Pink House. 130 North Street. Back In The Day.

Fellow residents from the 1991-94 years were Clint Curtis, Shyam Patel, Raj Krishnasami, Lydia Craft, Jess Deltac, Kyle York Spencer, Caroline Rivers Hall, Mel Lanham, Michelle Sinnott, Jay Murray, N'Gai Wright, Scott Bullock (who crashed on the couch for a year before finally moving in), Bryan Ellerson, Karen Hurka, Sally Stryker, Ryan Mathias, Charlie Speight, Chris Palmatier, Trent McDevitt, and Steve William.



Besides holdovers and returnees Jay, Scott, Mel (& Laverne!), Chris, and N'Gai, residents during 1995-97 included Allen Sellars (who, like Jay, lived at both the Pink House and 401 Pritchard), Ian Williams, Zak Bisacky, James Dasher, Linden Elstran, Jiffer Bourguignon, Grant Tennille (who first made the scene as a fixture in N'Gai's room circa summer '93), Zia Zareem, Ben Folds, Tom Holden, and Chris "Chip" Chapman.

- Erik Ose

Saturday, December 26, 1992

Lost in Brooklyn on our way to Revelation

The first year that Dana took the Big Apple by storm as a Columbia law student, he lived at the International House on Riverside Drive, in the heart of Morningside Heights. Hanging out with him over Xmas break is when N'Gai and myself first met Dai, who had become friends with Dana that fall. Dai was in New York to learn English, and also to learn more about music. So when we heard there was a big post-Christmas rave happening, we decided we had to go check it out.

Dai actually found another rave to go to that he was convinced would be even better than the one we were looking for, but he took the train downtown with us before we all split up. N'Gai, Dana and I headed for an underground record store in the Village where a bus was supposedly coming to give kids rides to the clandestine Brooklyn location where Revelation was about to go down - "a new gathering dedicated to exploration rather than exploitation."

There were at least a hundred kids waiting outside the store, also looking for the rave bus. Needless to say, that fucking bus never showed up. And then N'Gai bailed on us! But I asked some kids who had room in their car for a ride, and they were like, sure, hop in! So Dana and I set off looking for Revelation.

We spent the next two hours driving around Brooklyn and probably parts of the Bronx with these kids, very lost. But somehow, we finally made it to the rave.

"That night was really fun. It was my first introduction to that song Follow Me, you remember that one?" - Dana, 2014

I remember the music being off the chain, and one look at the flyer proves why. Frankie Bones, Keoki, Scott Henry, Micro, Scott Hardkiss, Debo, and Josh Wink were the biggest names among an all-star lineup of a dozen underground DJ's. We unexpectedly ran into my brother Jared there, who looked like John Travolta in a full-on 70s leisure suit. It was a legendary event, held exactly two weeks after Frankie Bones threw his final Storm Rave on December 12, and very representative of the underground NYC rave scene of the time.

Friday, December 18, 1992

Winter '92 semi-formal

Let me tell you again how psyched I am for you to be back in Chapel Hill and living with us all in...The Pink House! Just this past month we threw a semi-formal party for only our close friends, and it was a big success. There were about seventy-five guests all of us housemates knew really well, and another seventy-five or so who were friends of those friends. We were so scared that word had gotten out about the party and the whole town was going to show up, but they didn't!

The living room was the "cocktail" area, suitable for small talk and assorted deep conversations. The dining room and kitchen were converted into le area de discotheque, complete with flashing strobelights and other essential visual effects, plus booming stereo with lots of authentic techno and disco music for the masses to amuse themselves to. The bedrooms were private hideaways and cool chill-out rooms open only to a few, such as the infamous "Club Caroline," where Ms. C. Rivers Hall played hostess to a steady stream of elite guests. A party within a party, if you will.

Sorry I didn't find much time to write to you this fall while you were in Prague. Did I tell you I was taking this past semester off in order to work on voter registration? Ohmigod, and the last time we talked was probably before the election! Isn't it great that Clinton won? He narrowly lost North Carolina, by about 26,000 votes. But it didn't matter.

...

Today, Chris Pedigo and I were re-admitted to UNC-CH for the spring semester. He eventually returned home last month, after drinking most of his scholarship money over a period of several months, never leaving Paris, and eventually falling sick. He was living in a fucking chateau with all of these rich Parisians who he met somehow, hanging out with Russian poets and princes, formerly exiled types who saw no reason to go home even now that they could. Then he came down with some awful disease that you usually get from drinking feces-contaminated water, and spent the next three weeks in the American Hospital there, in Paris.

He's in Chapel Hill and over at the Pink House right now, in fact. He says he's really sorry he never made it to Prague, and is looking forward to working on our magazine for the sheesy set.

Guess who else will be hanging out for a week or so at the beginning of the semester? Dana Lumsden, the man, the myth, the legend! Did I tell you he was accepted at Columbia Law School? Well, he's still seeing Erika, and is coming down from the 9th til the 19th to see her and also to hang out with me, N'Gai, and other friends.

Speaking of Dana, I'm going to be driving him back to New York from Boston over the holidays, probably on December 26th. This is before we leave to come back to Chapel Hill the first week of January. He's got exams right around New Year's. Then, I'm going to be staying with him and going out clubbing a couple nights, maybe the 26th and 27th. If you'll be around, you have to come out with us!

(Note from 2009 - on one of those nights, we hung with Kyle at various spots around Manhattan, and ended up at Nell's in the early hours, where the ladies were almost as decadent-looking as the ornate, gilded decor and expensive antique furnishings.)

Also, I need to mail our landlord the rent check for January around the 1st of the month, so if you could send me $215.00 I can have it deposited before the rent check clears. Caroline and N'Gai have already paid me for January, but Jay and Lydia are both sending me money over break.

...

Can't wait to see you, chicky baby! Au revoir, and as the froggy disco patrons say, "Que tes chausseurs de "boogie" continue a dancer."

p.s...there was an article in the Times last week about how the seventies craze is over and now the rage is early 80s parties. And it's true, they are...but only among trendy buzzkills who are desperately looking for something new to do. The really hip set are into ultra nineties techno music right now. Just thought you'd like to know!

