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Full text of "Ways and byways of Chapel Hill"



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Copyright 1939 

Bayard Wootten, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

All rights reserved 

Printed in the United States 

Printed in the United States 

Originated by Ben Bunker, Chapel Hill. 

Photographs by Bayard Wootten, Chapel Hill. 

Script by Ben Bunker, Chapel Hill. 

Printed by Edwards & Broughton Co., Raleigh, N. C. 



Pictured impressions of the 
village that has no frontiers 



WAYS AND BYWAYS 

OF 

CHAPEL HILL 






Published by 

WOOTTEN-MOULTON 

Chapel Hill, N. C. 

1939 



FROM THE PIEDMONT TO THE SEA 

It is up here in the front yard of "Gimghoul Castle" 
that the visitor to Chapel Hill is given renewed evidence 
of the village's middle-of-the-road attitude, even in the 
matter of altitude. His host will explain, with every 
indication of repression, that the location of Chapel Hill 
is not too high and not too low (that, in fact, it is just 
right) but pleasing alike to the Floridian and the Colo- 
rado tourist. 

Looking through this stone portal and gazing out 
across the mist-enshrouded pine tree tops and over the 
rolling hills and green valleys toward the sea, the Argus- 
eyed visitor is inclined to accept in very truth the pride - 
ful avowal of his Chapel Hillian guide that "the won- 
derful health -giving climate for which we are famous is 
due in part to the fact that the strong salt winds of the 
Coast pass over these miles of piney forest on their way 
to us, so that all through the year we are favored with 
gentle pine-laden zephyrs with just enough of the tang 
of the sea to give them spice." 



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THE STREET OF SHOPS 

While Chapel Hill has no frontiers, in the sense that 
its influence has radiated to every quarter of the globe, 
it possesses in common with villages of lesser distinc- 
tion its Whispering Gallery, where daily the good neigh- 
bors meet when marketing and virtuously discuss "the 
evil that men do," thanking the fates, the while, that 
THEY are "not as other men are." 

Here, then, along this single block of stores, familiarly 
called "Uptown," the auld wives and, for that matter, 
the brides of yesterday, are wont to ban budgets for the 
nonce, to linger for the pause that refreshes and to lay 
an arch finger beside the nose over the recital of some 
more-than-usually delectable morsel of village gossip. 

Chapel Hill is no "Midway," as the elders recall that 
term from the gay nineties and the Chicago Fair, but it 
is located, nevertheless, midway between the fruit trees 
of the Tropics and the money trees of the North. Nat- 
urally, the thrifty housewives demand "midway" prices, 
which sort of puts the merchants in a spot. But the 
gaiety of the morning- market atmosphere suggests that 
both sides long since arrived at an "understanding" and 
that a dollar does do double duty in Chapel Hill's mar- 
kets. 



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DOORWAYS OF DISTINCTION 

Never the "primrose path of dalliance" beckoned more 
alluringly than this lovely lane between the century- 
old episcopal Chapel of the Crossroads and the new "big" 
church. But those who here pursue the "flying but- 
tress" practice, contenting themselves with merely pro- 
viding "support from the outside," deny themselves an 
exquisite emotional and spiritual refreshment. For the 
interior is a glorious example of church architecture. 

A good day to go is Sunday when (except, perhaps, for 
those foregathered in the spick-and-span Presbyterian 
meeting house just over the way) one meets the town's 
**best people," hears a well-trained surplice choir, lis- 
tens to a typically- Episcopalian sermon in the modern 
mode and drinks in the comfortably soothing atmos- 
phere of religion, ex the hell- and- damnation of our err- 
ing fathers. 

On leaving, one is likely to find himself not out of 
sympathy with the aged communicant who expressed 
the wish to "live and die right here." 

Whatever one's fancy in church doctrine, architecture 
or service, Chapel Hill provides it, and with that meas- 
ure of hospitality for which the village is noted, even 
here in the dells and dales of Dixie where kindliness of 
heart seems almost to be born — not bred. 



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Chapel Hill shoppers who like their vegetables "with 
the dew still on 'em" make this "country women's curb 
market" their Mecca each Saturday morning. Starting 
long before daybreak, whole families come chugging in 
from out — 'way out — on back-country farms, bringing 
their own produce to their own market. Are they proud ! 
Frail sisters, to whom "coffee-in-bed" is a rite, will never 
get the feeling. There are cakes and pies, jellies and 
jams — all honestly entitled to the much-abused label, 
"home-made." Forehanded patrons give their orders 
a week ahead, which accounts for the crates of live chick- 
ens that didn't get into this picture. 

