Out of Left Fie
' 99 was hired to
lead the fast-pitch
softball program at
University, she had
barely a year to recruit
star high school play-
ers for the team's first season. Regardless,
when a non-recruited undergraduate
wanted to try out for the team, Smith met
her on the field to help hone her skills.
This past April, Smith's team became
the first inaugural program in Southern
Conference history to win a regular season
championship, ending the season with a
conference record of 16-4, 41-20 overall.
"We had the girls focus on being
champions in everything they did," Smith
said. To kick off the season, Smith handed
out special plaques made from leftover
bricks from the new stadium. She required
daily 6 a.m. workouts and bimonthly aca-
demic meetings with the coaches. The
players also conducted a Hurricane Katrina
fundraiser and delivered wood to the elderly
Smith started her coaching career with a
two-year stint as head coach at Young Harris
College in Georgia, going on to assistant
coaching positions at UNC-Charlotte and
Carolina before accepting the job at Wcu.
"Megan treats players as if they are spe-
cial; they react to her as if they are special,"
said Chip Smith, WCU's athletics director.
The result? "They
ACaptain is Born
Young people look on with awe and
curiosiry. Older folks stop by to tell stories.
The 1972 Simmons Sea Skiff, with wooden
hull number 1100, stands out in a marine
world of fiberglass and synthetics. The first
Simmons Sea SkillS were built by hand by
Tommy Simmons in Myrtle Grove Sound.
"Back in the 1940s and for some 30 years
' 75 says,
"Simmons' design, with an aggressive
upswept bow and a motor mounted inside
the transom, changed the way the boat
industry looked at small boats."
A few years ago, that same boat changed
Hartman. He'd been a mild-mannered busi-
nessman who kept his mind on invest-
ments, a man who had never wanted to
buy a boat.
"I was driving by the Cape Fear
Museum, and I saw tllls boat," Hartman
recalls. "It was like someone grabbed me by
the collar, like
my car and went over. I said to myself, 'I
don't know where I'm going to find one,
but I gotta have one of these boats!' "
On the Internet, Hartman found a man
in Georgia who had picked up Hull 1100
at a yard sale and hadn't yet found a worthy
buyer. Hearing Hartman's enthusiasm over
the phone, the man announced,"You're
going to buy tills boatl"That was the same
tone ofvoice Simmons expert Mike
Hubbard used when he told Hartman,"I can
get this restoration started, but you are going
to finish it yourself:'
AD It took fur
SImmons Sea SkIff _ a
Hubbard did some work on the hull, but
Hartman did the rest. In 250 to 300 hours,
Hartman built the height of the well to
hold a modern motor; stripped and sanded
the paint, filler and patchwork; repainted
the craft inside and out; refinished the
mahogany brightwork; repaired cracks in
the decking; and rewired the boat with the
help oflong telephone tutorials from Jim
Collier ' 57.
In addition to Hubbard and Collier,
Hartman credits the writings of two UNC
English professors with stirring his love of
the coast and the longing to explore it in a
Country: A Carolinian
by Bland Simpson ' 70 and
Small CrciftAdllisory:A Book About the
by Louis R ubin. In fact,
Hartman got so carried away that he is
building a reproduction of a Nags Head
boathouse in his Richmond,Va., back yard
to house the Simmons when it's not out in
the coastal waters.
- Susan Simone
Moonlighting for Sundance
While some actors put their hearts and
hopes in a film career,
puts his all into a day job in Kansas Ciry, Mo.,
as vice president of marketing and sales at
Time-Warner Cable. He took On the film
he said, as "an act oflove."
Tapped for the lead role, Peterson joined
the cast ofa low-budget (almost no-budget)
film by Kevin Willmott, an Mrican-American
film professor at the Universiry of Kansas.
Willmott's earlier film,
names such as Martin Sheen and Quincy Jones,
but the new film,
of America) was being shot evenings and
weekends with a
local cast and crew.
is in a
category all its own - a
mockumentary that blends "real history" into
an increasingly fabulous plot in which the
South wins the Civil War and Lincoln flees to
Canada with the help of Harriet Tubman.
Peterson portrays several generations ofJohn
Ambrose Fauntroys; the last generation, John
Ambrose Fauntroy V, is a racist candidate for
president of the C.S.A. "It hurts my ears to say
some of these lines;' Peterson said. But the effect
worked. In 2004,
went to Sundance
Read extended pieces in Class Notes
Dr. Eric Schopler
where it was picked up by agent William
Morris and then shown to Spike Lee who
agreed to be executive producer. Two years
later, after reformatting and negotiation over
rights to music and historical images, the film
was released in the theaters in spring 2006
with a DVD release set for fall.
in this issue
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