Franklin Street Stories


Bob: My name is Bob Epting. I've been in Chapel Hill since 1963, 45 years I guess. I came as a student and stayed. It seems to me that this idea of the sense of place that especially downtown Chapel Hill has about it is always connected to the sense that this person or that had of it in first their earliest times here, but then their happiest times here. I still think of the street, the main block of Franklin Street, in terms of my undergraduate in law school years, which were '63 to '70, which spanned the era in which unusual people known as beatniks all the way up to where they were known as yippies.

[0:51] So we went all the way through. I arrived here with a flat-top haircut, graduated from law school with a mustache and hair down to my shoulders. Looked a lot like that blockhead son-in-law of Archie Bunker on TV. I think the memories of Chapel Hill, the sense that people take away from here, is very much connected to the time that they are here. What they're doing in their lives at that time, whether it's a successful time in their life or an unsuccessful time in their life, that's what it's all tied up with.

[1:26] So those of us who have been here a long time say "Oh, no, it means, the sense, the spirit of downtown Chapel Hill means this", it may very well be very different from somebody whose been here a shorter time or a briefer time or just got here last year. They may have just as strong and just as valid a view of what that is, and it's all that mix that really defines what our community is, ultimately.

Interviewer: [1:55] Do you mind if I kind of walk you back in time?

Bob: [1:57] Oh, no.

Interviewer: [1:59] What I'm looking for is some... of course, there are some landmarks that are no longer there, so stories about those kinds of places, but just also sort of your recollections. If there were any experiences that you had, it sounds like through your college years, especially. I've talked with people about the Speaker Band, just kind of the things that happened on Franklin Street.

Bob: [2:20] Franklin Street is as important, for instance, to the civil rights movement as the lunch counters in Greensboro. Very soon after the lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, we had our sit-ins here, on Franklin Street. They had to do with a whole dairy bar out on West Franklin Street, a drugstore out on West Franklin Street, the movies in the central block of Franklin Street. That was the year I got here, 1963. In fact the year I got here, many of the students who were arrested were having their trials in what was then called recorder's court, then appealing for a new trial before a jury in the superior court.

[3:04] What was happening in those days on Franklin Street was very important to the history of the country, and I think in a very real sense the history of the world, because of the importance of all that was happening. A lot of us came, as I did, to Chapel Hill as products of having lived in other places, without the benefits of some of the enlightened views that we met when we got to Chapel Hill, about, for instance, race.

[3:33] And one of my earliest memories of Franklin Street is going across the street every morning when I was a sophomore, I learned to eat other than in the North Hall by the time I was a sophomore, and I ate breakfast every morning at a little restaurant called the College Cafe, which was on the north side of the street. Three or four doors up from the Varsity Theater. I ate there every morning, and knew the names of the waitresses, and Max, who took your money at the cash register. Everybody knew everybody in there.

[4:10] You didn't even have to order, they just brought you what you ordered as a matter of habit, until my first black friend on campus and I went in one morning, in the spring of my sophomore year to have breakfast. I'd never eaten anywhere with a black person, and its strange now to look back on it, I don't think I even thought about it. I think we just went across the street to eat breakfast. I ate at the College Cafe and so I said "Let's go there."

[4:41] We went there and we sat down. Usually your breakfast was on the table within 20 or 30 seconds of you're sitting down. They saw you come in, they knew what you want. But 10 or 15 minutes went by without our being waited on that morning, and finally Larry said "They're not going to wait on us" and I said "What do you mean? They're probably fixing my breakfast right now, they always do." I hadn't noticed because we were talking that that much time had gone by but he said "No, they're not going to wait on us, now you're going to see." and I said "See what?" and he said "Now you're going to see what its like to be me."

