For Mother’s Day, I interviewed my mom. My dad enjoyed what I had done for my mom and secretly wanted something similar for himself so decided to I interview him for Father’s Day. Often times, I think I am one of few people I know that does not have any strong negative feelings toward my father.
I am lucky to have a dad who visibly loves and respects my mom, my brother, and myself even when we don’t agree. My dad and I do not see eye-to-eye on politics but we can agree on the importance of music within our lives. I have spent many nights while I’m home pilfering his record collection for the perfect addition to my collection. I couldn’t even tell you how many of the records I have at school were originally my dad’s. He was a DJ in the late 70’s, early 80’s, so there’s so really great stuff in that collection.
Who was your role model as a kid? Who is it today?
Kid: John Wayne, he was strong, honest, had integrity and was great role model for men. Dick Enberg sports broadcaster ( I wanted to be a sports broadcaster when I grew up). He was always a professional when it came to broadcasting sports.
Today: My father
Is there anything in your childhood you wish you could have changed? Why?
If anything were to change then I may not be where I am today with two intelligent children and a beautiful wife. I guess I always wanted to be on the Bozo show to play the Grand Prize game.
What do you feel like you inherited from your mom and dad?
From my father: his hair, the sense of responsibility to raise a family, logical thinking and his calm personality.
From my mother: compassion for others, shyness to mingle with people, to learn things wherever you go like vacations, and putting your children in a position to succeed
Who was your favorite person to spend time with when you were a teenager? Why?
Dennis Noble and Dave Croft. I was very conservative and shy with new people but was quick with a joke or humor. I was able to live through their fearlessness, spontaneity, meeting girls and they laughed at my humor
What was the most popular song when you were in high school? What kind of music did you like to listen to?
My high school time was a crazy time for music. You had disco, rock, and soft rock. Some examples of music I liked was “Stayin’ Alive” by Bee Gees, “We Will Rock You” by Queen, “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, “Come Sail Away” by Styx, and “Fly like an Eagle “by Steve Miller Band all playing on a 8 track tape. I was a DJ in High School in the late 70s so I liked a variety of music. This variety continued into college as I continued to be a DJ
What did you like most about yourself?
That I am calm and do not get upset very easily so I can analyze a situation before making a decision. I think this come from my belief in God which provides “the peace that passes all understanding”
What is your first memory of Mom?
I was in the break room at work playing cards at lunch, then this newly hired beautiful, young bubbly girl came down with friends to buy candy from the vending machine in the break room. She was the center of attention and made my eyes light up.
Why did you choose to be with Mom?
I felt comfortable around her and I could be myself. She shared my interest in religion and was willing to go to church with me. She lived on a farm and I would inherit brothers which I never had before.
What was it like when you were expecting me, was it different with my siblings?
It was scary because of the unknown. There is not a class you can take to be a parent and there is not a measurement or test that determines if you will be a good parent. Also it was exciting to have a child I could love, play with, have a reason to go to Toys R Us, and teach.
What I have noticed is that with the first child is that I was able to spend more time alone with them as a young child when she thought I was her hero and I was special. With the second child, I spend more with him as a teenager where I am more of a consoler than a “storytelling hero”.
What is your proudest moment as a father?
When my children succeed.
What are some of your favorite smells, sights, sounds, places… do they remind you of a place or time or person?
Smell: Growing up as a kid on the Southside of Chicago, the smell of cut Kentucky bluegrass reminds me of summertime, my parents and childhood home.
Sounds: “Lovin’,Touchin’, Scqueezin’,” by Journey reminds me of college and being on my own.
Sights: The campus at the University of Illinois begins back many good memories from high school being in 4-H, in college spending time with friends and experiencing a “day with no dusk”, football games with my father’s family and visiting my daughter.
Places: My Uncle Les’ farm in southern Illinois. I lived in the city and this was a great place to run around and explore. I drove my first vehicle and caught my first fish there.
Tell me about one day or event that you wish I could relive with you.
Having lunch at Wolfy’s and playing video games across the street with you when you were 5.
What do you do as a feminist, or what are feminist acts in your life?
I believe my daughter should have the right to try to succeed at anything and the harder she works, she should be compensated for that hard work.
It was challenging and fun to interview both of my parents for their respective holidays. I also loved having an excuse to use the picture he and I took at the Bush Beans Factory in Tennessee. My dad loves their Boston Style Baked beans and buys them whenever he visits because they don’t sell them in Texas. I hope he appreciates this gift in addition to the funny card and six pack of ZiegenBock Texas Amber beer my brother and I gave him before I went back to Illinois.