In Tar Heel Country

Will Power

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--A clear Carolina blue sky and 70-degree weather greeted the Harvard women's soccer team yesterday afternoon, as the booters stepped off Piedmont flight #327 en route to the first-ever AIAW National Soccer Tournament at the University of North Carolina here this weekend.

And now, with few clouds in the sky, it seems that no matter where the visitor looks on the sprawling UNC campus, blue sky is conspicuous in the background. In fact, wherever you look here in "Tar Hell" country, there's sky blue in view.

You see, sky blue is Tar Heel blue.

And Tar Heel spirit pervades the UNC campus. It's more than just the tangibles like the insignia apparel that dots the walkways, much more than the Veritas emblems up here in the Yard. It's everywhere--Tar Heel blue telephones, toilets, bathroom tile, awnings, bleachers, bumper stickers, and even the Tar Hell blue walls of the Carmichael Auditorium.

After a day on campus, it's hard to contest the admission's pamphlet boast of "something in the air that makes you proud to be a Tar Heel."


Much of the friendly atmosphere undoubtedly stems from the warm weather. Who would dare to frown at someone in gym shorts and a t-shirt carrying a frisbee or a tennis racket? But, beyond the sunny climates lies the omnipresent outlook, epitomized by the catch words "Southern Hospitality," which makes it easy to relax and feel right at home.

With all the talk of Tar Heel blue, "What's a Tar Heel?" is the first question that springs to mind. Apparently, during an important civil war battle the North Carolina frontline regiment held off a Yankee offensive. After the siege ended, General Lee praised the Carolina contingent, saying, "You boys stood firm, as if you had tar on your heels." Whether that tale's true or not, the state is known for its natural underground tar pits that occasionally cause tar accumulations on the Carolina beaches.

Tar Heel spirit does not impinge upon UNC's fine academic environment. Although many other Southern institutions would refute Time magazine's assertion that UNC is the South's best university, remember that Walker Percy, John L. Clive (Kenan Professor of History and Literature), Charles Kuralt, Tom Wicker, and Thomas Wolfe graduated here. Andy Griffith is also among the school's illustrious alumni, and rumour claims that nearby Siler City provided the basis for the legendary town of Mayberry.

Although UNC boasts a "tradition of academic excellence" since its opening in 1795," a weekend visitor would be well advised to concentrate on enjoying its Southern Hospitality. With 20,000 undergrads, of which about 85 per cent are native Carolinians, you're bound to find anything you're looking for. The 29 fraternities and 12 sororities, which can claim 30 per cent of all undergrads as members, provide the usual beer bashes, but since you can party at frats anywhere in the country, better to investigate the local spots clustered along Franklin Street, just north of Main campus.

Socializing starts early in the week down in Tar Heel, country, where, because the hard-liquor drinking age remains at 21, most students drink beer, primarily Bud and Stroh's. After two solid nights of studying, Sunday and Monday, it's time to begin the Franklin Street circuit. Who can resist. "Lady Lock-in" at Prudy's Tuesday nights, when from eight to ten the management excludes all men while women down peany drafts (that's right) inside.

Wednesday night is "Zoo Night" at Crazy Zach's, where drats are a whopping nickel from eight to ten. After loosening up for a quarter, dance the "shag", a predominantly southern dance resembling the jitter bug, done to "beach music," an adulteration of R&B revival hits.

Thursday night, or any time if you're only passing through, drop in on The Four Corners for a real UNC experience. As you know, Carolina country is ACC basketball country and ACC basketball is the big time. It's The Four Corners, as in the Tar Heels' famous four corner stall offense, which has protected so many Dean Smith victories.

A life-sized poster of UNC great Phil Ford with the four fingers of his right hand extended high into the air greets the restaurant's clientele. Photographs of Tar Heel sensations (do the names Bob McAdoo, Charley Scott, Mith Kupchak, Walter Davis, Bobby Jones, Al Wood, Billy Cunningham, and Michael O'Koren ring any bells? decorate the walls. And to complete the motiff, sandwiches such as the "McAdoo Big McBurger" and the Kupchak Super sub grace the menu. You don't have to know your basketball to have a good time, but make sure not to confuse Carolina with Carolina State or Tar Heel with Terrapin, or else.

Basketball's big but the season doesn't start for real until January. Now, the campus is buzzing about the undefeated UNC women's soccer team and the national tournament this weekend. UConn, UMass, Texas A&M and Central Florida advanced to the quarter finals in first round action yesterday. Harvard arrived just in time to watch the tanned Knights easily blank Colorado College, 4-0, in yesterday's only upset. The Crimson meets the Knights this morning at Kenan Stadium (capacity 47,000).

The predicts...HARVARD 2, CENTRAL FLORIDA 1: The Knights may be big and strong, but the Crimson is skilled. UCONN 2, OREGON 0: The Huskies and Eastern soccer prove their superiority. UNC 2, UMASS 0: Any team that blanked UConn, 2-0, must be awesome. MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS 3, TEXAS A&M 1: Two unknowns, but the winner will face Harvard on Saturday.

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