[5:15] It was like somebody had dropped a concrete block from the roof of the building on top of my head. I had never had that kind of epiphany before, and certainly not about race. It just wasn't important to me. I was not raised by bigots, but neither was I raised by anybody who said it was important to think one way or the other about segregation. And so, I began to think very differently about segregation. My little story is just a short version of what was happening to kids who came to Chapel Hill from all over the state, and of course all over the country, but especially the ones who came from within the state, and came from absolutely segregated schools and restaurants and movie theaters.

[6:07] They got here and began to learn because we got here on the cusp of the benefits of being able to go to school with people who were different than we were, and having friends like Larry to show us the way. Not by being browbeaten about it but just because it was absolutely wrong that I couldn't go with my friend and have breakfast where I'd always had breakfast just because he was brown and I was pink.

[6:39] So that street, a year later that restaurant was integrated. They were not happy about it, but nor did they treat you badly when you came in to eat. My friend Larry went to Vietnam three years later and was killed the next year. He was the first person I knew and the first friend I lost in Vietnam.

[7:04] But he was a real hero to me for what he showed me, and that happened thousands and thousands and thousands of times as people went across the street, metaphorically, to a different life than they had grown up with, grown up in, in other parts of the state as they were raised. Chapel Hill thus has an incredibly important place in the history of integration and racial relations and the great mixing pot which our country really was supposed to be, and is today to a much greater extent than it was 45 years ago.

Interviewer: [7:41] Do you remember seeing any of the demonstrations?

Bob: [7:44] Oh, yeah. Even though the Supreme Court had said more than 10 years earlier that segregated schools were no longer legal, the Supreme Court said "You should do away with them with all deliberate speed." Well, nobody knew what that meant. It didn't say by next Tuesday or next year, it didn't give any deadline at all, and so there was resistance for many years. The Public Accommodations Act didn't get passed until, if I remember right, something like the summer of '64, '65. So we hadn't gotten that law yet that required that restaurants and stores and hotels and so forth, places of public accommodation, be integrated.

[8:29] And so, what went on in my life in that little anecdote was going on, as we learned to live together, as we learned in this community, as we voluntarily opened our restaurants and movie theaters. When I say voluntarily, I think that my friend Braxton Fushee, who is about my age, who went to school and was in high school here in those years, and who was in the streets. He would say "Well voluntarily my foot. I got hauled off to Hillsboro jail and had to be tried for trespassing and being uppity, essentially." What I mean by voluntarily is there really weren't lawsuits that opened them up, people walked in the streets and sat down in the doorways and opened them up.

[9:20] Yeah, I did some of that myself. I don't claim to have been as active as most people were here, but I was in the streets on occasion, and certainly as I got closer to the end of my law school career we were in the streets a whole lot about Vietnam. We were taught about the street by the integration workers, by the sit-ins, by all that. I think we wouldn't have understood the power that resides in each of us as a citizen of this country, under the Constitution, to go and do those things if black people hadn't done it for us and shown us the way in that street. And so, Franklin Street is an incredibly important and wonderful place because of that. That's just one story.

Interviewer: [10:11] Now you mentioned the Vietnam War, and that's one that I haven't heard as many people talking about; protesting. Do you remember any specific event?

Bob: [10:20] Oh, yeah. There were, beginning in about 1965, in the middle '60s, there was a wonderful group of faculty wives that called themselves the "International Women's Association for Peace and Freedom." I believe was the name. I remember peace and freedom were in there and something about women. It was about women because these were mothers and aunts and grannies who were all pissed off about people being killed in Vietnam in the same way that they're being killed today in Iraq, in a senseless, stupid war that had to do with the egos of Washington politicians more than it had to do with any sort of threat to the nation.

[11:13] There was, every Wednesday from 1965 until sometime out into the late '80s, a gathering in front of the post office, where Wednesday from 12 to one o'clock, where every day this group of women; and I say faculty wives, some of them were faculty members, but they were mostly women; stood silently, didn't say anything, held a sign that said "International Association for Peace and Freedom" or something like that, and invited by their presence, other people to join them. They were really the beginnings of a movement that later, on almost a weekly basis would have a march at some time during the week about the war, up and down Franklin Street.