- Letter to Kyle

Thursday, December 3, 1992

A famous landmark, and very pink

How's life with you at the University of Iowa? Is Iowa City treating you well? My old roommate Clint, who's from Iowa, no longer lives with me and my other housemates in our Pink House. (I did tell you about the house I stay in here in Chapel Hill, and how it's a famous landmark, and very pink, right...?) But he's still in town. I was trying to call him tonight so he could tell me about some cool places in Iowa City to let you know about, but he's not around. On the other hand, Iowa City is so small that you've probably found them all by now anyway. Clint's Dad is a professor at your school...his name is Tom Curtis, but I can't remember what department he teaches in.

Yeah, anyway, so you ran into Kyle in Prague, huh? She ended up working at the Prague Post not only throughout the summer, but also all this past semester. In fact, she's still there now, but definitely plans on returning to New York by Christmas time. Then she's coming back to Chapel Hill next semester to live with us. I really wish that I could have made it to Prague while we were over there, but there's always next time.

She wasn't the only one who ended up staying in Europe longer than planned, either. I guess she told you that Jared didn't come home with me when I left Paris! He essentially decided that because we'd spent three whole weeks there, he had been thoroughly gypped. So he figured he'd hang around and see more of Europe. I left on schedule, and one of his friends decided to fly there and travel around with him for awhile. They went to Amsterdam, then to Milan, and finally to London. I think it was just after you left that we met this really cool guy named John Hamilton Palmer, who worked for Vogue magazine. He took us out with him to all these clubs, including two amazing ones, Club D'Etoile and Le Bains (Douche). Anyway, John was also traveling with Jared and his friend for a while.

Jared finally returned home about a month after I did, to our parents' immense relief.

Get this...you remember our other friend Chris Pedigo? The one we went out to dinner with at Troy's restaurant on the last day you were in Paris? Well, his whole rationale for being in France was that he had won a scholarship to travel to the former Soviet Union all summer long. He originally planned to stop in Paris only on his way there, staying only for a couple of weeks. He ended up drinking all of his scholarship money and staying in Paris for six months, living outside of the city in a chateau. The closest he got to the former Soviet Union was being introduced by his wealthy hosts to the aristocracy of the exiled Russian community - poets, princes and princesses - going to balls with them and getting smashed, drinking coffee in cafes, that sort of thing.

Pedigo fell enormously into debt on his American Express account when he loaned these supposedly wealthy hosts of his an amazing $20,000...! This is money that as of today, they still aren't supposed to be sending him here in the U.S. "until next week." Pretty wild, crazy stuff. I feel like I'm the only one who missed out, though. Everybody else got to have fun in Paris and the rest of Europe for much longer than I did...you included!

If you have any desire to take a roadtrip next semester and come South, feel free to come and stay with me in Chapel Hill. It's a lot like both Iowa City and Champaign-Urbana, only better.

- Letter to Susan Campbell

Friday, November 20, 1992

Spike Lee's X was a necessary slap on the face for society

"Moviegoers give Spike Lee's epic film 'Malcolm X' two thumbs up," Daily Tar Heel, 11/20/92

By Leah A. Campbell
Staff Writer

Reaction to Spike Lee's epic film, "Malcolm X," was favorable from moviegoers who attended the film's premiere showing in Chapel Hill Wednesday. The movie opened in Chapel Hill at the Plaza Theater on Elliot Road. After seeing the film, Erik Ose, a senior from Providence, R.I., said it was important for everyone to see it. "You can't call yourself an American unless you make the effort to see this movie," he said. Caroline Philson, a senior from Charlotte, said she thought the movie earned an overwhelmingly positive message. "I really thought the movie was beyond words," she said. "It was a necessary slap on the face for society. I just think it is ridiculous that we still have a problem with racism in this day and age."

Carrboro resident Lisa Yonkers said she was pleased with the film. "I thought it was great," Yonkers said. "It really gave a good strong message about the need for brotherhood." Some viewers said they saw the film to compare it to the book. Regina Madison, a first-year UNC law student, said she had wanted to see the film ever since she had read the book. "I have already read the book, and now I want to see Lee's version of the story," she said, while waiting in line to see the film. Madison added that she thought Lee's request for people to skip work and school to see the movie on its opening day was inappropriate. "I think that was very unrealistic," she said. "He should have never asked people to take off from work in this economy."

Ante Gray, a Chapel Hill resident, said he was interested in seeing how Spike Lee would handle the assassination scene. "I'm very curious to find out who Lee is going to say killed Malcolm X," Gray said.

It was not clear whether either the 3:15 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. shows were sold out because the owner of the movie theater, Eastern Federal Corp., would not allow any of the theater's employees to comment. A spokeswoman for the company said the corporation wanted to keep a low profile while the film ran. "We in the film industry have come to the conclusion that the press has the tendency to blow things out of proportion," she said. "This film does not deserve any more press than any other film. This is a simple case of looking for trouble and finding it there."

Wednesday, November 18, 1992

Malcolm X debuts at the Plaza Theatre

What's up. It's Tuesday the 17th, and I'm sitting at home chillin'.

Tomorrow Malcolm X does the debut thing and I'm zeroing in on a 3:15 pm showing with Caroline Philson for a paltry matinee-bargain $3.50 at the plush Plaza Theatre in scenic outskirts Chapel Hill.

N'Gai says he's going to wait until Thanksgiving to see it with Erica.

...

It's now Friday, the 20th of November, and your letter isn't done yet.

...

Wednesday, I drove Pedigo back to Winston Salem, where we met up with his mother and brother. Then I busted ass to get to Chapel Hill in time to go see Malcolm X with C-line.

X was great, I think this is obviously Spike's opus, and he remained true to the story. I do think he could have made sure Malcolm was shown giving more excerpts from some of his last speeches, really hammering home the timelessness and inspiring nature of his words as he was progressing to more and more radical, non-racist, economic and political analyses of the plight of black people in this country. I hope people get a sense of that from the movie even as it stands, because that seems to me to be its only flaw.

- Letter to Dana, 11/20/92

Tuesday, November 17, 1992

Dada Veda's last show, Cat's Cradle

At 8 pm tonight I'm driving to Greensboro, pressed into service as a lackey once again. Sound familiar? This evening, my charge will be that globe trotting wunderkind who used his Russian scholarship money to take Paris by drunken storm...Chris Pedigo.


