football fans sat in cold, clear weather “amid Chapel Hill’s wonderland of fall colors,” as The Alumni Review reported. Those fans saw the Tar Heels put on a fourth quarter drive which fell three yards short of victory. Connie Gravitt’s fourth down pass into the end zone was batted down by Notre Dame’s Gene Carrabine, preserving the 12-to-7 Irish victory.
On October 25, 1952 head coach Carl Snavely and his Tar Heels returned to Notre Dame Stadium for the fourth meeting between the Heels and the Irish. 54,338 fans (most of them dressed in green and gold) saw a 7-to-7 tie at the end of the first quarter, but the Heels eventual fell 34 to 14.
When Notre Dame returned to Chapel Hill on November 14, 1953 for its second visit, Carl Snavely had moved on and the Heels were coached by George Barclay. When this one ended, that familiar 34-to-14 score appeared on the scoreboard. The 1953 game would be Notre Dame’s College Football Hall of Fame coach Frank Leahy’s fifth and final win against the Tar Heels. At this point in the series, the two teams had met on five occasions with the Irish winning all five. Two games in Chapel Hill, two games in South Bend, and one in New York—with a total audience of 265,000.
The week before the 1954 game, Notre Dame was made a 26-point favorite and when it ended they had a 29-point victory, 42 to 13. The game on November 12, 1955 in Kenan Stadium is often compared to that first meeting between the Heels and the Irish played in New York. The ’55 game was tied at half 7 to 7, but Notre Dame dominated the second half to win the game 27 to 7. Seated among the 33,000 in Kenan that afternoon was Tar Heel football legend Charlie Justice with his son Ronnie, and on the sideline in his usual spot was photographer Hugh Morton.
The game on November 17, 1956 back in South Bend marked the end of the first series of contracted games between Carolina and Notre Dame, and the first game under new Tar Heel head coach Jim Tatum. 56,793 fans saw a thriller as the game was tied with seventy-seven seconds to play, but Notre Dame took the lead as 1956 Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung scored the winning touchdown. Notre Dame’s eighth win made the series look like an all-Irish sweepstakes with an aggregate attendance of more than 410,000.
In 1958, the series returned with two more games in South Bend and two more Irish wins: 34 to 24 in ’58 and 28 to 8 in ’59. In that game on September 26, 1959, Nortre Dame held Carolina, under new head coach Jim Hickey, scoreless for three quarters.
Coming into Chapel Hill on October 8, 1960, Notre Dame had won all ten of the previous meetings, but on this day things were about to change. Homecoming in Chapel Hill is always fun, but on this day it was more fun than usual, as coed Jane Allen from Lambert, Mississippi was crowned Homecoming Queen, to the delight of 41,000 fans, mostly Tar Heels. The cheering crowd saw Carolina lead Notre Dame 12 to 0 well into the fourth quarter, thanks to the efforts of junior-quarterback Ray Ferris, who completed 6 passes for 115 yards and a first quarter TD pass to Skip Clement. Notre Dame completed 8 passes of 32 attempts and the Heels interested 5 of them. With the score 12 to 7, the final gun sounded and coach Jim Hickey got a ride on the shoulders of his team to midfield for a handshake with Notre Dame head coach Joe Kuharich.
In his post game interview, coach Hickey was asked how it felt to be the only UNC head coach to beat a Notre Dame team. “It would feel good to beat them anytime, anywhere,” Hickey said with a wide grin.
Fifteen seasons would pass before Notre Dame returned to Chapel Hill. During that span the two teams would meet four times in South Bend, ’62, ’65, ’66, and ’71—and Carolina would have only seven points to show for all four efforts: a 21-to-7 loss on November 17, 1962, while Notre Dame tallied three straight shutouts in ’65, ’66, and ’71.
Notre Dame’s return to Chapel Hill on October 11, 1975 proved to be one of the most exciting games of the series. After a scoreless first half, the Tar Heels took the lead at the 10:03 mark of the third quarter on Mike Voight’s 12-yard run. On their next possession, Quarterback Billy Paschall hit Mel Collins with a 39-yard touchdown pass to make the lead 14 to 0, and that lead continued well into the final quarter. With six minutes left in the game, Notre Dame head coach Dan Devine called on his second string quarterback . . . a fellow named Joe Montana, who led the Irish on two quick scoring drives to tie the score at fourteen. Then with less than two minutes to play, Carolina had an opportunity to take the lead, but missed its third field goal of the day and the Irish took over at their own 20 yard line. On second down, Montana hit Tom Burgmeier on a spectacular 80-yard scoring play that spelled defeat for the Tar Heels.
In the Carolina locker room following the game, UNC head coach Bill Dooley said, “To have a team like Notre Dame down 14 to 0 in the fourth quarter and then lose is really tough.” Notre Dame coach Dan Devine called it his “best win ever.”
During the 1975 season, the Tar Heel Sports Network invited former players to be game analysts to assist play-by-play Hall of Fame broadcaster Woody Durham. For the ’75 Notre Dame game the guest was UNC All-America end Art Weiner, who played a key role in the first meeting between the Heels and the Irish back in 1949.
Thirty-one years would pass before Carolina and Notre Dame would meet again. On November 4, 2006 it was yet another blowout Irish victory, this time, 45 to 26. Two years later, Notre Dame would make its most recent visit to Kenan on October 11, 2008. Carolina’s 29-to-24 win has one of those dreaded asterisks in the record book. An NCAA ruling in 2011 vacated that win. Six years later to the day, on October 11, 2014, Carolina made its most recent visit to South Bend. Alas, the Heels came away with yet another loss, this time 50 to 43 in a game that set a total points record for the series.
