Bill's Interview pt. 1


Bill's Interview pt. 1


Bill tells us about Willimantic, Hosmer Mountain Soda, the importance of being a progressive, and his feelings as an Anti-War Activist and Vietnam War Veteran


Andrew Velazquez


2022 Central Connecticut State University Heritage Fiesta


Dr. Juan Coronado and his Spring 2022 History 405: Local History and Development class






Andy Sistrand and Jacob Reyes


Bill Potvin from Willimantic, Connecticut


Central Connecticut State University
New Britain, Connecticut


Bill’s Interview – Part I

Andy: Well my name’s Andy-
Bill: Hi Andy
Andy: and I’m from CCSU and uh-
Jacob: I’m Jacob! Nice to meet you.
Bill: Okay hi
Andy: That’s Jacob he’s going to take notes-
Bill: Yup
Andy: and uh uh you’re from Willimantic?
Bill: Yes
Andy: That’s a nice, nice place, and uh –
Bill: I’m a business owner in Willimantic
Andy: Oh! Are you?
Bill: Yeah
Jacob: Excellent
Bill: You ever hear of Hosmer Mountain Soda?
Jacob: Yeah! I love Hosmer.
Bill: We’ve been in the business for 110 years so… That’s just, on the side.
Andy: Okay
Bill: I’m uh um and activist I’m uh a very progressive businessman.
Jacob: Awesome
Andy: I see
Bill: Small business people should all be progressive cause y’know the corporate world is the problem
Jacob and Andy: mhm mhm
Bill: That’s the way we see it so… We work with our help everyday. We make one and a half times what our help makes ha ha ha instead of… what is it now? 300? [percent]
Andy: 3000-
Bill: Ridiculous
Jacob: Yeah
Andy: And uh what is your name please?
Bill: Bill
Andy: Bill
Bill: Potvin
Andy: How do you spell that?
Bill: P-O-T-V-I-N
Andy: French…
Bill: It means jug of wine. Pot de Vin. It’s French Canadian.
Andy: I see
Jacob: Awesome
Andy: Okay and uh… let’s see it’s uh… 4/23…
Bill: What is the Heritage Fiesta?
Andy: This is it
Bill: Oh this-that’s the name of this event?
Andy: Yeah that’s the name of this event
Bill: Okay. Have you done it before?
Andy: I mean it’s been done before by other uh classes of this, of this class…
Bill: Okay
Andy: but uh yeah I guess the last one-
Jacob: It was before COVID. They stopped doing it because of the COVID
Andy: Yeah I guess the last one was like twenty eighteen or something
Bill: Oh okay yeah that’s been a blip on everything huh?
Jacob: yeah
Bill: This this piece of stuff that’s just tossed out and hopefully we can get back to regular.
Andy and Jacob: yes
Jacob: Fingers crossed
Andy: Well uh well someday… Every time you think it’s getting back to normal-
Bill: I know
Andy: - They have another uh variation that comes along
Bill: I know. Frustrating.
Andy: And uh or China it’s really uh-
Bill: I got through the first ones and could no problem then this one just hit me
Andy: Yeah
Bill: y’know because it’s more contagious than the old ones even
Andy: You had symptoms or?
Bill: Uh yeah all I had was uh I had some fatigue and some coughing
Andy: Yeah
Bill: And a runny nose that was it. It was like a cold
Andy: right
Bill: It was just had a, I just had a cold that’s all so
Andy: Okay. Would you mind giving me your date of birth?
Bill: Yeah! 3-28-46
Andy: Three- Twenty Eight- Forty Six…. Alright the end of World War II
Bill: Yep I’m a Baby Boomer
Andy: yeah and uh how’d you find out about the Heritage Festival[sic.]?
Bill: Uh the professor came to an event that the Veterans For Peace had somewhere and I met him and uh y’know we like him. We like his message and uh y’know we’re… our message is constantly anti-war and anti-violence and all that an then… His book that he’s written is uh, y’know, another big slug of injustice. I mean, y’know when you see that level of injustice we want to pull it in and uh hopefully we put all the pieces together there’ll be enough people to go ‘yeah those guys are right’.
Jacob: mhm
Bill: It’s ridiculous what we do to other countries, and what to our people who volun… these guys who have served in Vietnam, I’m a Vietnam veteran myself. How could you serve in ‘Nam not being a citizen, wind up a prisoner, and then you come back and you get deported. I mean at somepoint .. ha… it’s a headshaker. Like what. Are we exceptional?
Andy: Yeah well uh
Bill: Exceptional shitheads is what is amounts to.
Jacob: yeah
Bill: I hate to use that term but that’s uh
Andy: Well it’s uh…


Original Format

Digital Video & Audio Recording


Andrew Velazquez, “Bill's Interview pt. 1,” Latino History Harvest, accessed May 19, 2024,

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