[12:08] I don't want to say they're all dead now, because they'll never really be dead because their sense is so much a part of the spirit of Franklin Street. They'll never die. But the ones I remember were Charlotte Adams, who was married to Professor Maynard Adams, who is a wonderful philosophy professor on campus, and ...

[12:38] I'm not going to remember right at this moment the names of some of the rest of them, but there were half a dozen who were there every Wednesday for more than ten years. And so, in the very same way that ideas were changed about segregation, ideas were changed about peace and war as students came into contact with these women who stood silently and stronger than anybody we'd ever seen before and showed us the way, in terms of how ideas that are not popular but are right have strength over ideas that are popular but that are wrong.

[13:31] By 1970, in the spring of 1970 the student riots took place. I say riots - they were demonstrations. Republicans would call them riots, I suppose. Campuses shut down all across the country after the National Guard at Kent State in Ohio opened fire on a Vietnam War demonstration up there. Needless, senseless, stupid. I was in the spring of my last year in law school that spring, and I was one of those who was out of class marching in the street. Not just in the street, but in the campus that adjoined the street.

[14:15] In a very real sense, if you think of it sort of as a map, the way in which McCorkle Place opens into Franklin Street is sort of metaphorical for the way in which the street has invited students to use it as an avenue for expression, which is very much what it is to me. And it will always be. I'm going to hate it when they have buildings that are six and eight and 10 stories tall, filled with little apartments.

[14:53] Every one of those buildings down there right now, especially the human scale of the buildings, is really important to the way in which that main block was, as I say, a pedestrian avenue for the expression of often conflicting and competing political views. But, in very many ways, as you can look back on it historically, those views in the end were right even though at the beginning they were had been a very minority point of view. Certainly the civil rights efforts and the Vietnam War efforts were great examples of that.

Interviewer: [15:35] I should ask a couple of clarification things because it's audio, just some descriptive stuff. The women that would stand in front of the post office - about how many, and what would they look like? What would they be wearing?

Bob: [15:47] They were ladies older than 50. Charlotte Adams, as I said. Lucy Straley was another one. In fact, I'm not sure they weren't sisters. They may have been sisters. They were not dressed in any sort of odd way. They looked like women that you might see in a grocery store or in a faculty meeting. They were simply women of the era who were there with a small, peaceful sign that identified their group.

[16:24] And there might, from time to time, be a sign that said "Peace now" or "Out of Vietnam" or something like that. There might even have been a sign that characterized President Nixon in one way or another from time to time. But it was very peaceful. There was no yelling. There was no ugly argument.

[16:45] There was certainly conversation with people who would walk up and walk by. Some people would go there and join the group on that Wednesday. There were generally, I would say, half a dozen regulars. They were sort of like the progenitors of the screaming grannies. I don't know if you here when they made themselves popular several years ago.

[17:15] I also think about a third effort, which was the effort, which was the effort that had to do with the opposition to construction of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant. People were in the street about that in the middle 80's, from about '84 to '87 something in that range, as we went through the process of participating in the permitting process but opposing the granting of the program.

[17:49] The street became a venue where the most trident of the opposition found its voice. I never thought about it until right now, but the way in which I described to you, the street sort of invited the energy of youth off-campus and into the street and created its own expression. It's in a very real sense, for me, the part of the enormous value of it historically.

[18:27] The Speaker Ban had that thing and people already talked to you about that. I was a freshman that year and I've looked for my picture in the several pictures I've seen of Aptheker standing on the sidewalk in the Student's Nest. I've never seen me but I know exactly where I was standing, I was actually there that day.

Interviewer: [18:45] I actually talked to Jack Lower, who is a professor in the journalism school with them, who was in a tree photographing it.

