The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 29, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Dulles had said this date to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that any top-level conference with Russia was almost certainly months away and that it was definitely the policy of the President to pursue the possibility of a four-power conference once preliminary discussions on a lower level were out of the way. His testimony primarily concerned the need for speedy ratification of the rearmament treaties for West Germany, which he said would create conditions which he hoped would lead to a solution of other European problems. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, a member of the Committee, asked the Secretary whether a Big Four meeting might be consistent with U.S. policy at the present time, and the Secretary responded that it was very difficult to put a calendar date on exactly when such a conference might occur, apparently referring to a conference of the heads of state rather than a lower level conference. He stated that it was the general desire of the President and of Britain, France and West Germany to find out whether, in light of the "new situation", there could be substantial progress made from such a meeting with Russia's leaders. He said that West Germany, receiving its sovereignty under one of the treaties presently before the Senate, would necessarily have to participate in such a conference, which would regard potential unification of Germany. He thus took some exception to Senator Humphrey's use of the term "Big Four".

The President, according to an unidentified, authoritative Administration source in a discussion of key current issues in the field of foreign relations, did not believe that Communist China was prepared to cause any major conflict in the Formosa Strait in the weeks ahead, not sharing the view that a Communist attack might be made on the Nationalist-held islands of Quemoy and Matsu by April 15. He had, said the source, rejected the estimate of that situation by some military sources, reported from Washington during the weekend, as information available to the White House had indicated lack of Communist Chinese airbases and supplies to back up an amphibious assault on the islands. The source indicated that there were all the signs that some level of Big Four conference would take place soon. He also said that the Administration was disturbed by a report during the weekend that the Communists would be capable of an early attack on Quemoy and Matsu, but that the report provided an erroneous picture which might lead some to believe that the U.S. would soon be in a full-scale shooting war involving nuclear weapons. He had also said that the report could damage the U.S. position with some foreign nations, which took issue with parts of U.S. policy regarding Formosa. He indicated that the President did not minimize the danger in the Far East and that he believed the situation would become increasingly serious, with no one able to predict what Communist China might do. He added that the decision whether to defend the offshore islands rested exclusively with the President, and he would probably make that decision before any actual attack would occur.

In London, Prime Minister Churchill said this date before Commons that prospects of a four-power talk seemed to have brightened recently, adding that he still favored a top-level such talk, but that thus far, the heads of government had not agreed on that method. He dodged a question of a Labor Party member who wanted to know if top-level talks could be arranged soon enough to enable the Prime Minister to participate in them personally, referring by implication to reports that Mr. Churchill planned soon to retire. The Prime Minister responded that the future was "veiled in obscurity, and I should not like to plunge too deeply into it this afternoon."

From Las Vegas, it was reported that another detonation of an atomic device had occurred at the testing site at Yucca Flat in the early morning hours this date, its flash being clearly visible in Las Vegas, 75 miles away, and more dimly visible in Los Angeles, about 250 miles away. In Las Vegas, the flash lit up the sky so brightly that observers could see the vapor trails of planes taking part in the maneuvers. The flash had also been observed in San Francisco, some 500 miles to the north. An observer in Las Vegas said that the shock wave from the blast could be felt for about seven minutes, and considered it a middle-sized shock. The detonation had occurred from atop a 500-foot tower, and the cloud which was produced from it was flat across the top, unlike the usual mushroom clouds seen in the past. This date's test had originally been scheduled for March 14 but had been postponed by the Atomic Energy Commission because of unfavorable weather conditions on that date.

