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Interview with Matthew Temprosa

Temprosa, Matthew
Moose, Brett
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with people and places
Matthew Temprosa talks about moving to Charlottte from Jersey.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Brett Moose interviewed Charlotte, NC residents to collect various stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
BM (Brett Moose): Hello, this is Brett Moose again and today I'm going to be talking to Mr. Matthew Temprosa who is currently employed in Charlotte.
MT (Matthew Temprosa): Hi. Um, my name's uh, Matthew Temprosa. [Clears throat] I'm 26. I work at Sea Land Service, Inc. and I deal with, uh, computers and LANs and computer networks and stuff like that. Uh, I've been out of school or dropped out of school for about five, six years now and, uh, lived in, you know, I think I-, actually I've been out of school now for about four years and lived in Charlotte for about seven. So, um, one thing I was going to talk about was. [clears throat] Just how much, uh, the north Charlotte area has changed a lot. [Clears throat] I remember living in, uh, U.T. or University Terrace, um, right across from UNCC actually. And, uh, it was me, uh, Tom, Frank and Eric and we had a lot, a lot of wild times over there, but I remember one time. // ( ) //
BM: // Now was // this early in your college career, Matt?
MT: [Clears throat] Oh, yeah. This is like, uh, second semester of freshman year. So we moved over there [clears throat] pretty, uh, pretty early just because we hated the dorms. Um, or they hated the dorms, I should say. But, um, so we were living over there and nothing was developed around here, um, University Place, the only thing out there was a McDonald's and a theater. And, uh, actually we lived right next to a cow pasture [laughs] which is kind of funny 'cause, uh, Tom and Frank, they would, uh, they had BB guns, and they would like go in there [laughs] and start shooting the cows. Oh, man, I, uh, it was so embarrassing because like at night you would hear this little "chink," and "moo."
BM: // [Laughs] //
MT: // So // it was crazy [clears throat] but, um, so, it's, it, it's changed a lot up here, I remember, uh, when first we moved up here, I moved down here I should say, there was, uh, construction on Harris Boulevard, they were still creating Harris Boulevard from like, probably most of the construction was around, uh, the Sugar, the Sugar Creek Extension to where Harris and Sharon Amity divide up.
BM: Now what year was it that we're looking at here, Matt?
MT: Uh, this is about '93, // '93-. //
BM: // Ninet-. //
MT: -So there was nothing, there was nothing as far as, um, like I said, University Place didn't exist, the Wal-Mart didn't exist, uh, the Best Buy and all that didn't exist. The closest ABC store was at Cheshire Place on, near, Harris, on Harris, way past the First Union. [Clears throat] But, um, the reason that, uh, that I moved down here is actually, // um-. //
BM: // Now // where'd you move from?
MT: Well, actually I'm from New Jersey, South Orange, it's like northern Jersey, I don't know if you've ever been up there but, uh, Jersey, Jersey's really different from [laughs] North Carolina, I mean there's-, you don't get any kind of like the weather, the weather is totally different. Up there it's, it's overcast, if it's sunny, it's still gray all the time, it's-, it sucks. And the people, I mean the people are nice only if you know them. If you don't know them, they don't give a jack about you. // [Laughs] //
BM: // [Laugh] //
MT: And, let's-, I mean, it's not like it's different from everywhere you know, but like it, it was pretty cool in it's own way because you've got New York City right next door to it. But anyway. [Clears throat] It's al-, the big reason that I came down here is, this-, and this happens like every year whenever I go home, is there will always be some new person like or someone we've-, I've never met before like over at Christmas or over one of the holidays, they always ask me why the heck did I move like 10, 12 hours away. And I always tell them, "Well, because it's 10, 12 hours away." [Laugh] Now, the reason is, my brother, uh, my brother Tom, he's, uh, he's about six years older than me, so when he went away to college, he was, uh, let's see [clears throat] he went up to Rhode Island and went to, uh, Johnson and Wales University. That's basically a, a Hotel, Business Administration and Travel, yadda-yadda college. Anyway, and so he went up there you know and he was like, "Hey. I'm finally free," you know, "I'm away from the parents." But it was only about four, maybe three and a half, four, four and a half hours away. So after he moved up there [clears throat] you know like I said, um, he was 18 at the time so I was like 12. We would go up there like almost every other weekend without calling. I'm talking without fail. We would just jump in the car, not even every other weekend, it would just be like just some weekend the parents would decide, "Let's not call him up and let's just go up there and // surprise him." //
BM: // And just // show up at his dorm room?
