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Title: Oral History Interview with Bill Hull, June 21, 2001. Interview K-0844. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Hull, Bill, interviewee
Interview conducted by McGinnis, Chris
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 220 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Wanda Gunther and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-12-11, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Bill Hull, June 21, 2001. Interview K-0844. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0844)
Author: Chris McGinnis
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Bill Hull, June 21, 2001. Interview K-0844. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0844)
Author: Bill Hull
Description: 172 Mb
Description: 60 p.
Note: Interview conducted on June 21, 2001, by Chris McGinnis; recorded in Florida.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series K. Southern Communities, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with Bill Hull, June 21, 2001.
Interview K-0844. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Hull, Bill, interviewee


Interview Participants

    BILL HULL, interviewee
    CHRIS McGINNIS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You have to wait for it to roll around all the way. Hello, this is Chris McGinnis. Today is Thursday June twenty first, 2001 and I am interviewing Mr. Bill Hull via long distance phone conversation. I am located at my house in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Mr. Hull at his residence in Florida. This tape is being used to form a gay and lesbian oral history archive through the Southern Oral History Program at UNC Chapel Hill. This particular series focuses on the history of gay men in Chapel Hill over the twentieth century. This tape will be stored in the Southern Historical Collection, which is located in Wilson Library on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. The number for this tape is 06.21.01-BH.1. Here we go. All right Bill, well, the first question that I usually ask people is to ask you to tell me a little bit about where you came from and where you grew up, where you were born.
BILL HULL:
Okay, I was born in Durham, North Carolina in 1945. I lived my youth there. In 1963, I graduated from high school, went to UNC and discovered Chapel Hill.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That was 65 or 63?
BILL HULL:
63.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Great, so you came there—Did you come there and participate in some of the civil rights marches and so forth?
BILL HULL:
I certainly was.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Great, did you get to know Quinton Baker or John Dunn or—

Page 2
BILL HULL:
I knew John Dunn. I knew of Quinton Baker, I didn't know them socially; I just knew them in the causes that we were working with for the civil rights movement, when I first came to Chapel Hill.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Was it fairly well known that they were in a relationship?
BILL HULL:
No, not really. I knew that they were, but it was not an open relationship in that regard. This was a little more attuned to what the civil rights movement was about, not our interpersonal relationships.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Hmm, I have always found that interesting. I mean, I think that the civil rights movement, or any movement for civil rights is a very good cause. It is interesting that so many gay people were involved in, at least, in the Chapel Hill scenario.
BILL HULL:
Yeah, they were involved in it, but yet, in my looking back and looking at it, since I first read your original paper and all that, I don't think that gay people felt oppressed. It was a subculture that we were very content to be in, it was almost like a secret society. The civil rights movement was a blatant disregard for human's rights because of a person's color. Gay people could easily hide if they were so inclined, in their own self. A gay person could walk down the street and walk freely, a black person in that period of time was just an object of scorn, ridicule, disrespect, bigotry, all of that. So, I think that even in our own way of knowing that we were different, people that I knew aligned ourselves with this cause because it was too obvious. Too horrible to ignore. That is how I got involved with it—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, it was more—the discrimination towards African Americans was more extreme than gays went through?

Page 3
BILL HULL:
Right, right, there is always discrimination, but, a black person cannot escape that, they are obvious. A gay person at that period of time could hide in their own way.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So even if they may have been stereotypically effeminate or something of that nature.
BILL HULL:
Oh, no they were just sissies, they were not niggers, you know, that was the horrible thing, you know, that people were just completely classified and denigrated by the color of their skin.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, gays really had a niche within society, or white gays at least?
BILL HULL:
I think so. I didn't—I wasn't involved in it because I was a gay person so much as I was a human being and couldn't live with people being harmed and discriminated against.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I kind of had a theory about that. I kind of wanted to run it by you. I always thought that maybe, perhaps, a lot of gay people were really involved in the civil rights movement because they themselves experienced some degree of discrimination and knew what it was to be discriminated against.
BILL HULL:
Sure.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, they were empathetic and felt that was important.
BILL HULL:
We were empathetic because we could hide, a black person can't hide. You know, they are there.

Page 4
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Why do you think that the gay civil rights movement then came out? Do you think that there were real issues; they just were not quite as extreme as the black community was experiencing?
BILL HULL:
I think that the gays when I came along—having been born in the 40s and I never came out, I just found other gay people and I finally figured it out. I did not really feel—I felt special, private, secret, a subculture. I was not that involved in the movement for gay rights, I always had the right to execute them if someone didn't—I was never—how am I going to say this—I always felt special. People treated me like I was special, because I was gay. It was sort of that funny uncle scenario that happens in the South. "There are gay people, and we love them, and they are all sweet," and all of that. I never felt oppressed, I never felt discriminated against. To be honest with you, I never got that involved with the gay rights movement, other than as a—well; I just didn't participate in it.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You were a supporter, perhaps?
BILL HULL:
I was a supporter, but I didn't feel oppressed. Susan Sontag, did an article, what was it in the late 60s or 70s describing what camp was.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
BILL HULL:
The crowds that I was hanging around with were devastated, they were like, "She has exposed our lifestyle!" It was just a secret, well, it was not a secret, it was just a very erudite communication level, association signals that one had. We were a subculture and proud of it. I mean, I always knew that I was gay from the sixth grade on. I knew that I was special; I knew that I was different. It was a very special secret.

Page 5
So, I never felt like I had to come out and fight my way for acceptance and all of that. Being part of a family that is like what, seventy five percent gay. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, in terms of your nuclear family.
BILL HULL:
Yeah, my nuclear family. I was not different, the one straight brother, he was the weird one. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, I guess that he was the exception then.
BILL HULL:
So, I just always felt like I was who I was, and people accepted me for who I was. I was not necessarily effeminate or that overt. I was discreet, always discreet. I just felt very special. So, I was impressed with the civil rights movement, but I did not feel like that it affected me so personally as it just did generally. People who got in trouble because of their sexual preferences and inclinations or just their nature.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I wonder, the religious right, I think probably—and I am not expert in this—but I think in the 1980s especially under Reagan, maybe late 70s is when they really started mobilizing and coming after or targeting homosexuals to discriminate against.
BILL HULL:
Well, there was no one left.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
[Laughter] Perhaps. But, I was wondering, the religious right probably wasn't mobilized in that way. They were probably fighting issues of evolution or sex education in the schools, but did you ever feel any kind of threat by religious right groups, such as, maybe today the Southern Baptists are fairly extreme.
BILL HULL:
I didn't see it. Maybe I just sort of disassociated myself with organized religion. I don't know, I grew up in Baptist, what we referred to as a "mixed" marriage. My father was a Methodist, my mother was a Baptist. [Laughter] So, it

Page 6
was very strange to go from once church to the other. But, I never got involved with organized religion because I thought that it as just a bunch of crap. I don't know if either of my brothers ever told you, we were raised basically by a black woman.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, they mentioned the nanny, but they didn't say—What was her name?
BILL HULL:
Alma.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Alma. Yeah, that is funny, because it never came up that she was black. I didn't even think about.
BILL HULL:
We didn't think about it. I didn't think about it. Of course, I did think about it in certain periods of time when there were social aspects of being social with her children, who were the same age that we were. My brother Sam and me had, we called them our sisters. They were our same identical age, they just happened to be black. Well, we couldn't run in the same circles. I found that very incongruous. I didn't like it, but I didn't approach it other than the fact that like we would taught that there were certain ways that you have to be.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, that was the expectation.
BILL HULL:
We didn't care for that. But, my religious background, whether Sam or Tommy said anything. Well, Sam—Well, this woman gave us all of our moral values and she was a black woman who was lighter than I am as far as her coloration, but she was a very loving, caring, wonderful, open person who loved life and I think taught us that. It was sort of a general idea that Jesus was out there and he was our savior and he was good and he was wonderful and the church didn't teach me that. I went to church and it was sort of hellfire and brimstone. Everybody had to feel guilty about being

Page 7
whatever they were or who ever they were. Over even having a glass of wine to having anal sex. I don't know, it was not presented to me in that way, but the church was very indoctrinated and judgmental and I never cared for organized religion and I had a spiritual context given to me, thank God, by this woman. This idea was to love everybody, love everything and I think that that has always run through my philosophy of everything.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, did your mother, did you ever discuss with your parents your orientation?
BILL HULL:
No.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, really? How about your elder brother.
BILL HULL:
Well, I came out before he did, yes. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You beat him to it.
BILL HULL:
No, he came out, I was always gay. He is nine years older than I am and I knew at six years old that I was special in that regard. I didn't quite know what it meant, but I knew that I wasn't the norm, you know, I could tell you. Well, I don't want to get into it, but I remember—I want to say cruising, but you define cruising differently than I define cruising.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That is funny because your brother said the same thing. Yeah, your brother said—
BILL HULL:
Yeah, cruising was just watching, looking.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, it can be used in different contexts.
BILL HULL:
Oh, I know, but I never considered cruising as having sex in the parking lot in the first grade. [Laughter] Well, I did watch people and I did watch

Page 8
guys and I knew that I was gay and I knew that I was special, and when people slept over I was special in that I was more attuned as to maybe what they were as far as that privilege of being with people that I liked, in that regard. I have lost my train of thought in where we were going.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, we were talking about cruising and how my definition was different in my paper than—which, I guess I defined it in the footnote. That was interesting, because there is, even in very light conversation, there is a different dialect almost or a different vernacular, in talking. So, I had to assume in having a straight audience, you know, I kind of had to define everything. So, it kind of put tight parameters.
BILL HULL:
But you know, when we were kids and spoke about cruising, we were not talking about reading bathroom graffiti, they were in their cars driving around, they were cruising.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, yeah, there are probably about five different definitions.
BILL HULL:
On Friday nights, when I was running with a straight crowd, we were cruising, we were going from something out in Bragtown, North Carolina. You know, Bragtown, the northern part of Durham and going to the western part of Durham, we were cruising up and down the streets just to see what was going on. We were not looking for sex—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Sex in public bathrooms.
BILL HULL:
No, no, I was looking for gay people. They were looking for girls, boys, whatever.