Bob: [19:18] I remember him. We were about the same age. I think I may have been a year or so older than he is, but I remember him as a student. We were just boys in those days. None of us really, well very few of us, came here with anything like the set of ideas we had begun to feel take seed and begin to germinate by the time of the end of your first year, or even your second year. So, I think we were all different. I grew up in High Point and my father would make fun of me in a friendly way about having returned home from the University. He called it the University as though that was something that he had to take some precaution about. [laughs]

Interviewer: [20:14] I don't know if for one, if you were going out on a weeknight where would you go.

Bob: [20:19] Oh, my choices were limited in terms of the funds that I had available to me. But, there were a number of places you could go and eat throughout my undergraduate career, for two or three dollars apiece. So if you had a date you could generally have, if you weren't drinking and which I was not a drinker in my undergraduate days, you could eat for four or five dollars and a movie would cost you another buck apiece. So for $10 on a Friday night and $10 on a Saturday night, you could be active socially if you wanted to see a movie and have dinner.

[20:59] Where would you go? I always liked to go to the Zoom-Zoom, which had the same food as the Rat Scale or it was also owned by the Dinzingers, but was upstairs. I always had a little phobia that there would be a fire in the Rat and nobody could get out because there's only one way in and out and that was at the front door. If you've got a fire in the kitchen, half the restaurant [laughs] wouldn't be able to get out.

[21:25] On the other end of Franklin Street, Leo's was the restaurant down next to where Courtyard is now. Leo was a Greek but he served cheap Italian food. Veal parmesan was everybody's favorite and that was two bucks, where you would get a plate of spaghetti for a dollar and a half. The difference between veal parmesan and the plate of spaghetti was you that you got veal parmesan on top of the spaghetti for an extra fifty cents. [laughs] There was a place in the middle of the street, on the south side of Franklin Street, that I'm blanking on the name of, that was run by Spiro Doorton and his partner, that was frequented mostly by fraternity guys in those days.

[22:20] The campus was broken down socially, stratified, by whether you lived in a dorm or whether you were in a fraternity. I came here in Craig and then I moved to Morrison and then I lived in Teague as the resident advisor. So I was not a fraternity boy [laughs], and so the places sort of, the place I'm trying to think the name of on the other side, was a place where you only went if you happened to have a date with a sorority person and you thought maybe they were used to going there instead of going to the Zoom Zoom.

[22:53] My very first meal in Chapel Hill was at Harry's, which is where Four Corners is now, which is where the beatniks were when I was a freshman. Cool people were called beatniks in those days, that was before people grew their hair long. They got berets in those days and became beatniks. It was a hamburger, and I got sick as a dog later that night, and didn't eat very much at Harry's anymore, although I'm not sure it was Harry's fault, but I got food poisoning off something that day. It was a very popular place, and it was iconic because of the political discussions that went on in Harry's.

[23:37] My favorite place still is today, the Carolina Coffee Shop. It's changed to some extent by the removal of some of the paneling in the wall that used to separate the front room from the back room in there and the addition of the bar. That was a wonderful place to eat, and I must say that I enjoyed all of the days that I ate in the College Cafe. Even though I had that experience with my friend Larry in there that taught me something.

[24:10] But the street in the '60s was full of other businesses too, not just t-shirt shops and restaurants. There were two hardware stores on the street, three barber shops, four men's clothing stores; one of which, Deanna Campus, was men's and women's. The street had a different vibrancy to it commercially than it does today, and I think we're going through one of those periods; which are inevitable, which people tend to forget; which are simply phases of the economies discovering for itself what people want to do, how they want to spend their time and money on Franklin Street.

[24:49] I don't have any fear at all about Franklin Street. It has always righted itself and I think it will again if we leave it alone. I am worried that we're about to ruin it with too much high-rise, dense development, but you know what? The people who are much younger than I am and will live here a lot longer than I will be alive ought to get to choose about that. Not the old guys who just want it to be the way it was in the '60s. I think we do have some sort of duty to those who have come and have took away their own memories based on what the street was like in those days, not to utterly destroy its sense of place and its scale. But, you know, if I get outvoted on that I just got outvoted. That's the way our system worked.