In New York, Henry Grunewald, known as a mysterious Washington "fixer", and Daniel Bolich, former assistant commissioner of the IRS, were convicted by a Federal District Court jury of a tax-fix bribery conspiracy involving $160,000. Also convicted was Max Halperin, a Manhattan tax attorney. The jury acquitted two co-defendants, Max Steinberg, former group chief in the upper Manhattan division of the IRS, and Harry Scherm, a former agent of the same office, both having been charged with receiving a $40,000 bribe in the case. The jury had deliberated 8.5 hours after a seven-week trial before rendering its verdicts the previous night. Mr. Grunewald faced a possible maximum prison term of five years plus up to a $10,000 fine or both. Mr. Bolich faced a maximum sentence of eight years and up to a $15,000 fine, having been convicted on a more serious count applying to a Government official. Mr. Halperin could receive up to 20 years and as much as a $25,000 fine, as he had also been convicted, in addition to participation in the conspiracy, on three counts of impeding witnesses before a grand jury. The Government had charged that the five defendants had received $200,000 in bribes to stop action on two income tax cases, and Mr. Bolich had also been charged with stopping two possible tax prosecutions at the request of Messrs. Grunewald and Halperin, and that the money had been paid by a New York dress-manufacturing firm and a beef company, consisting of $140,000 and $60,000, respectively.

In New York, the lawyers for Mickey Jelke, margarine heir accused of inducing two women into prostitution, expected to finish the defense case this date. When the trial had recessed the previous day, a banker was testifying for the defense that the defendant had received about $13,500 in gifts and loans from members of his family between September, 1951 and March, 1952, the time period in which the State contended Mr. Jelke had received between $10,000 and $15,000 from the prostitution activities of the chief State's witness, a high-priced call girl who had testified that Mr. Jelke had lined up dates for her and that she received fees of between $50 and $100 per date, giving most of the money to Mr. Jelke. The banker had handled Mr. Jelke's accounts and said that his socialite mother had deposited $400 per month to his account. He said that Mr. Jelke had also obtained a loan of $2,800 from his late brother, in February 1952.

In Lincoln, Nebraska, a prisoner revolt at the State Penitentiary entered its third day this date, with pressure mounting on the insurgents to surrender themselves and their two hostage guards. More than two days had passed since the eight or nine inmates had eaten their last meal after the start of the siege during the late morning of Sunday. Governor Victor Anderson said that he was certain that the men had no food in the building where they were holding the guards. He said that he was confident that the guards were safe as he had received a note from them the previous afternoon asking for food, but that none had been sent because the inmates might seize it. The strategy of prison officials continued, to wait out the inmates and offer no concessions in the meantime, doing nothing until the captive guards were released. In an exchange of notes the previous day, the inmates had made nine demands covering such things as three hot meals per day, definite sentences instead of indeterminate sentences, adequate medical attention and dismissal of all guards whom they were able to prove to be "sadists" or "head beaters". The Governor had replied in a letter that their demands would be "carefully considered" but that there would be "no compromise".

In Glasgow, the Reverend Billy Graham told his crusade audience of 16,000 the previous night that he had visited the vicinity of Scotland's famed Loch Lomond the previous Sunday, but that it was not a Sabbath "lark", that he had gone to the countryside for relaxation, meditation and prayer by a mountain. He had given a religious broadcast on Sunday over the BBC, then had lunch at a hotel near Loch Lomond and then gone for a walk, the outing having aroused reproval from some Scots who believed Sabbath activities should be confined to church and home.

