Looking forward to attending West Charlotte
This excerpt offers a brief look at West Charlotte High School's important presence in the Charlotte community and how its cultural, athletic, and academic reputation appealed to young people. The interviewer asks how Hamlin knew attending West Charlotte would be a good experience. Hamlin responds that since junior high school he had been attending football games and plays at West Charlotte, and looked forward to the educational and artistic opportunities available there.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with William Hamlin, May 29, 1998. Interview K-0169. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
PG: What sort of things was it that made you think this was going to be good?
WH: Well, I knew that there were going to be a lot of opportunities. As far as seeing some of my neighbors’ children involved in the arts, being involved in the band, achieving in the foreign languages. Some summer days the kids would sit out on the porch and they would either speak Spanish or French. And I always felt, “Why am I not able to do this?” And, especially my older sister, she took, I think, French three years in high school. And she and our neighbors, they would just have good strong conversations. And I wanted to be a part of that, so I knew that I was going to be challenged or opportunities were going to be placed in front of me that I really had not experienced before. So, I was really anticipating that, and seeing other kids around us really achieve highly and offered scholarships and the like, I thought that that was going to get me a good--. That would challenge me to do much better than probably what I’d done in junior high.
PG: That is exciting. At that point were you going to West Charlotte events such as football games and basketball games?
WH: Oh yes. Actually, I started going to West Charlotte High School, the football events probably when I was in the seventh grade, just West Charlotte events. Now, before then I’d been attending events in elementary school, at Second Ward, because my brother played on the football team. So I saw athletic events. But I started attending more West Charlotte events probably when I got in the seventh grade because they had a lot of plays. They had at least two plays per year at Northwest Junior High School, because we had the auditorium when they moved to the larger school. So I went to at least two plays a year. Naturally, I went to a lot of sporting events, football specifically. My sister was a part of the chorus at the time, so I would go up to West Charlotte to see recitals on her behalf. I had a neighbor who was a pretty good artist and I went up there to see some displays that he had drawn and that sort of thing. So I had begun to get a feel of West Charlotte before I got there, so that sort of heightened the anticipation.