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Monologue by W.D. Hutchins

Hutchins, W.D.
Stewart, Matthew
Date of Interview: 
Realtionships with people and places; Childhood adventures; Then and now
W.D. Hutchins talks about growing up in a small town and going to UNCC.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Matthew Stewart interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
WH (W.D. Hutchins): I grew up in a really small town, there's not really much to say about it. The people aren't really weird, they're just normal country people. There's no, crazy, uh [pause], radicals or anything like that that live there. Everybody has really conservative ways, and everything's the old way. Uh, nobody listens to weird music or anything, it's all whatever's playing on the radio. The biggest thing to ever happen to our county was, uh, when WalMart was built. It's pretty amazing, I guess, not really. Uh [pause] [sniff]. The high school I went to was really small, about 200, not even 200 people in my graduating class. Uh, I think it started out with like 250 something people my freshman year and went down to like 180 something. There's a lot of people that drop out of high school and try to get jobs and stuff like that. And most people that do graduate, either get a job or stay at the community college nearby and will eventually drop out of community college and, try to get a job. Uh, [pause] [sniff]. I played a lot of sports in high school. My freshman year I played, uh, uh, wrestling in the winter, and uh, which I'd done for years before. We were pretty good it was like the first year our high school ever had a team and we weren't that bad. Then in the spring we played baseball, and my high school's got a really big tradition, with like baseball, we always win everything, usually. It's like supposed to be a big honor to be on the team, but I didn't think it was that big a deal. And, uh, sports were like a really big part of our county. High school football, every Friday night that's all anybody ever did was go to the football game. Especially like we, we had a movie theater that, I mean, they didn't even show movies until they had been in theaters for like a month later. It's pretty sad. We actually just got a Waffle House like, a month ago. There's like a Waffle House everywhere, and we finally got one, we were like the last place to get one [sniff]. Oh, back to high school. Like, uh, all through high school all I pretty much did was concentrate on sports. I was never in any clubs or anything like that. Uh, I was a pretty smart kid, but I didn't really, uh, try to do well. I just kind of got by in high school. My grades you can kind of tell, kind of regret that now, but, I don't know, it's all right. Uh [pause], my senior year, uh, the wrestling team we were really good, made it to the state playoffs and lost in the second round which isn't bad for a school that's only had a team for four years. Uh, it came to baseball, we were really good all through my high school career and uh, we were in the state playoffs and, uh, we played a team that we probably should have played in the final game of the state playoffs, but instead we got them in the first round. Got beat. It was really weird when it was over 'cause everybody was crying and stuff, and I was actually glad it was over. I got tired of a lot of the people on my baseball team. A lot of them were a bunch of assholes [sniff] [pause]. I was pretty lucky living in the county I lived in. Like, a lot of people in the county were pretty poor. And the county overall was poor, but, both of my parents had good jobs that they didn't have to worry about losing it or something like that. My dad worked at the-, works at the hospital. He's, uh, a x-ray tech. My mom's a school teacher so, we don't have to worry about that. My grandparents are-, uh, have an old general store. Washburn General Store. It's been there since 1900, and, uh, it's been in the family for generations so, we've always been pretty well-off, and we really don't have to worry about money too much. Well my, my immediate family does, but my grandparents and stuff don't. Graduated high school, came here to UNC Charlotte, want to be an electrical engineer. Took my first semester way too lightly, thought it was going to be like high school all over. And my GPA was down way low. And, uh, I did a little bit better the second semester but not hardly near enough. And then, uh, my third semester I started stepping it up a little bit, did a, did a lot better but it's still hard to bring up my overall GPA. And, uh, this semester hopefully I'll be doing pretty good. A lot of other things I did in high school other than sports and stuff like that was, uh, I always loved flying, and uh, we had an airport in our county, a really nice airport that, uh, you could, you could learn to fly there. Not a lot of people did it, but I did, uh, I did it one summer, the summer in between, uh, the summer after my junior year in high school. I worked uh 60 hours a week at a plant. Went in everyday at five, got off at three. That was killer, I hated that, but the money was good. And, uh, spent thousands of dollars learning how to fly. I really loved it, it's like such a release to be up there by yourself with nobody else around, you can't hear anybody. It's just like you're in a totally different world when you're looking down on the earth like that. And, uh, that got me into other stuff like sky diving and stuff, which really scares the hell out of me, every-, when I went that one time [sniff], it was fun as crap but you look back on it and it keeps you up at night wondering what would happen if uh stuff wouldn't have worked right and you'd have died. Used