Page 9
CHRIS McGINNIS:
But you were just out looking.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, but you were just driving around seeing who was out and about.
BILL HULL:
Yeah, driving, we were just going around seeing what was happening, what was going on. A lot of times cruising was that. If people say that they are going to cruise the mall, they are not necessarily looking for sex. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Of course, that is funny, but I think that is important. I think that that is an amendment that I am going to have to make. Within that footnote. [Laughter]
BILL HULL:
Good deal.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It is interesting because Sam did have kind of a strong response to that too in terms of underlining that. Usually you see trends.
BILL HULL:
It is a generational thing.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, I think that a lot of people in their twenties still have a hard time talking about sex, or anything like that. So they might not be as open to discuss—
BILL HULL:
Yeah, it is different now than it was then.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I know, I think that it is now much more sexually repressed.
BILL HULL:
Well it would have to be, it is scary now, God knows.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Because of HIV and AIDS?
BILL HULL:
Yeah, it is just horrifying. I don't know what I would do if I had to come out or to be twenty years old now. I think that I would probably be very closeted and very right wing. [Laughter] Just for my own safety and protection. You know, I

Page 10
came along in a very free time, a very free time. Living in Durham and Chapel Hill, people were very open to you being yourself. Durham was not quite as great as that, but people I ran with, allowed me to be who I wanted to be. I was not an overtly gay person. But, they knew that I was special and they knew I was probably, well I was a sissy. You know, whatever, but it was never thought about the actual sexual act terms. People were just accepting, I did not have to risk my life. It sounds like that you are saying that HIV and AIDS really polarized the community and really shaped it in a lot of ways.
BILL HULL:
It did, it is scary now.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I would like to table that. That is something that I definitely want to talk about. I want to table that toward the end of the interview, because I am trying to follow a time line, but I love these deviations, they are great.
BILL HULL:
I can ramble.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, gosh, but that just means that you are the perfect person to interview, believe me. When you were younger, who was the first gay person that you remember interacting with? Somebody in town, or I guess it could have been your brothers technically, but maybe—
BILL HULL:
Oh no, we were the least gay around each other, other than just playing; we would all do these skits and dramas. We are all very theatrical. It was always whoever fought over mother's dress to be the queen.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
BILL HULL:
That was not a very sexual thing, that was just sort of being in a drama.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Being somewhat campy.

Page 11
BILL HULL:
Yeah, right, campy. You mean—?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
The first person that you consciously remember was a gay male, and people knew that he was a gay male.
BILL HULL:
Oh, I will have to think about that. I have known a lot of gay people. I knew that they were gay before they did.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, I have that problem, too. [Laughter]
BILL HULL:
Still do, for that matter. [Laughter]
I mean, the first gay person that I ever knew, was a classmate, and I knew that he was gay from the third grade on and he didn't until he reached high school. But, I knew that he was the same as I was, I just didn't want to—well, and I just didn't know what sex was. When you are a third grader you just know, that, "Hey, here is another sissy." Y'all had a lot of fun together playing dress up and doing back door shows and things like that. I think that the first time that I ever was aware that I was a totally gay person, and I realized that, hey, he is really like me, I was probably like thirteen years old. Yeah, and who was that? I don't want to say his name because he would be destroyed if I told him, but he was an older person. Let's see, I was 13, he was in his twenties, he was a journalist and I was very active in community stuff, 4-H and stuff like that. That was one of his beats I guess, and I was involved in 4-H health or something. Anyway, he interviewed me and I clicked on him immediately as being a gay person. I knew who that was other than him being a gay person, but he was much older and almost a father figure, I guess. But, at 13 anybody is a father figure. I decided that I wanted to do a class project about being a journalist and wanted to interview him, so I basically set it up and seduced him.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, oh, you seduced him sexually.

Page 12
BILL HULL:
Right.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, well, good for you.
BILL HULL:
I know. [Laughter] Well, I didn't know quite what to do, but I knew that once we got alone together, then I could be who I way back in the back of me be the one that I always wanted to be. That was sort of called my physical coming out. But, I never really had to deal with being gay.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, right, well, you people never really discuss it, it just happens and—
BILL HULL:
Yeah, I just knew it and I was just waiting around until I got pubic hair and could do it.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right. [Laughter] ] Oh, goodness, how did he react to that?
BILL HULL:
Oh, it was wonderful. Oh, well, good, because he was gay.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, well, yeah.
BILL HULL:
And he introduced me to his first ever boyfriend.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Wow, well that is very good, that is a very healthy coming out experience.
BILL HULL:
It was very, very healthy.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It is very positive. You hear so many not so positive. That is very good.
BILL HULL:
I know.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So when did you three brothers start talking to each other in recognition that you were gay. At one point, somebody had live in boyfriend, if I remember correctly after your mother's death.

Page 13
BILL HULL:
Right, I knew my brother Tommy, who was the oldest one, was gay. Well, we all knew. My brother Sam was, he was baby in the family, and he knew that he had these two queer brothers I guess. He had a lot of pressure on him from family, Alma, that raised us, as not necessarily being the right thing to do. So, he was very closeted in some regards. I think—my brothers—it was after my mother's death that we were finally able to sit down as a family of three gay brothers and really deal with it. It took Sam's coming out for him to realized that we weren't little monsters or abnormalities. It was hard to deal with. He was the youngest and he was the most sheltered and he was the one that had to look to all of the older siblings and see where they were going, or at least be shown where they are not going the straight and the narrow, but it would work out. He sort of faulted, I guess—maybe morally is the word.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
He mentioned that he felt some pressure in that a member of the family, an aunt or someone approached him and said that first of all, she didn't want him living in the house with, you know, his brother and his live in lover, and so he was in denial and he said for about twenty-four hours.
BILL HULL:
Right, until my brother's live in lover brought him out. [Laughter] He sat him down and said, "Listen, this is what is going on."
CHRIS McGINNIS:
He said something to the effect of, "Well, yeah, you can go back into the closet, but you can't go to the bars." And he said, "That quickly changed his mind." [Laughter]
BILL HULL:
Okay, I had never heard that part.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, did you ever discuss out with Alma, your—

Page 14
BILL HULL:
That was never discussed. Even my mother knew that we were all gay.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It just wasn't spoken about.
BILL HULL:
But she would have just have killed us if we had to confront it. As I said, I had my first boyfriend when I was fourteen years old and he was twenty-seven. I spent a lot of time with him. His mother was not very mentally stable and one weekend, when I was staying with Ronnie, and my mother loved him dearly, but it was just sort of an unspoken thing.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
BILL HULL:
As long as it was not slapped in her face.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Everybody was happy and nobody was getting hurt.
BILL HULL:
Everybody was happy and this woman came up to the house and threw a brick through the window and called my mother and told her that her son was queer and that he was sleeping with her little baby boy and blah blah blah blah blah. Yes, in the middle of the night. Maybe midnight on a Saturday night. My mother called and said for me and Ronnie to come home, for me to bring Ronnie with him, she wanted to talk with us.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh my.
BILL HULL:
We went to her and at that time of the night she was in bed reading with her glasses on and she called us up and she said that we needed to talk about something and I thought, "Oh shit, here it comes." Because I was not ready to come out, to me it was a quiet, nice wonderful secret.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.

Page 15
BILL HULL:
I was very special; it was like being a fairy like Tinkerbell.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
BILL HULL:
It was not some social thing that I had to deal with. Her approach to this whole situation was that this woman had called and she couldn't believe that a mother would be so horrible to do what she did and to try to hurt her child and in turn hurt hers. That she could not live with that meanness that this woman had provoked and the agony that she was trying to bring on both of the families and that she suggested that our friendship be a little more discreet and that is all that she ever said about that.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
How incredibly spectacular.
BILL HULL:
It was wonderful. But if I had said, "Mother, I am gay." She would have said, "Well, I can't live with you." It was her culture.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
BILL HULL:
That is just the way that it was in the 60s or then late 50s.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, she handled it very well.
BILL HULL:
She handled it remarkedly well, and I didn't know how beautiful it was until I walked out and almost passed out in the front yard, because I thought that, "Here I am going to go and try to explain what being queer is or whatever."
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Isn't that interesting, because so many people who came out in the 80s, of course you have the issue of AIDS then, but the stigmatization was great, but people were forced to say, or demanded that their parents talked about it. I think that my parents were still of that kind of generation, even though they were much younger, they still just didn't want to talk about it, but they felt culturally pressed to discuss it and hash it out.

