Fun with Improv Even whenfoibles crash the party, alumni make the most ofit
II· •I •
ce a year, every year, a spring weekend and a fall
I weekend in Chapel Hill turn into Memory Central, or
officially, Alumni Weekend - a space ofland and time
where ghosts oflearning and laughter and friendships and
romance come around and ask us if we remember when.
The beautiful thing about those ghosts is that they
aren't human, and they go on even if a parade's view is
obstructed, a marching band is late or a football game is
lost. Relationships endure long past one weekend.
But memories are definitely enhanced by the improvisa-
tion involved when an event takes some unexpected turns.
Take, for example, the revived Homecoming Parade, a
tradition given CPR by the Carolina Athletic Association
for fall 2001. It's been so long since Carolina had thrown
one of these that,
along with the
ment that bubbled
in the parking lot
of the Kenan
Football Center on
Friday, there were
a few stumbling blocks. A smattering of University student
organizations had used their piggy banks and their old-
school, non-techno ingenuity to put together"floats"-
basically a fancy term for a Silverado souped-up with tis-
sue paper, balloons and glue. The GAA did its part with a
professionally built entry that let everyone know it was
Alumni Weekend, a full moon rising with a town land-
scape, stars and the Loreleis. And Mick Mixon ' 80 was on
hand, anointed as the official parade grand marshal.
So everything was in place for the 3 p.m. march down
Franklin Street. Except the street itself. One lane was
blocked off on East Franklin Street. But it was the other
one, the one closest to the famous stone wall of campus,
that flowed with traffic straight through the modest little
march of the marching Tar Heels and other student
groups. It didn't matter to Brian Carroll ' 87's little trio of
parade-lovers: daughters Sarah, Arden and Hannah. The
three of them, clad in their finest identical Tar Heels'
cbeerleading garb, still were glad to see what they could
- through the window ofspace left open by the two
Chapel Hill Transit buses that stopped in fiont of their
viewing area. Little Hannall's smile, in fact, was even wider
than the view she had of the parade. When asked her
favorite part of the event afterward, Hannah said, "Purple."
"She's 2. That's her answer for everything," said her
father, a doctoral student in journalism at UNC who was
shouldering the parenting duties for his wife, Hisayo
Nishimaru Carroll ' 87. Carroll, who's doing his part to
raise the next generation of Carolina fanatics, said he thought
just having a parade in the first place made it a success.
A band please. Could we get
a band over here?
When Jay Manalo '01 hit the buffet line on Saturday
mortung of Alumni Weekend at the Hill Alunuu Center,
he thought he was about to enjoy a quick bite before
Stalling for time:
former cheerleader Jay
Manalo '01, left, helps
lead Andy Bagwell ' 92,
Abigail Bagwell, 3, and
Allison Drake, 3. Greg
"Lump" Lunsford ' 83,
right, resumed his
mlc man duties.
heading off to his first HomeconUng football game as an
The GAA's float, complete
with staffers and student
alunmus. Instead, the dinunutive May graduate had barely
poked a fork prong into his fried potatoes before a fellow
former spiriter called him up to the front of the room for
help. Greg "Lump" Lunsford ' 83, better-known as the
footballnuc man, was in a pickle. He was on stage in the
banquet room, where two young alunmi had just been
honored with awards from the GAA and dozens of other
alumni continued to nosh on gravy-soaked Southern biscuits
and girtl1-breeding buttery grits. But there was no band.
He was there to introduce the Marching Tar Heels,
who were making their way from Polk Place with tbe
football team; instead, he found himself doing a stand-up
show thanks to their slow-show.
So he did what anyone would do when caught in such
a situation: He deflected attention to tbe audience.
"Are there any former Carolina cheerleaders here?" he
asked. Mter some silence, Manalo put down his fork and
shot his hand into the air. And that was the end of breakfast
for the Atlanta resident.
Soon, he was on stage, demonstrating the proper hand
(See fall reunions, Page 62)
CAR 0 liN A A L U M N IRE V l E W