to worry about stuff like that, sometimes, I don't see how people do it all the time. I had a lot of buddies I met at the airport that, uh, flew with me, that were my age. And uh, we used to hang out all the time and stuff, but now that I'm off at college I never talk to them anymore. They're all kind of different. One of them goes to Brevard College which is three hours away, he was a cool guy but, uh, he-, we don't talk anymore. Uh, my other buddy was-, uh, he went to Greenville Tech no, ITT Tech in Greenville. He, uh, after he graduated this last March he, uh, signed up for the Air Force, nobody knows why, it's not like he's going to fly or anything. I don't know what he's going to do. Another guy I lived there with, not lived there with, but hung out with, he, uh, I don't know what he's doing now. He always wanted to be a commercial airline pilot, but, uh, I don't think he ever had the determination to actually get done with 'cause it's a lot of work. You have to fly a lot of hours and read a lot of books and stuff, pass a lot of tests [pause], [sniff]. We used to do really stupid stuff at the airport, like when an airplane would be coming in landing, we'd would go out there and lay at the very end of the runway and watch the airplane pass over us to land. That's how boring our county was, nothing to do [sniff]. We used to get in this airplane, a Popper Cove, it's just a really simple airplane that doesn't have a door on it, it's like you're just looking out. All the wind blows in and stuff, we used to fly up to this lake, Lake James that was a big lake, and we'd get down close to the water, like six inches off the water [sniff] and buzz the people on boats and stuff. Sometimes they'd get really pissed off, but it was fun, it was stupid now that I look at it, but it was fun. We used to, on cold nights, we used to see how high we could take the smallest airplane [sniff]. It'd be like the middle of January when it's like 15 degrees outside, we'd get in the airplane at night and travel up to-, we got up to 11,000 feet one time. It was so cold, that was the coldest I'd ever been in my whole life. It took us like 45 minutes to get up there and 20 minutes to get back down. It was weird, that was the first, it was my first time ever flying at night too and it was kind of scary. Uh, one time we got really bored and we took this old parachute, that was uh, in the storage at the airport, and uh, they strapped it on me, and they put a rope around my waist and tied it to the back of a truck. We thought we were going to go paragliding and, uh, it was like the worst idea ever 'cause it wasn't the right kind of chute to do that. It was a round chute, where you-, it doesn't have any lift so all I would have done was just drag behind the truck [laugh], at a really slow pace and it would have really hurt. And, uh, we did all kinds of stupid stuff like that, surprised we didn't kill ourselves. [Cough] I don't get to fly much anymore, it's uh, too expensive, don't have enough income. I'll pick it back up one day when I have steady income, I guess. Probably won't be able to, probably have a family that'll be draining all my money but that's all right [sniff]. Who knows? Now all I do pretty much is, uh, extracurricular at school is uh, rock climb, our school-, Charlotte's got a really nice indoor climbing wall [sniff] in the student activity center and, uh, I go up there three nights a week and climb. It's a really good workout, and I really come to love rock climbing, it's pretty cool. There's a lot of nice guys that climb and you hang out with and stuff. When I'm not in class or, uh, not climbing or hanging out with my girlfriend or something like that we-, uh, me and my roommates we hang out in the living room and play guitars a lot. We talk about music a lot, it's pretty [sniff], pretty important thing right now. We, we don't like-, we like classic rock sounding stuff from Hendrix to Blind Melon to Dave Matthews, just a little bit of everything. We can't stand rap [laugh], well at least all but one of our roommates. He, all he does is listen to Eminem and sometimes it bothers us, but we've almost got him converted, listening to classic rock. And, uh, been dating this girl Lauren for a really long time, and, uh, four-, it'll be five years in May. She goes here, she's a freshman, I'm a sophomore. And, uh, she's a really cool girl, and, uh, we have a good time together. And, uh, we don't fight over petty stuff, it's a really good relationship. We're always there for each other. It's pretty cool. Finals are coming up next week, I'm really dreading that. End of the semester really snuck up on me. My classes are pretty tough this time. Calc II is giving me a hard time, hope I do, hope I at least get a C in there. Physics isn't too bad, but it's not easy. My other classes aren't too bad at all. But finals just really snuck up on me. Hope it'll be, hope I'll do good on all my tests and stuff, and on top of all that this week I've just got sick and can't breathe for anything. My nose is all stopped up. It's horrible [laugh]. Guess that's about all I can say. Got a horrible headache. Can't eat, don't want to do nothing but sleep. I haven't even had a meal today, and it's nine-thirty at night. All I've had to eat is a Hershey pie from Burger King. Oh yeah, and a slice of pizza at like 12 o'clock. All that did was make my stomach worse, both of them. It's pretty stupid, I guess. Took some crazy medicine that my roommate's girlfriend gave me. It was, it was strong but it just like, it makes you wired but then it makes you want to go to sleep. Then it makes you wired then it makes you want to go to sleep [laugh]. Drove me insane. I'd lay down to go to bed then I'd have to wake up.