I was the DTH [Daily Tarheel] photographer, and I lived right over Franklin Street. Coming of age as a photo journalist in the '60s was absolutely the best of times, and the worst of times. The worst of times because there were so many events about which all we DTH kids felt so passionately about and yet we had to be as objective as we possibly could. And I crossed the line many times, which is to say I would take pictures and put down my camera and pick up a sign.

We have been married for 14 years now. So, that protest brought me together with the love of my life and Franklin Street was the reason and we lived happily ever after.

So, here we are, the Speaker Ban law comes in and I am going to skip over the civil rights, the peace vigils, all that stuff and just tell the story about Speaker Ban, because this really is a love story about Franklin Street, but also about the love of my life and how I found her on Franklin Street.

Let's place this in time. It is 1966, I believe, because that would be my junior year and the student body president, well known to all, was Paul Dickson the late Paul Dickson, died tragically in a car accident later. He was very much in cahoots with President Bill Friday in trying to figure out a way to circumvent the Speaker Ban law and came up with this brilliant idea of inviting a speaker, Frank Wilkinson who is a First Amendments activist, who refused to take the Fifth Amendment and therefore was banned from speaking on our campus.

So, Paul Dickson, student body president comes up with this great idea of inviting Wilkinson and having him speak on the town of Chapel Hill's property on the sidewalk directly facing McCorkle Place, the rock wall separating the speaker from all the kids.

There were hundreds and hundreds of kids who came to hear him and of course as a slam on the Berlin Wall, we put up this—no, not we—the students put up a sign that said "Governor Moore's Chapel Hill wall." Moore had been of course the Governor of North Carolina at that time, under whose watch the Speaker Ban law came in.

Well, I had photographed a lot of demonstrations and I had to figure out how am I going to get the best picture I could get. And I saw this tree right there and being a nimble old tree climber from way back, with my clunky old two-and-a-quarter square Rollerflex—which is not a good camera to be climbing a tree with—I climbed the tree and had this wonderful high-oblique view looking down on Wilkinson, Paul Dixon and the students.

This picture was published in a book that came out in '68 called Only in Chapel Hill, but that picture is only a part of a larger picture, which very few people have ever seen and I now bring it in. Because it shows much more of the crowd and there you get kind of a sense, sort of like that, kind of get the idea. I am tiling two 8 x 10's together, so you can see there might have been a thousand people there, because I didn't photograph them all, but you can see all the way up to Silent Sam and over to the Alumni Building. And there is Bill Walker from WCHL—who is now I believe at WSOC in Charlotte—with his funky old tape recorder, recording Frank Wilkinson.

Now, why is this a love story? Fast forward from 1966 to October 23, 1993. Why do I know this date so well? I am now the head of the photo program; I am an associate professor at Penn State, where I have been for two years. I have been divorced for 13 years. I'm between girlfriends and I am at the only over-30 singles bar in State College and I am reading a book. Which is a really good technique, because people can't stand it, especially women ... "What are you doing? You're not trolling, you're reading a book." "So?"

This is a good way. It is like the right kind of woman is going to come up to you and talk to you if you are reading a book. And I actually needed to read the book, but I also needed to be there doing multitasking, I would say. So, here comes this woman and she says, "Excuse me." I looked up and here is this what I would call a good-looking, middle-aged babe. She said, "I believe we were at Carolina together." And honestly, my first thought was there is no way. And that is what I said, she looked quite too young to me.

And that was the right thing to say, of course. In retrospect, it was not planned. She said, "No, I believe I saw you running on the beach this summer in North Carolina." Now, that is extraordinary, because I go to a very small beach, not a lot of people there. I mean, that is pretty extraordinary, some 600 miles away and this person would know who I was. And absolutely, Long Beach is my beach, Oak Island, I go there every summer. So I am now looking at this woman and I realize that she is with somebody and I say, "Can I join you?" which is the right thing to do, so I go join them.

And we commenced to talking about shared experiences at UNC and she said, "Well, I was a student activist." And I said, "Well, I was a DTH photographer." She said, "Oh, I know, you were the guy in the tree." I went "What?" She said, "At the Speaker Ban rally, right there on Franklin Street, you were the guy in the tree, everybody knew you." And my jaw dropped. And on our first date, I pulled out this photograph because she said she was in the crowd. And I said, "Oh yeah?" So, I pulled out the photograph and here it is and she went "Oh yeah, here I am." And there indeed she is.

We have been married for 14 years now. So, that protest brought me together with the love of my life and Franklin Street was the reason and we lived happily ever after.