19 January 2009

1965 Southern Trad - The Yackety Yack

The best thing the Army ever did was kick my family off post. My father had left Ft. Bragg and was bound for Vietnam. Procedure back then was the family had to leave. We moved to Chapel Hill, NC sometime in 1966.

It was the first time I lived in a civilian town. It was the first time I lived in a college town. And I've never forgotten it. Ivy League in the south has some major differences from her cousins in the north. Casual, slow, friendly, warm and much more Madras.

Despite her Yankee origins -- Roxanne has adapted well to North Carolina. I learned many years ago to stay away from girls who owned and knew how to operate guns. That looks like a Browning Automatic 12 gauge. You do not want to piss off a girl with a shotgun.

This is the Interfraternity Council. 1965 really nails it for me when it comes to the Trad element. Earlier college images and especially those in the 40s and early 50s didn't seem to be quite there. I'm not sure when it happened but I know it was banging 12 on the Trad meter in '65. Not too early and not to late. By 1968 this apparel was, if not a memory, something that kept you from getting laid.

And who wouldn't want to get to know these folks better. A beautiful group of girls, Fair Isle, Shetlands, cardigans, headbands and pearls. According to a poll conducted by Glamour Magazine only 3% of men favor the "Preppy" look today. Count me in the minority.

Ray Bans seem at home here...with the Weejuns and a gentle laid backness. Grass was about sitting on and not smoking.

They're all 62 to 65 now. Retired for the most part. Parents. Grandparents. Puttering around a beach house somewhere on the Outer Banks - - if they didn't invest with Bernie Maddoff.

A lot of drinking at UNC in 1965. A lot of parties. I remember we lived in the country but still close to a number of small houses like our own. Some of our neighbors were graduate students and professors. Late one night my mother watched a Sheriff's deputy as he drove up our drive. By the time he opened our door she was in tears. He asked what was wrong and she said, "My husband is in Vietnam. Aren't you here about..." My mother told me his face turned white, "Dear, God. I'm sorry." He said. "I'm looking for a house where there's a complaint about noise from a party."

The noise is what I miss when I look at these pictures. The southern racket above Motown. The "bee-ahh," "darlins," "bless his little heart" and, "...should I call you for breakfast, shugah, or just nudge you?"

God, how I envied them when I was a kid. And I didn't know the half of it.

But I do now. There's that girl with the shotgun again.

I hope he went to Med School.

Anyone got a light?

The captain of the basketball team went on to some big things.

This is for my family. It's an odd thing to look through a yearbook and find your next door neighbor. I understand he's doing pretty well.

22 comments:

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

..just nudge me.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Tintin. I matriculated at Tennessee 14 years later, but Frat Life was essentially the same. Clothing styles were suffering from a '70s hangover, but the Preppy craze soon put things right. I had a lifetime's quota of fun in four years.

BTW, the shotgun is a Remington Model 48.

Scott

M.Lane said...

Very cool post. I also love old yearbooks. How about telling us who the basketball captain and the fellow from next door are?

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

tintin said...

Tessa- You minx! Do you own any guns?

Scott- Funny. The late 70s seemed to be a hangover of the late 60s. Lost in disco, The Blues Brothers and Nik Nik shirts before the sanity of the Preps, The Jam and The Clash yanked it back.

M Lane- Look up Cunningham. A bizzare story. You know how.
As for the other...a school is named after him at UNC. A wonderful man who I visited when twice in Fayetville. When I arrived as a lowly Private in USAIMA and when I left... as a lowly Sgt. with XVIII Abn Corps.

Anonymous said...

Hey, now wait! Weren't you, just a posting ago, ragging on our beloved South and such? Okay, so it was Florida. But one thing we have south of the Mason-Dixon Line is solidarity. I know, I get it, there's the South and then there's THE SOUTH. You knew Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill was a friend of yours, and Florida is no Chapel Hill.

Love the comment about not getting laid in '68 in clothes like that. Wow, it was like a light switch! Or so it only seemed, because you can still see young women in yearbook photos wearing whipped-up bouffant hairstyles as late as 1970. So we know it didn't all happen at once, anyway. I think our minds today draw that trend-shift line earlier and sharper than the masses did then.

-DB

tintin said...

DB- When did it happen? That's what I wanna know. I am going to to get to the bottom of this. Geez, I could be doing my master's thesis in Cultural Studies at Columbia instead of just wasting my time on a blog...

Anonymous said...

"According to a poll conducted by Glamour Magazine only 3% of men favor the "Preppy" look today."

Another way of saying that 97% of Americans have no taste at all. Didn't you notice the trash that was presented to us as "music" at the inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial?

initials CG said...

Only 3% ?

Despite the warning, I took one look at Roxanne with that stare and that sweater and that shotgun and all I could think about was her field stripping ... and not just the shotgun!