Ann Sawyer of The News indicates that Dr. Vance A. Black, charged with manslaughter, had told a crowded Mecklenburg County Superior Court courtroom this date that he had spontaneously struck a man in the Elks Club after being called an "S.O.B." and had not intended to hurt the man, who had later died, that the man had been his dental patient and was a friend. He also stated that the man had staggered for five or six steps before falling after being hit, and that he had undergone several surgeries on his right side and did not have much strength in his right arm with which he struck the man. Under cross-examination by the prosecutor, the dentist admitted that on an earlier occasion, he had struck a crippled man, whose name was McGill, but did not call himself Lill, at the Men's Club, regarding a card game after Mr. McGill had also called Dr. Black an S.O.B., resulting in both men being suspended from the club. (That evidence probably should have been excluded by the court, assuming the defense objected to it, on the basis that its probative value was outweighed by its prejudicial impact on the jury, as the fact of the striking of the deceased by the dentist was admitted and not in issue, thus his predisposition to similar types of violent reaction to opprobrium was not in issue.) The defense had rested its case shortly before noon this date and the State, which had rested the previous afternoon, presented a brief rebuttal case. The white, all-male jury was set to receive the case the following day. The effort of the defense was to show that the victim could have died because of a serious heart condition from which he suffered. The county coroner testified that his autopsy had shown that the victim had died from a hemorrhage within the skull, from a force applied externally, and that a blood-alcohol test had shown that the victim was intoxicated at the time of the injury. He had also stated that the victim could have died "most any time", referring to his heart condition. Dr. Black testified that in his opinion, the victim was drunk and that during a card game in which both were involved, the two had been kidding around. But as the dentist was leaving the club, the victim approached him and called him by the offensive term, at which point the dentist struck him. (It is fair, in this context, incidentally, to use "victim", as the deceased was at least the victim of an assault prior to his death, as no words justify use of force in self-defense or defense of others, unless coupled with the exhibition of plain intent and present ability to commit an assault at the same time. Whether the deceased was also the victim of manslaughter, either reckless or negligent homicide, would be determined by the jury, however, on the basis of the evidence of causation of the man's death, whether from the blow to his head or from the pre-existing heart condition. If the evidence showed that the blow triggered the heart condition, however, conviction for manslaughter could still occur. If the jury is convinced that there is reasonable doubt raised by the evidence regarding causation, a necessary element of the prosecution's case for manslaughter, they would have to acquit on that charge, even if still able to find the dentist guilty on the lesser included offense of assault.)

In Derby, England, a policewoman told a court that while she was on traffic duty at an intersection, all cars had obeyed her signal to stop except one driven by a male police officer, who contended before the court that he did not see the policewoman directing traffic. But the judge ruled that the police officer should have taken more care near the intersection, letting him off, however, with a warning and payment of court costs, the equivalent of 56 cents.

On the editorial page, "Quemoy and Matsu Are Not Worth the Risk of All-Out Atomic War" starts by quoting a foreboding warning from Senator Walter George of Georgia, aging chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that "The darkness is coming on in the Far East."

It indicates that the Senator was not a particularly eloquent man, but was peace-loving, God-fearing, and, on occasion, could speak eloquently about things which ought concern a peace-loving, God-fearing nation. He believed that if the nation were to go to war, it ought be on an issue which was sound, and that the Government had to be able to say that when it entered battle, it had taken every honorable course to avert it. The newspaper agrees wholeheartedly with that basic position, asserts that it was time for statesmanship, not rashness. War was not like a football game or a presidential election, something on which to place bets and about which to cheer, that the next all-out war would not result in any nation's victory, and could very well place civilization back into the times when man lived in caves.

It posits that the brutal truth was that the U.S. was closer to war at present than it had been at any time since the Korean War, that the current emergency was even more explosive and dangerous than the Indo-China crisis of 1954, during which the U.S. maintained some control over its role. But now, the Government appeared to have reconciled itself to the belief that the choice between war and peace did not rest with the U.S., but rather with China and Russia.

Intelligence reports indicated that the Communist Chinese would have the military capacity to invade Quemoy and Matsu by around the middle of April, and there was every reason to believe that they would strike at least soon thereafter. The U.S. was committed to protect Formosa from Communist aggression, and some U.S. officials believed that the two offshore islands held by the Nationalists were important to the defense of Formosa. The President's military advisers reportedly were urging him to make an all-out counterattack, even inclusive of the use of nuclear weapons, against military targets on the mainland, should Quemoy and Matsu be invaded. Officially, the President had made no firm decision on the matter.

It opines that it would be sheer folly for the U.S. to risk all-out war over those two islands, that they were not vital to the security of the U.S. in the Pacific, and, according to Secretary of State Dulles, were not even vital to the security of Formosa and the Pescadores. The U.S. would have to fight alone in any war over those two islands. Thus it concludes that defense of Formosa and the Pescadores was important, the latter being essential to the defense of Formosa. But the U.S. should not seek to defend the two offshore islands. It also indicates that there should be no further doubt left in the minds of other nations regarding U.S. intentions pertinent to the two islands, and the time had come to outline U.S. policy firmly, indicating what the Government would and would not defend.

