Visit clubs online at
Startup Groups Keep Carolina Clubs Growing
Clubs are great for keeping connected," said Steve Hobbs ' 88."You can lose touch after graduation, especially at
Hobbs, along with Stefani Wolff ' 84, has
recently reactivated a Carolina Club for
alumni in the San Francisco Bay area. Moving
to an area that did
not have an active
said. "You begin to
It's reassuring to have a club nearby and to be
able to hear some North Carolina accents."
There are about 80 clubs in the United
States and three overseas. For each one of
these clubs, there were dedicated people at the
hehn willing to start the organization.
"Every time [ pick up a copy of the
Carolina Alumni Review, I see stories about
alumni clubs all over the country," said Dick
Mueller ' 50 of Stamford, Conn."I thought it
would be great if we could get a little some-
tl1ing cooking up here."
So, who has the recipe for starting a great
"The GAA has been instrumental in helping get this club off the ground," said Sharon
Johnson ' 82, leader of the Lake Norman
Carolina Club, which was named along with
Cincinnati, the Emerald Coast and Savannah,
Ga., as a 1997-98 Outstanding New Club.
When an alumnus calls the alumni association
to express interest in forming a club, the GAA
determines the radius of the club area (usually
no larger than an hour's drive), determines
alumni are in the
area, and sends
out interest post-
respond to the
local volunteer if they want to participate in a
club, and ifthere is enough interest, the volun-
teer works with the GAA to set up an organi-
Someone from the GAA attends the
meeting and speaks to alumni about the advantages
ofbelonging to a club, GAA support for
clubs, planning events, and "then they take off
and run," said Linda Rainey ' 95 (MA), clubs
coordinator for the GAA.
"Starting the club was really not that diffi-
cult," said Anne Roycroft ' 81 who, along with
Danuan Taylor ' 90, formed the Emerald Coast
club. "The GAA has all the names of alumni
in our area, and they help us design the newsletter and send it out. You do have to have a
key group of people committed to making it
<Any Carolina [alumnus1 qualifies as
an instant friend: -Sharon Johnson ' 82
Members said Carolina Clubs are a great
way to meet new people.
"A club is a wonderful thing for alunllu
who come into an area where they have no
contacts," said Larry Forrest ' 50, who has been
president ofboth the New York and Boston
clubs. "The club offers a group ofpeople with
the same background and gives newcomers a
sense ofsomething they have known before."
Johnson said the greatest advantage ofstart-
ing a club was realizing how many alunu1i
were in her area. "Any Carolina [alumnus]
qualifies as an instant friend," she said.
Clubs also promote awareness of the
importance of the Universiry in their local
communities, Roycroft said. "We talk about
what's going on at UNC and what that means
for our children who want to go to Carolina."
And, of course, there are sports.
"We're pretry far from Chapel Hill, so it's
nice to have friends to watch the games with,"
Finding other"cool Carolina people" to
watch the games with was one ofJohnson's
main reasons for forming the club. "A couple
of folks bring their kids to watch the games,"
she said."We're already training the next gen-
- Cynthia Eakes
AUTHORS (Continuedfrom Page 65)
and colored their future use of words as much
as front-porch talk did, they agreed.
At age 25 Frazier wanted to write the great
postmodern novel, he said. He was saved from
this fate by his rediscovery ofthe old-time fiddle
music of his youth. Bluegrass crooners like Bill
Monroe and Ralph Stanley, with their high
lonesome songs about heartache, gave Frazier
a new way to think about narrative.
Bluegrass "is so direct, it is so fearless, in
dealing with those straight emotions," he said.
The music helped give him the courage to
write a story of a man yearning simply to go
"I thank God every day for Eric Clapton,"
added Gibbons, to the surprise and delight of
the crowd- and the bemusement ofa few
alumni. Rock star Clapton, who is English,
nonetheless has done his homework in the
South's blues traditions. When Gibbons read a
snippet from her new novel, 011. the Occasion of
74 Nove lli b e r / De c e 11/ b e r 1 9 9 8
My Last Afternoon, the audience could hear the
blues-y cadence of his music and could catch a
word or two borrowed from one of his songs.
And what of"saving" the Southern language?
The duo's answer seemed to be simple:
Remember language, and dig to recover it if
it's slipped away, as one would for a jewel
dropped in the nure.
The evening struck a chord with club
members-particularly for the down-home,
"shooting the breeze" feel. "It's something that
you long for that you don't find here [in
Seattle], that I haven't in my 20 years here,"
said Kathleen Dunlap ' 71 (MA) .
Gratitude like that was music to the ears of
Puget Sound Carolina Club organizers. "One
of the things we have been trying to do is find
activities outside of sporting events for club
members to come out and participate [in],"
said Gordon Cureton ' 79, club chairman.
- Chris Solo/11on
Linda Rainey ' 95 (MA), the GAA's coor-
dinator of alumni clubs, urges others who
see events in their area that would be of
interest to Tar Heels to notify their local
clubs. If the club is able to take on the
project, the group may be able to arrange
for block seating, and the GAA can help
with pUblicity and mailings.
A listing of clubs and club leaders is
available online at: http://alumnLunc.edu/