So, on Saturday, October 7th, head coach Larry Fedora’s Tar Heels will try once again to take down the Fighting Irish, but win or lose, there will be a certain excitement in the air in Kenan Memorial Stadium. Saturday’s game will also be featured on ABC/ESPN, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 3:30. After the game it will be five more years until Carolina and Notre Dame are next scheduled to play in South Bend in 2021, with a return match in Chapel Hill in 2022.
The post “A Benny Goodman Score” on June 3, 2017 brought back some fond memories for our volunteer contributor Jack Hilliard. As we prepare for tomorrow’s annual Carolina–Duke game, Jack shares a childhood memory of a Benny Goodman mystery that began sixty-eight football seasons ago . . . and that led to a couple other Morton mysteries . . .
In late spring of 1949, I remember reading in one of the Greensboro newspapers that Chapel Hill publisher Orville Campbell and UNC music student Hank Bebee had written and recorded a song called “All the Way Choo Choo,” a song about my boyhood football hero Charlie Justice. The recording featured a UNC student group, the Sigma Chi Sextet. Campbell also published the sheet music through his publishing company, Colonial Press.
Over the next five months, Campbell and Bebee campaigned the major record labels trying to get the song recorded for greater distribution. In the September 17, 1949 issue of the Greensboro Daily News, Sports Editor Smith Barrier called it “the football song of the season.” Ed Danforth of the Atlanta Journal and Shirley Povich of the Washington Post, during trips to Chapel Hill also commented. Said Danforth: “Greatest college football song since ‘The Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech,’” and Povich added, “It can’t miss. It’ll go all the way.” Povich added the story in his “Post” column on Sunday, September 18, 1949.
In Greensboro, leading up to WFMY-TV’s official sign-on as North Carolina’s second TV station, which was September 22, 1949, the station presented a special one-hour variety show and the Sigma Chi Sextet group from UNC sang “All the Way Choo Choo.”
UNC student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, in its September 22nd edition had this:
Heard the fast-circulating Orville Campbell-Hank Beebe hit “All the Way Choo Choo”? Benny Goodman is definitely scheduled to do a recording of it that should be on sale nationally in approximately two weeks.
Those attending the UNC vs. NC State game in Kenan Stadium on September 24th, 1949 heard the song over the public address system and could also read in their Daily Tar Heel that morning about the Campbell-Goodman progress for the recording:
Orville Campbell, Carrboro publisher turned song-writer received a bit of news a few days back that has made him all smiles. A note penned from an executive of Capitol Records informed the likeable Colonial Press head that Benny Goodman and his orchestra has signed to record “All the Way Choo Choo.” Veteran musicians rate the Campbell-Hank Beebe ditty as a good bet to catch on all over the nation, and the Goodman waxing will make the Carolina Choo Choo one of the first if not the only grid star to be honored in such a manner.”
The next day, the “DTH” added this:
Alumnus Orville Campbell, still a wheel about campus, has been conducting his own promotion campaign, and apparently is enjoying great success in his efforts to make the song “All the Way Choo Choo” popular. Campbell has succeeded to the extent that Benny Goodman has made a recording of it. Also a local version was in evidence at a number of beach juke boxes this summer. The ditty, with music by the talented Hank Beebe, was sung two or three times at this weekend’s pep rally. The song is good, and the more one hears it, the better he likes it.
When the magazine Life ran a cover-story about Justice in the October 3, 1949 issue, the editors included a picture of Orville Campbell’s “All the Way Choo Choo” sheet music. Life captioned the picture “Lyrical Choo Choo.”
Two days later, there was in the October 5, 1949 issue of The Sporting News another article about the song by Smith Barrier with the headline. “All the Way Choo Choo Inspires King of Swing.” Barrier added: “When Benny Goodman, the orchestra leader, heard ‘All the Way Choo Choo,’ he hurried to New York to make a recording.”
Goodman had performed in concert at the ORD Arena (Overseas Replacement Depot, from Basic Training Camp 10 during World War II) in Greensboro on September 16th, 1949 and Orville Campbell was in the audience. Following the show, Campbell played the song for Goodman . . . and Benny liked it.
I haven’t found any evidence that Hugh Morton was at that 1949 Greensboro concert but when Goodman came to Raleigh four years earlier in 1945, Morton was there.
Morton was also on hand when Goodman played in Wilmington on February 23, 1983, and when Benny came back to Greensboro in early May, 1979 to play a concert with the Greensboro Symphony, Hugh Morton was on hand to photograph Goodman back stage and during his performance on May 3, 1979. That Greensboro Concert was recorded by CBS-TV for a special telecast on May 30, 1979 to pay tribute to Goodman on his 70th birthday.
Following Goodman’s 1949 Greensboro performance and the Daily Tar Heel reports, we waited for the news when the Benny Goodman Capitol recording of “All the Way Choo Choo” would be released. The week before the Carolina–Duke game on November 19th came the news that the recording would go on sale on November 23rd . . . but the recording released was a 10-inch King record (15030) by band leader Johnny Long—a Duke alumnus of all things. What happened to the Benny Goodman recording? Don Maynard’s Daily Tar Heel story about the release on November 23rd, said: “The recording would be available at Ab’s Bookstore and the Carolina Sports Shop. Maynard added, “Benny Goodman made the first recording of the tune on a Capitol recording, but to date the number has not been released by the Capitol Recording Company.”
The Maynard article was supported by a photograph of Johnny Long presenting Justice with the first copy of the recording. The picture was taken by student photographer Jim Mills, a Hugh Morton contemporary, and was included with the record purchase. Long had paid a visit to Chapel Hill on November 13, 1949 and made the presentation.