Chris in Paris, Spring 1992

He called me from Paris yesterday and said he was coming home because he'd gotten very ill. Three weeks in an American hospital with some awful sickness that begins with a "g," like goiter, or gehring's, or something. Actually, it was something more like "garria." I was told people usually contract this when drinking from feces-contaminated streams.

You get awful diarrhea for a long time, which comes out many strange colors. It's also known as the "rainbow shits."

Pedigo said he'd had an IV hooked up to his jugular and lost a total of fifteen kilos. Since he only weighed 125 lbs to begin with, it didn't sound fun.

Also tonight, Knucklehead Clint Curtis is playing to a potentially packed house at the Cat's Cradle in what's being billed as Dada Veda's very last ever show. Apparently Clint's guitarist Scott is leaving the band, and drummer John Bell is embarking on another project working with a disco cover band. I kid you not. Clint isn't particularly upset, though...I still see him kind of frequently these days, since he's paying us $25/month to park in our driveway.


Five times over the last few months, Clint has personally invited me to his shows, even putting me on the guest list. Every time, I've had to dis. I feel really bad...so I can't let him down tonight. I'm going to drive Pedigo back to Chapel Hill with me and take him to see the show, then drive him home to Winston Salem tomorrow.

...

By the way, Caroline Philson is now going out with David Biggs. Remember him? He lives in a prototypical slacker apartment with roommates Paul Giragos and Pete Corson.

Speaking of slackers, it's now Friday, the 20th of November, and your letter isn't done yet. Everything went basically as planned on Tuesday. When I got to Greensboro to pick up Pedigo, I found him sitting feebly in a wheelchair. He looked terrible. After finding out that he wasn't about to die right then, I convinced him to come back to Chapel Hill for the night. I was planning to wheel him around the Cradle in his wheelchair.

The Dada Veda show was very sad and poignant. They were much better technically than I remembered them being, and the individual band members were set up on stage as far away from each other as possible. This gave them each their own sphere of creativity, all bathed in eerie banks of lights. Clint was wearing a William Burroughs-type 1940's suit, an X cap, and whiteface. Left and right, he treated the audience to theatrical antics.


Designed by Clint Curtis.

And the place was packed! Not only that, it was a very intimate crowd, full of all the band's friends, every other imaginable denizen of the alternative Chapel Hill crowd, and all these really cute women! Anyway, looking at Clint up on the stage, I couldn't help thinking back to our roadtrip, and how Clint had essentially fulfilled his dream to become a bona fide Chapel Hill musical superstar. And then I realized the song they were playing at the moment was Zen Free Love Lunacy, and it all fit together.

Oh, and one bizarre footnote. Do you know that Fox TV show called "Parker Lewis Can't Lose"...? Well, one of the main actors is this huge dumb white guy who they call "Meat". And guess what happens. I'm talking with Josh Bradt, and all of a sudden, N'Gai comes up to me and says "Hey, hey, guess who's here. Yeah, it's that guy from Parker Lewis, right over there." So we go to check him out, real clandestinely, and there really is a dude who looks just like him. But then...he turns out to actually be THE GUY! His name was Abe. We talk with him and he tells us that he's appearing in a movie that's being filmed at Duke, and while over there he had heard that Dada Veda were a really cool band, so he came to see them! Mindblower.

- Letter to Dana, 11/20/92

Monday, November 16, 1992

Ren and Stimpy rock Chapel Hill

A couple Mondays ago, I had dinner with my housemate Jay, Caroline Philson, Eric Wagner, and a guy named Bob Camp, who is the new director and chief writer of the Ren and Stimpy show! Later that night, he spoke and screened four episodes on our campus, in this huge building called Memorial Hall which seats 1,800 and was completely full. There were people standing outside on the windowsills in forty degree weather watching the cartoons. There were two old episodes...and two totally new, never-before-seen ones!



The new ones featured this sick new character named George Liquor. If they eventually get broadcast, they're called "Dog Show" and "Man's Best Friend," and they're awesome!



UNC-CH was the first university Bob Camp has ever been asked to speak at, so he was really cool and laid back about the whole thing.


As CUAB chair, Eric Wagner was responsible for the whole setup, and invited me along to the dinner. I hooked Jay up, and Caroline found her own angle to scam him into letting her come, too. During dinner I got him to draw a cartoon and give me his autograph on one of the Ren and Stimpy flyers I'd created for Derek Shadid's student congress campaign. Caroline also took a picture of us together. Did I mention that Bob Camp is also an extremely patient man? He dealt with my fan antics surprisingly well. And the clincher of the night had to be that it was free food and drinks for all of us at Pyewacket, where the dinner was held, courtesy of student fees. What a deal.


Photo by C-line

And Bob Camp was such a twisted character! He told us all about the sorts of jokes they've tried to put into episodes of the show, only to have them vetoed by Nickelodeon. Apparently, now that John K. (the show's original creator) has been fired, the guy who does the voice of Stimpy (Billy West) is going to do the voice of Ren. Also, have you ever seen this one episode that came on at the beginning of this past (second) season, called "Powdered Toast Man"...?



Well, that episode has been banned altogether from ever being shown again, and all because of only three letters that Nickelodeon got about it from parents who were disturbed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights getting burned in a fireplace at the episode's end. Pretty fucked up.

- Letter to Robb Teer, 12/2/92

Friday, October 30, 1992

The Bamboo House, the Purple House, and the Russian House

The Pink House tried to give back to the community by running exchange programs with a few other group houses in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. We hung out at their cribs, they hung out at ours.


Flyer for party at Bamboo House, 1993

Two of our faves included the Bamboo House, aka 108 Kenan Street, where Susan Comfort, Sarah Davis, and other SEAC veterans lived (and Caroline Hall used to, and Caroline Philson lived for a semester, with Deidre Campbell and her then-boyfriend Chuck up in the attic, who would later hook up the anti-Jesse Helms cause with TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS worth of free copies while working the 3rd shift at a local copy shop), and the Purple House at 220 McCauley, home to Ian Williams, Clay Boyer, Matt McMichaels, and Lindsay Bowen.




Invite for Purple House Halloween Crawl, 1992

And then there was 120 Mallette Street, where Tony Deifell set a standard for off-campus house parties that we later tried to live up to at the Pink House, by hosting such events as The Furious Party. It was the first off-campus bash I went to at UNC when I got to campus as a freshman in the fall of ’89, a party so historic it had its own t-shirts.

