Program Report: The Dixie Classic

The Classic: How Everett Case and His Tournament Brought Big Time Basketball to the South—Bethany Bradsher

Prior to the frenzied atmosphere of ACC basketball tournaments and “March Madness,” the Dixie Classic was one of college’s premier hoops events.  The brainchild of legendary NC State basketball coach Everett Case, the Dixie Classic was launched in 1949 and ran until 1961 when a point-shaving scandal organized byNew Yorkarea mobsters led to its demise.  Tipping off just after Christmas in Reynolds Coliseum on the NC State Campus, the tournament was played over three days.  The holiday event opened with each of the Big Four—NC State, UNC, Duke and Wake Forest—playing non-conference opponents selected from some of the most competitive programs in the country including Penn State, Minnesota, Cincinnati (remember Oscar Robertson) and Johnny Green at  Michigan State.  During the Everett Case era, NC State dominated league play and practically owned the Dixie Classic.  In its twelve year history, the Wolfpack won the tournament seven times; UNC captured three titles; and Duke andWakeForesteked out one apiece.  No outside team ever won, but a few came close.

Bethany Bradsher gave a riveting account of the Dixie Classic.  Bethanyis the author of The Classic: How Everett Case and His Tournament Brought Big Time Basketball to the South.  A sports nut since childhood in Houston, she became interested in ACC athletics when she came to college in North Carolina and since the mid-1990s has been covering ACC sports as a journalist.  Casting around for an interesting sports story after having written Coaching Third, a baseball biography, a friend suggested the Dixie Classic.  She realized she was on to a great story when she saw “grown men’s eyes light up at the mention of the Dixie Classic.”  Interviews with fans—some of whom had been boys whose Christmases were made by Santa who left tickets to the Classic in their stockings—and former players brought passion and detail to the book.  One of those interviewees was club member Bucky Waters who played on an Everett Case team in the Dixie Classic era. [Read more…]

June 11, 2012 Bulletin

Click the link for the June 11, 2011 Bulletin pdf.  Bulletin June 11 2012

Program Report: NC’s Copy of the Bill of Rights

Toby Barfield summed up what most of us were thinking. “This is the most fascinating program I think we’ve ever had,” he told N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby after a rapid-fire recitation of the saga of our state’s copy of the Bill of Rights.

Keith Burns, who we learned is this year’s winner of the state Bar Association’s Citizen Lawyer Award, introduced his friend the justice as a stand-up guy in addition to a brilliant legal mind. Justice Newby, mixing humor with an engrossing storytelling style, didn’t disappoint.

It’s impossible to capture all the twists and turns of the story in this space, but here’s a synopsis: A Union soldier helping occupy Raleigh made off with our copy of the Bill of Rights. (Newby noted that North Carolina has a singular relationship with that sacred document, as our leaders refused to ratify the Constitution until those positive affirmations of our most basic rights were made the law of the land. Who knew?) The soldier sold the document to an Indianapolis man, Charles Shotwell, for $5. When our attorney general wrote to the Indiana attorney general asking for the document to be returned, he essentially was told, “No. You seceded, you lost, you lose.” [Read more…]

Vandana Dake: Paul Harris +2

At the June 4th meeting, BC Dash presented Vandana Dake a the pin for achieving Paul Harris Fellowship + 2 for her contributions to the Rotary Foundation. Vandana, who is a principal in Alliance Architecture in Downtown Durham has won several awards for Downtown projects.  Vandana, who described BC as her mentor in Rotary, has worked closely with him on numerous International Service projects.

Program Write Up: Durham Police Department with Chief Lopez

Durham Police Chief and club member Jose Lopez gave an informative and, at points, witty talk about law enforcement in the city.  Fortunately, Chief Lopez who utilized a Powerpoint presentation, was accompanied and saved on more than one occasion by his more tech-savvy sidekick, Lieutenant Patrice Vickers.  We learned from Past President Newman’s introduction that Chief Lopez was born in Brooklyn and came to Durham from the Hartford, Connecticut police department where he had served for 22 years.  He graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the FBI National Academy.  [Read more…]

Program Report – Merge Records

Boy, I really need to get out more often.  The only two performers whose names I even recognized during the program were Mick Jagger and Barbara Streisand. The latter was the presenter when one of Merge Records’ bands, Arcade Fire, was the unexpected winner of the Album of the Year at the 53rd Grammy Awards.  So unexpected, that Barbara had to look at the envelope to make sure she got the name right (see it here).

Rotarian Keith Artin introduced music writer Dave Menconi who interviewed Mac McCaughan, one of the founders of Merge Records and the band Superchunk. (OK, I’ve heard of them too, but my immediate word association would have been “cookie”.) It was good that Mr. Menconi was there because his questions sounded a lot more intelligent than anything I could have dreamed up. Keith, if you don’t remember made the natural career progression from the COO of TROSA to Label Manager for Merge records last year. [Read more…]