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June 14, 2024 29 mins

Two-time Emmy and Three-time NAACP Image Award-winning television Executive Producer Rushion McDonald interviewed Craig Melvin.  

For Craig Melvin this book is more an investigation than a memoir. It's an opportunity to better understand his father; to interrogate his family's legacy of addiction and despair but also transformation and redemption; and to explore the challenges facing all dads--including Craig himself, a father of two young children.

Growing up in Columbia, South Carolina, Craig had a fraught relationship with his father. Lawrence Melvin was a distant, often absent parent due to his drinking as well as his job working the graveyard shift at a postal facility. Watching sports and tinkering on Lawrence's beloved (but unreliable) 1973 Pontiac LeMans were two ways father and son connected, but as Lawrence's drinking spiraled out of control, their bond was stretched to the breaking point. Fortunately, Craig had a loving, fiercely protective mother who held the family together. He also had a series of surrogate father figures in his life--uncles, teachers, workplace mentors--who by their examples helped him figure out the kind of person and father he wanted to be.

Pops is the story of all these men--and of the inspiring fathers Craig has met reporting his "Dads Got This Series" on the Today show. Pops is also the story of Craig and Lawrence Melvin's long journey to reconciliation and understanding, and of how all these experiences and encounters have informed Craig's understanding of his own role as a dad. 

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
If you're about to make a change in your life
and you feel uncomfortable, that's the best feeling you can have.

Speaker 2 (00:08):
Because for the first time in your life, you'll make
a new decision that's going to be best for you
and not what somebody told you to do. And that's
when all bets are off.

Speaker 1 (00:17):
Welcome to Money Making Conversation Masterclass. I'm your host, Rashwan MacDonald.

Speaker 2 (00:22):
Our theme is.

Speaker 1 (00:22):
There's no perfect time to start following your dreams. I
recognize that we all have different definitions of success. For
you and maybe the side of your HM, it's time
to stop reading other people's success stories to start living
your own keep winning. My next guest is Craig Melvin.
He's the co host of The Today's Show and the

(00:44):
author of the book Pops Learning to Be a Son
and a Father. You may know craigge and the ward
winning news anchor. As I said earlier on The Today Show.
You also have seen him on MSNBC Live and a
host of Dayline. He's on the show discussed his book,
Pops Learning to Be a Son and the Father.

Speaker 2 (00:59):
It's the story of all the father figures.

Speaker 1 (01:01):
In Crigg's life and that includes inspiring men from his
program or his series called Dad's Got this series on.

Speaker 2 (01:09):
NBC News Today.

Speaker 1 (01:10):
These experiences and encounters of shapes Crig's understanding of his
own role as a dad. And I'm sure I can
be related. We have a nice conversation. He has two
young children. Please welcome the money making conversation, my man,
Craig Milvin.

Speaker 3 (01:22):
How you doing, Craig Sean, I'm well, I'm well. Thank
you so much for having me. Always enjoy your conversation.
So honored to be a part of what.

Speaker 2 (01:31):
Thank you. Memria A Southern boy South Carolina, Okay.

Speaker 1 (01:35):
You know you know when I see people on TV
and you're so articulate, There are no y'alls, there are
no access.

Speaker 2 (01:42):
How does a man come straight out of club?

Speaker 3 (01:45):
You?

Speaker 1 (01:45):
And I know color because Steve Harvey and I used
to go down a lot performing at the Town Center,
selling that place out all the time. So I'm very
familiar with South Carolina, Charleston, that whole low country. There's
no low country in your tone? What's going on here?
How you break that low country accent? Low cut your accent?

Speaker 4 (02:01):
It's funny because I never had it.

Speaker 3 (02:03):
My mom, you'll appreciate this growing up in Houston the
way that you grew up. My mom grew up in
the projects and first in the family to go to
college and first in the family to get a graduate degree.

Speaker 4 (02:17):
So when we came along.

Speaker 3 (02:19):
She wanted to expose us to things and places that
she had not been exposed to. And consequently, I think
I was probably fourteen or fifteen, and she had us
take part in these oratorical contests, right, and that was
kind of how it started.

Speaker 4 (02:40):
So I took I took.

Speaker 3 (02:42):
Some public speaking classes, and then these oratorical contests, and
then the next thing you knew, I had what they
what they liked to call in the business a nondescript dialect.
You can't really tell based on listening to me where
I'm from.

Speaker 4 (02:58):
It's a blessing. Now.

Speaker 3 (03:00):
When I was growing up, it was always he's talking white.

Speaker 4 (03:03):
Absolutely, he he talks like a white boy. So it's
you know, it's it was the curse. Now it's a blessing.

Speaker 1 (03:11):
Well, you know, it's interesting because I knew in my
middle school.

Speaker 4 (03:15):
I remember my.