Later, Tony’s younger brother Dave took over management of the spot, and it survived throughout the mid-00's as a refuge for anarchists and beatniks. When local DJ and then-manager of Internationalist Books Darren Hunicutt lived there, touring noise bands from around the country made the basement space at 120 Mallette a regular stop on the underground house party circuit.

Also 505 N. Greensboro St. in Carrboro; the house on McCauley where Caroline Philson lived; 210 Ransom Street, where Lydia Craft moved when she left the Pink House; and the amazing Russian House, where Chris Pedigo held court in a spooky, decaying, UNC-owned mansion surrounded by woods on a hill overlooking the Dean Dome.


Erik, Chris Pedigo and Pam Hartley at Russian House, 1992

In 2003 or 2004, UNC finally developed the tract where the Russian House stands, also known as the Baity House. The surrounding woods were replaced with a new married student housing complex, Baity Hill. The Russian House was preserved, and became the complex's office and community center. If those walls could talk!


The Russian House circa 2007.

Tuesday, October 27, 1992

Letter to Wall Street Journal re BCC

Dear Editor,

Re your October 9 letter to the editor from University of North Carolina Student Body President John Moody, who claimed to represent majority student opinion on the Black Cultural Center issue: Not all of the story was told.

Mr. Moody was elected last spring by a bare majority of just 43 votes out of more than 3,000 cast. His victory was strongly aided by virtue of his being a white male member of the greek system, running against a liberal, Indian female student. She firmly supported the construction of a free-standing Black Cultural Center. Ironically, her narrow defeat can more accurately be traced to lackluster support among black students concerned she would not fight hard enough for the BCC, and not an outpouring of student opinion against its construction.

What Mr. Moody's election did illustrate is that student opinion at UNC-Chapel Hill is somewhat evenly divided over the BCC. More disturbingly, it showed the issue's potential to be exploited by self-serving politicians. Mr. Moody ran what many perceived to be a subtly racist campaign, using his stance against the BCC to foster division, not dialogue. Recently, North Carolina Lt. Gov. and current Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Gardner has seized on the BCC controversy in much the same way. Trailing in the polls, he has also taken an aggressive stand against the BCC, hoping to further politicize this campus issue by appealing to white North Carolinians' racial fears.

I am not one of the student activists who have dedicated their time to building a broad-based, multicultural student coalition in support of the BCC. I am an ordinary, run of the mill UNC-Chapel Hill student who happens to be white and progressive. I support construction of the BCC, and there are many others like me. My anger is reserved for those who would exploit this issue for personal political gain, and in doing so contribute to the racial divisions they so hypocritically profess to deplore.

Erik Ose, Senior, UNC-Chapel Hill
130 North Street
Chapel Hill, NC

(This letter was sent, but predictably, the right wing boneheads in charge of the WSJ's editorial page didn't publish it.)

Monday, October 26, 1992

Clinton/Gore GOTV rally at NCCU


I've only seen Erika a couple of times this semester. Did I tell you that I ran into her dad at a pre-election rally for Clinton/Gore, at NCCU in Durham, held about a week before Nov. 3? All I had to tell him was that I was a friend of Dana's, and his eyes lit right up! Then he started screaming and hollering and asking me why Erika couldn't be going out with a nice boy like that polite Mark Bibbs or somebody. I think he actually said he was looking forward to seeing you over Thanksgiving.

- Letter to Dana 11/20/92

Thursday, October 8, 1992

Pink House East Coast Road Trip, Fall 1992

C: You remember stopping at the Dunkin Donuts on our way home?
E: No, not really.
C: They were giving you a hard time about using the bathroom without buying anything. And you really had to go.
E: But somebody else was buying stuff, right?
C: Sure, but you weren’t. So when we finished up and went outside, you walked around to the drive-in window, and we were all like, what is he doing now? Then you peed in the speaker.
E: No way. Seriously?
C: I was there!

- Caroline & Erik, 2009

Monday, September 28, 1992

Hustling up votes at UNC, hot tea style


Sorry about those blisters, Mrs. H! I feel terrible that I served this woman tea hot enough to give her severe mouth burns. But she was very cool about it, and placed the blame squarely where it belonged - on the administration of Chancellor Paul Hardin, aka the overseer of Hardin's Plantation. Maybe if he had spent less time fervently opposing a free-standing BCC, and devoted more energy to the day-to-day details of handling UNC's biz, Gerda would have survived voter registration duty unscathed!

Friday, September 18, 1992

Spike Lee rally for a free-standing BCC

"About 5,000 rally in support of free-standing BCC," Daily Tar Heel, 9/21/92

Spike Lee urges black athletes to utilize their financial power

By ANNA GRIFFIN, University Editor

About 5,000 people, many of them students and supporters of a free-standing black cultural center, gathered at the Dean E. Smith Center Friday night to express their support for a new BCC and to hear filmmaker Spike Lee. Lee, best known for films such as "Jungle Fever" and "Do the Right Thing," spoke for about 15 minutes on the need for other black students, especially other black athletes across the country, to get involved in the BCC movement and in the general fight for black equality.

"When you're talking about colleges and universities and black athletes. when they start to politicize, then watch out," Lee said. "Because this building would not be here if it weren't for Michael Jordan and Phil Ford, Walter Davis, James Worthy, Sam Perkins and Brad Daugherty. “Without black athletes, there would be no schools."

Lee was drawn to Chapel Hill by an article in The New York Times Sept. 11, which cited the involvement of black football players in the BCC movement. This summer, four UNC players founded the Black Awareness Council, the group that has stepped to the forefront of the BCC issue. During his speech, Lee told members of the BAC that they would have to be willing to take direct action, even if it meant sitting out games and risking their scholarships. "There's going to come a time when you're going to have to make a move," he said. "When that date approaches and no action is taken, you're going to have to take some drastic action."

Lee, who flew into town Friday night and left Saturday morning, said Chancellor Paul Hardin had sent him faxes almost every day asking to meet with him, but that he had decided against it after talking with students. "I was advised it might not be the right thing to do," Lee said. Hardin, who acknowledged that he had faxed and phoned his welcome to Lee, said he had not heard about the students asking Lee not to meet with him. "He certainly didn't tell me that," Hardin said of his conversation with Lee. "I talked to him and expressed hope he would like to come by. I heard later that he had come into town too late."

