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Interview with Jeff Sawyer

Sawyer, Jeff
Thorson, Dan
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with people and places; Tolerance and respect
Jeffrey Sawyer talks about moving to Charlotte and the things he enjoys doing as a teen.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Dan Thorson interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
DT (Dan Thorson): Guess it's on. [Pause]
JS (Jeff Sawyer): Hi, um, one of my favorite memories is probably when I got a call from my cousin and they told me that he was going to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Well they called me and I, we were talking about it how, how exciting it would be for all of our family to go out there so they called me about a week later and told me to pack my bags and you're coming out here to Hawaii with us. So I was very excited and I had a, we fly, I flew to, I flew by myself 'cause all my family was like split up cause we all have to leave on different days. Some had to work, and um some had to go to school and things like that. So I, I was the last one to leave out of Charlotte. My, on the way there I flew from Charlotte to Chicago. I stayed there about a hour and a half, maybe two hours, and then I jumped on a plane and went to San Francisco, stayed there about two and a half hours, and then flew all the way to, um, Honolulu, Hawaii. We got there and I kind of had jet lag. It was still early there, still early 'cause when I left, when I left from North Carolina it was like, maybe, hmm, twelve, eleven o'clock AM. And then when I got there it maybe like a twelve, twelve hour flight plus the hours I had to, um, have my layover and stuff like that. So it was, it was a long flight and I got there and we, they shuttled me around. Um, we rent cars we drove around got to see each other's hotel cause I didn't stay in the hotel with my cousin 'cause the players had to stay in one hotel and then um like the families stayed in another hotel. So we went to his hotel, I met a couple of the players then, um, we went to my hotel and that was right on the beach. That was lovely. So then we just, you look out my window and you could see the beach like all different kinds of races of people laying on the beach and things like that. You could see the, um, sailboats and, and, and boats and people surfing and all types of things. It was so nice. Wonderful, clear blue water, and it was, it was just so wonderful. Like when we were there you seen so many races there, like the air was clean, it was, you could breathe better, well that was from my point of view. And um, so when, um, so when we went to my hotel we seen all that, it was all, I went, we went to sleep, and then the next day we woke up. My uncle he came, we went snorkeling and we went shopping a little bit. We walked a long, long strip, the strip had to have been about three or four miles long with stores, shops, and different things like that. And there was a lot of people there from everywhere. A lot of cheerleaders who were participating in the Pro Bowl, and it was, it was a lot of students there, lot of different students. We went to the college, we went to a couple of different malls. We took a trolley around, and mostly that day that was it. And then we went out to eat. And then on the second day we, we went out to eat. That was the day before the Pro Bowl. We went out to eat at this, um, seafood restaurant. It was real nice. They had like a big party there for players and his family. And we danced and then we met a lot of different kind of people and things like that which I thought that was real nice. And then the next day we went to the Pro Bowl. It was, it was maybe about hmm noon-ish, yeah, and it was about ninety something degrees. About 97 degrees, I would say. It was so hot. I was like "Oooff." But luckily we were still sitting in the shade, it was still that hot. And, and well the side my cousin played on, they won. And then so we went out to eat after that, then our family we celebrated since they won. And then the next few days we just went around, hung out with our family, went shopping some more, went to the beach some more, did all types of things. And my little cousins they went to like the, um, zoo. It was, it was just wonderful, a wonderful experience. And then, and on the way home it was, it was long, long. It seemed like forever, it seemed like forever. I went to, I was, I left from Honolulu went to San Francisco, no went to Honolulu went to Chicago and then went to, was in Chicago about an hour and a half and went to Lan, um, Charlotte and then arrived in Charlotte, went to school, still had time to go to school that was the good thing about that. And then I had a tan. People were ( ), uh, I missed everybody. I got to talk to all the people I missed and that's a real good experience for me. That's one of my memories I'll never forget. Oh, one time where, was, another memory I have is when I moved from Lansing, Michigan to Charlotte, North Carolina. It was, it was in December getting ready to start. No it was, no it was in January getting ready to start the second semester of school. So when we moved down here we were already out on winter break and I came down here. It was very hot compared to Michigan where it was snowing and stuff. I came down here and I arrived here. I moved on the, east side of Charlotte and I attended McClintock Middle School until I went to, and when I graduated from there I went to Myers Park High for a quarter then I moved on the west side of Charlotte and now I'm at West Charlotte High School. And it's, and