An obituary arrived in the email inbox today for Claude McKinney, former Dean of the School of Design at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Dean McKinney (as I still think of him) came to the School of Design in 1973 - replacing Dean Henry Kamphoefner, who had lead the school since1948.
This quote - "A 2000 recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award, presented by then-Gov. James B. Hunt Jr." - started me on a mini treasure hunt. For many years I've had hanging on the wall my Order of the Long Leaf Pine awarded by Governor Robert W. Scott in about 1970. This was for work done as part of a student group promoting the establishment of a natural Zoological Park for the State of North Carolina.
Dean McKinney spoke at our commencement in 1974. One of my other college treasures is a small metal lapel pin with a bitten blue apple. These were passed out at the very small commencement gathering and pre-date Apple computers, but not Apple records. The title of the commencement address was "Bite a Blue Apple".
I must admit that I don't recall the text of the speech, and probably questioned the whole development of the theme as I was prone to do in those days. However, I kept the pin through all these years. I also kept the Order of the Long Leaf Pine granting me the unique post of Ambassador Extraordinary entitled to give the official State of North Carolina toast in select company anywhere in the free world.
I wonder if that is why I memorized the toast in Jr. High School?
So in memory of Dean Claude McKinney please raise your glass-
Here's to the land
of the long leaf pine,
The summer land
where the sun doth shine,
Where the weak grow strong
and the strong grow great,
Here's to "down home"
the old North State!