Found this old e-mail to my friend , Watson “Possum” Hale. Watson is one of eastern North Carolina’s great storytellers:
Dr. Dick Pittman JR.’s wife’s obit is in todays paper. Perhaps the most revered property in the history of Wilson for a college student was the downstairs apartment at Dr. Pittman Sr.’s home on Raleigh Road. Some how you and Smithwick got the apartment for one of your record setting summer school re-admission requirements.
Visiting my teammates John Eskew and Jack Boyd, fellow ACC summer school sweethearts, they led me to the first MAN CAVE, aka the Pittman apartment.
We could hardly find a place to park. The “Firedome” was in slot one, with two tickets on the windshield. Upon entering the cave and the party I thought, “…the fire department doesn’t know about this. Nor the college or the Pittmans. Later on the bar scene from STAR WARS reminded me of that evening.
On a subsequent occasion I asked you guys if the Pittmans had any idea what was going on down there? “Hell they joined in. Dr. Pittman was worse than any of us!”
Tales about Wilson and the Pittman crowd flowed, followed by fact that you had to watch them, rather than the other way around.
One scene had you guys outside the door when Lula Norris (Senior’s wife) was too drunk to get through the door. Dr. Pittman: “God dammit, Lula Norris, get you ass inside and up to the bedroom!”
Later I lived in Wilson 25 years. Got to know Dick Jr. pretty well. Also a character of note. Jimmy Pittman just watched and laughed them.
I hope this is about right. I can’t do justice to you, Wilson, Kinston, story tellers Later Earl I joined the Elk’s Club. The Pittman legacy was widespread. Everyone had Doctor Pittman story.
Glad I was a witness. a friend to you, POSS.
ps. Russell Rawlings added that later a younger Bert Wiggins sort of ended things by setting off a cherry bomb in their kitchen.