The Smith Center even lasted about three hours. University Police Chief Alana Ennis estimated the crowd at about 5,000 people. Event organizers had moved the rally from the Pit and Carmichael Auditorium because of the large number of people expected. The Smith Center seats 21,500 people.

Margo Crawford, BCC director, spoke to the crowd about Sonja Stone, the late UNC professor for whom the present center is named and for whom students want to name a new center. "Dr. Stone was a one-woman movement on this campus for 17 years," Crawford said.

The Rev. James Bevel, a Washington, D.C., minister who is running for vice president with Lyndon LaRouche, led the crowd in the civil-rights song, "If you're going to kill the people, put on your hood and robe," changing the lyrics to "If you're not going to let us build our building, put on your hood and robe." Scott Wilkens, co-president of the Campus Y, told the crowd that Hardin valued white students more than blacks. "Why should it take this many people to make a change on this campus?" he said. "If you were all white, we'd have had this BCC a long time ago."

Jimmy Hitchcock, a co-founder of the Black Awareness Council, urged the crowd to stop making the Black Power symbol a single fist held in the air and to start crossing their arms as a tribute to Malcolm X. "It looks like we're hanging from chains," Hitchcock said of the symbol. "We are the children of Malcolm X, and we believe in his ideology." Tim Smith, another BAC co-founder, said blacks needed to stop the degradation of their race by whites. "The white man is killing us softly," Smith said. "By getting rid of our black males, they're keeping us from us from reproducing. By keeping us from reproducing, they're killing our race."

Michelle Thomas, president of the Black Student Movement, spoke out against blacks who stood in the way of the movement or who have spoken out against the coalition's methods, including UNC journalism Professor Chuck Stone, who has questioned the militarism of the movement. "I'm tired of a black man standing up on television and in the newspapers and saying we don't need a free-standing BCC," she said. "If you stand in the way of our progress, we're going to have to roll over you."

Minister Khalid Mohammed X, an assistant to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, spoke out against interracial dating and told students that they must "support what the enemy opposes and oppose what the enemy supports. "The problem is not with the crack," he said. "The problem is with the cracker." Khalid X, who also spoke out against homosexuals, said he was speaking only to the blacks in the crowd. "I came to talk to my people," he said to the whites in the crowd. "You just happen to be here."

After the rally, Smith said Khalid X spoke for members of the movement. "He speaks the truth," Smith said. "He speaks for us, too." But other coalition leaders said they were disturbed by the comments of Khalid X. "I had a lot of problems with what he said," Wilkens said. "But you just have to take away from it what you want." In addition to Khalid X, members of the Fruit of Islam, an arm of Louis Farrakan's Nation of Islam movement, were hired as security for the event, said BSM Minister of Information Charles McNair. McNair also distanced the movement from Khalid X's comments, calling them "inflammatory."

Jennifer Talhelm contributed to this story.


BCC event draws variety of responses

Editor's note: The following is a sample of comments from audience members who attended the Friday night rally.

"I think maybe Spike can make some headway. I expect a positive message from Spike, but if we can all gain some sort of understanding from both sides, the outcome should be extremely positive." Craig Ridley, N.C. A&T graduate

"I think they should have (a freestanding BCC), but I just want to hear more about what they will do about other cultures that want to be housed there." Tabitha Batts, UNC junior from Spring Lake

"I am embarrassed to say I graduated from Carolina when there is so much prejudice going on." Melissa Wade, UNC graduate

"What we saw here tonight is a unifying presence on this campus of African Americans and a sign of strength. I strongly believe that after tonight, our message will be heard and understood and responded to." Chris Henderson, UNC graduate student

"I hope that the unity that was shown here tonight carries onward and doesn't wear out. It was disappointing to see people leave after Spike spoke." Jim Casey, N.C. State graduate student

"It is a tragedy that ... for 14 years the students have been trying to get a freestanding building. Having known Dr. Sonja Hanes Stone, a precious friend, and the work that she has done, it is just impossible to believe that in 1992 we still have to fight because of the racial tone of the University and of the United States." Mrs. A.E. Spears Jr., a Durham resident who knew Stone for years

"They keep on asking the question, 'Does everybody want a black cultural center? Do they have the support, because if they don't have the support, then, you know, they don't need a building.' So I think that this shows tonight that they have the support to have this building." Anthony Moore, UNC senior from Asheboro

"I was very stung by the last speaker. Although I understand much of what he was saying, it just seemed to me that he was preaching hate. He was homophobic, and he was sexist, and he was preaching hate." Patsy Fischer, faculty member. School of Public Health, on Minister Khalid Muhammad X of the Nation of Islam

"We have a cultural center at State. I don't think it's to separate anybody. It's to bring everybody together." Steven Alexander, N. C. State student

"I think Chancellor Hardin should be standing in this line tonight. If he was not frightened by the crowd that visited his office, he should be frightened by this." Tracy Cameron, UNC junior from Middlesex

"I got here today. I don't really know what's going on, but I'm here to find out." Alicia Hylton, Shaw University student

"I’m here because I really want to see (Lee)." Lewis Miller, Durham resident

"I'm here because I know Spike's a great filmmaker. Also, because I want to be part of it. Basically, because I'm a Brit, and I'm not used to that sort of thing." Lucy Sweetman, resident of Manchester, England

"I'm in support of education concerning black issues; however, I was offended by certain speakers." Amy Webb, Duke University student

"(Khalid X) said a lot of things that needed to be said. It was very straightforward and needed to be said. He was a dynamic speaker, and he was basically reading my mind. He was not trying to sugar anything down." Tanisha Barnes, UNC junior from Wilson

"I think the main goal was unity. For so long, the black community was split. Finally we are unified." Marchell Adams, UNC graduate student from Rockingham

"The aura was unity, blacks were here and standing up for the same causes. It was beautiful." Chandra McLean, UNC senior from Little Rock, S.C., and editor of the Black Ink

"I felt it was racist." Felica Walker, St. Augustine College graduate from Raleigh

"I wanted to come and show my support for a free-standing BCC; it's something we need. Also, I am a big fan of Spike Lee." Franklin Harkins, UNC freshman from Elon

"This is a chance to be part of history in the making." Samantha Evafred, UNC senior from Durham

Steve Robblee, Holly Stepp, Justin Scheefi James Lewis, Ivan Arlington and Thanassis Cambanis contributed to this story.