Johnny Long was from Newell, North Carolina and attended Duke from 1931 until 1935. He had played a concert on the Duke campus the weekend of October 28-29, 1949. That’s likely when Campbell played the song for him.
As time went by, we loved and listened to the Johnny Long version, which featured vocals by Janet Brace, the Johnny Long Glee Club and the Longshots. Several of the verses of the song depict actual Justice moments on the gridiron. On the reverse side is an instrumental medley of the “Carolina Victory March,” “Here Comes Carolina,” “Tar Heels on Hand,” and “Hark the Sound.” The Johnny Long record was produced by Johnny Murphy a UNC alumnus from Charlotte and New York City.
On November 26, 1949 when Charlie Justice played his final UNC regular season game against Virginia in Kenan Stadium, the game day program book carried two ads for the Johnny Long version of the song. On page 62 it was described as “the perfect Christmas gift,” and was supported by the Jim Mills photograph. Then on page 71 the record was offered at the Varsity shop. The record sold for one dollar and the sheet music for fifty- cents. According to Orville Campbell, “Justice modestly feels that it is a joke that anyone would want to write a song about him, but at the same time feels honored.”
As years passed, the mystery Goodman version of the song continued to pop up. Bob Quincy and Julian Scheer, in their 1958 Justice biography Choo Choo: The Charlie Justice Story on page 122 put it this way: “Benny Goodman, the famed jazz clarinetist and Johnny Long, a Duke grad who plays a violin from the port side, were among the top recording artists who found ‘All the Way . . .’ worth their time.”
On December 15, 1978, Campbell released a very limited edition album titled, “Thanks for the Memories.” (811054-A 2890) The one-sided album, which has two different front cover designs, contained six of Campbell’s hits, including “All the Way Choo Choo”—both the Sigma Chi and the Johnny Long versions.
The Benny Goodman record mystery lingered. Then in 1979, I read in the Nostalgia Book Club newsletter that a revised edition of a book titled “BG—On the Record: A Bio-Discography of Benny Goodman” by Russell Conner and Warren Hicks had been released. When I got my copy I went through it page by page—all 708 of them—and there was no mention of “All the Way Choo Choo.”
On July 28, 1979, I wrote Conner a letter and asked about the song. His reply on September 4th said, “I have no knowledge of Benny’s playing that tune. But there is a further reference that will become available. The great bulk of the arrangements Benny has used through the years, stored for long time in a warehouse on Broadway, is now being cataloged. . . If the tune was played by the ‘big band,’ the title should crop up.”
Connor was right: when the cataloging had been completed, there it was, listed between “All the Things You Are” and “All Through the Night.”
- File 01/21 “All the Way Choo Choo” 1949
- O’Farrill, Chico
- No: A203
- Score: Yes
- Parts: none
- Key: A flat
We now know that Goodman performed the tune live in concert. But was a Goodman recording ever released for sale? Some of Goodman’s live concerts were recorded onto electronic transcription discs (ETs) and distributed to radio stations for broadcasts, but I have not been able to determine if “All the Way” was ever distributed in this manner. And of course, there is always that possibility that some black-market recording was made in a venue where Goodman was performing live. There is an interesting observation on the web site “Football Profiles.” In Charlie’s profile, there is this quote:
The hype reached a crescendo for Charlie’s senior season. Orville Campbell, a Chapel Hill music publisher, and Hank Beebe, a graduate student in music, produced a song about Charlie, “All the Way Choo Choo.” The Johnny Long Orchestra recorded it, and the Benny Goodman Orchestra played it on the radio.
Not quite sure how Benny “played it on the radio.” Was it a live broadcast or one of those radio ETs?
The Goodman recording mystery was finally solved in 1995 when Charlie Justice biographer Bob Terrell interviewed Charlie for the book, “All Aboard.” Justice said that Goodman recorded “All the Way Choo Choo,” before Johnny Long did, but the management team at Capitol records thought the tune was too localized for national distribution, so they never released it. (What about that “executive” who sent Orville Campbell that note the “DTH” reported in their story on September 24th, 1949?)
According to Orville Campbell, the tune sold over 32,000 copies.
In 2013 as part of its Carolina First campaign, the UNC Office of University Development issued a compact disc titled “Echoes of Carolina,” and on the disc is the Johnny Long version of “All the Way Choo Choo.”
There are still mentions of the Goodman recording from time to time. An example: The New York Times in its Justice obituary on October 20, 2003 has this line: “Benny Goodman paid tribute in his recording of ‘All the Way Choo Choo.'”
I mentioned that Orville Campbell published the sheet music in 1949. One of the two editions has a Hugh Morton image on the front cover. Recently I found a third version of the sheet music which has a Regent Music Corporation copyright. A quick check of Regent finds that the company was founded in the late 1930s or 1940 at the Brill Building in New York City. Regent founders were Gene Goodman and Harry Goodman—brothers of Benny Goodman. Small world.
Three years before Campbell and Bebee and Long and Goodman started their “All the Way” journey, a writer at The Daily Tar Heel published a Charlie Justice song called “Tiny’s Choo Choo Song.” It was written by Tiny Hutton and published in the November 23, 1946 issue, just hours before Carolina met Duke for the 33rd time. Ironically, the lyrics of Tiny’s tune are set to the music of the 1941 classic “Chattanooga Choo Choo” made famous by Glenn Miller, a contemporary of Benny Goodman. Indeed, a small world.
Over the years, the song title “All the Way Choo Choo” has been used to title other things like two television documentaries, one in 1973 and one in 1984. The ’84 program, produced by David Soloman Productions in Winston-Salem, featured an “All the Way Choo Choo” T-shirt to promote the program.