[25:40] One place that nobody may have mentioned to you yet is the Porthole, which is on Porthole Alley. Certainly when I got here until the late '60s it was a very desirable place to go eat. They served yeast rolls they would bring to your table, just the way Squid's does today with their hush puppies. They brought this huge basket of yeast rolls, honey, butter and jelly to your table before you even ordered. How they did any business I'm not sure because they didn't charge you for that, they charged you for your dinner, and nobody was ever hungry after they finished eating the yeast rolls.

Interviewer: [26:18] What did it look like inside?

Bob: [26:21] The thing that strikes me the most in my memory about it is that the waiters all wore white jackets, track white pressed over-shirts really, they were straight-collared shirts. So, the waiters looked formal and didn't talk or act in any sort of formal way. They sort of knew who you were and they knew the certain rhythm to ordering. You ordered not necessarily from menus but just from memory of what you wanted. It was a very warm and inviting place and certainly one of the places that, if somebody said "Well, where are we going to go tonight?" somebody would say the Porthole and somebody would say the Zoom Zoom and somebody might say the Coffee Shop and somebody might say "No, lets go to Leo's" if you wanted to go to the other end of the street.

[27:13] Leo's is downtown today, people don't think of it as being far away. In those days it was almost like another town to go if you went past the bottom of the hill and started up the other side of the hill on Franklin Street. Fowler's food store, anybody told you about Fowlers?

Bob: [27:32] Fowlers was very important because it was the only, well not the only because there was the Colonial food store downtown, but it was the food store of choice certainly. Great meat department, enormous beer cooler that was probably a quarter of the whole store on the backside of the store. For years and years and years after we were old enough to either have apartments or have friends who had apartments so that you were cooking and not just eating in a restaurant or eating at the Lenore Hall, that was the place to go to buy your steaks. If you were going to have steaks, they had a wonderful meat department.

[28:17] Very small town, not chain-oriented, grocery store. Everybody was sorry that it was gone. In my humble opinion, it was the single thing that's going to be the most necessary to make the downtown work in a way the present community leaders think it ought to work. They're really going to have to have somebody who is willing to run a specialty food store downtown. It's like a family grocery store.

[28:45] Fowlers was very much a part of what the street was about. Wentworth and Sloan, the jewelry store, and you ought to go see Ken Jackson before you finish because he can tell you lots more than I can. He actually worked at Sloan, he's about my age. He and John Woodward at Sutton's were very good friends, so you could meet them one morning at Sutton's or something. Wentworth and Sloan is where you went to buy your Valentine's silver for your sweetheart. It has an important role in everybody's heart because of that; even if you had no money you'd go there and look. It was also very important.

[29:39] Businesses that are gone now have as much to do with my memory of the character of the street as what's there. The old Foister's camera store was really, really important to the students because if you were taking pictures, you didn't do it in the way you do today. You couldn't just hit a button and send a picture home. You had to get it developed and mail it off. Foister's was the place to do all that, it was one of the first Kodak stores in the country. In the very same way that Mr. Straub's Ford company right across Columbia Street from Spanky's; that building which now has the Mexican restaurant on the first floor and the loft that's on the second floor; was actually the first Ford dealership in this part of the state.

[30:29] Since like 1910. It had the garage where they worked on cars upstairs, so you drove in the side of the building and you drove up a ramp and you drove up to the second floor to get your car worked on. The first floor was a Chevron.

[30:47] Those buildings survived. The businesses are now gone, of course, but were really, really important to the street. You know, one ongoing feature of the street has been the Theater. The Carolina was across the street, of course, all the time when I was in school. And, I'm not sure, does it still operate in the little theater behind where it used to?

