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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Bill Hull, June 21, 2001. Interview K-0844. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Chapel Hill's liberal reputation

Chapel Hill's reputation as a communist and gay mecca attracted Hull, who wanted to learn more about communism.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Bill Hull, June 21, 2001. Interview K-0844. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BILL HULL:
When I was in college, my friend, Ronnie who is deceased was probably the nelliest person in Durham County and I took him under wing and tried to 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?