On Wednesday after the puppy visit, we dropped by our old stomping grounds—the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill!
We met when I was a sophomore and Brad was a freshman at UNC, and have many fond memories of the campus and surrounding area. Since it was just 40 min from my breeder’s house, we decided to drive over for a visit!
We stopped off for lunch on Franklin Street, the main street next to campus with shops and restaurants. We actually found free parking since we have a disabled parking permit!
Lunch was good, and afterward we walked past all the shops to campus. Many of the shops were ones that were there 20 years ago when we were students!
Finally we got to the start of campus where the North Quad runs along Franklin Street. The only problem was that all the entrances to the quad had steps. Finally after walking past the quad, we found an accessible path to reach the quad.
Our first stop was the Davie Poplar. This tree is the founding tree of the University. It’s said that when they were trying to decide where to put the University, the guy deciding it (Davie) fell off his horse at that tree, and took that as a sign that this was the spot. It is a very big old tree with a mossy white stone bench underneath.
Campus lore has it that if a couple sits on this bench and kisses, they will eventually end up married! When Brad and I were dating, we often sat on this bench and kissed—dreaming of getting married some day. When Brad decided to propose, this was the spot he picked! We were walking up to Franklin Street from our dorms to meet friends for dinner and stopped at the bench along the way. I was singing show tunes and all the sudden Brad dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him! I was VERY excited and happy, but so excited that I forgot to say yes!
We set up a tripod and got some photos of us on that bench 🙂
Next we passed by the Old Well. This was the main water source for campus for many years. Traditionally it’s thought that if you take a drink from the Old Well on the first day of class, you’ll get good grades. Unfortunately when we were there, the water was turned off (probably due to COVID).
Brad got some good shots of Hestia and me at the well, but Brad couldn’t get to it since there were steps all around.
Our next stop was the philosophy building where Brad spent most of his time on campus as an undergrad. He wanted to see if the building was as inaccessible as he remembered it. And YUP it was totally inaccessible! There were three doors, and all had steps 🙁 We walked all the way around the building to verify it. Brad was saying that if he had been a student in a wheelchair, it would have been impossible for him to be a philosophy major 🙁 They would have moved any philosophy classes he signed up for to other accessible buildings, of course. But he wouldn’t have been able to visit his professor’s offices, attend department events and seminars, or participate in the philosophy club he led.
Our last stop on our campus tour was the Pit. The Pit is a sunken area in front of the student union and bookstore where people congregate while classes are in session. It is where Brad and I met for the first time that I remember!
You see, I was a leader of the floor we lived on, so I had met Brad on move-in day when I met everyone. So I don’t remember meeting him in particular. I kinda liked this guy who lived in Brad’s suite, so the first week of class I saw this guy, Ira, in the Pit and asked if he’d go swimming with me that afternoon.
Ira said he was busy, and just then Brad walked by. Ira grabbed Brad and said “Brad will go swimming with you!”. I was not thrilled at the prospect because at the time Brad was pretty nerdy and I didn’t know him at all. But we ended up going swimming that day and had the BEST time! From that moment on we were instant best friends!
When we were students, the Pit was totally inaccessible. It had stairs on all four sides of the sunken area to get down there. We were happy to see that they have built a ramp down into the pit in the last 20 years!
We cooled off in the student union for a while, and then headed back to our car. Brad got some shots of Hestia and me walking around campus on the way back to the car. It is such a beautiful campus with very large old trees. Everything is green and pretty, with a combination of red brick paths and red brick and classical architecture in the buildings. There are so many red bricks because the Piedmont area has a lot of red clay soil. It was really great to be back!
Pictures are below. In the pictures, I am a round woman with long brown wavy hair wearing a blue dress with red and white flowers on it. Hestia is a small white and black dog with a smushed nose. She has on a turquoise cooling vest. Brad is a bearded man in a power wheelchair. He has white pants with black stripes, a white shirt, a Carolina blue sweater, a blue and white striped bowtie, and a blue flower hat.