[31:23] Well, both of those were very important movies, because a part of the civil rights movement had to do with pledges that local citizens signed not to go to the movies until the movies were opened to everybody. Then you can see, it's typed on a little typed sheet of paper - not a sheet, but a little strip of paper. Then there was a signature line. It was done on one of those old hand pecker typewriters, you know?

[31:57] And there's a copy of one of those up on the mural on the wall up in the courtroom in Hillsborough. Because that pledge was so important to the commitments that local people made to end segregation.

Interviewer: [32:12] How was it distributed?

Bob: [32:14] People just passed them out and signed them, and then they collected them. Then they were taken en masse in a box to the movie theater owners. And that's how the movie theaters were opened and desegregated. And, not inconsiderably, by the sit-ins as well - I mean, by people demonstrating in front of the theaters.

Interviewer: [32:40] So, was the original drive for the pledges done by students or townspeople?

Bob: [32:46] Townspeople. In the very same sense that the Women's League - that's what it was, the Women's League for International Peace and Freedom, or else the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. But it was "league", not "association".

[33:01] In the very same way that Lucy Straley and Charlotte Adams organized themselves and their friends and passersby, people organized within the community.

[33:29] And let me say, it was not a matter of everybody signing these things. It was not a matter of everybody stopping and joining up the International League for Peace and Freedom. It was not a matter of everybody agreeing. There were large segments of the university - professors and very well-educated people, leaders of the university - who were opposed to integration.

[33:58] So, it was a very daring and courageous thing to do, to get in line and to march in the street or to sit-in at a store uptown. You might lose your job over that if you were on the faculty. And interestingly, at least as I think about the faculty people that I know who participated, the people who were the most courageous about it were the people without tenure - the people who had not been here for years and years and years. They were the younger faculty.

[34:36] They were people who, just by way of a distant example, as they tried to find places to live in Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill only went to Boundary Street in those days, and there weren't a lot of subdivisions. In fact, there were no subdivisions. The first subdivision in Chapel Hill off the hill itself was built down at Highland Woods down by the golf course, between the sewer plant and the golf course.

[35:02] It was built, essentially, in order to provide housing for young professors whose views were not very much like people who lived along Franklin Street, and nearby Franklin Street. We shouldn't get the impression that it was an easy thing to do or that it didn't take a lot of courage to stand up and disagree with the way it's been, to say we need to change it. Nor can you look at the views of those people who supported segregation absent any understanding of history; where they had come from, where their parents had come from, what they had suffered through.

[35:44] They were not so distant; when they got here in 1962, they were only a hundred years distant from the civil war. After which the university had closed because they didn't have funds, there wasn't enough money to keep running the university. And it stayed closed for what, 15 or 20 years or something? Didn't it stay closed into the 1880s or something like that? And so there was every reason, rising out of an understanding of history, for there to have been disagreement about whether they out to meet that change or not. I'm not taking up for people who supported segregation; I'm just saying that historically I see where they came from.

[36:31] We all ought to understand why that made it that much harder and made it even that much more courageous for people to stand up and say "No, its time to change." And so, I got here at a time that was just as exciting to me as today must be for people who are excited about Obama. I think I sense the same kind of excitement from young people that we felt in those days about the things that were going on around us. Not necessarily about the President, certainly we did before we got out to the 1968 election. I know that's not much of a Franklin Street story.

[37:20] I want to say this about Franklin Street: It is probably the single reason why I never left town. I came here from High Point, completely different political and social perspective from where I grew up. I changed my perspective and certainly formed my politics right here on Chapel Hill, right here on this street for the reasons I've explained to you. So, my perception of who I became and who I am today is completely tied up with Franklin Street. I could no more leave this nearness to Chapel Hill, this nearness to Franklin Street, than I could cut off my right leg.