"No, there isn't much money in it. But it's a change." 
And, if the somewhat swagger get-up of several of the 
marketeers, means anything, that "change" business 
comes after market hours! 

The Women's Curb Market is only a block from the 
Post Office, right handy for wives a bit fed up on "How 
Mother used to make it." They "get to chatting," and 
go home with some new ideas — not always found in the 
cookbooks. 



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HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY 

"The tumult and the shouting die. The captains 
and the kings depart." But the ancient vine-clad 
"Davie poplar," oldest living thing on the campus, is 
still going strong. Although riven from tip to base by 
a lightning bolt some sixty-five years ago, it seems to 
have taken the incident in its stride and is today green 
and sturdy, despite its one hundred seventy-five years 
and fifteen- foot girth. 

A generation still unborn probably will find in its heart, 
when finally it does succumb, a doctorate for Durability. 
It wears its honors with the regal grace befitting its age 
and the name it bears. 

For those who really dote on dates, here's one that's 
important — 1789. It was a luncheon date, given under 
the old poplar by a Committee officially selecting sites 
for the initial buildings of the proposed university. 
There and then they determined the location of "Old 
East" exactly as it appears in this picture, its sun-bathed 
walls presenting a benign background for the famous 
tree. 

According to the records left by the grandfathers of 
the GREAT GRAND DADDIES of the lads here pictured, 
Old East is, in truth, the oldest State university building 
in the country. Freshmen who look upon "Four Years" 
with awe might look again — at this picture. 









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HEARTH AND HOBBY 

For the modern, up-to-the-minute professor of the 
Chapel Hill type, the sort demanded nowadays by our 
great universities, there's danger in the hearthstone. 
To escape the thraldom of dressing gown, slippers and 
old books, he must grasp himself savagely by the scruff 
and toss the dreamer with all his serenities up and out 
of his cloistered routine. 

Here's where one of these ejected spirits found him- 
self, and, in truth, he did "find himself" — and is glad. 

"Any money in chickens?" "Not much, only chick- 
en feed. And, as that soon finds its way down their gul- 
lets again, it's the same old vicious circle." 

So, here, only a drive and a put from the heart of town, 
he gets "what the world can not give" (the professors' 
world, anyhow) a highly intimate contact with Nature's 
most unchangeable principle, the law of change. 



DATING 'EM UP 

The clock says it's breakfast time, the figure of old 
Santa says it's Yule time and the students, "grabbin off 
a sanitch and glass milk" after an all-night cram, says 
it's "Exams." 

This Y. M. C. A. and Book Ex, located almost in the 
center of the campus, does a thriving business in stu- 
dent-wanted merchandise throughout the year. 

And, despite the background of the picture, it is not 
a racket. In fact, the boys say that this is where the 
ole dollar learned to do that 7th inning stretch. 



A PIPE DREAM 

They vote "dry" in Chapel Hill. And why not, when 
Nature contrives such a dream-setting as University 
Lake for the source of the town's drinking water! After 
the technicians have done their stuff to assure its purity 
and healthfulness here it is piped direct to the citizen by 
a system that permits no defilement 'twixt fountain and 
faucet. 

No bathing in the Lake, of course, but down below 
the spillway — a few yards back of the camera that took 
this fisherman's picture — the village children (and their 
elders) on Sunday afternoons stage aquatic carnivals all 
summer long. 

The rumor has been denied that the lake gets its 
name from the road to it, which is as hard as that to a 
University degree. Bored parents, who don't like swim- 
ming and have waited impatiently "all the afternoon" 
for the kids to get "enough," probably are responsible 
for such reflections. 



COLOSSAL 

A much abused word came into its own when the 
architects and engineers of the Pool in the University's 
new gymnasium drew their plans. Big? It's the big- 
gest and finest thing of its kind in this part of the coun- 
try, with no less than eight standard Olympic lanes. 