It finds that while it would be unpleasant to yield any amount of territory to Communist expansionism in Asia, such was infinitely more bearable than a major disaster right on the doorstep of the Chinese mainland. The two offshore islands were simply not worth the terrible price of a hot war. Most Americans did not want to be involved in such a war, especially not regarding two islands off the mainland of China. If the U.S. had to go to war, as Senator George had said, it should be premised on a sound issue after every honorable effort had been made to avoid it.

A piece from the Florida Times-Union, titled "Real Fisherman", indicates that any fisherman who had ever said, "They just weren't biting today," could appreciate the thought of a U.N. expert on food and fish, who had been wedding science to fisherman's luck, seeking to make the oceans produce food "on schedule".

While that effort was geared toward commercial fishing, it suggests that the individual fisherman could appreciate the words "on schedule", that the fisherman planned and schemed until he left on a fishing trip when conditions appeared just right, only to find that the fish would not bite. At that point, the fisherman was ready to stock the streams, fertilize the ponds and cut the fishing season in half, if necessary, to provide for more fish.

But some true sportsmen would shudder at the idea of wedding science to fisherman's luck. For real fishing was pure art, and while even Rembrandt needed his brushes, as the fisherman needed his tools of the trade, the real fisherman knew that all of his equipment was only window dressing, that in catching fish, "all that really counts is the way the fisherman holds his mouth."

Drew Pearson indicates that in FDR's time, there was talk of a rubber-stamp Congress, but there had never been during the Roosevelt term in office the "clock-like efficiency" with which the Eisenhower forces were presently whipping Republican Senators into line on important votes. It even had an effect on some Democrats. He thus examines this machinery, with one technique being to call key political backers from the White House, or contributors in the states of particular Senators and districts of members of the House, and whip up their support for particular issues. He delves into an example involving the battle over taxes, providing some details of how the machine worked.

He indicates that Senator McCarthy had been wavering on the issue of whether to support the 20 percent individual tax cut favored by the Democrats or to oppose it, consistent with the Administration position, in the interest of budget balancing. Senator McCarthy was upset with the Administration and so would vote against them on anything which would hurt their cause, especially if it would help him back home. But after just one phone call from Washington, he had changed his mind, the phone call having been made to Tom Coleman, a big wheel in the Republican Party in Wisconsin, who had saved Senator McCarthy politically more than one time and might have to save him again. Mr. Coleman then called Senator McCarthy, and the latter promised his opposition to the tax bill, voting with the man he hated, the President.

Dr. Philip Rothman and Dr. Otto F. Mathiasen, both of the Education Department of Antioch College in Massachusetts, not Ohio, in follow-up to the earlier piece reprinted by Henry Steinhauer of the same college from the same publication, Antioch Notes, discuss further the controversy of traditional versus progressive education, this piece taking the form of a dialogue between the two professors. Dr. Rothman indicates that studies had shown that for the ensuing decade, nearly half of all college graduates would be needed to obtain enough teachers of high quality to fill the vacancies in the overcrowded, understaffed classrooms, placing on the colleges a grave responsibility, causing members of the faculties of education departments to ask themselves what the commitment was to teacher education in college and whether they were facing the responsibility by subjecting the schools to "unscholarly and demoralizing criticism", as many studies had done or involved proof derived from isolated instances of personal experience, ignoring the results of the research.

Dr. Mathiasen says in response that attacks on the schools for alleged failure had been perennial through the history of American education, that whenever individuals were disturbed, there was usually a scapegoat sought, and for some it might be the school or "progressive education", that every age, more or less, was an age of crisis, and that the present one was more so than many, that the discrepancy between education and the problems needed to be solved created anxieties, and that such attacks on the schools were therefore to be expected, asking Dr. Rothman whether or not he agreed that schools needed criticism.

