A winter road trip to remember

Published 4:44 pm Monday, February 27, 2023

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In the winter of our sophomore year in high school, Dave Tayloe and I were invited by the late George Bullock and his wife, Donna, to go and see the University of North Carolina play basketball.  They were teachers at our school and all of us enjoyed Donna and George, so it was easy to say yes.  And besides that, our hero, Billy Cunningham, was playing for UNC, and they were playing Maryland.

It was cold outside as we pulled up to park at Woollen Gym where the Tarheels played their basketball games.  Dave and I did not know the drama that would transpire after the game.  Donna and George had seen the weather in the morning but decided to go anyway, besides they had invited Dave and me.

UNC did not let us down as they defeated Maryland and our hero was the leading scorer.  We even got autographs on our ticket stub after the game.  Standing in the middle of a crowd waiting for his autograph was something I will never forget and for the longest time I kept it as a keepsake.

When the game was over and we had gotten our autographs, we left Woollen Gym to return to George’s car.  About six inches of snow had fallen and the weathermen were calling for more. George was prepared in that he had snow chains in the trunk and he put them on for the ride back to Washington.  Donna was afraid that it would snow more and she was right. They had grown up in Fuquay-Varina, not far from Chapel Hill and UNC, so they decided to go to Fuquay and spend the night at George’s home with his mother and father.

I did not carry my medicine with me and that was where the drama began.  Once we got to the Bullocks’ home we immediately got on the phone with mom and dad for suggestions.  Well, Little Dave was with us, so they called Dr. Dave and he immediately got to work.  The drug store in Fuquay was closed for the snow.  George’s father was good friends with the pharmacist, so we got my dosage of medicine and spent the night.  Lucky for us that Fuquay was about the size of Washington back then.

George Bullock’s dad was the postmaster in Fuquay and Donna’s mother taught home economics.  They attended Fuquay High School where George was the senior class president. It is small world story but my first principal that I taught for when I first started teaching at Williamston was Mr. E.N. Farnell. Mr. Farnell was the principal of Fuquay High School and remembered George and Donna while they were students.  George was the last president of the senior class when Mr. Farnell left for Williamston.

Young people who take medicine: always take it with you when going out of town because you never know what can happen to you – it may snow!

They were the best of times with the best of friends and the best of places, Washington, N.C.! The Original Washington!

Harold Jr.