Page 16
BILL HULL:
Right
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Very interesting. That is a gigantic thing, very big of your mother.
BILL HULL:
I know! I know! She always said, "If I ever found out that my children were queer, I would kill them."
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, that was a little lie.
BILL HULL:
Let's face it, I wouldn't say that my mother is masculine, but she was not an effeminate little demure person. My father was a florist. He knew some of the nelliest, swishiest people in the whole world.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That is what is particularly interesting—
BILL HULL:
I always thought, "My god, they are repressed in their own way," but in the 30s what do you do?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
BILL HULL:
They had found each other, they had loved each other, and all of that, but I have always wondered if they were a little bit more insightful because there was something in them—because our being gay was genetic. It was in our genes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Do you think that they could have been—do you think that they had tendencies themselves?
BILL HULL:
Yes, I have always thought that, I don't think that they ever, ever approached it, but my mother had some of the butchest friends that I have ever known, motorcycle shop owners.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
They were women?

Page 17
BILL HULL:
Women! Short cropped hair, never wore a skirt, never wore a dress. My father knew some of sissiest, nelliest men in the whole world. But I never think that they thought of it other than being accommodating to people that were a little bit different, or maybe being drawn to them but not in a sexual sort of sense, it was just not allowed then.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That is very interesting. So, when did the three Hull brothers start going to bars together?
BILL HULL:
Whoa!
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That must have been interesting to be in a small bar in Chapel Hill and have three gay brothers come in—
BILL HULL:
Well, yeah, I guess. I think that it was probably when my mother was ill, or after she died. I was in the service and I came home, yes, yes, yes that is it. [Laughter] I don't know if my brother Sam went out because he was—let's see, how old was I. He was not old enough to go out to the bar probably.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I think that he said that the first time that he went to the bar was around that 18/19-age category—
BILL HULL:
Right, I think that it was right around the time that I had come out of the service; we had to deal with my mother's funeral. My brother Sam was just coming out, and we interacted as gay brothers for that period of time. I don't know if we went to the bar together, per se. Tommy and I probably did. I don't know if Sam did, I don't remember that. I just remember that we were open with each other and I had to tell Sam to cool it down a little bit. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, really?

Page 18
BILL HULL:
Oh, yeah, we were in a limousine going to the gravesite, and Sam said, "Oh, isn't this kitchy?" and I said, "Oh, shut up?" [Laughter] He was using all of these gay words and he was using all of this new gay vernacular. [Laughter] And the driver of the limousine had his hand in my lap, it was just awful. Imagine, I am going to my mother's funeral and somebody is cruising my brother Sam in the backseat and he is trying to get his hand in my lap in the front seat. This was just too sick. Jonathan Winters should be in this. [Laughter] I remember, that was when we first had to deal with each other. We didn't just say, "Hey I am gay, you are gay, we are gay." We just were ourselves with each other.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did anybody in the family ever mention the fact that the Hull brothers were gay may have hurt business?
BILL HULL:
No.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay, Sam said—
BILL HULL:
My mother might have thought that. My mother was very, very cautious; she was a businesswoman, having been thrown into that when my father died. She was trying to make it a success and build a life for us. That would have been very detrimental. I do know that sometime during these early relationships that I had, that my mother called me home for. Someone did confront my mother that I was running around with the wrong crowd. This was after she had had this previous encounter with the same fellow when she told us that she couldn't believe that a mother could be so evil, she said again, be discreet. Basically, I think that she basically said, be discreet. The ladies that were telling her this stuff were vipers and she realized that all they were trying to do was just be controlling of her and tell her how to run her life and how to raise her children,

Page 19
and all of them. She always said that, "All of them are going to be disappointed unless you all end up in prison, so let's just not do that."
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
BILL HULL:
Let's not do anything that is going to make them go, "Ahh, Helen's kids ended up in prison, just like we knew!"
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Ended up in prison because they were gay?
BILL HULL:
No just because we were in the wrong crowd.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You were different.
BILL HULL:
Not different, they didn't think that we were gay; they thought that we would rob banks and murder people and all of that stuff. All of the aunts and uncles thought that because my mother was trying to raise four kids as a young widower at forty years old that it was downhill all of the way and all that we were going to do is disappoint and hurt her and destroy the family. She always had that pressure on her. She was just trying to say—Even when I was involved and very involved with the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill, my mother said, "Please don't get your picture in the paper. I have to run a business here. In my heart I can agree with you, but if I—I you are seen in that light doing this thing and people see what is going on, it could destroyed everything that I have worked for, for you boys. She was just covering her—it was sad in that regard, that she couldn't be the soul that she wanted to be, because she was committed to a system that just wouldn't have accepted here. At that time in the South in Durham, society just wouldn't allow it.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Do you think that there actually could have been ramifications? That people would actually not buy from her business?

Page 20
BILL HULL:
Yes, yes, yes, yes. Most definitely.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Because they would not wanted to be associated with that?
BILL HULL:
Yes, most definitely. It is strange to say, but some my mother's best clientele in the flower business were the North Carolina State University clientele. She had a very prominent black clientele.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, N.C. Central.
BILL HULL:
They rallied behind her, but it was not that she wanted to approach. She was just trying to survive. She was not looking at it in any philosophical point of view or any sociological point of view.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, in terms of going to UNC and your mother dying somewhat prematurely, I believe that Sam had mentioned pancreatic cancer?
BILL HULL:
Basically, yeah.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
How did Sam get through college at nineteen, or did the business help at all? Or did he just work his way all the way through?
BILL HULL:
He basically worked his way all the way through. I am not sure of all of the actual details of it all. He went to two years at Western Carolina University and after those two years when he finished there and then was transferred to Carolina in the school of journalism, that is when our mother died. Almost at the given moment that she said that she was going to. This was the weird part. We have this weird family, my mother had only one goal left after my father died when she was like forty years old was to get her children in school, get them ensconced, get them going doing everything that her husband wanted here to do and then she was going back and meet him. So the minute that Sam got through two years of college, and he got himself set and his goals going, and

Page 21
he had himself going, she died. I mean, she had pancreatic cancer, but she died of natural causes. She just died. She had done what she had to do, I have always been astounded by her ability to have that much control over what she had to do. All, she wanted to do was get all of us going, doing what we wanted to do and get Sam, the baby in college and then she had fulfilled all she thought she had to do.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I was shocked. It is pretty impressive that Sam was able to go through college with—well, basically on his own. Very impressive—
BILL HULL:
Well, I did too. I had scholarships, and my mother could not pay for me to go to school. She tried, she tried very much. Every now and then she would send me a twenty dollar bill, but I mean, she was really struggling to make ends meet during that period of time. Basically, I was on scholarship and I had a part time job and I ate Oreos for a week or I ate Fig Newtons for a week, that sort of thing. Didn't bother me, I just didn't want to burden her with my education. She was happy and did what she could, but I felt like it was my responsibility if I wanted to. Back in those days, if you graduated from high school, you were okay. So, going to college was sort of a privileged person's thing, you know, in the early 60s, I guess, just where my culture was concerned.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So tell me about Chapel Hill, was it known as a big gay place?
BILL HULL:
Yes, I did not know it, but I did know it. We used to—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you go there before you went to college?
BILL HULL:
When I was in high school, my friend, Ronnie who is deceased was probably the nelliest person in Durham County and I took him under wing and tried to

Page 22
calm him down, and introduced him to people that I knew. I knew an older crowd when I was in high school. I ran around with much older people. I ran around, in high school, with a punk, juvenile delinquent kind of crowd which I fit into for some reason, I don't know why they accepted me, but I knew older gay men, who were in their twenties and thirties at that time. We used to get, I was very involved like in the drama department and in the art department and all of that in high school so they were always having these seminars and things in Chapel Hill, and we would borrow somebody's Austin Healy at seventeen years old and skip all of the movies, and just ride around campus, hoping to find this gay Mecca. But, we didn't know what was going on. It as just a nice town. We knew that it was very true back in that period of time it was said that there was a homosexual and a communist behind every tree.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, a queer and a communist—
BILL HULL:
I thought to myself, I have to meet a communist, I know all of the gay people, but what do communists look like? So that was my motivation. What was a communist, you know? What do they look like?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That is great. So what was the first gay bar that you ever went to?
BILL HULL:
The first gay bar that I ever went to—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I presume that that would be in Chapel Hill, and I hate to bring it up, the Ponderosa, was that it?
BILL HULL:
No, that was later, that was in 64.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Really, because I knew that the Tempo Room was 61 to 68.