(Note from 2014 - N'Gai and I made the trek down to the Smith Center for this rally. Or at least walked up from the parking lot after driving Inga down from the Pink House. On the way in, I bought a book purportedly exposing the hidden history of then-President George H.W. Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors that turned out to be published by Lyndon LaRouche's political organization. One of the speakers at the rally, James Bevel, at the time was running for Vice President on LaRouche's ticket.

Anyway, there were a ton of folks there. The estimate from UNC's chief of police was 5,000, but later reports upped that to 7,000. It was estimated that 75% of the crowd was black, which sounds about right. Campus Y co-president Scott Wilkens made a good point when he told the rally, "Why should it take this many people to make a change on this campus? If you were all white, we'd have had this BCC a long time ago."

If you asked most white students on campus at the time about the struggle for a BCC, they probably would have told you they didn't give a damn. Mostly because they were too busy studying and/or partying to pay attention to what was going on, and anyway, most probably didn't consider this fight to be "their" issue. You could argue that in 1992, the majority of UNC's campus was a white cultural center. It was just two years removed from when North Carolina voters re-elected a bigot like Jesse Helms to the U.S. Senate in a racially-charged campaign against a dynamic, charismatic black opponent, former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt.

Some students actively opposed the BCC, a sentiment stirred up by the racist, ignorant rhetoric of people in positions of campus authority like Chancellor Paul Hardin, who stood in the way of a free-standing BCC because he claimed it would become a symbol of racial separatism. And Board of Trustees member John Pope (future state Budget Director and right-wing money man Art Pope's father), who said shortly after the BCC's founding that "it seems to me if (black students) are interested in a Black Cultural Center, maybe those students should attend a black university."

Reading the DTH's coverage, I'm reminded that Khalid X was an idiot, and it was a pretty dumb decision to let him address the rally. His incendiary statements (immediately and wisely disavowed as "inflammatory" by Chuck, who was then the BSM Minister of Information) played right into the hands of the anti-BCC forces who were arguing that a free-standing BCC would signal a return to segregation, and probably further delayed the center's eventual construction. But seeing as how James Bevel also spoke that night, at the height of his post-civil rights era craziness, in bed with both the LaRouche-ites and his own daughter, it's clear that lots of folks with their own agendas came out of the woodwork trying to hop on board the BCC train. Black athletes were speaking out about something unrelated to sports, and that got people's attention, big time.)

Vote For a Change rally at UNC


Tuesday, August 25, 1992

Stealing Ian's mail


Why did I steal Ian's mail from the Purple House on a hot summer day in late August? Who were my co-conspirators? What was the angle? I have no idea, but here's the evidence. If his Newsweek subscription ran out as a result, and he spent the next few years much less informed about current events than he would have been otherwise, I take full responsibility. Sorry, Ian!

Wednesday, July 15, 1992

Pink House circa Summer of '92

I drove back down to Chapel Hill. Got here around the end of June. First of all, the house was a mess. Looked like a fucking band of gypsies had been living here! Next, I found out there were several vacant rooms in the Pink House that needed to be filled with people, pronto, otherwise I would have been up to my eyeballs in debt from having had to pay close to nine hundred dollars in rent myself.

So that's the sort of things that have been occupying my time for the past few weeks. Mark, I have not yet gotten involved with any voter registration campaign...in fact, I haven't even been in touch with Kate Lowenstein since I've been back in town. I think I'll call her tomorrow. Caroline, you would never guess who I saw tonight...Alec Guettel! He was drinking beer with me and about twenty other National SEAC people in the Forest Theatre. He's been living in New York and working with SEAC, but this summer marks the end of his involvement for right now. Isn't that sad to think about, in a way? Seeing him brought back lots of old memories of what it was like for all of us, you, me and Mark, when we were just becoming involved with SEAC our freshman year. There's a National Council meeting going on this week, and many people are in town for it. Many of them are also sleeping in our living room downstairs, right now.

Joe Herzenberg called me on the phone today, and I ran into my friend Termain Kyles outside the TEP house this evening, and Deidre, of all people, came by this morning with my housemate Lydia to wake me up, and SEAC people like Eric Odell, Ernesto Guzman, and Todd Thomas were dropping by the house, all of whom I haven't seen in a couple months.


Ernesto & Todd, Spring '92

Last night I heard Uzoma Nwosu (you know Uzi, right?) on air doing his hip-hop/dance show on WXYC, so I called him up at the station and we're going to get together this week. Plus, on this past Tuesday night Lydia and I went to the Cradle to see Arrested Development, the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, and Me Phi Me perform. Finis Dunaway was there, among a cast of hundreds. Preston and Richard are around, working at the Varsity, haunting Franklin Street and Papagayo's. We've discovered a swimming pool that's at Northampton Terraces, just two apartment complexes behind North Street. It's the new Pink House pool...we go there to swim every day. See, these are all just some of the things that make me happy to be in Chapel Hill again.

- Letter to Caroline (& Mark Chilton) in Kenya

Friday, May 29, 1992

Mandated to be Painted Pink

Dearest Kyle, whassup wit you? Super Clint and DJ Erik here, profilin' and stylin', hanging out with a posse of Pink House miscreants. We got your letter months ago, but our general slackness is totally to blame for not having written back to you sooner. Ohmigod, Kyle, you would most definitely have loved going to school with us in Chapel Hill this past year! There's been such a panoply of craziness and coolness that's followed our every move, Clint and me. Yo, check out this latest issue of the DTH, in four color bold type, five column headines, it reads, "Erik and Clint assume titles of Supremely Cool Beings ruling Campus Life in all respects!"

Did you hear about that in Paris? We totally took over the entire town and made it over in our likenesses. Now, everybody's houses and even the campus dorms are mandated to be painted pink, and for fun on Saturday nights, you get to do one of two things in thousand-seat assembly halls we've constructed on Franklin Street - either go register to vote, or attend a poetry reading!