it's, I like, I like, um, the experience I've had through different schools. I know it's been three for the last couple of years. And, but to me I don't look at it as a negative way I look always as a positive way. I got to meet people, see more teachers, experience more things, and I thought that was a real good thing for me. But now when I arrived here I, I, it was, it was just amazing. I got art class, like one of the best English teachers, and it was just so amazing. And I liked, I liked the environment, the principle, he was nice. And I'm still here again for my sophomore year and it's even better now. Um, we have a new principle, new administrators but I still like, I still love the school. I'll never, I'll never, I'll always love the school. And I'm doing, still doing good, making the honor roll, so that's how I think that's a very good experience. Where, whereas in my life I can look back and say I, I've been three different schools in three years and, and say, say that's and I've been doing, and I'm still doing well, still doing excellent. And I think that for most people they may have troubles doing that may, may affect their ability to learn in school or ability to do other types of things. But me I look, like I said I look into a positive way and things that go bad I just try and switch it around, you know, to a point where it's better and that's how I feel about that. And then one time we were up in, we were going to Michigan, me and my cousins. It was me, my cousin her sister, and her two daughters. So we were driving up there, my cousin was like two and the other one was like one, and I remember one of them got real sick we had to keep pulling over. It usually takes like 12 hours drive there, like 11 to 12 hours and it took us 15, 16 hours to get there. But, so, when we got there her dad flew up there and he came back and he got her 'cause she wasn't feeling too well and we didn't think that she could, um, take it, um, driving again, driving riding in the car, so he just took her back with him. But the younger one she stayed in the car, she did real good. I was proud of that. When we went up there I seen what my family, we got together did types of things, played games, talked, bring up old memories, you know, things like that. My grandma cooked. People just happy to see each other. Imagine you know how much I had grown since the last time they seen me, how different I look. Um, it was, it was wonderful. I like, I really like being with my family in that way 'cause family to me is like very important. 'Cause family i-, that's like, like one of the most important things in your life. For me, I, well for mostly everybody I think because if you have family, a positive family I think, I think that that can help you in the long run and, and in your everyday life. Like if you have somebody you can talk to in your family like when you get together people in your family that love you and things like that. My grandma I consider her not just my grandmother, I just consider her as one of my best friends 'cause I talk to my grandma. I talk to her about anything and she'll call me and I'll call her and most young people my age doesn't have a relationship with their grandmother. Well, I think that's good. You, you can have a relationship with an older person where you could teach them things and then they could teach you things. Well I think that's real good. And me and my mom we have that relation, that kind of relationship too. But I think that's good with your parent or your guardian. One time I remember when, um, I went to Iowa, whew. It was like so cold like below five it was winter it was right before New Year's. We were on winter vacation. It was me, my aunt, her husband, and their two kids who went there to visit my uncle's family. And um, I thought it was a real good experience I got to see like, like the farm. Like I never seen a sign where it says watch out for cro, ah um, crossing cows so I thought that was funny when I first seen that 'cause where I'm from it's usually like deers, but when I seen that cows and, um, a lot of farm land where my uncle's family they own a farm in the country but they live in the city too. And things like, I never heard of they heard of, and whatever I heard of they never heard of. I thought well you know I can help them out by that or they can help me out by that. We got to play basketball at my uncle's church which I thought was wonderful. His son goes to, um, his son goes to a college and plays, um, basketball there, Christian college where his sister goes there too. And, but I'm proud of them. So when we went there we went sledding down like real big hills. My cousin and I went rabbit hunting and did different things like that. And on our way back, um, like maybe three hours from where my cousin lives, my uncle family lives, my cousin had a friend that used to go to high school with her in Michigan that moved out to Iowa, so we stopped by there and they were so happy to see each other. She rode back with us to Michigan and stayed there for the rest of the vacation and they got up on old times and hung out and stuff. What I thought that was cool but I had, we were, we were in an SUV and I sat way in the back and like I kind of I started getting car sick I was like, "Oh no." Well that's what I think. I think that was still a good experience, still a positive experience where I seen all these different types of people and like farms and stuff 'cause I really never got to see stuff like that 'cause I'm like from the city. Got to feed horses ride horses and different things like that. Well, that's about it. Thanks.