students. I think there may have been some concern
among other students they might be ostracized ifthey
were seen as being friendly with us."
The Frasiers had been lifeguards at a sunIDler
camp. They went out for the swim team. But they
never had been exposed to people who swam year-
round."We thought we were good swimmers. We had
never been really competitive swil11lners. As it turned
out, we were not the least bit competitive."
Like his brother, Ralph Frasier left Carolina after
three years. He finished at N.C. College following two
years in the Army, then added his law degree from
there in 1965. He went to work as a lawyer for
Wachovia Bank and Trust Co.
"Wachovia acquired a black bank and operated it
into the '60s as a totally black-operated bank [although
blacks could not be promoted from there]. As narrow
and negative and racist as that appears, that office
served as the training ground for most of the leader-
ship of black banks around the country in that period."
But he knew he'd never advance far at Wachovia,
so when an offer came from Huntington Bancshares
in Ohio, he took it. He was general counsel for 14
years, retiring in 1989.
The Carolina experience came back to Ralph
Frasier, all the way to Ohio, in an unexpected way.
"One student in particular sort of went out of his
way to be unpleasant. I remembered his name and sort
of took some pleasure years later when he came to nle
seeking employment. This was some 30 years later
maybe. He didn't remember me. I remembered hinl.
"I had the privilege of turning him down. I
wouldn't have hired him under any circumstances. He
could never have been qualified for any job I had to
In what he calls one of the defining moments of
his life, he was appointed a couple of years ago to a
judicial screening committee by former u.s. Sen. John
Glenn. One of the individuals the committee
appointed was a Carolina alunmus.
Frasier's son is an attorney in Durham. He's a big
ACC sports fan - a Duke fan. Ralph Frasier was
struck with the realization that Duke was such a for-
bidding place in his childhood that he never could
have enjoyed that even if he'd stayed here. "I have no
burning desire to talk about [college experiences] in
normal conversations. Rarely does it come up. It was a
point in time and things ... happened for a particular
reason. I don't focus on
I don't give it credit or
blame for where I am today. I'm very comfortable
with my lot.in life. I've got lots of children, good fam-
ily, good wife. I've had a very satisfying life." nn
LeRoy Frasier ' 59
Hew.as a gym rat, and he learned quickly that there was a place he could go to escape what he calls "the nasty stuff."And
what a time to be hanging around Woollen Gym.
"I liked to play basketball. I played more than I
should have. There, I found a kind of acceptance in
athletics and sports that you didn't find in other
places." In the mid-1950s the players who wore
Carolina's uniform also played pickup games with
all comers. It meant being paired with, or against,
say, Lenny Rosenbluth ' 57.
to play in the
gym in extracur-
with the great
players was a
kick for me - I
wasn't that good,
but I was wel-
too, and played
regularly with a
guy he met in
tion class. Finley
Golf Course was
had no problems
at Finley. The
guys who ran
the course were
all friendly and
and I was able to bring some black friends from
Durham. It was about the only thing they could do
in Chapel Hill."
He was a junior at Hillside High School in 1954,
home eating lunch the day the U.S. Supreme Court
decision canle over the radio. "I went back to school
and told my math teacher I wouldn't be doing any
more homework because the next week I expected
to be at Durham High - the white school. She
laughed and told me, chances are, despite the
Supreme Court ruling, I would never go to an inte-
grated school. She was almost prophetic."
The next year some Carolina students came to
Hillside and asked if there were students who
would be interested in coming to Chapel Hill as
undergraduates - no black person ever had. They
Daily Tar Heel
would be among the fac-
recently was taken
aback by the photo
and John Brandon.
I was stunned at
how skinny we were.
Looked like there
wasn't 400 pounds
of Negro on the
CAR0 LINA ALUM NIREVlEW
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