MT: Oh, yeah and specif-, specifically we'd just show up at his dorm room and [laughs] we [laughs], we didn't care what in the heck he was doing that day, you know, what-, I don't even know if he like, I don't even know if he had a job or not because we'd always would just pop up and he'd have to just drop everything. [Laughs] It, it sucked. I remember a couple of times, like you know you have to get signed into a dorm to, to, uh, to enter. I remember a couple times having to ask for, for wherever he lived and then trying, you know finding out what building it was and wander-, wandering out throughout Providence, Rhode Island you know, driving the streets looking for this college dorm then finally find the building and then they'd make me go in, of course.
BM: And you were 12 years old?
MT: Yep, 12 years old, 12, 13 years old at this time. Depending on what ( ) or whatever. But, uh, yeah, so I'd go in there and [laugh] they're like, they call up Tom on the phone. They're like, "Thomas, your, your parents are here, your little brother's here." [Laughs] I'd always hear, "What?"
BM: // [Laugh] //
MT: // [Laughs] // I'd always hear, they go-, and he's like, "Oh, man. Who's in the lobby?" And they're like, "Oh, it's just your brother." "All right. Send him up." So I'd find out-, I'd find his dorm room and he, he'd be like totally trashed from like a night of partying or there might be a girl over which he would have to like quickly stash away somewhere [laugh] and he'd tell them like, "OK, time to see you, bye-bye." // [Laughs] //
BM: // [Laughs] //
MT: And so we would automatically, you know, he would start scrambling, you know, and have to get like five guys to just-, try to clean up all the stuff everywhere.
BM: In other words, beer bottles.
MT: Yeah. Beer bottles and ( ) you know, uh, beer bongs, whatever, you know, cigarettes, you know, wo-, women's bras, everywhere, just-.
BM: // [Laughs] //
MT: // Stuff // everywhere and they would have to try to clean it up. And of course, you know, before like my parents are-, I was like, "Yeah. They're parked in the car. You'd better hurry." [Laugh]
BM: // [Laughs] //
MT: // And // of course, everyone's trying to scramble to clean this dude's room. And, like I said, without fail, we would do this-, I don't know, every two, three weeks, maybe-, they might stop for like a month and then he'd get into that, that lull of calm where, like, you know, he's just like, he doesn't think they'll show up anymore and then, boom, they'll just show up.
BM: So he didn't ever take precautions to have the place clean? // Or-. //
MT: // Well. //
BM: -Make sure there wasn't any incriminating evidence for you guys to find?
MT: Oh, no, no, no, no. Oh, God no because he always knew anyway, like if my parents showed up, my mom would like straighten up. [Laughs]
BM: // [Laughs] //
MT: // [Laughs] // She would always kind of straighten up a little but it was like, uh, you know, you're, you're in college and all of a sudden you're, you've got a party developing in your room you know? What are you going to do? You are going to have the party.
BM: And you know your room will be messy the next night anyway.
MT: Oh, yeah. So, so anyway, after seeing this for about three or four years occurring, you know, I think they finally slacked off by this senior year. [Laugh] And for, you know, watching this happen, I decided, you know, "I love my parents but there's no way that I'm going to let this happen to me."
BM: // [Laugh] //
MT: // So, // so, so finally, you know, I was in, I-, you know, I went to Seton Hall University for a year, uh, for a year up in New Jersey, South Orange, New Jersey. Now, Seton Hall University is in South Orange, I'm from South Orange and that's about four blocks away from where I used to live.
BM: Uh-huh.
MT: So I was like, there's no way. I mean it was a cool, it was a cool little college. I used to party all the time. But, you know, I just didn't want to live with my parents anymore you know I just kind of wanted to get away, four blocks away isn't going to quite cut it. So there was this one time I had this, uh, friend, his name was Pete. Pete, Frank and I, Frank was my roommate down here, Pete, Frank and I, Frank went to this school at Seton Hall also. We decided-, uh, Pete decided that he wanted to surprise his parents, uh, he'd surprise his parents for Easter. And he knew that, you know, I was kind of, you know, uh, spon-, spontaneous. So he asked me if I would go and this is like before Easter and I was like, "Sure, I will just tell my parents I am leaving." [Laughs] So [laugh], I, I left them a note saying I wasn't going to be around at Easter. And they weren't too thrilled about that. But um, so me, uh, Frank, Pete and I, we, uh, hopped into my Cadillac, we had-, I had this big old boat. It was like this 1984, uh, Cadillac Sedan de Ville.