The latter responds that he knew of no group more willing than educators to criticize themselves and to ask others for constructive criticism, but that criticism should be directed at valid objectives, asking whether "progressive education" should be blamed for the ills of the schools when, in fact, progressive education had not been widely adopted in American schools, and whether schools should be criticized for not teaching the fundamentals when reliable research indicated that the schools did so as well or better than they ever had, despite increased responsibilities placed on teachers. He suggests that it was actually the traditionalist who had sought to sugarcoat learning with games, spelling bees, and competition, while modern teachers sought to make learning meaningful so that students would seek learning for the intrinsic value of the experience rather than to avoid punishment.

Dr. Mathiasen responds that the challenge of education departments to the schools was to help individuals develop hopes and aspirations, plus the means to express them socially and constructively in a consistently changing culture, and that the educator, in the role of scientist, was concerned with how that could be done, defining educational problems precisely, presenting theoretical models carefully by working with all of the related sciences and disciplines, controlling the experimentation as rigorously as possible, while making observations and drawing conclusions with caution. The findings were then used to make the art of teaching more significant and effective. He asks when before in history had the concept of equality of educational opportunity and concern for the worth and dignity of the individual been the cornerstone of educational policy, and when had there been the opportunity to explore the idea that every individual had a right to knowledge and its use to the extent of their differing abilities. He indicates that the immediate problem was to recruit and train the best young people to become teachers.

Dr. Rothman responds that he had been excited by the opportunities for teacher education in the small colleges, especially at Antioch, that the latter's general education program helped to develop the breadth and background essential to every teacher, the field courses provided intensive study in subject areas, and the professional program in education prepared the prospective teacher for a scientific approach to education and successful classroom performance. He indicates that cooperative efforts in those three areas ought to lead to superior teachers.

Dr. Mathiasen agrees, saying that even Horace Mann, Antioch's first president, had made education his primary concern, and that his vision had been geared to the needs of all humanity, that Arthur Morgan, in his reorganization of the college in 1920, had sought to break new ground both in his emphasis on symmetry of individual development and in his concept of the college as a shared quest for a better way of life. He indicates, however, that departments of education, commanding only about 20 percent of a student's college time, could not, by themselves, prepare teachers, that the responsibility had to be shared with every member of the faculty.

Dr. Rothman responds that they could not stop there, that they could not succeed unless people in all walks of life began to understand the problems of education and what modern education was attempting, and provided it the necessary support. He says that good communities could have good schools, that the price was willingness to support the schools psychologically and morally, as well as financially. "The least we can do is give our children's teachers more protection from unfounded charges, which are so demoralizing to their work as effective professional people."

Robert C. Ruark, in London, indicates that there was little doubt at present that Prime Minister Churchill was not kidding about stepping aside soon from his position, and that a formal announcement would be made within the ensuing week or so, with a general election slated for June. He suggests, however, that Mr. Churchill could still change his mind, despite a stroke which had kept him paralyzed a couple of years earlier, as he had repeatedly provided his advisers with the precise time for his retirement, only to change his mind. But all seemed now to believe that it was definite this time, as the story had first been released in the Yorkshire Post, a publication close to Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, and had next appeared in Lord Beaverbrook's London Express, with Lord Beaverbrook having been close friends with Mr. Churchill for a long time.

Mr. Ruark says he had not been able to obtain in London any feeling of desperation at the notion of the strong hand stepping aside, with no talk of him being the "indispensable man", as had been the case lately with respect to President Eisenhower. The Prime Minister was 80 years old and had been sick, and had groomed Mr. Eden during the previous year or so to take over in his stead.

Meanwhile, the Labor Party was having its own private chaos, with a major dispute raging over whether to boot from the party Aneurin Bevan, that despite conveying publicly the idea of intraparty peace.

If the Prime Minister did retire at present, Mr. Eden could call for a nearly immediate general election as a vote of confidence, without appearing to be taking advantage of the party squabble ongoing within Labor. There were no drastic changes contemplated should Mr. Eden become Prime Minister, that, as a temporary measure, he would most likely double as Foreign Secretary until such time as a new general election, at which point, in the event the Conservatives won, he would appoint a new foreign secretary.

As a foreigner, Mr. Ruark regards England as never to be quite the same with Mr. Churchill departed, roughly providing hard facts in the finest oratory of the time while laughing as he laid traps for his opponents. Mr. Eden had been a diplomat throughout most of his life, but he did not have the "bulldog appeal" of Mr. Churchill.