On March 30, 2006, as part of UNC General Alumni Association’s “College of Lifelong Learning,” the late Dr. Ron Hyatt presented a program titled “All the Way Choo Choo” that featured an extensive Charlie Justice memorabilia display and a panel discussion that included Justice teammates, Walt Pupa, Joe Neikirk, and Bob Cox.
The game program for the 1953 Dixie Classic basketball tournament, which was played in Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, carried a full page back cover ad for the Washington Redskins vs. Green Bay Packers preseason game to be played in Raleigh’s Riddick Stadium on September 11, 1954 with the heading “All the Way Choo Choo.”
Five days after Charlie Justice led his Tar Heels into the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, The Daily Tar Heel published a full page Charlie Justice profile with seven pictures under the headline “All The Way Choo Choo: Charlie Justice Makes Last Run.” That January 7, 1950 issue hit the streets just hours before he led the South to victory in the first annual Senior Bowl game, played that year in Jacksonville, Florida.
On October 2, 1949, Rev Dr. Samuel Tilden Habel, Jr. at the Baptist Church of Chapel Hill (Columbia & Franklin) delivered a sermon titled “All the Way Choo Choo.” The headline in the Greensboro Daily News on October 4, 1949: ‘All the Way Choo Choo’ Becomes Sermon Topic. There is a related picture in the 1958 Justice biography by Bob Quincy and Julian Scheer on page 122.
According to author Jackie Helvey at the web site Carrboro.com there was a board game by the same name.
On page 16 of that UNC vs. Virginia game program from 1949, is an advertisement for the Wm. Muirhead Construction Co. in Durham. The ad shows a train approaching a bridge “on Southern Railway and Highway No. 87 & 100 at Glen Raven, NC.” The bridge has a number 22 at the top with the words “All the Way Choo Choo!”
When Carolina met Duke on November 25, 1950 in historic Kenan Memorial Stadium, we didn’t know it at the time, but it would be Duke Head Football Coach Wallace Wade’s last coaching appearance against his rival from Chapel Hill. Over a 16 year period from 1934 through 1950, UNC Coach Carl Snavely met Duke Coach Wallace Wade seven times on the gridiron. Snavely won 5 of those games. Wade won in 1935 in Durham and his only win against Snavely in Kenan Stadium came on a cold day in November of 1950.
As official football practice gets underway today for Carolina’s 2017 football season—the 91st in Kenan Stadium, and the 104th meeting with Duke on September 23rd—Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard recalls that famous game from 66 seasons ago.
I remember, as a little kid, my dad telling my mom, as he left for work early Saturday morning, November 25, 1950, “I guess Carolina and Duke will play in the snow today.” Had it not been for the covering on Kenan’s turf, my dad would have been right. On Friday the 24th, high winds, snow and bitter 15-degree temperatures moved into North Carolina. The headline in Saturday’s Durham Sun, read: “Vicious Icy Storm Batters East.”
A check of the 1950 UNC football media guide, which was actually published in August, indicated the game was already a sellout. 40,000 of those ticket-holders braved the weather and came out for the game . . . the other 6,000 decided to stay home by the fire and the radio. Photographer Hugh Morton was one of the former.
Head coach Carl Snavely’s North Carolina Tar Heels had beaten head coach Wallace Wade’s Duke Blue Devils the past four seasons and the Heels were made a slight favorite in this, the 37th meeting between the two rival schools. Wade and Snavely had tremendous respect for each other. In July of 1950 the two rival coaches appeared together in the North Carolina outdoor drama “The Lost Colony.” They were special guests as part of Kay Kyser’s and Emma Neal Morrison’s “Celebrity Night” celebrations. Going into the 1950 “battle of the blues,” the darker blue, Blue Devils were 6 and 3 on the season, while the lighter blue Tar Heels were 3-3-2.
As one might guess, wind was to be a factor in the game, so when the Tar Heels won Referee Orrell J. Mitchell’s toss, they elected to defend the west goal with the wind at their backs. The Tar Heels moved the ball inside the Duke 25-yard-line twice in the first half, but couldn’t score. Duke’s only first-half threat came near the end of the second quarter. The Blue Devils went on a 44-yard drive to the Carolina 36-yard-line, mainly through the efforts of Duke captain Billy Cox’s running and passing, but they couldn’t score. The score at halftime was 0-0.
Because of the weather, there was no halftime entertainment on the field. Fans had to be content reading through their game-day programs, which on this day featured a front cover Lon Keller image of radio and TV personality Arthur Godfrey. You could read a column by UNC’s Jake Wade or Duke’s Ted Mann, and get their takes on the game.
At the 2:58 mark of the third quarter, Coach Wade decided to gamble. Duke with the ball, fourth down at the Carolina 34 and needing seven yards for a first down, tailback Billy Cox took the direct snap from center J. E. Gibson . . . looked down field . . . spotted wingback Tommy Powers . . . and threw a perfect shot which Powers caught as he crossed the goal line. Mike Souchak’s point-after made the score 7-0.
During the final quarter and a half, Carolina had three great opportunities, but the score remained 7-0. The final game stats showed that Carolina had first downs at the Duke 22, 17, 28, 9, 7, and 20, but could not score. In his post game interview, Wade praised Duke’s incredible defense.
As the game ended and the late November sky began to turn a darker shade of gray, the Duke players rushed to hoist their victorious coach on their shoulders; but as we had come to expect, Coach Wade wanted no part of anything like that. Wade told his players, “No, no, boys there’ll be none of that. Let’s go shake their hands.” He then walked calmly across field for a final time and shook Snavely’s hand, just as he had done on six previous occasions when the two coaches had played one another. It would be Wade’s first, final, and only win in Kenan Stadium against a Snavely-coached Tar Heel team.