BM: A land yacht.
MT: Oh, God. This thing got 10 gallons to the-, uh, 10, 10 miles to the gallon.
BM: [Laughs]
MT: We stopped like four times just to get to North Carolina.
BM: Oh, so Pete's parents live here?
MT: Pete's parents, what happened was, Pete, uh, Pete was from New Jersey, but his parents, during the middle of his freshman year, decided to move down here, 'cause his dad got a job for Interstate Johnson Lane. They're, you know, like the Inter-, Interstate Johnson Lane building downtown. So, he was, uh, like a major, uh, he was a major buying trainer, uh, because they're like you know, stocks and funds, and stuff, stuff, stuff like that. So he decided, you know, they decided in the middle of the year, like around October, something like that, to move down to North Carolina, Charlotte because that's where the company was. So for Easter, like I said, Pete, uh, he, he wanted to surprise his parents and just drive down here. And so he asked me and I said, "Sure." So we hopped in the car all three of us and, um, decided well, let's, uh, let's just go down and you know, surprise them and so we were driving down here and his parents are like, we walk into Interstate Johnson, Interstate John Lane building and there's like some heavy security in there, there are like guards in there and everything and we decided just to walk in and go straight to the elevators and go right to the floor where his dad worked. Now it's real funny 'cause we, uh, we went up to the counter, asked where you know, where Joe Baxter works, and he was a brand new guy but he was still like an upper-level manager so they told us where he was and we just, they went like, "Can we help you?" And we're like, "No that's fine." So we [laughs] walk into the elevators and man, about, about five seconds after we walked out of the elevators some, some rent-a-cops, you know, some security guards are right behind us. So we were like walking real, power walking through this office where we knew he would be-.
BM: // [Laugh] //
MT: // -[Laugh] And // they were like, and we finally get there and then the security guards are right behind us and his dad has to like wave them off like, "It's OK. It's all right. This is my son." And, you know, he was just, his mouth dropped and. // ( ) //
BM: // Had // no idea you were coming?
MT: Oh, no. Not at all. And he, the way that Pete, uh, convinced us to come down was that he told us that if we drove him down, he'd pay for a weekend at Myrtle Beach.
BM: Wow.
MT: Yeah. Yeah, [laughs], so like why not? So we go down there and um, let me see, it was a total surprise for him and uh, eventually went to his new house that he neve-, I don't think he'd ever even been there. And his mother was just screaming, "Aaaaah, you're home, you're home." And we're like, "Oh God." And uh, she's like, you know, she-, he introduced us, um, to his mom and we had, we had a, we had holiday there and after that we, you know, spent the weekend in, um, Myrtle Beach and came back. But Frank and I, we were talking because you know, Seaton Hall was great, but you know he wanted a change too and he didn't really give a, a darn about, uh, where he went to school and I told him, uh, that the school down here was like 6,000 dollars actually it was like 8,000 dollars cheaper. Four thousand dollars a year or something like that. Or four thousand dollars a semester. So he transferred down to CPCC and we transferred down to the school at UNCC years ago. And, um, it was just a total-, we were just like, you know, it just so much nicer here, the girls were a lot prettier. Not that the girls weren't pretty in New Jersey, it's just that a lot of times it's so damn cold that you never get to see anything, you know what I mean?
BM: // [Laughs] //
MT: // [Laugh] // So, anyway, so we just decided, you know, we went back up north and told our parents we were going to transfer and they're like, "Where is North Carolina?" you know. [Laughs] They had no idea. My parents were fresh off the boat pretty much. I mean, they've been here as long as I've been alive I was born and raised in New Jersey but, you know, they didn't know the US that much. And they're like, "How far away is it?" And I'm like, "Well, it's only about, um, 600 miles." And I was like-, they're like, "Oh. 600 hundred miles. How long does that take?" "About 10, 12 hours." [Laugh] "10, 12 hours?" So to this day. And, and they're, like I said, the reason that I moved down here was because it was 10, 12 hours away. And to this day, my parents have only driven down here twice. [Laugh] They've only driven down here twice to see me, you know. I-, it's not that they don't, they don't, we don't get along, we get along great. For about three or four days.