Kyle, you sounded like you were having a great time in your letter. And we read your article that was published in the Raleigh N&O, which was most informative. Our eyes got all misty and our souls grew heartsick, thinking about our little Kyle, all by herself and bravely conquering the land of "the Eiffel Tower, escargot, and Bridgette Bardot."

Seriously, g, are you still down for the cause that involves you and Caroline living with us next year in the Pink House? You guys could split the very spacious room that Clint and I have been sharing all year, with one of you sleeping on a futon, and the other on this beautiful, woodgrained single loft that I will let you use. There's a ten-foot high painting of the Mona Lisa in your room, closet space, high
ceilings, the works.

- Letter to Kyle in Paris

Wednesday, April 1, 1992

Clint and Mel's "Unexpected Encounters" on General College

There is so much to love about this episode, starring not one but two former residents of the Mona Lisa room. Flea (Mel Lanham) speaks out about the sorry state of the world in the Pit, and gets repeatedly reprimanded by her older sister who's in a sorority. Cain (Clint Curtis) keeps a flock of co-eds in rapture listening to his poetry, which irritates a bunch of frat stars to the point of pulling some Brady Bunch-style shenanigans on him, pretending to the "higher power" Cain has been attempting to contact. While chilling at Lenoir, Cain asks the timeless question, "What is the center of all energy?" And chews through the scenery in one avant-garde shot after another, any one of which would have made Kenneth Anger proud.

Meanwhile, Flea has the best line in the show when she asks her sister how she's supposed to express her views if she can't preach in the Pit..."by holding a chug-a-lug contest to raise money for abused children who probably got that way from alcoholic parents in the first place?"

Then attracts Cain's attention when he points her out to his dateless, Woody Allen-esque pal Aubery (Jim Rash) as "The one they call...Flea." Next, Cain and Flea have a super intense scene together, reflecting on how hard it is to be different!

Too freaking much. And then a lot more shit happens that left me in stitches. Including the outbreak of a SEX SCENE that doubles as a MUSIC VIDEO featuring original soundtrack and on-camera performance (both uncredited) by yet anotha Pink House head, Jasme Kelly! The WTF quotient keeps exponentially escalating here.

But there's more. The show ends with an official video by DADA VEDA for one of their most memorable tracks, "Chaos Has Its Own Order," co-directed by Clint, with scenes of the band performing, where else...in the Pink House living room.

General College provided early exposure for UNC undergrads like Billy Crudup and Haley Koch who would go on to bigger and/or more infamous starring roles. But this episode shows Mel and Clint had enough talent to outshine them all.

Tuesday, March 31, 1992

Dada Veda are one band you have to experience for yourself

"More decadence for your money at Cradle," Daily Tar Heel, 3/36/92

By LINDSAY LOWRY

Plutopia and Gravity's Pull will be donating their time for a cause both bands feel is vitally important, the vanishing rain forests and the indigenous people of South America and tropical Asia being destroyed along with them. Tuesday night (March 31) will be a joint endeavor of the Rain Forest Action Group of the SEAC and the Amnesty International Student Group. One of the new Cradle "Four Bands for $2" evenings, all proceeds go to help indigenous groups protect their land and livelihood from the onslaught of industrial "progress".

In addition to Plutopia and Gravity's Pull, the evening will feature Two Fish Blue and Dada Veda. Formerly John Svara and the Reptiles, Two Fish Blue (Svara, John Gillespie and Ian Shreier) has already gained quite a following in the state and beyond with their blend of intelligent lyrics and accessible music. They seem to be moving away from the acoustic-based sound they started with, and are experimenting, more with stronger bass lines and drum beats. Svara has been experimenting with electric guitar, to bring more rock flavor to his sound.

Dada Veda is a student band that consistently packs the Hardback Cafe and turning 'em away at the door. Their sound has a hint of the dark and moody found in the Smiths, and with their classical guitar, funky bass and a lead singer who delights in his drama major-ness, they are one band you have to experience for yourself.

So it looks like the coming week will be a good time to hear some good music...whether you want to be frivolous or help the disenfranchised. Spend the $2 and expose yourself to some Chapel Hill culture.

Benefit for Indigenous People with Two Fish Blue, Plutopia, Gravity's Pull and Dada Veda.
Tuesday, March 31 Cat's Cradle.
Tickets $2 at the door.
For information, 967-9053.

Thursday, February 13, 1992

Speaker Moore is a petty person

"Student activists protest Moore's re-election, claim graduate signature invalidates petition" Daily Tar Heel, 2/13/92

By Bonnie Rochman, Assistant University Editor

Two University students are contesting Speaker Tim Moore's re-election to Student Congress on the grounds that some of the 25 signatures on his election petition were illegitimate

Dana Lumsden, a senior from Boston, said he and Erik Ose, a junior from Bristol, R.I., had noted two discrepancies in Moore's petition. "People who sign the petition must put down their full name, address and phone number, and a couple of Tim's folks didn't even do that. "And there's a man on Tim's petition who is a graduate student, and graduate students cannot be represented by undergraduates as stated by the Student (Government) Code, so that makes one of Tim's signatures invalid," Lumsden said. "Therefore, there are only 24, not 25 signatures hence his position on the ballot is invalid."

Moore said he thought the signature in question was legitimate. "My understanding is that the person is a senior," he said. "Lumsden and Ose are alleging he's a graduate student. But the petitions were approved, and I don't see it as an issue."

Chris Bracey, Elections Board chairman, said the point was moot because the petitions already had been approved. He said he had randomly checked the petitions to make sure they were valid. Lumsden and Ose missed the deadline, which is 48 hours from when the petitions are turned in, to lodge their complaint, Bracey said. Bracey said he did not have time to look into the matter further.

Lumsden said the oversight was not Bracey's fault. "Chris was dealing with so many petitions and operating under the assumption that number one, people will not be petty," Lumsden said. "Speaker Moore is a petty person."

(Editor's note from 2019: And truer words were never spoken!)

