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Rugby in the Mud-luscious Spring of 1967

A Thousand Words
By Jock Lauterer

So I’m sitting on the Carolina Inn lawn listening to bluegrass when a gent about my age approaches and, to the best of my memory, says: “You don’t know me, but you took my picture back in 1967. It was a rugby game and I was the one laying face-down in the mud.” Our prone rugby lad turns out to be none other than Dr. Thomas C. Ricketts, UNC professor of health policy and management (and social medicine) and deputy director for health policy analysis at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. Here’s how he remembered that sloppy match in March 1967, played in a boggy field across from what is now the Rams Head Center parking deck: “It was soon after we had just gotten our new ‘kit’ of loverly sky blue and white jerseys, and the prospect of a muddy set-to was daunting, but fashion hounds we weren’t. My face-down posture was due to a futile effort to keep the ball out of touch (in bounds) so a following player could kick it into goal and touch down for a three-point try.  Tries have gained in value since then, worth five points these days, but the mud is still generally the same.” When I sent Dr. Ricketts a scan of the “mud-luscious” photo, he quipped in response, “Thanks, I feel like taking a shower.” (With thanks to the good folks at Wilson Library’s North Carolina Collection for finding this 45-year-old photo.)

Do you have an important old photo that you value? Email your photo to jock@email.unc.edu and include the story behind the picture. Because every picture tells a story. And its worth? A thousand words.
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