He relates that there was much talk of making Mr. Churchill a duke, which could give him about all of the honors a man could expect in a lifetime. He cannot conceive, however, of a world without Mr. Churchill on the stage, as, even when he was out of office after the war, there was always the understanding that he was there when there was need for him.

A letter from Wallace Osborne, president of the Charlotte Jaycees, indicates that the Jaycees would sponsor a public hearing this night, aimed at giving citizens an opportunity to obtain the facts about the new Auditorium-Coliseum and the effort to rebuild the Armory-Auditorium, which had been destroyed a year earlier by fire. He says that the Jaycees had invited all members of the Park & Recreation Commission and all members of the Auditorium-Coliseum Authority and Building Committee to appear on a panel at the hearing, and thus far, most members of those boards had accepted. He hopes that the public would attend the meeting.

A letter from Maude Waddell, poet from Charleston, S.C., provides a poem on spring. Sample: "Spring with magic finger-tips touches dark fir trees with green,/ And kisses with a mother's lips the spots where scars have been."

"Been" and "green" only rhyme, alternately, within the British Isles. But that's okay, as the Bard also employed rhymes which had to assume the British pronunciation within Elizabethan English, often lost in modern presentation of the plays, in deference to modern English, when it would be more fun, raising questions for the uninitiated, simply to stick to the original pronunciations, causing the couplet lines to rhyme, sometimes with reason. In that case, "green" might be pronounced, depending on the accent utilized, as "grin", or "been" as "bean", the latter having been taught to Americans during the mid-1960's experience with the songs of the Beatles.

Speaking of Duke's Manek Depression over Love lost—sorry—, we express to the 2022 edition of the Tar Heels kudos for a job well done, especially in the latter half of the season, especially in the NCAA Tournament, reaching the finals before dropping the championship peach-picking game to the "Kansas City Jayhawks", or Bombers, as the case may be, by three points, with a chance to tie with four seconds left, going awry. Both teams played well, at least for an often underplayed national championship game by one team or the other, even if UNC played their better half, unfortunately, in the first half, leading by 15 points at halftime, while Kansas had the better of the second half by 18 points, to produce the final margin of victory, the largest comeback in a national championship game to date since the first one in 1939—an historical mark which, sooner or later, the Tar Heels must break in the positive direction or Duke will inevitably break in the other direction, that of the Devil.

The truth, of course, we suggest, is that the Tar Heels were exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally by the heavily contested Saturday semifinal game with Duke, coach Mike Krzyzewski's last game as head coach of Duke, a last game which every coach, sooner or later, must have, and the fact that it was a loss to UNC should never be a badge of shame but rather of pride to the little brother school over in Durham, that they got so close to winning against the Tar Heels, who, after all, won four of the last five games of coach Krzyzewski's long and distinguished coaching career, winding up with each school fittingly tied, if not fit to be tied, with 50 wins apiece during those 42 seasons. Kansas, by contrast, had a Big Easy go of it on Saturday against injury-depleted Villanova, and were never contested in that game, thus having come to the finals with more fuel in the tank, perhaps, to bring home the bacon in the second half, when UNC appeared quite exhausted, a completely understandable mental state by that point.

And, of course, we extend congratulations to the winners, who were, in the second half, the better team, even though UNC was the better in the first half, fitting as it should be for a title game between two worthies, for one team to dominate one half and the other, the other half, until it came down to one last play to determine the outcome. So, even if erratic, even if during the presentation of the trophy, the woefully deficient announcers, who, frankly, sounded, based on the disparate seeds of the two teams, based primarily as they were on the patent absurdity of the Net rankings of which we shall comment a little later, as if they had a horse in the race, failed to congratulate UNC for its game, it was a game well played on both sides, for the championship game, which, as indicated, more often than not sees one or the other team falter badly throughout the game, far below their demonstrated season capability, as a result of the magnitude of the prize and the large stage on which it is played, with the full attention of the national media, at least since the UCLA-dominant era of the 1960's and early 1970's brought the semifinals and finals into decided prominence in the sports world.