Speaker 1 (03:15):
Teacher used to always ask me to read, used to
always ask me to read, and you know, people talk
about bullying, and you know, when you people are talking
about they call you snowflake. That was formal bully and
then so it's popularized now because people are willing to
talk about it. But we all grew up in some
form of physical or mental abuse from high school kids
or people in the neighborhood. And my I remember this,

(03:36):
this this girl. She made such a big deal that
I was always asked to read that. It almost, I
have to say, traumatized me because I went exactly the opposite.
I wanted to talk, I wanted to say, ain't I
wanted to have I wanted to slur my words.

Speaker 2 (03:49):
I wanted to fit in. And so with you.

Speaker 1 (03:52):
Now, I bring that story up because you talk about
because you was hit with it. You was hit, you know,
talking white, didn't want to act white. You're calling snowflake?
What kept you focused? What kept you from from veering
off like I veered off? I veered off and I said, hey, man,
I want to fit in and not be me.

Speaker 4 (04:09):
You know, I think it was And I wrote about
in the book. My mother. My mother really racheant.

Speaker 3 (04:15):
I mean she she she kept us on the straight
and narrow.

Speaker 4 (04:18):
At the time, we resented the strictness.

Speaker 3 (04:23):
I mean, my mom she knew all of our friends, right,
and she knew all of the parents. We weren't allowed
to stay out past you know, during the week maybe
nine o'clock, maybe on the weekends when kids were going
to parties and having fun. I was doing oratorical contests
and activities.

Speaker 4 (04:41):
And I went to in high school.

Speaker 3 (04:44):
I think I probably went to maybe three high school
football games on Friday night.

Speaker 4 (04:49):
I just I didn't. I grew up on a very
tight leash.

Speaker 3 (04:52):
Right, And and part of it was my mother over
compensating for my father not being the kind of dad.

Speaker 4 (04:57):
That he should have been.

Speaker 3 (04:59):
But part of it was his mom knew. She knew
back then, I think kind of what it took. She
was a school teacher, then she went into an administration.
She knew what it took to shape and mold young
black boys, especially right, And.

Speaker 4 (05:14):
That was it.

Speaker 3 (05:15):
Had it not been for her, had I grown up
in another house, we wouldn't be.

Speaker 4 (05:19):
Having this conversation right now.

Speaker 1 (05:20):
Well, you know, in writing your book, you know the
book we're talking for talking to interviewing Craig Melvin, his
book Pops, Learning to Be a Son and a Father.
Is it because the fact that your father wasn't there
that she maybe overcompensated and wanted to make sure you
didn't you had a better life, or you pursued the
options even though I knew she went to college and
think of the age of twenty two is when she

(05:41):
became pregnant with you. But talk about that in the
middle is because as we talk about trying to shape
you because of the fact that you've been shaped by
a lot of people, especially the stories we gon't talk
about the presidentcident when it was our camp grades. How
that really kind of like started you in this direction
of humanizing all men, actually men who are incocelreaty. Talk

(06:02):
about your mom in her role versus your dad role
because you mentioned it just a little bit, but that
centers around us getting to the story and your father
changed his life at the age of sixty seven.

Speaker 3 (06:13):
Mom, Yeah, Mom, Mom, Mom, Ha had to play the
role of mom and dad for the better part of
my childhood. It was it was it was a role
that she was you know, she was unfortunately well prepared
for it because she ended up she had to take
care of her three younger siblings when she was in
college and her father skipped out of the family. Ended

(06:35):
up essentially dying on the streets and squalor.

Speaker 4 (06:39):
But no a mom.

Speaker 3 (06:41):
Because my father was not physically present as often as
I would have liked, and my younger brother would have
liked my older brother as well.

Speaker 4 (06:51):
Mom stepped in to fill the gap. She filled, She
filled the boy.

Speaker 3 (06:54):
And not just not just being present in the sense
of searing a little aims or soccer games or concerts.
Not just physically present, but emotionally present, right, spiritually present.
I mean, the relationship that I have with God is
because of my mother's relationship with God.

Speaker 4 (07:16):
So it was it was divine intervention. You know.

Speaker 3 (07:20):
Had I had any other mother, things would not have
gone the way.

Speaker 4 (07:25):
That they did.

Speaker 3 (07:26):
But you know, it's also and I write about in
the book, as you know, and I do appreciate the
fact that you read the book. You'd be surprised. And
how often we talk to people about books and they
haven't read word one, but I can tell you read
the whole thing. And I write about in the book.

Speaker 4 (07:42):
My father.

Speaker 3 (07:43):
I asked him doing the course of my interviews with
him for the book, I said, Pops, what was the
most money you ever wasted? Without missing a beat, he
said it was about fifteen hundred dollars back in nineteen
eighty six, said there was a lot of money back then,
would you spend that money on?

Speaker 4 (07:58):
Right?

Speaker 3 (07:58):
He said, that's how much he has to put my
daddy in the ground.

Speaker 4 (08:02):
And in that moment.

Speaker 3 (08:04):
I realized that while I had been frustrated by the
lack of relationship I had with my dad, it was
exponentially better than the relationship he had with his own father. Right,
he knew who his dad was until he was almost
a teenager. So it was it was wholly unrealistic of
me to expect him to be the kind of dad

(08:27):
that I had come to idolize. He couldn't be it
because he hadn't seen it. And you can't be something
stretch that. It's really hard to be something, yes, if
you if you haven't seen it, if you haven't been
exposed to it.

