Chapel Hill

The Carolina Inn is immaculate. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a tight ship of a hotel. Warm cookies in a jar as you check in? Yes.

It was built (by hand? -ed) by alumnus John Sprunt Hill and donated to the university in 1935.

Is “it” right, maybe it should be “she” like a ship. Top: you should stay in any hotel that has her own Wikipedia page.

They take the color scheme seriously at UNC Chapel Hill. This is from the Color Palette section of the University Branding and Identity Guidelines.

All anyone wanted to talk about in Chapel Hill (this was Thursday, March 31 of this year) was the Duke vs UNC basketball game. At The Dead Mule Club, anyone who walked in had one question: what time do you open on Saturday? (12noon, first come first serve, no cover).

My photos always feel inadequate to the emotional experience. I don’t have anything like the eye nor take the care Ansel Adams did.

I’d heard it said that the campus of UNC at Chapel Hill is one of the most beautiful in the USA. My sample is not total but from what I’ve seen yes, let’s include it. Who are the other contenders? University of Virginia. Harvard. Middlebury. I find the vibe off at Princeton but “it has to be in the conversation” as the televised sports discussers say. UCLA and Cal Berkeley, both are impressive to me, as are Amherst, Wellesley. Feel like I’ve seen both Smith and Mount Holyoke and they look nice? Although if they sorta blur together, is that judgment on their beauty? Did we see William & Mary when I was a boy? Anyway, UNC at Chapel Hill is beautiful.

Beautiful places are inspiring, old beautiful places especially so. That such a place can be not just created but sustained and maintained for generations.

Moved by the university cemetery. Students would die, and sending their bodies home on wet roads in winter wasn’t hygienic, so they started a cemetery.

Just after a rainstorm when I rolled in. Only late in the day maybe did people realize the rain was gone. . They came back out. First I had the walk pretty much for myself. Wet blooming trees. Some people waiting for the bus, some naval cadets getting together for a run. Dog walkers and stray errand doers.

On the walls of The Carolina Inn they have displays about distinguished grads of the university. Many, many, not just famous ones. White and black, men and women, on my floor law school alums. The vastness of the collection creates an impression, these countless dignified people who taught constitutional law for thirty years or were judges or the first black person to serve in some important role in some county.

How about the sad fate of Spaight?

Father and son both killed in duels. Like Hamilton. “As lucky as a Spaight in a duel” is a localism.

The most famous grad of UNC Chapel Hill has got to be Michael Jordan. Right? One way UNC is inspiring is it shows a state, public institution capable of producing excellence. The University of California is capable of that too, what treasures, do we appreciate them enough? How do we keep them?

Would this make a good movie? The music might not bang enough for modern ears. But maybe? Picture it as a small budget feel good festival kinda thing, it might find an audience.



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