UNC, of course, won its North Carolina national championship on Saturday, and always has that memory on which to carry forward—to next season, when we expect redemption to occur as in the last quarter-second three-point loss to Villanova in 2016, redeemed by the redeemers of 2017 against Gonzaga.

We cannot provide to UNC the poem we usually provide to national championship teams, a tradition since 2005 and carried forward in 2009 and 2017, because that has to be reserved, by our rules of procedure, only to UNC national championship teams, but the game well-played award definitely extends to this team of 2022, exceeding most people's expectations but not those of us who viewed or listened to every game they played during the season, sometimes with amazed exultation and at other times, with amazed degradation, but always seeing the potential, eventually, for a great team, which they comprised when not playing as individuals, as they found that teamwork quality in the second half of the season, very similar to the 1997 team, the last coached by Dean Smith, who also, incidentally, retired, though unknown at the time, with a semifinal loss, to Arizona, which went on to win the national championship the following Monday.

There is, we believe, a kind of poetry in basketball, which, while sometimes evident in football, is not nearly so consistently made manifest by the often mercurial bounces of the ball, not dissimilar to the three sisters Fate, themselves, which often determine the destiny of one team or another in the course of a given season, in the course of a given decade of seasons, in the course of a century of seasons, some in the sun, some shaded by the nightshade, some unspeakable, but always to a positive effect in the long-run, shielding fans and players alike from the worst effects of winter cabin-fever, as perhaps illustrated on this date's front page by the tragic interplay between the dentist and his patient at the Charlotte Elks Club, resulting in the death of the latter. Basketball affords the continuity into the spring and summer of life, leaving one little time to dwell on private grievances worthy only of settlement by the code duello, instead transferring such anxiety and pettiness to the earthly court of last resort, on the hardwoods...

North Carolina, this year, in our estimate, brought home the bacon anyway, and so deserve, at very least, an honorable play of that perennial Final Four oldtime favorite of Tar Heel fans, "Number One".

If every season they were number one, it would cease to be any fun, as UCLA proved, to the mental exhaustion and utter boredom of the rest of the country, shoved to their shoes, between 1964 and 1975, save 1966 and 1974. And since...?

Parenthetically, we have to relate that coach Hubert Davis, in his first year as head coach of UNC, the first first-year head coach of UNC to reach the Final Four since Bill Guthridge and his 1998 team did so, and the first UNC coach and only the fourth in NCAA history to reach the final game during his first year, remarked at one point during a press conference a week or two ago that he recalled the 1982 national championship game, also played in Ne' Awlins, but only got to see the second half because he was on a Boy Scout jamboree trip, and had been impressed by his parents to follow through with his commitment to the Boy Scouts, notwithstanding his conflicting desire as an 11-year old to see his favorite team, for which his Uncle Walter had been a star in the 1974 through 1977 seasons. We relate to that, if only vicariously, as our older brother, as we have recounted here previously, was a Boy Scout in 1957, and our papa, a Boy Scout leader at that time, and they had a pre-scheduled Boy Scout jamboree camping trip on the Saturday night of the 1957 national championship game between UNC and Kansas, which UNC won 54 to 53, and, if memory serves, also on the Friday night preceding, when UNC won the semifinal game against Michigan State, both games going to triple overtime, and hence extending to the wee hours of the morning on Eastern Standard Time, not having begun in Kansas City until 10:00 p.m. EST, both games only being received by our papa and brother, therefore, via crackling radio, virtually nonexistent in the finals because of a heavy rainstorm being endured at the time in a tent outdoors, all demonstrating Murphy's Law, even if the outcome of the games probably made the experience worthwhile. For ourselves, we, at the time, had a date with dreamland, and so could neither watch nor listen to either game, irrespective of not having any appointments with the Boy Scouts. But there you have it. As we said, our papa was born six months before the start of the first season of UNC basketball... And coach Bill Guthridge once knew our name on the second day of basketball camp, presumably for a good reason.

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