When the field cleared, the Carolina cheerleaders, led by head man Joe Chambliss, rolled the Victory Bell across the cold Kenan turf to the Duke section on the North side of the stadium, as the Blue Devil fans cheered. It was their first opportunity to ring the bell since its introduction following Carolina’s 1948 win. (That respectful type Victory Bell transition seems to have been forgotten in today’s world of overwrought fan and player hostility.)
The headline in Sunday’s Charlotte Observer, read: “Blue Devils’ Gamble Pays Off for Score in High Wind and Freezing Temperature.” Coach Snavely, when asked in his Monday morning news conference about his impression of Saturday’s game, had this to say: “Duke was hotter than we were in several crucial moments. . . . You must remember that Duke played in the same weather we did.”
Four days after the game, Wade married Virginia Jones and after a honeymoon in New York, he announced his resignation from Duke in order to take the position of Commissioner of the Southern Conference. He would hold that position for ten years. Upon his retirement from the Southern Conference in 1960, words of praise came from media outlets across the country. One of those tributes came from an avid UNC Tar Heel, who broadcast UNC football games on the Tobacco Sports Network…Bill Currie, then the Sports Director of WSOC-TV, Channel 9, in Charlotte once said: “Nobody ever gets over being a Tar Heel. He also said this about Coach Wade:
“The true measure of Wallace Wade’s greatness as a man is not fully reflected in his overwhelming won-lost record on the field, nor in his patriotic devotion to our country in combat during two world wars: rather, it is reflected in the dignity and bearing of the man, which makes him a giant among his peers and successors.”
William Wallace Wade was inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame with the Class of 1955. Twelve years later, in 1967, Duke Stadium was renamed Wallace Wade Stadium in his honor.
He died on October 7, 1986. He was 94-years-old.
On Tuesday, June 7, 2016—one year ago today—a special memorial service was held at the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery on Raleigh Road. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had lost one of its strongest supporters. Three days before, Ralph Strayhorn Jr. had passed away in Winston-Salem. He was 93-years-old. On this anniversary, Morton Collection volunteer Jack Hilliard looks back at Strayhorn’s amazing list of accomplishments.
Ralph Nichols Strayhorn Jr. at one time or another served his university as
- cocaptain of the varsity football team;
- member of UNC Board of Trustees;
- President of the General Alumni Association;
- General Counsel for the Rams Club;
- chairman of the search committee charged in 1987 with finding a replacement for Head Football Coach Dick Drum (he and his committee found Mack Brown);
- President and General Counsel of the Educational Foundation, Inc.; and
- Fund Raising Chairman for the George Watts Hill Alumni Center building project.
As you will see later in this post, this list will continue.
A native of Durham, Strayhorn was recruited by UNC assistant football coach Jim Tatum and played three seasons with the Tar Heels before he entered the United States Navy and served in the Pacific theater from 1943 until 1946, completing his active service as a sub-chaser commanding officer. He served twenty years in the U. S. Naval Reserve, retiring in 1962 as a lieutenant commander.
He returned to Chapel Hill in time for the 1946 football season where he was a cocaptain along with Chan Highsmith. In a 2010 interview, Strayhorn described his returned: “It was a delightful time to be in Chapel Hill. Everyone was glad to be home from the war, back in school where they belonged.”
The 1946 Tar Heels under Head Coach Carl Snavely won eight games during the regular season while losing only to Tennessee and tying VPI (formally Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known today as Virginia Tech). That record was good enough to earn a Southern Conference championship and Carolina’s first bowl game, the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1947. Strayhorn’s trip to New Orleans was not a joyous occasion as it should have been. His father had suffered a heart attack back in Durham and was unconscious.
“My mind wasn’t focused on the game, needless to say. I thought about not going. My first cousin was a doctor and was very close to our family. He said my father would want me to go and play in that game. I stayed behind when the team left and then caught the last train to New Orleans. . . I was on the first train back out of town. I returned to my father’s bedside but he never recovered.”
Strayhorn could have played one more season with the Tar Heels. The 1943 season didn’t count against his eligibility because he had gone off to World War II; he chose, however, to graduate with the class of 1947 with a degree in commerce and enter law school. He got his law degree in 1950 and joined the firm of Newsom, Graham, Strayhorn, Hedrick, Murray, Bryson and Kennon as a senior partner. He held that position until 1978 when he assumed the executive position of general counsel of the Wachovia Corporation and the Wachovia Bank and Trust Company. Strayhorn retired from that position in his 1988 retirement. He then joined the law firm Petree Stockton & Robinson.
Throughout his professional career, Ralph Strayhorn remained active in the life of his alma mater, especially its athletic programs and his beloved football Tar Heels. From 1973 until 1981 he was a member of the UNC Board of Trustees, serving as chairman in 1979 and 1980. Additionally, he served on the Central Selection Committee of the Morehead Foundation, the Board of Visitors, and the NC Institute of Medicine. In 1989 the UNC Board of Trustees awarded Strayhorn the William Richardson Davie Award.
Over the years, Strayhorn kept in touch with Coach Jim Tatum and in 1955 he wrote Tatum a four-page letter asking him to return to Chapel Hill to take over the football program. “The football situation at Chapel Hill seems to have reached an all-time low,” Strayhorn wrote. The following year Tatum returned and led the program until his untimely death in July of 1959. Ironically, in 1957 Strayhorn had prepared Tatum’s will and delivered the document to him the week before the Tar Heel were to meet Maryland for the first time since Tatum left—the famous “Queen Elizabeth” game. As the coach was signing the document, he asked Strayhorn if he was going to the game on Saturday.