Page 23
BILL HULL:
It may have been the Tempo Room. I never went in because I was never old enough. I was very, very good about not being old enough living in Durham. The Jack Tar, that was Duke's Tavern, but I didn't go in.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You would just stay outside?
BILL HULL:
I would stay outside, and I would meet people and they would come out, and we would sit in the car. It was very social, I mean, I wasn't drinking. I knew a lot of people who went in there, as I said, I kind of ran with an older crowd. No, I take it back. The first gay bar that I ever went into—God—was the Anchorage in Raleigh at five points and I was fourteen years old.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
The Anchorage, I don't think that I know that one.
BILL HULL:
It was very, very early. It is on one of those side streets. Do you know where the Mouse Trap is?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, I have heard of it, I am going to be going to the Secretary of State's office and getting all of those addresses, etc.
BILL HULL:
It was sort of catty-cornered to the Mouse Trap, it was on another street. I cannot remember the names of the streets. But, my friend who brought me out, the journalist, took me there after one of our first encounters and I went to the bar and felt like I was on top of the world.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It was your place.
BILL HULL:
It was my place because there were other people there and they all acted like I was the center of the Earth.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, I don't have the Anchorage here, do you think that it was opened before the Tempo Room?

Page 24
BILL HULL:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Really?
BILL HULL:
Oh, let's see, when did I come out? Okay, 1958 or 59.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, its name is the Anchorage. It is A-N—
BILL HULL:
A-N-C-H-O-R-A-G-E, Anchorage.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That was in Raleigh.
BILL HULL:
It was in Raleigh, at Five Points almost, if you were standing at the Mouse Trap, it was—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I think that that was the bar that later became 1622, I think.
BILL HULL:
Might have been.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
But it was at Five Points. Was it near a movie theater?
BILL HULL:
The Anchorage was next door to a movie—Oh, no, no, the Mouse Trap was next to the theatre.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay, that was 1622.
BILL HULL:
Has it turned now into a lesbian bar?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Uh huh and then one night a week it had strippers for a while, but then Mayor Fetzer, the closet case closed it down.
BILL HULL:
I cannot remember the names of the streets.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Could you give an approximate date on that, the Anchorage? Do you think that it may have been open as early as the 50s?
BILL HULL:
Yeah, let me think, I was in high school, I know that it had been there for a while. I was probably there in 1958 or 1959.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, maybe the early 50s.

Page 25
BILL HULL:
It was definitely a gay bar as far as I was concerned, and it was one of those bars where it was just, banquettes on one side and a bar on the other and people stood around and talked. I was the youngest person there. Guys wanted to fuck me. [Laughter] But they didn't.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
But they didn't. [Laughter]
BILL HULL:
You know that feeling when you walk into a room and everybody wants you. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That's funny. Let me see, the Anchorage, let me see here, I am just making a note where that is in the tape, so I can listen to it later. So do you happen to know who the proprietor of the Anchorage was?
BILL HULL:
I know nothing. I can probably reach out and find that information. Remember Tim mentioned Clayton Jackson who owned the Mouse Trap?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah.
BILL HULL:
Well, he probably knows them. Because he was at UNC and—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That was Clayton Jackson.
BILL HULL:
Clayton Jackson, right. He knows the Raleigh history. He would probably know all about that.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Raleigh, Five Points, 1622.
BILL HULL:
Five Points area, I don't know east, west, north or south, but if you were coming down Glenwood Avenue and the Mouse Trap was sort of on your left at Five Points, there is a street that juts off to your left from Glenwood and it was right there at that intersection and it was very, very close.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Wow, isn't that neat.

Page 26
BILL HULL:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, can't wait, hopefully, it was incorporated, if it was incorporated, I can pin down the exact date, because they had to apply for that incorporation.
BILL HULL:
They have to have liquor licenses and all of that. That's right, the Anchorage.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That is strange to me, because when I, I don't know if you know Charlie Delmar—
BILL HULL:
Oh God, yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
But when I interviewed him, when he said that the earliest bar that he went to was the Tempo Room.
BILL HULL:
Well, I was there, before he was. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
He discussed—um I asked him—"Were there any bars that you didn't necessarily know about?" And he said, "Oh, of course, the Ponderosa, he said, that was supposed to be before the Tempo Room."
BILL HULL:
I read that and that is not true. Because I remember again—this was in the 60s. The Ponderosa was located on Old Chapel Hill Road.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So this opened after the Tempo Room?
BILL HULL:
Yes, it was there all during the Tempo Room.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay, let me put it in my book.
BILL HULL:
Okay, so I had a lover at the time, let me think. Well, we left Chapel Hill in 65. We used to go there and God, I wish that I could find those pictures, it had nothing to do with the bar, it was just people that were visiting from New York.

Page 27
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Where was the Ponderosa at?
BILL HULL:
It was on Old Chapel Hill Road going just before you get to the main entrance to Hope Valley, there is a nice little colonial, I mean I could go to the house and knock on the door and ask, "Do you hear screams in the night?" Because I know the house. [Laughter] That was a very wooded, undeveloped area, there was a development on the left with one of these little entryways—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So was it between Chapel Hill and Durham?
BILL HULL:
It was between Chapel Hill and Durham, but it was over the Durham County Line, which was very rare. It was actually in Durham County, the Tempo was the gay bar, and because it was in Chapel Hill, it was fine. For something to open in Durham, was quite rare. My lover and I used to go there at the end of 1963, most of 64. It didn't last very long. There was a little like kind of drive in grill, that is what it was, not a hot dog stand, but like a diner and in the back of that was a big, concrete, rectangle building like a VFW Hut and it turned into a gay bar. It was the only bar that you could dance in south of Washington and north of Atlanta in the 60s. A lot of lesbians went there, a lot of gay people went there. A few straight people went there because they used to have trouble with Marines showing up and trying to be Marine like?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Marine like, what do you think, that they might have been closet cases, or were they just being assholes?
BILL HULL:
Closet cases who were in this macho role of beating up queers—Bashing, if push came to shove. You could have them all, but if you acted like you were gay, you know. People were being chased to their cars and things like that. I never felt scared; I have never been scared in my life. I have never been intimidated by anything.

Page 28
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you work at the Ponderosa?
BILL HULL:
No, I worked at the Pegasus.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, you worked at the Pegasus.
BILL HULL:
The dance floor at the Ponderosa was a linoleum floor. I don't think that it lasted a year and half. Again, by this time, the fellow that basically brought me out physically was still with the newspaper in Durham and told me about it. We went there and I told my lover at the time and he was very aware of the Durham authorities knowing that it was going on. At that time, it was kind of scary for two men to dance in public, but their whole attitude that he reported to me was that as long as there was no trouble there, as long as people are discreet and don't break traffic laws and don't do it in the street and scare the horses, there would be no problem. It was very open, I was very proud to be a Durhamite, and that this could go out of Chapel Hill, Atlanta, Washington and that sort of thing. But, it didn't last very long and I don't know why. Being in a relationship, we didn't go that much to the bar.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Do you know who owned the Ponderosa?
BILL HULL:
I have no idea.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Hopefully I can find that. That is very interesting.
BILL HULL:
That was very interesting. It was a neat thing, you could sit in booths on either side of this great big huge dance floor with a bar at one end and dance—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You never knew of any raids or anything?
BILL HULL:
Never. The only time that I saw any police there was when people had parked on the street and blocked traffic. You know, parked on old Chapel Hill Road.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
They were just parking illegally.

Page 29
BILL HULL:
So, they put up no parking signs. It had a big parking lot, but it did get kind of full.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
What kind of music did they play?
BILL HULL:
What ever was popular at the time, I don't know. I think that it was the Charelles or something. Just your standard rock music.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Were there ever any bars before the Anchorage that you ever heard of that may have existed?
BILL HULL:
No, not that I know of, not really. Because that was—All I can know of was when I came out and where I was taken as a fourteen year old.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It is kind of—
BILL HULL:
That is child abuse wasn't it?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, technically it would have been statutory rape, but whatever.
BILL HULL:
Huh?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Technically it would be statutory rape; the age of consent in North Carolina is 16.
BILL HULL:
I didn't struggle. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Exactly, well, I think that those laws are silly. I mean, if you have two consenting people and so forth, I don't think that that really is an issue.
BILL HULL:
And I was not naïve.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Exactly, obviously you were the aggressor.
BILL HULL:
I had been seducing and plotting for years. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Exactly, I imagine that I probably was at that age, too.

Page 30
BILL HULL:
Oh yeah.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Let me see here, so you know, you mentioned. Something that was really hard for people to understand now, people who were just coming out, that you had in terms of the gay centers, there was Washington D.C., there was Atlanta, maybe Miami and Chapel Hill.
BILL HULL:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Can you elaborate on that a little?
BILL HULL:
Chapel Hill was like an oasis of liberalism, and oasis for gay people, I mean, I walked into Chapel Hill and I was in—Well, let me put it this way, it was neat, not that this had anything to do with what you are asking, but just the feeling that I had. The weekend that I was supposed to go to Chapel Hill and become a student, get a dormitory and get it all there, at that age had reached 18 years old and so I could go in the Jack Tar Hotel. I walked in, someone who still is a lifelong friend, who knew my brother Tommy. They knew me, but not in the bar sense, they said that there was a party the next night and to please stop by this certain address, to be introduced to Chapel Hill Society. I took two friends from Durham, we went to this address, walked into this house and I met everybody that I.