These are great photos with great commentary. It's hard to believe we looked this good in the US once. Thanks!

Ron A. said...

Tintin - You've outdone yourself with this one! This is right up there with Take Ivy, if not better. And count me among the "3%."

Ron

Ben said...

Great post. Anybody notice the reference to the War Between the States on the fraternity lawn party page?

And your noise complaint story: one of those sad-happy moments that Cameron Crowe writes about.

heavy tweed jacket said...

Tintin, Great post. The guy standing in the second photo just about sums up the Ivy/trad/prep look for me: White button-down shirt, repp strip tie, khaki trousers, surcingle belt, and (probably) penny loafers. There is something eternal about this look.

AdMaster said...

So true about 1965, TinTin. I believe it was the culminative year, not to be seen again until 1979 ushered in the '80's.

Not coincidentally, it was my last year in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI before the family was enticed by the amorphous haze of Southern California, where I was forced, in that same year, to wear keds, jeans and Towncraft pocketed tees or risk banishment and an involuntary head-shave.

Oppression comes in many forms.

Anonymous said...

'Sup tin? Random musings; D'ja ever listen to Jimmy Taylor's "Copperline" and its reference to Morgan Crik www.lyricsfreak.com/j/james+taylor/copperline_200669238.html ? Most of the Greeks' raiment was probably sourced from competing brothers' shops on Franklin St., Milton's (Julian) and Julian's (Alexander's dad). Milton proffered an emblematic tie of the Old Well. Link-knit alpaca golf sweaters were popular. BanLon knit shirts buttoned at the throat had passed their peak of popularity, t'wern't all LaCoste. The sockless WeeJun look supposedly originated in CH in the late '50s. Scotch-grain J&M kiltie tassels for the more sophisticated of the bunch. Those guys in bowties became small town attorneys and yet sport Alden cordovan bluchers. You might poke around the www.unc.lib.edu photo archives. A few years later ('68?) the movie "3 In The Attic" was at least partially filmed in the environs and a UNC basketballer (Larry Miller?) supposedly dated the female star, Yvette Mimieux. Tha Wah Ah Nawthun Agresshun was only mentioned in the text as the post-bellum initiation of Greek societies at, as of the mid 20th century, one of the most liberal state universities, 'ceptin' for KAs'. Sheesh, what some folks wanna read inta things. Oh well, back to the continuation of the Camelot parousia celebration on the idiot box, Cafe Au Lait edition. jg

Matt Fox said...

Great photos!

Anonymous said...

As a native New Englander and Ivy League graduate, I must take minor issue with your reference to the "Southern Ivy League". Such a thing does not exist. The Ivy League consists of 8 schools--the southernmost one being Penn. Even by the broadest of standards Pennsylvania is not the South and Chapel Hill is not the Ivy League.
Other than that, your blog is wonderful!

The Torch Society said...

That's more like it, back to elitism! I love it almost as much as arrogance. The major problem I find is, most of the so - called intelligencia haven't got an ounce of common sense between them. For my first exhibit, step forward one Mr Jeffrey Archer.

http://thetorchsociety.blogspot.com/

Buttondownmind said...

Great post! I was born in 1966(God will have His little jokes) but at least I was there for the preppie resurgence of the '80s.
Only 3%? Now I fear I'll never find her....

Virtue Rewarded said...

You're right about that window in the 60s. I hated the messiness of New England prep school in the late sixties, early 70s. Dress codes were abolished in 1970. After that, always the question,"why are you so dressed up?" I compensated by going vintage; better than dressing down.

I love looking at my dad's class pictures from Andover, class of '32. My favourite is one of those one foot by three foot class pictures with all the boys in heavy camel hair or tweed polo coats with fitted tailored suits and high collared shirts. I tell my kids Polo is modeled on what your grandfather wore at Andover and Chaps is what we wore.

UNCstudent2011 said...

To the "Ivy Leaguer,"

Apparently your Ivy League education didn't teach you to research a topic before you write about it.

While the literal Ivy League is an athletic conference, Ivy League in this context is speaking toward the quality of the schools in the conference. Southern Ivy League and Public Ivy League are two classifications UNC is often found in. While it obviously isn't in the Ivy League proper, its quality of education is top notch.

That said, as a Tarheel myself, I really enjoyed this article. Nice work.

Anonymous said...

I loved the girls, all wearing their shetland cardigans.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this fits here but here are some photos of 1960's- 1970's musicians when they had better taste in clothes

WHEN THEY WERE TRAD
http://www.jimcroce.com/gallery.shtml

Jim in Madras


http://www.allmanbrothersband.com/index.php?module=My_eGallery&do=showpic&pid=3406&orderby=dateD

I believe Gregg was the Valedictorian of his High School class. (Castle Heights Military Academy)

tintin said...

Anon 6 Jan:
Neat stuff. Love that Croce jacket in the family photos. Thank you for sharing.