Walters said it was the employment opportunities in Bradley County that took him away from Jacksonville, Fla., and brought him to Cleveland, explaining, “I spent about two months looking for work there. There were not many jobs available in Jacksonville. I had a friend up here who said there are plenty of places in Cleveland that are hiring. I moved up within a month and was able to land a job.”
According to Walters, there are three passions of his and his current job allows him to indulge in one of his favorite hobbies — mechanics — as a hood technician at Express Oil Change in Cleveland.
“It’s a third love of mine, next to computers,” he said. “I got my associate’s degree a few years ago in PCs. This is another area I wanted to learn. There was nothing open in computers at the time.”
Walters gave high praise to his newfound home of Cleveland, saying, “I love it here! It has a small-town charm to it. There’s very low crime compared to what I’m used to down in Florida. You can wave at someone and they’ll wave back at you, instead of throwing an insult at you. The people are nice.”
Although the 32-year-old said he is in a relationship, he admits he is not ready for marriage. His parents separated when he was only 3 years old.
“I spared myself that trouble so far,” he said with a laugh.
Still, Walters said he enjoys his family — his two sisters, one brother and mother who still lives in Florida. His father lives in Virginia.
As far as hobbies are concerned, the Cleveland newcomer said he likes to build and repair computers, but admits he would love to have a career in the field he is most adept at, calling it his “first love.”
I’ve always worked on personal computers since I was 13,” he said. “Video games got me into that, but I prefer assembling new ones. I would love to repair computers for a living — networking and troubleshooting.”
Walters said he also enjoys refinishing furniture, explaining, “There’s something inside guys where we enjoy a good-cut lawn,” he said. “After you finish it you feel gratification for a job well done. Once you take a piece of furniture home that someone else has discarded and you refurbish it and make it like new — that’s something special to me.”
As far as goals are concerned, Walters said he is saving to purchase a new vehicle.
“Mine was stolen from me last New Year’s Eve in Florida,” he said. “That was a major hit in my life. I’m still trying to recover from that. Once someone yanks $10,000 from underneath you — that you’ve spent so long trying to acquire it hits you hard. They never found the vehicle or person who stole it. In Cleveland you don’t see as much crime. There’s not a lot of trash. You see very few transients around here, which says something for the availability of jobs.”
While his first love is computers, and his third love is mechanics, Walters admits his second love is dancing — particularly, the No. 1 street dancing in America.
“I’ve been popping and locking for about 10 years,” he said. “I use to work in a club doing it. It’s more like the ‘Step-Up’ movies than ‘Magic Mike.’ But I love it! I love to dance.”
Walters, with his laid-back, easy-going personality, said he has been to church with a few friends on certain holidays but has not settled on any particular church, adding, “It takes you a while to find one you feel most comfortable with. But I’m really enjoying the people here. I love it.”
For now, he said he is very happy with his job, his move and his career opportunities as a newcomer to Cleveland.