Page 31
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
All right, this is the second side of my interview with Bill Hull and the number for this tape side of the tape is 06.21.01-BH.2. All right, so we were talking about how Chapel Hill was a gay friendly town, how it was very accepting. Some people have talked about it being more laissez faire, more than—
BILL HULL:
Very much so, very much. Something in your original paper that I did not see, which was something that was made very evident to me was talking about going to my first gay party ever on Chapel Hill on Meadow Brook Lane right behind that cow or whatever it is that Sunshine Biscuit place up there. There was this wonderful house and everybody that I met there, I am still good friends with. But, the next day, the Monday that I went to my first orientation, I went to which was, to me, the most wonderful place in the whole world was Lenoir Hall. That cafeteria was at that point, in 1963 of September was the meeting place of everyone to plan out their schedules. I went there by myself, sat at a table with my tray of food, two people that I had met the night before came up to me, no they had seen me there, I did not meet them, they came up, mentioned that they had seen me at the party and could they join me. I said, of course, we became instant fast friends and I missed the rest of orientation sitting there because people would come in, pull up another table and before I knew it, dinner was being served and there must have been twenty five or thirty people there, meeting, talking, meeting me, welcoming me to the community.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
And they were all gay people?
BILL HULL:
All gay people, and faculty and students. It was wonderful.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Isn't that amazing.

Page 32
BILL HULL:
I have never felt more accepted and more real in my entire life.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Wow, that is very impressive.
BILL HULL:
I would go to Lenoir Hall, you ate all of your meals there, and there was invariably just tables of people there that would all pull the tables up to this big enclaves of gay people, some were outrageous, we were hootie, we were loud and not one ever looked at us—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No one ever batted an eyelash.
BILL HULL:
No one ever batted an eye. It was wonderful. Lenoir Hall to me was sort of like my introduction to Chapel Hill Society, other than the gay party that I went to the previous Saturday night of my Monday orientation; I knew probably a good portion of the spectrum of Chapel Hill gay people.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So the gay community was very integrated then and very—
BILL HULL:
Totally integrated.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Were those, were these professors openly gay, or did they—
BILL HULL:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did some of them have wives?
BILL HULL:
They were not openly gay, they were just obviously gay. I mean, they were not cruising and accosting people.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
[Laughter] I didn't mean it that way.
BILL HULL:
I know, but they were not, in any way, no. They were openly gay and probably less openly gay than they might have been ten years before I got there, because Chapel Hill in the 50s, I understand was really quite outrageous—

Page 33
CHRIS McGINNIS:
In terms of repressive?
BILL HULL:
No, as far as people being flamboyant—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, people were even more outrageous.
BILL HULL:
Yeah, maybe so, people were sort of—well, you could get away with it in Chapel Hill.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
And that was during McCarthyism.
BILL HULL:
Yes, was it ever. It became almost a counter reaction, I think.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Isn't that amazing. I can't wait, I surely hope that with the names that you gave me, I can interview some people who actually experienced the 50s.
BILL HULL:
I could give you hundreds of names, but I want to ask them first, would they be able to talk. I mean, they are prominent people.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Of course. Well, the more names that you come across, because 1950 folks that I have run into don't want to talk.
BILL HULL:
Well, that may be the case. I know that Tim [Bill Hull's spouse] did send you some paper. He mailed you something.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, yeah, I've got it.
BILL HULL:
An interview with Clayton Jackson. Clayton would know where the Anchorage is, who owned it, what their lease payments were, he knows everything.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That would be great.
BILL HULL:
There are other people that were on faculty that were just loving, wonderful people who helped gay people just be gay, who might be a little uncomfortable talking about it right now, but could fill in a lot of gaps on before I came there, what it was like prior to that.

Page 34
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That would be so spectacular. You are filling in gaps right now, and the goal is to go back as far as possible.
BILL HULL:
Tim sent you a list of tenants in a rental house. It was owned by Ida Friday. It was on the, oh God—Do you know where the big Fitch house is on Franklin Street?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I may, I don't know them by name.
BILL HULL:
Park Lane, do you know where Park Lane is?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Park Lane.
BILL HULL:
If you are leaving Chapel Hill and you start the curve, there is this huge.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
[interruption] Sorry, my modem is coming on. I have to push it several times. They are all connected, I will check it later. I was trying to look at the old emails. Sorry about that.
BILL HULL:
There was an old house there, it was called "La Chaumiere". It was rented by Bill Baskin, Dr. William Baskin and I am sure that he would be willing to talk to you. He has got nothing to lose, he has nothing in jeopardy, he is a marvelous person and he rented this cottage out for years and I knew everybody that ever lived there. I never lived there, but I stayed there for long periods of time.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you ever meet Ben Covington?
BILL HULL:
No.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay, I think that he was there in the 1950s and then he moved away. He is back in town now.
BILL HULL:
I don't know that at all, but I am sure that several people do, and I am online trying to get people to contact you.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that.

Page 35
BILL HULL:
There have been so many people over the years that have been saying, "We need to document all of this. There has been such a long history, Chapel Hill has always been very unique in the fact that people could come there and be who they wanted to be." Chapel Hill is a different place now.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, I remember feeling that when I first came.
BILL HULL:
Young Republicans was an oxymoron when I came through there.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, unfortunately, we got a conservative contingent in the 80s and 90s.
BILL HULL:
Right, it has all changed. I don't know, it is not a village anymore, it a nice little uncovered mall, which is downtown. I mean, I worked in downtown Chapel Hill for hundreds of years [Laughter] before I moved down here, I was in downtown Chapel Hill for twelve years, it was not the same. It was okay, but the attitude was not open.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Not as progressive as it once was.
BILL HULL:
Never, no, no, no. The idea that there is not a bar is unreal [meaning a gay bar].
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That is what everybody says. Well, we actually have one back now. It is a big dance club.
BILL HULL:
Does Mayo run it? [Laughter] Do you know Mayo?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No, well, of course I have heard of Mayo, and I know Mayo.
BILL HULL:
That is who you should talk to, she was the 70s disco queen.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
[Laughter] Well, some people said that he was, if I am remembering the same guy. He owns a clothing store. They said that he may not

Page 36
necessarily, even though he seemed obviously gay, he is not someone who ever really totally came out as gay.
BILL HULL:
Oh my god! He might have gone back, but I mean—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
At one point he was massively out, huh?
BILL HULL:
When, what was it, the Electric Company, or the Power Company?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, the Electric Company.
BILL HULL:
What is the one at Eastgate?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Electric Company.
BILL HULL:
Right, I mean, he was Diva there. Come on!
CHRIS McGINNIS:
[Laughter]
BILL HULL:
He used to come in there—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
What is Mayo's last name?
BILL HULL:
I have no idea; we just called him "naise", "mayo-naise" I have no idea. He is a very nice person, he really is, but he was always like the center of the universe and you need to approach him—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Because he could give me a really good perspective of the Electric Company?
BILL HULL:
I have no idea, but he really knew Chapel Hill during that Electric Company, Power Company, whatever it was. He opened his own bars; he was real tight with the Dee Dee Danziger, and all of that. He could probably and someone else, what was his name. I hate to use names without people's permission, when you are recording me. But there was a bar that opened where uh—oh, God—we knew him as Chatty Cathy.

Page 37
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That's funny, because people still use that name for people today. I had never heard it until recently.
BILL HULL:
I know. Anyway, he opened a bar right in downtown. Anyway, do you know where Subway is?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, yeah, I know that one.
BILL HULL:
To the left of it, where Robin's Department Store used to be. He opened a disco. I never went because I was just not that progressive.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yes, I have got the name of it. The Town Hall was the name and it was owned by Michael DerStrong and David Bratten.
BILL HULL:
But, it was before the Town Hall.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, there was something before Town Hall!
BILL HULL:
He didn't call it Town Hall, it became Town Hall, he called it something like Super Nova or Ultra Light. It was a flash in the pan, I associate it with loud music and drugs, but I am probably not right, that is just the way that I associated it with things back then.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
BILL HULL:
I didn't go because I was not young and gorgeous anymore, I was maybe 30. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You were losing your status. [Laughter] I am already feeling that.
BILL HULL:
How old are you?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Twenty-seven. Yeah,
BILL HULL:
Oh you are just a baby! [said with sarcastic emphasis]

Page 38
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I am not a chicken anymore
BILL HULL:
Oh, you are.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I would have to move out of Chapel Hill for that.
BILL HULL:
When you are 45 and look back on 27, you will have been a chicken. It is all relative.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you see any subcultures within the gay community when you were there in Chapel Hill? I mean, you speak of a very integrated—obviously there was some people that would have gone to the bar scene—
BILL HULL:
It was all a subculture.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So there were not subcultures of the subculture?
BILL HULL:
Not that I am a aware of, other than just cliques, which just happens in any social group, but I do not remember anything other than the fact that gay people were gay, we felt comfortable, but you had to be discrete.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
But not everybody was necessarily openly gay.
BILL HULL:
Pardon?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Everyone who was gay was not necessarily out of the closet.
BILL HULL:
Oh no, that was the T-room crowd, that is what we called them.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right—
BILL HULL:
As far as I was concerned.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, particularly, the people that were in the closet were in the T-rooms.
BILL HULL:
Not all of them—