Tuesday, February 11, 1992

Two of the most fun people we know

"Class of '93 hopefuls touted," Daily Tar Heel, 2/11/92

Philson/Pedigo would lead UNC to productive, fun year

To the editor: We are writing to endorse Caroline Philson and Christopher Pedigo for senior class president and vice president. As members of the class of '93, we feel that Philson and Pedigo are the best candidates for the following reasons:

Leadership. Philson is presently co-chairwoman of EEK! (Earth Education for Kids) and has been actively involved with the Student Environmental Action Coalition and UNITAS. Pedigo is the co-founder of the Russian House. He has also worked in student government and with Pauper Players. Philson and Pedigo have proven that they are effective leaders of various organizations, that they can be strong leaders of the class of '93.

Goals. Philson and Pedigo have goals that affect not only the senior class, but the entire University. Let's face it: We've been here for three years. Our awareness of the University's policies and problems put us in a position to do something about them. Now is the time for seniors to give back to the University. Philson and Pedigo hope to implement a book-loan program that would save all students money on books. They also plan to organize a task force to keep students informed about the budget crisis and what the legislature is doing.

Unity. Philson and Pedigo want to work hard to include all seniors in senior class activities. After three years of hard work, it's time to have some fun, but one-sided senior class activities are only fun for some. Philson and Pedigo hope to create activities that all seniors will feel comfortable participating in. Accessibility. Philson and Pedigo hope to be accessible to all seniors by participating in activities that encompass all seniors. This will include mobile "office" hours in places such as Lenoir Dining Hall and the Pit.

Fun. These two are some of the most fun people we know. They will most certainly lend their enthusiastic attitudes to everything they do. Remember, "For a good time, vote for Philson and Pedigo." Philson and Pedigo know what the offices of senior class president and vice president entail. They'll let George Bush promise you a job, but if you want to have a great time and help out the University in your last year at UNC, vote Philson and Pedigo for senior class president and vice president.

TRAVIS THOMPSON TYGART
Junior, Philosophy/Speech Communication

RUBY SINREICH
Junior, Environmental Protection

Saturday, January 11, 1992

Did 1,900 people show up for a Pink House party?

I don't know how much Caroline told you about our house, but it's assuredly one of the dopest cribs in all of Chapel Hill. Walk two blocks up the street, and you're standing in front of the Chapel Hill post office. Our neighborhood is so peaceful - all these cool, older town residents who give us tomatoes out of their backyard gardens and loan us their power tools. We have not one but two separate, huge backyards. I kid you not. They are the ultimate places to sunbathe or to allow hundreds of excess partygoers to congregate.

Lydia & Raj enjoy the backyard, May '92

Speaking of which, both you and Caroline missed the biggest Pink House party that we've thrown so far this year, in January, right after we got back from winter break. There were 1900 people here!

"A good party would actually take a while to even navigate. I can remember being right around here (outside the back door)...for the entire party. I think I came to two or three Pink House parties before I ever went inside. You could just sit there and occupy yourself with lots of interesting conversations, meet a lot of people, talk about a lot of things. That’s what I remember most about parties here – the great conversations."

- Mike Thomas, sitting on the back stoop, 2009

We had two bands play, three kegs, a swimming pool full of more beer, christmas lights and disco decorations, not to mention hours upon hours of throbbing, mind-dilating techno acid hip hop house music.


Pink House Party Mix, Jan '92

Kyle, think about how much fun you'll have next year as one of the premier entertainment moguls of Chapel Hill!

Kyle at Chez Pink, Winter '93

O.k., here are some more deets. We'll be living with Clint, plus two other people, both of them cool as fuck. One guy, one girl. The girl is Lydia Craft, who lives with us now. She's an art history major and all around artistic type. Totally charming. Oh, and she's half-Australian. The guy is Jay Murray, this Lenny Kravitz-lookalike (sort of, only taller) and brilliant first-year sociology grad student from New York City. He did his undergrad at Boston College, then came here. You'll probably think he's fairly hot.

Jay and Lydia waking up in D.C., Fall '92 roadtrip

- Letter to Kyle in Paris

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Simpson (1) Old Well mural (1) Olde English 800 (1) Oliver North (1) Olivia D'Abo (1) Olivier from Paris (1) OrangePolitics (1) Owari (1) Pam Hartley (2) Papagayo's (3) Paris (4) Paris party (1) parties (25) Pat Anders (2) Paul Cardillo (2) Paul Dawson (1) Paul Ferguson (1) Paul Giragos (1) Paul Green (1) Paul Hardin (3) Paul Klee (1) Peggie Porter (4) Penny Bakatsias (2) Pete Corson (1) Pharcyde (1) Phi Mu (2) Philadelphia (2) Phoenix (1) Pine State (5) Pink House (79) Pipe (1) Plastic House (5) Plaza Theatre (2) PLUR (1) poetry (1) posters (1) Powdered Toast Man (1) Power Company (1) Prague (1) Preston Harrison Dunlop (4) Providence (1) Psych-Out (1) Purple Gator (1) Purple House (8) Pyewacket (1) Queen Steve Kennedy (1) Quince Marcum (1) raccoons (2) race relations (2) Raj Krishnasami (10) Raj Narayan (1) Rama Kayyali (1) Randy Jones (1) Rashmi Airan (10) raves (5) Ray Combs (1) recording sessions (1) Reggie Workman (1) REM (1) Ren and Stimpy (2) RHA (1) Rhode Island (1) Richard Hess (2) Richard Wright (1) Rite Aid (1) roadtrips (4) Rob Lowe (1) Robb Teer (5) Rooster (1) Rosemary Street (5) Ross Grady (1) Roy Ayers (1) Roy Lichtenstein (1) Ruby Sinreich (4) Russian House (4) Ryan Williams (1) sad news (3) Sally Stryker (3) Sapphire (1) Sarah Davis (1) Sasha (1) SCALE (2) Scott Bullock (8) Scott Holmes (3) Scott Schobel (1) SEAC (8) Shannan Bowen (2) She-Devils On Wheels (1) Sherry Lumsden (1) Short Street (2) shows (1) Shyam Patel (5) Simple Machines (1) Skylight Exchange (2) slackers (1) Smith Center (1) Smokin Joe's (1) social segregation (2) Sommerfelds (1) Sophia Sacks (1) Soul Society (1) Sound Factory (2) South Campus (1) South Philly (1) Southern Village (1) spider crickets (1) Spike Lee (4) Spins (1) Spirit Of '76 (1) Squirrel Nut Zippers (1) Stabbing Westward (1) Stacy Philpott (1) Starpoint House (1) Stay Free! 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