Walters enjoys academia almost as much as he likes talking to people -- and he has the degrees to prove it. After earning a bachelor's degree in documentary film production at the University at
Walters said he can relate to anybody -- even bar patrons who've had too much to drink. For the past year, Walters has taught a two-hour state-certified alcohol-training awareness program called Green Yellow Red (www.greenyellowred.org). The program is approved by the
Walters and Christina, his wife of 13 years, live in
People Talk: Tell me about your current gig.
PT: You really can't reason with a drunk?
MW: That's why people keep dying. It's being ignored at the point of sale. Studies have shown the most effective person in an intervention is the drunk person's sober older friend or spouse. People drinking behind the bar is problematic to say the least. The first thing you lose is your good judgment.
PT: Why does today's generation seem more vigilant?
MW: People are more receptive to alcohol training now. The liability can kill you. If you provide alcohol training for your staff, you lessen the liability. It's been around for about 30 years. Between 2000 and 2010,
PT: Would you call yourself a career bartender?
MW: Never. I always considered it a means to an end. It put me through grad school a couple times, undergrad, too. Bartending is nonstop sales. I enjoy people.
PT: Is Buffalo's bartending community closely knit?
MW: If they're drinkers, they are because a lot of the bartenders go and trade dollars after the shift. I'm no longer a drinker. I quit about 14 years ago, before I got married.
PT: You studied library science?
MW: I went to library school because my undergraduate degree was in film documentary at UB. I figured I'd learn how to do research. When I got out of UB, there was a one-year position at Cornell. I wanted to produce media for libraries. I happened to meet a guy who was a proactive librarian. He got me involved in the evangelical aspects of librarianship, getting the word out.
PT: What makes you pursue such disparate livelihoods?
MW: I'm not a mainstream guy. I've always believed in making the world a better place so I thought that producing documentaries would be a cross between art and journalism. I worked nights as a bartender so I could do what I wanted to do during the day. One of my graduate projects at
PT: Do you have a lot of student loans?
MW: No. I got a free ride at
PT: Aren't you itching to get back in the classroom?
MW: No. I use my degrees every day. If I did go back it would be for something in education. When I read about "
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