Page 39
CHRIS McGINNIS:
But, as a general rule.
BILL HULL:
You could meet interesting people or people that you never thought would do it, oh yes. Everybody would do the T-rooms; there was such a freedom there.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh yeah.
BILL HULL:
I mean, I wasn't a toilet whore, but I mean, I went there.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh God, I think everybody has.
BILL HULL:
You had encounters. It was social. You would sit outside Wilson Library and smoke cigarettes and giggle and follow somebody in and check them out.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, right.
BILL HULL:
Now that was the cruising that you were talking about [Laughter] in the footnote. It was obviously a sexual hunt, whatever.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, I am delighted to talk to you about it. Your brother was not as, acquainted with that, so I am very, very pleased. Where were the main places there in the early 60s when you were at UNC?
BILL HULL:
The same thing, Murphy Hall, Bingham Hall, Wilson Library.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Bingham is the last one and it has just gone under construction.
BILL HULL:
Pardon, what?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Bingham is the last T-room and it has just gone under construction.
BILL HULL:
Which is that?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Bingham Hall. Well, they are remodeling, which means that they are going to rip everything out and make it to not facilitate cruising anymore.

Page 40
BILL HULL:
Well, I have not been in any of those places since the early 70s. That sort of thing. I don't really care—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, I know.
BILL HULL:
There was one night for old times sake, we went rushing into Murphy Hall and it was a ladies room.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, and there are still urinals on the wall. I didn't even know that it existed.
BILL HULL:
I know, we wanted to go and sit on the urinals and pee. [Laughter] We wanted to go and terrorize somebody. We wanted to light toilet paper and throw it in the stall. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Were there any glory holes in Murphy Hall, or peek holes?
BILL HULL:
I don't remember Murphy Hall. I remember Murphy as going up stairs on the second floor and talking to people.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
BILL HULL:
It was a social gathering, I didn't—well let's see—I did pick up people in Wilson Library, but Murphy was sort of like, you would go in, and I even went in with my lover, just to go up and meet with gay people and talk with them. Because you did not want to go out to the bar and scream. Another place that was very gay, but it was not gay, it was more hippie. But, heck when I was there, it was more beatnik, but later became very gay and beatnik was Harry's bar and grill.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, I believe that is the one that Pat Cusick and John Dunn and different people hung out at.

Page 41
BILL HULL:
Yeah, that was the whole, that was where we met and talked about what we were going to do about sitting out front of the post office. Oh God, why can't I remember their names. It was a wonderful place, it was very liberal, I mean—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
John Sears wrote about that and I can't wait to interview Quinton Baker because he lives in Hillsborough now. Although, he is unlisted and I am having a hard time in finding his number, but, John Sears in Lonely Hunters wrote a whole thing about the Civil Rights Movement and how you had Armistead Maupin being the conservative columnist and then you had the three gay people, Pat Cusick, John Dunn and Quinton Baker, three predominant people on the other side of the aisle and so there was really this situation in which gay people were running the civil rights movement and a gay person was preaching against it. [Laughter] So, it was like the war of the gays over this issue. What about Armistead, did you ever meet him?
BILL HULL:
Only after he was who he is now. I met him in Raleigh in probably the 80s.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you know about him, when you were in school?
BILL HULL:
No, no, no, not a thing.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You didn't know that he was gay or anything?
BILL HULL:
I didn't even know who he was until Tales of the City came out. Then there was a fundraiser in 85 or something like that, when the Mouse Trap was still in Raleigh, they had a "Meet the Author" sort of thing. That is the first time that I met him and we chatted, but we had nothing in common. He was probably much younger than I am.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I was just absolutely shocked.
BILL HULL:
I'm old. [said in a silly voice] [Laughter]

Page 42
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, nobody cruised in Dey Hall in that period? Or you didn't know of it.
BILL HULL:
I didn't know of it, I took a lot of courses there. I knew a lot of gay faculty that worked in Dey Hall. I had sex in Dey Hall with a faculty person or two. But, I didn't see it as cruisie. There was another place—there are all of these places that have evolved. Having being in Chapel Hill up until the last two years ago, for the last twelve years, I had to relearn where people went and hung out. Somewhere around Carroll Hall there was a place.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Was it Gardner?
BILL HULL:
Gardner! Yeah, in Gardner we used to go and watch movies. We would go the restroom; maybe, it was not an open place.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
BILL HULL:
It was in one of these new buildings.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Was it in the basement of Venable?
BILL HULL:
No, but it was near Venable.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
When you were there, had they taken the doors off the stalls in Wilson yet?
BILL HULL:
Oh yeah, it was like open show. You just sat there and watched people jerk off across from you.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Exactly, that is what they all said.

Page 43
BILL HULL:
Yeah, and that expression for the glory hole right next to the urinal?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
The TV?
BILL HULL:
The TV, yes. I know somebody that would really be pissed if he walked in there and you were in that place.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That is what everybody says, do you remember who it was?
BILL HULL:
The person is dead, thank god I can use his name, John Pruner. [Laughter] He's dead, his mother might get me, but yes. I mean, he was known to go in there and set down a tea service. [Laughter] That's rumored, I have not seen it. [Laughter] Or sit there with magazines and just display them to people across the way.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
TV booth at Wilson, and that was his throne, huh?
BILL HULL:
I mean, the rumor was that he would set up a tea service down there, but John Pruner was very, very territorial.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
What did John do, did he work in town, was he a faculty member?
BILL HULL:
He was a blue-collar worker in Durham, not blue collar. Probably middle management at Duke. I should be ashamed of myself for saying this, but anyway, he was. He was pretty prominent, middle management, somewhere in the Durham community.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
He was just known to come over to Chapel Hill and he just expected to keep his place.

Page 44
BILL HULL:
Yeah he was like dorky, whatever. Back in those days if you went in there and he was there, you just left, it was like stepping into the Queen's private ballroom or whatever. You just left.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you notice kind of, when you went down there, were there people that you would see that you would not see anywhere at bars, that would be there?
BILL HULL:
Yeah.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Would you consider them closet cases or would they—
BILL HULL:
Closeted in the purest sense of being unsocial. If I saw people that I saw in the bars, you just said, "Hey girl." You were looking for something strange, I guess.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Exotic, you were looking to get a quote, unquote, "straight boy."
BILL HULL:
Well, not necessarily straight boy, you just wanted to see somebody that you didn't see dancing with their shirt off at the bar.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I guess.
BILL HULL:
I didn't do it that much. If I went down there, it was usually with someone else and we were probably drunk after the bar. So, we just sat there and giggled. I don't know, I didn't look on it as—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Because all of those buildings were all unlocked, twenty-four hours, right?
BILL HULL:
As best that I know. But, I didn't go in there to find a boyfriend or a husband, it was just a sexual encounter and it was usually with somebody with me and

Page 45
we were like, "Hey let's go down and cruise" [in a drunken slurred voice]. We would drive down on the sidewalk, because we couldn't steer the car. [Laughter] It was pretty bad.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It is very interesting that—Did you ever run into anyone in particular. Were there ever any sports people or anything there? Anyone in particular?
BILL HULL:
No, not that I would know of.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, you didn't keep up with sports.
BILL HULL:
I wasn't looking for a hero. [Laughter] If I would have known them, I wouldn't have. I was not into that hero worship type thing. I wouldn't think that those types of people would go there. I don't guess, I don't know. It was so obvious.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Do you think that there was any impact on the gay community? Probably in the time that you were there, it was definitely a majority men, and gradually UNC has transformed itself to become a majority women. Do you see that affecting the gay community in anyway?
BILL HULL:
No, I didn't, when I came along, all of the lesbians were not college students, they lived in Carrboro and I ran around with a lot of gay women.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, there was a fairly big lesbian community?
BILL HULL:
Very, besides Delray Beach, Florida, Carrboro, North Carolina is the lesbian capital of the world. Maybe Durham is a close second. But, I knew a lot of gay women in the early 60s.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You are the first gay man to really talk about knowing a lot of lesbians in that time period.
BILL HULL:
Right, they were wonderful, but they were all like softball players and mechanics, and it was not intellectual. There was not this "Ms. Former North

Page 46
Carolina" and that type of people that we ran around with. This was probably in 63 or 64, probably 64, I knew a lot of gay women, but they were all Carrboro residents, probably having being born there or having family ties there and that is what they did. There was a whole softball team, two softball teams that I ran around with.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Wow.
BILL HULL:
So, I felt very safe and that is when I went to the Ponderosa.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, if you know any of those lesbians that are still alive, if you could give me those names later, I would be very interested.
BILL HULL:
Actually, I am bad with names.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, you know, if you do run across them.
BILL HULL:
Oh, yeah, one may get through; you are opening up all kinds of memories, I mean, for me to say the Anchorage is something that I haven't said in forty years. I told you when I was on break that Clayton Jackson would know all about the Anchorage.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, OK, OK. Well, hopefully I can get all of that, but first I am going to be focusing on gay men, but I want to go on and interview lesbians as well. Did you ever join any kind of gay organization at UNC? They didn't have CGA until 74 or 75.
BILL HULL:
No, huh, uh.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It did not sound like there ever needed to be.
BILL HULL:
I didn't ever feel like there needed to be. I have taken being gay very personal. A person just does what he needs to do. I never felt repressed, or I didn't, I don't know. I am just not very political in that regard unless something horrible

