Thursday, February 29, 2024

Hank Butitta: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with Hank Butitta of ‘Hank Bought a Bus’ fame


The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?

The will to create. My family and friends are my unconditional support, but design is my passion.


“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?

“It’ll be fine”: Although it’s more of an anxious reminder than a motto.


Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?

Why mention the unmentionables? They get enough attention.


Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?

Structure. I should not be left to my own devices like this.


What might you swap all your wealth for?

A workshop. And if I ever stumble into any wealth I’m sure that’s what will happen. I could win the lottery and still manage to spend it all on tools.


Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?

As someone who doesn’t have, has never had, and may never have money I’m afraid I’m not terribly qualified to have an opinion.


What phrase or word do you most loathe?

“YOLO” (lol, jk).


In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?

As a recent graduate, I am the charity.


The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?

Cell phones are bad enough, but there are few things I hate more than blue-tooth headsets. There is no appropriate use for them.


Hank Buttita
Hank Butitta
Hank Butitta's converted school bus
Hank Butitta’s converted school bus

If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?

Do they have to be there willingly? Because I have a few celebrity crushes that I’d love to hold captive audience, first and foremost Sir Paul.


If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?

The greasiest, nastiest, heart-cloggingest cheeseburger they could dig up. Feed it to me in the chair so it’s savoury goodness is in my final thoughts.


What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?

One of my most memorable jobs was working as a night-porter in Dublin for five months. I finished work at 8am, so I’d say 8am.


A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?

Uh, don’t you guys have anything on tap here? I could really go for an IPA.


Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?

My own, because they’re the only ones I’m invited to.


Who is the most positive person you know?

My mother: She would cheer me on even if I was digging ditches.


What’s your most guilty pleasure?

This is being published, right? So we’ll go with trashy pop music. Who doesn’t rock out to Ke$ha on the morning commute?


If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?

It  would be a giant school bus across my chest, as that’s managed to become my identity to the world. However it would be done in Sharpey to represent the fleeting nature of this attention and my fear of commitment.


If you were a car, what marque would you be?

I’d be a vintage Fiat 500. Cute, efficient, and *totally* not compensating for anything.


Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.

In college I was in a barbershop quartet. I thought that would win over the ladies. I was wrong.


What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?

A massive two-volume set: The Story of Eames Furniture. The way I idolise their office and body of work is unhealthy.


Hank Butitta recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Masters in Architecture. He converted a bus as his Master’s Final Project and his blog Hank Bought a Bus went viral as he documented his journey renovating and touring in it. Since graduating, he has started his own shop and in his spare time enjoys beer and sandwiches.


Read The Steeple Times feature on Hank Butitta’s bus here.


Follow him on Twitter @hankboughtabus


Photographs © Justin Evidon.



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