BM: Is it a rather spontaneous show-up for your parents?
MT: No, no. Oh no. This is-, the first time they drove me was the first time they dropped me off. [Laugh] And then like another time they came to see me was actually because they were driving through town to go to South Carolina for a convention. [Laughs] So, it's, it's not, like I said, it's not that I don't love my parents, and it's not that I don't miss them you know, 'cause I will go every once in a while, but I've never had to worry about them just showing up. They never show up, ever [laughs] 'cause if they showed up, they'd have to call like three or four times just to make sure I was there, to make sure that the trip was worth it, you know. And I travel a lot now, too. So they, they would, they would never think of doing it now. So a lot of times I travel to work. Like I go to like Puerto Rico or Alaska or Florida or somewhere like that for work. But um, yeah, so things have really changed and, uh, like I said, that's, that's why I moved up, why I moved down here is that one, it's far, far away. ( ) And it was also, it was also much nicer climate and the place is just beautiful. You know when you compared New Jersey to North Carolina, I didn't-, like you see like there was, when I first moved down here, you didn't see like any trash like throughout downtown or anything, it was always really clean looking. Even now it's all fairly, you know, a pretty clean city compared to like if you drive through New York and you know, first you drive through Chinatown, then Little Italy and then Greenwich Village and then drive past, uh, you know NYU and then Central Park , you know, and all the-, each one of those places it's just like not necessarily a bad smell but it's just like each one has it's own s-, scent you know and each place is just like, it's not necessarily great sometimes especially like if it's really hot or it's really cold, man. But um, that's, uh, that's probably the, that's the main reason I moved down here I mean and the other reasons I moved down here is the people are nicer, you know, and even, even the first year I lived down here, in a way it was weird because I hated it but I loved it just 'cause you know you're homesick after while, you miss you know, you miss going to the city. You know, you compare New York with Charlotte and it like dwarfs it in comparison. But like now after I've been here seven years you know, I know where all the, you know, the cool places are to go and I've got a bunch of friends and you know even if I don't-, if no place is open or something like that or, I can still call up a bunch of friends and we can all hang out and chill. And it's, you know, it's just wherever you go, it's, it's fun just as long as you've got friends. So that's something I've, I've definitely realized by being in a different city and not really knowing anyone at first. That's why I say I really hated it. And you know, that first year you're still just making friends and trying to get adjusted and you know, you're trying to get into a new school and you're on your own for the first time and it's just really strange and probably a lot of, a lot of college kids go through this and it's just that you've got that whole adjustment period. It's either you just get into it really quickly or you just eventually you'll do it and fortunately for me, like I said, it took me a full year to finally learn to love Charlotte, but I, I, you know, I made friends pretty quickly. It was just that Charlotte itself seemed pretty dull at first and then, like I said now there's tons of things that I, you know, they just built that Carolina, or Concord Mills and Starlight Cinema and all those things, Frick N Frock, or [laughs] there are tons of places around here now that are just kind of cool to go to and you don't even have to leave the north Charlotte area if you didn't want to, to have a good time. I remember when you'd have to travel to like downtown there was only like two places you could go to anyway. You know, you could go to, uh, well, back then it ABM was called something else.
BM: Jonathan's.
MT: That's right. It was called Jonathan's. And uh, they had, uh, I don't know if they still have it downstairs but they had jazz there and they, they probably still have it down there now and Nympho's has been around forever and let's see, where else could you go? And you can go to The Cellar and you could go to the Pterodactyl Club or you could go to Scorpio's. Scorpio's if for if you're gay or if you are daring. Everybody went to the Pterodactyl like on Thursdays and Fridays and everybody went to The Cellar on Tuesdays, because it was, uh, it was kind of like [cough] uh, strip contest there and-.
BM: Oh, right.
MT: [Laugh] Anyway [laugh] but anyway, things have really changed over the years and I, I just love Charlotte and I think it's pretty cool. So that's why I've stayed around here and I'll probably I don't know, I might even live here for the rest of my life, we'll see. But it's great. I love it here.
BM: All right. Well, that was Matt, everybody and thanks for talking to me, Matt. Good bye.
MT: Bye.