Page 47
happened to somebody. Some bashing or something like that would motivate me, or focus me. I do remember that I did work at Pegasus. The only reason that I worked at the Pegasus was that it was less crowded behind the bar.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, why don't you describe the Pegasus and tell me about Glen Rowan.
BILL HULL:
Glen Rowan was one of the most gentle people that I have ever known in my whole life. Life is—the world is diminished (cliché) by his not being with us anymore. But, he really came into Chapel Hill and decided that he was going to be an openly gay man in an openly gay bar that didn't try to hide itself in trying to be a Galifinakis front for money. He really strived hard to make it friendly to anyone who wanted to be in there. It was basically gay people. He never questioned anybody as to why they were there, as the Electric Company, did. You almost had to prove to be gay to get in there.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Really? How interesting, but that wasn't even owned by a gay person.
BILL HULL:
But they wanted to make certain that gay people felt safe, because people came from all over the Southeast to go to the Electric Company and in order to protect people, I guess, their motivation, I guess they were good people, was that they did not want outsiders, straight people, trouble makers in. I mean, they would ask you if you were gay. What am I supposed to do, suck a dick in the lobby or something?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Were there many lesbians who came in?
BILL HULL:
Well, Glen was very open, very friendly; I worked there for I don't know how long. It was just because I could go behind the bar and not have all of the

Page 48
crowds. I could see everybody behind the bar and not be pushed and pulled around. It was a very tight, very close, very hot place.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Were you the one who got Sam a job there?
BILL HULL:
Maybe, I don't know, I don't know.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Definitely the question would have made it pretty easy.
BILL HULL:
Probably, probably. Every time that Glen gave me a paycheck, I just endorsed it and gave it back to him. I wasn't working there for the money; I was working there for the free space behind the bar. I couldn't remember what anybody had ordered. I just handed out beers and took money. That sort of thing.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah.
BILL HULL:
I loved that bar. I loved the bar, it was very tight and very close and very claustrophobic, it was a very nice place.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
What did Glen look like?
BILL HULL:
Oh, he might have been 6'1" 6'2", dark hair, trying to think of somebody that he looked like. He was very gentle person, very soft spoken without being—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Effeminate.
BILL HULL:
Effeminate, I think that in our paper you wrote that he was a—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
He had actually gone to train to be a nurse or a paramedic or something.
BILL HULL:
He was a physician's assistant as best I recall, not a paramedic. He was very successful in what he did and very open about his being gay.

Page 49
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So he was a physician's assistant and did the bar on the side.
BILL HULL:
I think so, I think so, this was not his main stay, because. Well, you know, he was the first person that I ever knew who died of AIDS.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
The first one officially was Hoagie Gaskins.
BILL HULL:
Right, I knew Hoagie; I didn't know him that well. I didn't have a relationship with him. I used to live next door to Friendly Castle.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You lived on Friendly Lane?
BILL HULL:
Yes, yes, before it was Friendly Castle, before Charlie Delmar had even surfaced in this world. Before he was born.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
[Laughter] Before he was born.
BILL HULL:
Not really, before he was born into Chapel Hill.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Born into the gay world in Chapel Hill.
BILL HULL:
Randy Umberger and Frankie Keaton used to live there and my brother used to live there for a while. They are both involved with NCSU. They would probably kill me if they knew that I used their name.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Sorry.
BILL HULL:
I don't care. They have got to learn to live with life. But, I moved in there in 1969 in a little duplex, just as you were coming into Friendly Lane, I was the house just before you got to Friendly Castle.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you ever go to the Castle Parties once they got started?
BILL HULL:
Oh of course, of course. Everybody did.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
What were those things like?

Page 50
BILL HULL:
Very crowded, very friendly. Charlie Delmar was one of the most outgoing, friendly, almost obnoxious person in the whole world. This was after I lived on Friendly Lane. We lived, my friend, Phil Poovey, who definitely wants to talk to you.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Good.
BILL HULL:
And another person, who I am not sure is even still with us, we lived over near the fire station on Columbia and Airport Road. We lived in Shatter House and we used to have parties, but they were not as large as Charlie Delmar's, so you would leave our parties after Charlie Delmar's parties sometimes, or you would go there and come back to my house for quiet soirée's. But from Charlie on, I knew everyone. The last person that lived there was named Claude Harris that I am aware of.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I went to the very last one and it was in 1992 or 1993 and it was owned by Doug Ferguson was the guy who lived there.
BILL HULL:
Right, well, before Doug was Claude Harris, who is now a dentist in Key West, my dentist, and he lived there and used to through enormous parties.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, it was Claude Harris and then Doug Ferguson.
BILL HULL:
He threw such big parties that he was not allowed to go to Boxer's. I mean, they threw him out of Boxer's because he threw a party one night and Boxer's was having a special event.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh goodness, Michael Penny. [Laughter]
BILL HULL:
Michael Penny would not allow him back in because he had ruined his business. I have known Michael Penny since he was a child. He is just [Laughter] Michael Penny.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Exactly.

Page 51
BILL HULL:
He is just wonderful. I have never been to Boxer's.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Now, Boxer's is closed and he has one in the middle of Downtown Durham called Boxer's Ringside. It is a four-story building.
BILL HULL:
I understand that that was going to be opened. Well, you see, I have been in a relationship with Tim for 15 years and we never went to a bar since we came down here. Just to meet people as we came into a new community, but we just got out the bar scene. Bars to us was like where you meet people. It was like a social outlet because people usually back in say in early 60s and 70s didn't know how to entertain or couldn't afford to entertain. The bar was the social outlet because you didn't want a party. You didn't go to parties, you didn't have enough plates, I don't know.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I understand. So, I just want to visit something really quickly. In terms of the—some people have suggested that as women became increasingly a majority at UNC in terms of the student population, that it was an asset to the gay community. Others have said, well, at least in terms of the sexual perspective, people who frequent the T-rooms more. That, it may have, men had more outlets with women, so people who were kind of ambiguous in their sexuality may not have been as likely to cruise, and went to women more than men. Did you see any kind of change? I don't know if you were around to see if from a majority—
BILL HULL:
I can't address that because I was not involved with that at all, as far as interaction with gay women.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No, no, I mean, straight women, just women period.
BILL HULL:
No, I don't know because I was not in school anymore. Other than the academic part of it, I was a merchant on the streets of Chapel Hill, so I didn't really

Page 52
have that much to do with what was going on, on campus. But, it did seem to change in my mind when there seemed to be more women than men on campus, I think that it did become a little more homogeneous maybe, but it did not affect me in anyway.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It became more mainstream.
BILL HULL:
More mainstream.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, do you think that there was less of a place for gay men? Because it was more mainstream?
BILL HULL:
I didn't, I only dealt with Chapel Hill. Let's see, I left, I came back in, let's see—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Had you finished school when you left to go to Vietnam?
BILL HULL:
I quit school and went to Vietnam. When I came back it was very, very gay. More openly, I guess, more party gay, more after the bar parties. Pete Raper, I think you mentioned in your paper. Someone named Sissy Sessert, Marvin Pipkin, which you have got to talk to. He is my best friend in the whole world. He lived on Cobb Terrace right overlooking North Hampton Terrace where I met many friends at those parties that you referenced in that paper. Those Sunday afternoon soirées which was a progressive party you just went from one apartment to another. Which was all very nice, all very social. But, I didn't know—I wasn't involved in the academic part of it, as far as what was going on, on campus.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, it is really hard to gauge if there was a change in the gay community as a result of being a smaller male population.