“I told him I didn’t have tickets, transportation, a room or a baby-sitter. He said, ‘Well, find yourself a baby-sitter. I’ll take care of the rest. You be at the airport Friday at 2 o’clock.’ We got to the airport and everything was arranged for us.”
In December 1996 Carolina’s 1947 football team celebrated the 50th anniversary of their ’47 Sugar Bowl game with a train trip to New Orleans for the 1997 Sugar Bowl game. An on-the-field pre-game ceremony included Charlie Justice and Ralph Strayhorn along with Charlie Trippi of Georgia. Hugh Morton was a special invited guest at the ceremony.
Seven years later, on November 5, 2004, Ralph Strayhorn and Hugh Morton were featured speakers at the dedication of Johnpaul Harris’ magnificent Charlie Justice statue which now stands just outside of Kenan Stadium.
The next time you visit the “Charlie Justice Hall of Honor” in the Kenan Football Center, notice the Harold Styers’ portrait of the 1947 Sugar Bowl coin toss featuring UNC’s Cocaptain Ralph Stayhorn #62, and Georgia’s Captain Charlie Trippi, also #62.
And oh yes . . . that list. Ralph Strayhorn Jr. was President of the North Carolina Bar Association in 1971-72, and a member of the
- Legal Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange;
- American College of Trial Lawyers;
- American Bar Association;
- International Association of Defense Counsel;
- Newcomen Society of the United States; and the
- Board of Visitors of the Wake Forest School of Law.
He also argued a case before the Supreme Court of the United States and served in the North Carolina General Assembly in 1959.
Ralph Nichols Strayhorn Jr., a Tar Heel treasure like no other.
UPDATE: caption for second photograph revised to reflect identification received in a comment on June 12. Previously the caption began with “THREE TAR HEELS.”
UPDATE: On June 13, the caption was once again update with the discovery of more recent information about Charlie Carr. Mr. Carr was a member of the UNC Class of 1968 and he received a master’s degree from there in 1970. In 1971 he became a UNC assistant football coach. He also served in various roles at East Carolina, Mississippi State before joining Florida State in 1995. Carr left Florida State on October 1, 2007, when he became the athletic director at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. On May 17, 2017 Mr. Carr entered phased retirement from MSU, and he will officially retire on August 31. Also updated was the caption for the final photograph with the identification of Bill Hartman, the Georgia Bulldog’s team captain in 1937. (Thanks, Jack Hilliard, for new info on Charlie Carr and the identification of Bill Hartman!)
UNC Head Football Coach Larry Fedora will be taking his 2016 Tar Heels to the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas on Friday, December 30, 2016. The game will be featured on CBS at 2:00 p.m. This will mark Carolina’s thirty-third bowl appearance going back to the 1947 Sugar Bowl. Of the thirty-two previous games, the Tar Heels have won fourteen going back to the 1963 Gator Bowl, a game Tar Heels like to recall. Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard takes a look back at the 1963 season and Carolina’s first bowl win played on this date fifty-three years ago.
We had everything going. What a great feeling to have been struggling since 1949 (sic) and then have this (Gator Bowl) chance. It was just a sweet spot in time.”
—1963 UNC All-America Halfback Ken Willard, 1963 Gator Bowl Anniversary Celebration, October 20, 1984
In the late summer of 1963 when UNC Head Football Coach Jim Hickey announced that twenty-nine lettermen would be returning from the 1962 squad, some Tar Heel fans rolled their eyes, remembering that the ’62 team won only three games while losing seven. But Hickey quickly added, “It’s a veteran squad with many talented players. Our schedule is rugged, as always, but I feel certain we can give an excellent account of ourselves each Saturday.”
Turns out, Hickey was right. The ’63 Tar Heel team won eight games and was Co-ACC Champion, along with NC State.
The season started out with a come-from-behind-win against Virginia in Kenan Memorial Stadium on September 21, followed by a disappointing blow-out loss at Michigan State one week later. Then came a five-game win streak with victories over Wake Forest, Maryland, NC State, South Carolina, and Georgia. Then, a second bump in the road versus Clemson in Death Valley followed by a final ’63 win in newly renovated Kenan over Miami.
So a showdown at Duke for an ACC title tie and a bowl invitation was originally scheduled for November 23, 1963; the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on Friday, November 22, however, brought the season to a halt. At first the forty-ninth meeting between Carolina and Duke was re-scheduled for Saturday, November 30. Then, on Sunday, November 24, it was moved to Thanksgiving Day, November 28. It would be only the third time the two teams had met on Thanksgiving and photographer Hugh Morton was covering his second Thanksgiving Day Duke-Carolina game.
The roads leading into Duke Stadium (now Wallace Wade Stadium) were crowded at 1:50 p.m. as traffic was backed up on highways N.C. 751 and Interstate 85. The game was to begin at 2:00 p.m. At 1:57, fans and players, both Duke and Carolina, faced the half-staffed flag and stood for a minute of silence to pay homage to President Kennedy. This game was not like the Duke-Carolina battles of years past. A subdued crowd of 47,500 remained standing as both bands, not in uniform because this was a class holiday, played the National Anthem.
At 2:02 p.m. the game began under cloudy skies. After a scoreless first quarter, UNC’s great halfback Ken Willard saw his way through the left side of the line, got great blocks from John Hammett and Eddie Kesler, and dragged Duke’s Danny Litaker the final three yards into the end zone. The play covered 14 yards. It was 2:55 p.m., the sun had come out, and Carolina led 7-0. There was no more scoring in the first half and there was no formal halftime show, but a Tar Heel fan swiped the Duke Blue Devil’s pitch fork and ran across the field, the Blue Devil in pursuit. One of the Duke cheerleaders made a head-on tackle, but the spear was tossed to a Tar Heel cheerleader who pitched it into the stands. Duke security police stood by and laughed.