Snooty? Not a bit of it. It is open to all Chapel 
Hillians, old and young, Mr. and Mrs. In fact, it's in 
mid-summer, when most of the students are away and 
when Old Sol is doing his best to warm things up for the 
Southland, that the stay-at-home townsfolk find their 
greatest appreciation of the builders' foresight in con- 
structing a Swimming Pool "big enough to wet down 
the whole of Orange County," as one of its narrower 
critics declared. 

How little thought is given, generally, to the uphill 
fight waged continuously against these " 'rock-ribbed 
conservatives" by those to whom is committed the des- 
tinies of a forward-looking university ! 



AN "ENTERTAINING" EXHIBIT 

Comfortingly adjacent to the fire-engine house and 
the new Bastile, the Legion Hut opens its doors for 
lively parties and informal dances, not only on its own 
but for non-members desiring to engage its hospitality. 

But the "Hut" has, too, its tranquil hours. They 
say that in lowering weather, when there's a tang in 
the air and citizens hug their hearthstones, those gifted 
in such things can hear the great stones in the Hut's 
big old chimney rumble as they call quietly to the infre- 
quent passerby, "Come 'round to the front, Brother. 
Pull up a chair to the fire, while we spin a yarn or two 
of the brave days 'over there,." A colored informant 
declares, "Dat ain't no moonshine, either, 'Coz Ah knows 
moonshine when Ah sees it." 

The "Hut" has proved invaluable to Chapel Hill's 
"entertaining" bachelors. How else, for instance, could 
the studeit in his trailer home at the right of the pic- 
ture hope to put on a show? It looks as if his latch 
string and his SRO sign must hang out together. 




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THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES 

It has been said that an old hat takes on the person- 
ality of the wearer. 

Well, anyhow, it's that way with Merchants Row in 
Chapel Hill. The atmosphere of the shops fits like a 
glove the personality of the town. 

Naturally, this is peculiarly true of the drug stores. 
Here's one that is le dernier cri in cordiality, efficiency 
and modernity. 

Its "Amen Corner," seen here, eschews local gossip 
but settles national and international affairs with dig- 
nity and despatch. It finds time, too, to put over its 
own prescription compounder as U. S. Congressman. 
(Fact ; see last election data.) 

Who shall say but that the League of Nations might 
sit at the knees of these local Warwicks and gather wis- 
dom! 



"THE RACE IS NOT ALWAYS TO THE SWIFT" 

One of the nice things about the South is that when 
things go wrong and one gets to feeling sorry for him- 
self he can go out and look into the fathomless eyes of 
a mule and — brush up on his philosophy. Doomed to 
work hard, eat little and accomplish wonders, he never 
falters — he is always on his way. It's no good spreading 
a blanket and getting down under him with a wrench 
and a pair of pliers. And it's not sporting to swap him 
in for a new model. 

Every week-end Chapel Hill's main thoroughfares are 
decorated with rigs like this but it is not considered 
good form to lay wagers as to whether the contraption 
will survive the home journey. If the wagon and the 
harness only would take as good care of themselves as 
the mules, it would be so much easier for the darkey 
driver. Ho Hum! Life is hard! 






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THE FIRST HURDLE 



It is just one thing after another with Chapel Hill 
kiddies. After they get by this one there's a nice new 
modern high school waiting for them. When they have 
learned all its secrets, the big university beckons. 

The youthful traffic cops are selected because of their 
ability to get into an argument without getting into a 
fight. 

Sounds like a good idea, tends to lessen the parental 
anxiety of mothers slaving at home — over the latest Cul- 
bertson problem — and introduces the notion of disci- 
pline early in the formative period. The kids seem to 
like it. 





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"LESS POUNDAGE, LESS YARDAGE" 

Here is a course as sweet as it looks. Clean fairways, 
true greens and, if one must hook into the rough, well 
— it's no jungle. 

Up north the question frequently arises: Why did 
they build the town and the depot so far from the golf 
course? Not so in Chapel Hill, where it is only a drive 
and a put from the centre of things. 

But it isn't the place to uncork any of those old familiar 
alibis, for this course is and has been the proving ground 
of the graceful little lady here pictured — America's pre- 
mier woman golfer (no fooling) . 

This refreshingly frank young person, who wears her 
honors with the humility of the true thoroughbred, de- 
clares, "When you lose poundage from your frame you 
lose yardage in your game." 

Now, maybe that's your cue: Are you getting your 
vitamins? 



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