03 March 2009

Road Trip to UNC

Ten years of Yackety Yack

Last week I stopped by the year book office of UNC Chapel Hill for some extensive research regarding college apparel from 1960 through 1969. The "Yackety Yack" must mean something to me. I live in NYC and could easily have driven an hour south to Princeton for some time with their yearbook, the Bric a Brac. But UNC Chapel Hill still connects to me through amazing childhood memories visited here.

After some business around Charlotte, Concord and Winston Salem, I was reminded that fast food restaurants in NC share a similarity with full service gas stations in New Jersey in that neither are very accurate descriptions. I will admit to becoming a new fan of the Hardee's Country Ham Biscuit. Buy two and throw one of the biscuits out while adding the ham to the other and creating a double-ham biscuit. Sweet mother of God they are good.

1969 Yackety Yack

I was always curious when the transition from Trad to the more relaxed manner of dress (Hippie?) was made. Like flying from New York City to Florida in January...I'm always looking out the window in hopes of seeing that line separating cold from warm. I know it's not there but I can't stop looking for it. I do think I found the line at UNC.

Trad and Hippie -- this picture has it all in one place. The beginning of the end. Before you know it American apparel takes a nose dive for cheesy designers, rust colored shirts and ties as wide as the Jersey Turnpike. Nic Nic polyester shirts and Pierre Cardin polyester suits. You look back and wonder how it happened. I think everybody was having sex and didn't care what they wore. I feel the same way today but that's another post.

1967 Yackety Yack
She looks like a lot of fun. There's something about her that speaks to the change coming. She looks so 70's with the blouse and hair compared to the 60's hair spray and whoosh curl. When I was in the Army we would drive to Chapel Hill from Ft Bragg and try to pick up girls in the, "He's not here..." We'd explain our short hair by telling them we were Naval ROTC students. It never worked.
1962 Yackety Yack
You see what I mean about the hair? I apologise for all of these pictures. When I spoke to Michael in the Yackety Yack office he gladly took me into their archives and offered to scan anything I wanted. I felt like I was imposing and took pictures instead. Except when I saw this one. I told him I only wanted one scan and he advised me he could only scan in B&W.

I think Julian's has been in this location since the 40's. I admit, I'm not a fan of Alexander or the store. First impressions die hard. In 1977 or '78, I ambled into Julian's and asked to try on a shirt. I was told, "No." "How do I know it'll fit?" I asked. The salesman replied, "If you don't know your shirt size I can't help you." I didn't buy anything this trip either.

Competition? I doubt it. Julian's does have some nice stuff related to the university. Bill's khakis with Carolina Blue and White edging sewn on the rear pocket opening with brass buttons from the sleeve of a Blazer. How cool is that? Still, it looks like Joseph Abboud has made his way into the front room. A shame really. But they're still there and that's certainly saying something in today's economic climate. No doubt supported by all those wonderful people in the yearbooks. Beat Duke.


Chip said...

Julian's original location is across the street from this location. It moved in once Ralph Lauren Rugby closed up shop. They reused all of the Rugby fixturing in an effort to update their store's appearance but failed (in my opinion) to live up to the potential the space offers. This location had been open since June 2007.

tintin said...

Chip, Thanks. My last visit to the store was 30 years ago and I just assumed it was in the same place. Makes sense. The old one seemed much larger and not so sectional.

jpe said...

Tintin, sir, your affinity for that lighter [more vulgar] shade of blue is somewhat troubling ;). If you make it back down this way, you might do similar research in past volumes of Duke's Chanticleer; you won't be disappointed.

ADG said...

Chapel Hill is an interesting college town. Julian and his dad's store Jumped the Shark years ago. Loved the Nik Nik shirt reference...I just mentioned them in a post the other day. Throw on a pair of Earth Shoes or Famolari Wave shoes and you've got the look. As if one really wanted it.

Hardees...yep...I'm glad that we don't have Hardees or Bojangles in the DC area. Kinda like too much hooch...momentarily lovely but the stuff will kill you!

longwing said...

What dedication!

heavy tweed jacket said...

Great research report! Gotta' love trads that will travel out of state "to get the story." Sounds like a fun excursion. The photo with the woman in the red dress at the party is a great photo. It makes me wonder what their parents looked like. I think you're on to something, a coffee table book or something: "Tintin Takes Ivy - The Archives."

Anonymous said...

Julian's competitor, brother Milton Julian, "Milton's" jumped the shark with 8 button Edwardian jackets and mustard colored shirts during the "peacock" era circa '67-8.

Char-Conc-Winston. Coulda bought bubba lunch.

Hear there's a Hardee's in Dillon. (obscure allusion) jg

Anonymous said...

Nice article! Chapel Hill is a great college town with a perfect southern identity. But I live in Durham. So Go Duke!

tintin said...

jpe- It is a vulgar shade of blue. Something Herb Tarleck would wear but in Chapel Hill (and only Chapel Hill) it's pure cool blue.

ADG, I had 2 Nik Nik shirts and remember 'em costing a small fortune but I was skinny and they seemed they were required for the Disco in Fayettville. I was a huge moron.

Longwing- More dedication than that scruffy little pic-only blog you sucumbed to. You're writing was the best. You're photography skills still leave a lot to be desired.

HTJ- Negotiations are proceeding with a number of publishers. While Longwing's would be better, I love making up off color captions for the girl in red. What were they talking about?

jg- You're a hoot. Next time I'm in the A.O. I'll contact you and buy you a ham biscut. I think you're certifiable but so are all of my favorite people. There was some party in the bar at the Price Charles hotel on Hay St. a couple weeks ago. Felt like 1980 all over again.

Anon- I live in NYC and root for the Cubs.

Holly Goes Lightly said...

you were here & we didn't share grits? i may never forgive you.

tintin said...

Wasn't there long. Only had enough time to stop by the Yackety Yak office and get a $25 parking tkt from the campus police. Next time I'll buy you a beer at He's Not Here.