Early in the third quarter, UNC completed a twelve-play-scoring-drive covering 77 yards, to take a 13-0 lead. Halfback Eddie Kesler scored from one yard out, but Tar Heel kicker Max Chapman missed the extra point. Duke came back on the following series with a 70-yard pass play from quarterback Scotty Glacken to halfback James Futrell. With 4:15 remaining in the third quarter, the score was UNC 13, Duke 7, and the quarter ended with no additional scoring.
With just over five minutes remaining in the game, Duke’s Jay Wilkinson made one of the great plays of the game. With Duke at the Carolina 24-yard-line, he hit left tackle, cut back, faked UNC’s Eddie Kesler, and ran the distance for the score. Steve Holloway’s extra point gave Duke the lead 14-13. It was 4:12 p.m. and getting dark as that second quarter sun was nowhere to be seen.
With 4:58 on the game clock, Carolina got the ball back—but not for long. Quarterback Junior Edge’s pass was intercepted by Duke’s Stan Crisson who returned to the Tar Heel 34-yard line. There were those in light blue who said, “We just gave Duke another victory.” Duke, however, was unable to get a first down and Carolina got the ball on its own 28-yard line with 1:28 left to play. Quarterback Junior Edge and left end Bob Lacey moved the ball steadily down the field. When they reached the Duke 21-yard line, there was but thirty-eight seconds left in the game and it was fourth down and fifteen yards to go. Coach Hickey sent in kicker Max Chapman and holder Sandy Kinney. Chapman’s field goal was perfect and Carolina led 16-14.
A long discussion among the officials and the time keeper followed, after which they reset the clock to 0:33. Duke mounted a rally, but time ran out. It was 4:40 p.m and the game was over. Two minutes later, UNC Athletic Director Chuck Erickson and Gator Bowl Selection Chairman Joseph G. Sykora stepped into the press box. Said Erickson: “We’ve been invited to the Gator Bowl and we’ve accepted.” The two men shook hands, and Sykora added, “I think I’ve seen a bowl game today.”
Twelve seasons had come and gone since UNC’s legendary All-America Charlie Justice led the 1949 Tar Heels into the 1950 Cotton Bowl. But Carolina was headed to its fourth bowl game, the nineteenth annual Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida to meet the Air Force Academy.
Carolina went to St. Augustine, Florida and set up training headquarters in preparation for the December 28 game. On Thursday evening, the 26th, the Tar Heels had a very special guest drop by their Ponce De Leon Hotel: ninety-one-year-old William Rand Kenan, Jr. dropped by to wish the team well. (By the way, Mr. Kenan owned the hotel where the Tar Heels were staying.) Back in Jacksonville, the Carolina crowd began to arrive at alumni headquarters in the Hotel Robert Meyer where UNC Chancellor William Aycock held a special reception on Friday, the 27th.
On Saturday morning, 5,000 Tar Heel faithful got up early for a pep rally and brunch at the Jacksonville Coliseum. Also in attendance were UNC Head Basketball Coach Dean Smith, North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford, and former North Carolina governor and current United States Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges.
At 2:00 p.m. it was game time and CBS Sports was in place to send the game out nationally. Also in place was a sellout crowd of 50,018—10,000 of them Tar Heels— in the 70-degree weather with overcast skies. Hugh Morton was set to document his third Tar Heel bowl game.
Carolina’s 77-yard TD drive in the first quarter started things off and the boys from Chapel Hill never looked back. They led by 20-0 at halftime and picked up additional scores in the third and fourth quarters. The final score was a Gator Bowl record 35-0. UNC Halfback Ken Willard was the hero of the day with 94 yards in eighteen carries and one score—good enough to gain him MVP honors at the awards banquet at the George Washington Hotel in downtown Jacksonville.
Following the game, Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Norm Van Brocklin and General Manager Bert Ross were on hand to sign Tar Heel end Bob Lacey to a pro contract. Also on hand was 1964 Miss America Donna Axum who had just returned from Greensboro and their Holiday Jubilee Parade. “That was some weather we had for that Christmas Parade,” she said, adding, “But it’s better than we’ve had at home [Arkansas] the past week—eleven inches of snow.” The following morning Axum would be rescued from a tragic fire at the Hotel Roosevelt in Jacksonville.
The headline in the New York Times on Sunday, December 29 read: “North Carolina Trounces Air Force in Gator Bowl, 35-0.” The late Hall of Fame sportswriter Dick Herbert, writing in the Sunday, December 29 issue of Raleigh’s News and Observer, opened his report with this: “A superbly prepared North Carolina football team dropped the biggest bomb in the 19-year history of the Gator Bowl here Saturday as it destroyed the Air Force Academy team, 35 to 0.”
On December 28, 1963, for one brief shining moment, the football glory at UNC that had been missing since the “Charlie Justice Era” during the late 1940s had returned and Carolina football was once again in the big time. The 1963 Tar Heels would be Coach Jim Hickey’s best team and likely his favorite. Jim Hickey passed away on December 27, 1997 at age 77. On October 4, 2003 when Carolina played Virginia on letterman’s day in Kenan Stadium, the 1963 Gator Bowl Champs were honored on the 40th anniversary of their great win.
The University of North Carolina will meet Duke University on the gridiron for the 103rd time tonight November 10, 2016. The game will be played in Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium and will be featured on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. Of the 102 previous meetings, Carolina claims 61 wins in the series that dates back to 1888. (Two of those wins, however, have been vacated by a NCAA penalty ruling). With the rivalry about to play out one more time, Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard looks back 59 seasons to one of those UNC victories that Tar Heels like to recall as “one for the books.”