Page 53
BILL HULL:
Yeah, at that point I was more into the already graduated, still living in Chapel Hill, teaching or on faculty, or working in the community. We had more of that dinner party crowd.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, right. Let me see here. So we have discussed the Ponderosa, tell me a little more about HIV and AIDS and how it affected the community. How do you see it, I kind of tabled that a little later, which is now. I mean, how—you said that it changed the gay community in terms of how it dealt with itself, and so forth can you discuss that?
BILL HULL:
I can't discuss it as far as the gay community is concerned, because I was not that involved with the gay community. I was gay and there was a community, but I was not. Tim and I have always been sort of sequestered in our relationship. I was sequestered in this sort of gay nuclear family that I had. It became frightening. I don't know how it affected the entire gay community. I hoped during all of that, when I saw friends dying and people sick that people were becoming more aware of the risks of being indiscriminate, which for me, if I had been their age at that time, would have probably have ignored also. It was an unknown—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Ignored, in terms of the warnings?
BILL HULL:
Safety, yeah. I mean, everybody in your twenties and thirties, you know you are immortal. You don't sense risk. There is a lot of for the moment, which is fine, but you have to take precautions. Luckily, I didn't have to experience that. I really can't express it in terms of how the gay community is concerned, but I knew that people were trying to be made aware and they had to be made cautious and they had to be concerned, and they had to look at something other than just the moment of pleasure. I

Page 54
didn't do T-rooms and cruise and stuff like that. By that period, I was beyond that, I guess.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You were in a relationship and didn't feel the need for that outlet. So with Glen Rowan's death, that made a lot of news, got a lot of news.
BILL HULL:
It did. None of us really knew what it was all about. The impact on me was very sobering. I realized that he was a decent, wonderful person for no reason or other, whatever happened in his life, just fate had caused him to succumb to this evil curse. I had another friend who passed away and was very devastating in my life. He was one of my best friends. He probably passed away in 87. Who had every power to survive? I don't need to go into that, I will get spiritual in all of this. But, it really had a great impact on me and my relationships with anybody in the world. I realized that they were fragile, life was fragile. They were fragile, and I didn't need to caution them, but I needed to become very sensitive to how they approached life, if they were a little more flippant than they should be about their encounters with people, I just almost had to turn my back on them because I realized that I was going to lose them. I think that, that may have happened a lot in the gay community.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Do you think that it was a dividing wedge? Do you think that people became more homophobic of themselves because of the disease?
BILL HULL:
May have been, I don't know.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I kind of got the impression that you alluded to that.
BILL HULL:
I can't speak of that. I just thought that because of the whole philosophy was "God's curse on homosexuals" I think that a lot people could take that stance and feel comfortable or at least feel superior.

Page 55
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Were you in Chapel Hill when Glen Rowan died?
BILL HULL:
No, no I was not in Chapel Hill, I lived in Raleigh probably.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
But you were in the area.
BILL HULL:
But, I met him; I went to his home that sort of thing. We were social, but I didn't live in Chapel Hill at that time.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
How many other people, were there very many other people that died?
BILL HULL:
A lot. I wasn't.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
In Chapel Hill or the area?
BILL HULL:
Chapel Hill, I was almost immune to it, because I lived in Raleigh at the time. Chapel Hill and Raleigh at that time, were like time warps. I knew people who died and at that point, I had to shut myself out of that, waiting for me to die next.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, it was just a protection mechanism, an emotional protection mechanism.
BILL HULL:
Yes, now that you pointed that out. It was a protection mechanism. I just sort of focused forward and find Tim. [Laughter] Somehow, that would happen. I thought, "My God, you are next. You could be next." If I had a pimple on my hand, I thought, "You're dead." You know. You had a head cold, "You're dead."
CHRIS McGINNIS:
[Laughter] Been there.
BILL HULL:
If I had the flu, I would call in "dying" If I had the flu or AIDS, I didn't know, it could have even been the potato famine.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You become very—you become a hypochondriac.

Page 56
BILL HULL:
Well, I wasn't a hypochondriac, I just figured that anything could be the first sign of something. Thank god, I am still here.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, let me see here. How long did you stay in the area, when did you move to Florida? I presume that you stayed in the Triangle area until you moved to Florida.
BILL HULL:
We moved a year ago this month [this month was July 2001].
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, so this was very recently.
BILL HULL:
Oh yeah, we lived in Durham for five years. I lived out in Fearrington for 6 years.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, did you ever go out to the Ms. Bolinwood Pageants?
BILL HULL:
No, I heard about them, I just was not into that flair, I guess. I was very snooty, I guess, we just didn't need all of that fanfare. I loved crowds when I was unmarried and I was very young and trying to meet the love of my life, I loved it. The bigger the crowd, the better the opportunity was to be swept away in love forever. But, I knew about it, I knew—what was the name that you used in your paper? Jerry Young? That was very obvious, I knew Jerry Young. He was a delightful person. But, the name leaped off of the page.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That is what everybody says, they always laugh and wink. I was kind of shocked when he decided to do that.
BILL HULL:
I do know that I did go to one of the gatherings very early it was probably in the late 60s, early 70s, pre-Crape Myrtle. I think that it has developed into a very wonderful thing. But, I have not, well, I am not much for crowds.

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CHRIS McGINNIS:
How about Jerry Young's participation, but not necessarily just about him, how about the Crape Myrtle, did you ever participate in Crape Myrtle at all?
BILL HULL:
No. Always was invited, used to do things on their behalf, but I just never wanted the crowds, known all of the queens, known everybody that had been there, just—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you ever have parties or anything? You said that your little social group that you did things with?
BILL HULL:
No, I have been to, that wasn't Crape Myrtle, that was An Evening With Friends. I participated in that, those sort of things.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, I see.
BILL HULL:
But, the Crape Myrtle was just sort of, I don't know. When it first started, it was just too frivolous for me. I was very serious at one point. It was just a big see who you were being seen with, that sort of thing. It has evolved, so it has become quite significant and quite valuable to the gay community. But, I just didn't want to go there. I had been to all of the bars, I had been to the Ponderosa, I had been there and done all of that. I just thought, "Why go to some hot, steamy, smoky place? I am not looking for a husband, I am not looking for a lover, I am not looking for validation."
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You were content, you didn't need it anymore.
BILL HULL:
Yeah.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, Chapel Hill kind of atrophied, I guess, in the 80s and less and less gay people lived there. There is still maybe a core crowd, but they live in

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outlying areas, and it is not what it used to be. You said, that you were shocked that there wasn't even a gay bar anymore, which for most for the most of the time there isn't—
BILL HULL:
For one thing, most people cannot afford to live in Chapel Hill. You know, that sort of thing. Before, there used to be a large gay community there. When I came along, there were even dormitories and apartments. But, it is very expensive to live in Chapel Hill. I don't know, it is just that the whole feeling of Chapel Hill has changed, I don't want to be negative, but it is not the liberal village with a queer and a communist behind every tree, it has become a Republican—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It has become a Republican and a NRA guy behind every tree. [Laughter]
BILL HULL:
Yeah, right, it is just so strange. If anybody had ever told me thirty years ago that Chapel Hill would have a Starbucks and a GAP and a Bath and Body Shop and whatever, I would have blown my brains out. I mean, Chapel Hill—That is why I live in Delray. Delray Beach is what Chapel Hill used to be without a university. All of the businesses are private, everybody is known, people know everybody. You can walk down the street without being inundated with 60,000 people living here. Chapel Hill used to be, you knew everybody. It is just like the rest of the world, it has gotten big and bustling and so much is going on that people don't have time to interact. I don't know, I think that things that used to be important, I don't think are so important anymore, to a lot of people. Clothes and hair. When I went to school and you were in a sorority or fraternity you might as well have been shot dead.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Really?
BILL HULL:
Yeah, that was so.

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CHRIS McGINNIS:
It was kind of a joke.
BILL HULL:
Yeah, it was so funny.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, basically it was a Bohemian culture when you came in the 60s.
BILL HULL:
It was, when I came here in the 60s there were hippies, beatniks still hanging out in Chapel Hill. I went home after my first semester and my mother said, "I can't believe you have gone and become a beatnik." Tennis shoes with the soles hanging off and the toes hanging out and the long hair and the beard and the whole thing, and the bongo drum sort of aspect and sneaking off to the library, which is probably where, near around Granville Towers there is a library there and people and they would, smoke marijuana [said in a whisper] [Laughter] it was very beatnik and then I left and went into the service and came back and it was a hippie culture.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Interesting, do you have any kind of—were there any areas that we missed that you think may be important? Did we leave out any important social gatherings or any kind of thoughts that you thought were very important to the gay community?
BILL HULL:
Let me read my notes, I have written notes and I have not even referred to them. Let me find out what I did with them. I did have—I don't think that we missed anything; I think that we may have talked too long about immaterial stuff.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Not at all—
BILL HULL:
Let me see—Duke's tavern, Lenoir Hall, Friendly Castle, Shatter House, Dink Hager.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Dink Hager.

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BILL HULL:
Dink Hager. One of the nicest people that I have ever met in Chapel Hill. Wish I could find him, if you know where he is, I would love to say hello to him. He used have the Tupperware Parties.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh! H-A-G-E-R?
BILL HULL:
H-A-G-E-R. You mentioned him in your paper.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, but Charlie Delmar took credit for that one.
BILL HULL:
He used to live underneath Marvin Pipkin on Cobb Terrace. When I worked at the Pegasus, if it got really quiet and nobody was doing anything, I would just go on the public address system and just announce a party at Marvin Pipkin's house and everybody would show up and everybody would float down to Dink Hager's downstairs and he used to have Tupperware Parties. There was a woman in Chapel Hill, a wonderful woman named Nelly Crabtree. She was an Avon lady. We used to have her over, just a small contingency, it was not a big thing for Avon Parties. It was wonderful. She was probably very long dead, so I can use her name, but that was another character in Chapel Hill and another one of those events that was booked not as gay, but she loved to go in there and sell beauty aids and beauty products to all of these queens. Back then you did a lot of moisturizing. I had hair then—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, you did special things to your hair.
BILL HULL:
Doing stuff, so anyway, that was something.
END OF INTERVIEW