Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Hugh Morton

Posted January 8, 2006

My thoughts and prayers are with Hugh Morton this week as he undergoes treatment for cancer in Chapel Hill. Morton has long been one of my heroes. You may know him as the guy who owns Grandfather Mountain. He is also an outstanding photographer but so much more. I don't know if anyone loves North Carolina more than Hugh. He has always been a man with a mission. He worked hard to get the USS North Carolina at Wilmington. He logged countless hours trying to save the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. He has worked tirelessly to expose the brutal effects of acid rain on the mountains. He has provided conservation easements to thousands of acres of his land in the mountains to protect them from unwise development. Morton has made a good living but he has also "given back" in so many ways. He once told me in an interview that he felt he would never get to heaven if he did anything to desecrate the mountains. "I don't feel like I own the land. I believe I am just a guardian." As I was watching the State-Carolina basketball game yesterday I thought again of Hugh. He has snapped thousands of photographs over the years at UNC basketball games. No matter who we're pulling for in basketball we're all pulling for you Hugh in your medical challenge.

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