The only way the Tar Heels of 1957 can go is up.
—A preseason comment by UNC Head Football Coach Jim Tatum
When the college football preseason magazines hit the newsstands in late summer of 1957, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Duke would be at the top of the ACC standing when bowl season rolled around in early 1958. Durham Morning Herald Sports Editor Jack Horner (Hugh Morton liked to call him “Little” Jack Horner), writing for the Street and Smith’s Football 1957 Yearbook, said, “The Blue Devils have the potential to finish atop the loop and rank among the nation’s elite.” Carolina, having finished the 1956 season with 2 wins, 7 losses, and 1 tie, was predicted to finish a distant fourth at best.
Carolina kicked off the season with a 7-0 home loss to North Carolina State, but got things together and won the next three games, one of which was a 13-7 win against sixth-ranked Navy in Chapel Hill on October 5th—a game many Tar Heels call one of Carolina’s greatest. Duke stormed into the season with five straight wins and by week number six they were ranked fourth nationally behind Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Iowa.
Carolina won two of its next four games, while Duke’s season started to slip a bit. By the time the two teams reached their big rivalry game on November 23rd, the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils didn’t seem very far apart. Carolina had a 5-3 record; Duke was 6-1-2, and their ranking dropped to eleventh. Duke was still favored to win the game. In fact, Carolina hadn’t beaten Duke in eight years since its historic 21-20 victory in 1949.
Early on Thursday, November 21st, the Duke Stadium (it’s now named Wallace Wade Stadium) crew put down twelve large squares of plastic to cover and protect the field from the predicted wet weather. The lead-ups to the Carolina-Duke football games have always been exciting and the ’57 game was no different despite that cold, rainy weather. On Friday, November 22nd, Tar Heel students staged the “Beat Dook Parade,” while over in Durham students and alumni enjoyed a huge, twenty-foot bonfire and pep rally.
Game day dawned wet and cold as predicted, but by midday the rain had stopped to the delight of the 40,000 fans in attendance; the 40-degree temperatures, however, remained. For the second time in three years, the game was on TV. The 1955 game received national attention, but the ’57 affair coverage came from Castleman D. Chesley’s newly-formed regional ACC Network. Just before kickoff, the Duke cheerleaders rolled the Victory Bell across the field and delivered a basket of oranges to the Carolina cheering squad—just a reminder of Duke’s “next?” game: the Orange Bowl in warm Miami.
November 23, 1957 was also a special day for another reason: Tar Heel football legend Charlie Justice and his wife Sarah Alice were celebrating their 14th anniversary. Coach Tatum had invited Justice to join the team on the sideline that afternoon, and when photographer Hugh Morton spotted his friend on the field, he of course took a picture. The Morton image would become a featured picture in the 1958 biography Choo Choo: The Charlie Justice Story by Bob Quincy and Julian Scheer, and can be found on page 121.
Two Carolina player buses arrived about 1 p.m., and the first person off the second bus was Coach Tatum wearing his big Texas-style hat. At 2:05 p.m. it was time for the 44th meeting between the two old rivals. Duke won referee John Donohue’s coin toss and elected to receive. Fifteen plays later, Duke’s Wray Carlton scored putting the Blue Devils ahead 6 to 0 after 7 minutes of play. Five minutes later Carlton scored again. This time he made the extra point and Duke went up 13-0. Then with 3:40 left in the first half, Carolina’s Giles Gaca scored making the halftime score 13-7, Duke.
On its second possession of the second half, Carolina took the lead when Buddy Payne caught quarterback Jack Cummings’ 19-yard pass for a touchdown. Phil Blazer’s PAT made the score 14-13 with 10:10 remaining in the third quarter. (It was the first time Carolina had led Duke since the second quarter of the 1951 game). Smelling victory, Carolina went back to work and six minutes later, Cummings sneaked over to give Carolina an 8-point lead at 21-13. The fourth quarter was scoreless.
Following the final gun, jubilant Tar Heels tore down the goal posts in celebration as Coach Tatum got a ride on the shoulders of his players and fans. Charlie Justice was one of the first to grab Tatum’s hand and Morton photographic contemporary Harold Moore’s Herald-Sun picture of the hand-shake made the front cover of the 1958 UNC Football Media Guide.
Following the traditional coaches handshake, Coach Tatum sought out some of his players for more celebrations. Then, a Tar Heel player who had been forced to watch the game from the sideline reached out to Tatum. First string quarterback Dave Reed, who had been suspended from the team earlier in the season for breaking team rules, embraced the coach in an extremely emotional moment. “I would have given a million dollars to help win this game,” cried Reed. Said Tatum, “Son, you know it hurt me more than it did you.” Morton’s photograph of the scene is priceless.
In his news conference following the game, Coach Murray said “We were in a commanding position with a two-touchdown lead and we let them get away.” In the Carolina dressing room, Coach Tatum simply said, “It is certainly my greatest thrill in football. It’s the happiest day I’ve ever known. How about the way those boys came back? Thirteen points down, golly!” That’s saying a lot about this particular game. Tatum won a national championship at Maryland in 1953.
Overtime by Stephen Fletcher
Knowing that Hugh Morton had sideline access during the game, I searched through the North Carolina newspapers that typically used Morton’s football photographs, but I never found a published game-action photograph. Most newspapers published photographs made by their staff photographers. Of the half-dozen or so newspapers I examined, only The Charlotte News published Morton’s photographs. There may be game-action photographs from that day hidden in the hundreds of unidentified football negatives in the collection, but thus far none have been located. Currently there are ten positively identified Morton negatives made either on the sidelines or in the stands during the game, or during the postgame celebration.