[38:07] I think a lot of people feel that way about it. It's not just that we're scared to go out into the real world and make a living. Heck, we've learned how to make a living here. I've had a lot of my friends that I went to law school with who are now in the high rise towers of Charlotte and Raleigh and Atlanta and New York; making 10 and 15 times, maybe a thousand times more than I do a year; say to me, "You know, I'd give it all up if I could have what you have. If I could live in Chapel Hill, if I could manage my own schedule, if I had windows that open behind me in my office." They come in here and see my windows open and the dog trots out from the back room and its heaven.

Interviewer: [38:52] You live on Franklin Street, right?

Bob: [38:55] Yeah, I live down just through the curve. We've had tragedies that happened on Franklin Street too, you know. I think one of the early and very funny instances of lawlessness had to do with the man whose wife worked at Snoopy's, which was a hot dog store where Applebee's is now. Before all that was developed it was a little hot dog drive-in called Snoopy's, A man who learned that his wife had been having an affair with somebody else-- she worked at Snoopy's-- drove his car down the hill one day and crashed his car into the front of Snoopy's, I know that's a little far down Franklin Street.

[39:40] But, he turned around and then headed back up the hill towards the part of Franklin Street you are interested in and the police had been called and there was some screaming in the telephone about how he's here, he's trying to kill me, he's trying to kill me. [laughs]

[39:59] So, the police are coming down the hill and the man's car is steaming and smoking because he's broken his radiator slamming into the front of Snoopy's. They pass each other on the Great Hill, just this side of my house as you are coming out of Chapel Hill, and the police recognized that the guy going up the hill with a busted radiator is the guy they're looking for.

[40:20] So, everybody hits their brakes at the same time and there's sort of a dance that goes on. The police skid and turn at the same time that the guy going up the hill skids and turns and they pass each other again [laughs] as they are going up the hill because they did it in the curve and they couldn't see each other. The story, I don't know I didn't see it, is that they passed each other several times before the police finally got in behind him and got him stopped.

[40:46] That's funny although we no longer think domestic violence is funny and I've certainly done a good bit of work about all of that. But, we think of that as a funny instance of lawlessness along Franklin Street.

[41:06] But, Eve Carson's murder brings to mind the shootings of Wendell Williamson several years ago, which happened right there within a block of her house on Friendly Lane. It happened at Henderson Street at Rosemary Street. The car was found very close by there and I've laid awake the last couple of nights thinking how similar it is to what happened with Williamson. That is that it all should have happened right there causes the same thing to happen in each occasion.

[41:44] My telephone now rings off the hook and my email is full of messages from people that say what's happened to Chapel Hill. So, it has become the murder capital of the world. Of course, these things are terrible things that have happened and I grieve what's happened most recently. But, they happen very rarely in Chapel Hill and they happen very rarely because they are so contrary to the sense of what we think about this place.

[42:14] The peace of it all, the rationality of it all, the place where we encourage disagreement in order to learn from the discussion on each side of the disagreement. Where murder and homicide is solved here really not prevalent to the same extent as they are in nearby places, which is not saying they don't happen. But I have to remind myself and I have to remind my friends who email me and say see it's just like Charlotte, that it's not like Charlotte.

[42:50] You hear a lot of folks, as I said, in those towers in Charlotte who would love to come up here and trade places with me and they wouldn't find me willing to trade.

Interviewer: [43:01] I talked to a woman yesterday actually who said it reminded her of the arboretum.

Bob: [43:09] Yeah it did. That was the summer after my sophomore year and I was living in Mandam right there, right next to the arboretum when that happened. It happened on my birthday. It was clear, I think, from the beginning of that investigation that somebody close by had committed that murder and I am pretty sure now that the police knew who did it but they were never able to get evidence sufficient to convict. It was somebody close by. A friend of mine was assaulted in Back Hall not long after that and I am pretty sure it was the same person who did that.

[43:48] It did remind us of that. All of that is still attached to the proximity of Franklin Street because Franklin Street is like an arbor for our emotions about Chapel Hill and about the University. It is also the sinew that ties together the town to the University.