Speaker 4 (08:41):
So that's what my dad was up against.

Speaker 1 (08:43):
Well, you know when I when I read the book,
you know, you know I heard the shotgun house. Okay,
I grew up in there. I was born in the
shotgun house, two bedroom shotgun house. A lot of people
if you listen to the shotgun house, open to the
front door, shoot the gun out the shotgun out through
the go out the front, back door. Don't hit anything
that's a shotgun. Okay, you referenced big feet. Grew up
with big feast. My man, Hey, I went touching, but

(09:09):
big feasts part.

Speaker 2 (09:11):
Of my lifestyle.

Speaker 1 (09:12):
And so that's the Southern I'm from Houston, Texas, I'm
from the South.

Speaker 2 (09:15):
It was it was a lifestyle that was normal to me.

Speaker 1 (09:17):
But it was also a community lifestyle of people taking
care of each other.

Speaker 2 (09:22):
And that was really important.

Speaker 1 (09:23):
Not only your dad, even though there were some missteps,
there were still people there to take care of him,
you know, to make sure he was focused, to shout
at him as he.

Speaker 2 (09:32):
Became an adult. There were people in the community.

Speaker 1 (09:35):
That's really important in this book that no matter what,
there is some form of family tied to your story,
and the people in your life talk about that.

Speaker 3 (09:45):
You know, it's it's it's funny because long before people
started talking about it taking a village, uh to rear
a child, I had a village. You know, it wasn't
called that back back in the eighties in South Carolina,
back in the eighties nineties when I grew up and
I had a village, and and and yes, there were
a number of men who played the role of dad

(10:08):
alone the way my uncle James, my uncle Jake, my
uncle Frank. But there were also a lot of women
that that that played the part as well. I was disciplined,
and I think that's the politically correct term.

Speaker 4 (10:23):
I was.

Speaker 3 (10:24):
I was disciplined by more women growing up than men,
whether it's my mom or or one of my aunts
and my grandma. I spent a lot of time with
my two grandmothers growing up, and they really shaped me
in myriad ways that I didn't fully appreciate until.

Speaker 4 (10:40):
I was older. But and then after that, I had
coaches along the way.

Speaker 3 (10:44):
I always God always blessed me with with with people
along the road, right Uh that that gave me a
little part of something that I was. I was able
to tape and build on. It's difficult for young black
men especially, it's difficult to to learn how to carry
yourself in this world.

Speaker 4 (11:08):
With without examples of it.

Speaker 3 (11:10):
And I had lots of examples thankfully along the way.
But the reality is, you know, Sean, a lot of
kids don't have that. A lot of kids don't they
just you know, through no phone of their own mind.
You they don't have a mother or a father, or
an uncle or an aunt to take their hand on

(11:30):
this journey of life. And so they end up finding
role models that they should not be held out or
that should not.

Speaker 4 (11:39):
Be on a pedele stale, and they begin to emulate them.

Speaker 1 (11:42):
You know, the thing I really like about your book
is that sometimes because my father was a truck driver,
you know, so you know when he wasn't driving trucks,
you know he was he was, he wasn't really connected
to me. I can I can tell you he was
my father. I can tell you that my mom was
there for me. My mom pushed me. My mom always

(12:02):
felt that could be somebody special in life. When your
father showed up for your ball game, that memory, you
don't know if you got to hit a home runner,
got struck out every time you went up the bat,
but you remember that moment.

Speaker 2 (12:14):
And then when your mom rescued you when you thought
you had an entered early fatherhood.

Speaker 1 (12:21):
You know, those are two moments that really I bring
up those two moments prayer, because despite of all the
things we do in our life, there are always memories
that really.

Speaker 2 (12:32):
Some haunt people, some inspire people.

Speaker 1 (12:35):
Your father showing up for your game and your mom
I basically come into the rescue because she did something
that enabled you to relax. Talk about those two key
moments of parenting. Even though your father wasn't there, that
was a key parenting moment that he provided for you
that stays.

Speaker 2 (12:52):
With you today.

Speaker 1 (12:52):
It probably cares into your parenting you with your children today,
and then your mom being there for you at a
moment of doubt for fear. But both of them were
there at different times.

Speaker 3 (13:04):
I mean, you're talking about the part of my book
where I am I almost became a teenage father. I
was almost a statistic at the age of fourteen. No less,
I made a.

Speaker 4 (13:18):
Bad choice. I made a bad choice.

Speaker 3 (13:20):
And you know what I write about it because I
wrote about it because I wanted people to understand.

Speaker 4 (13:26):
There but for the grace of God go I.

Speaker 3 (13:30):
And I think a lot of folks can relate to
this idea that you know, there's that night or sometimes
that day, but usually it's that night where you went left,
but you could have gone right, right right, and had
you made a different decision, it would have altered the
course of your life in a dramatic way.

Speaker 4 (13:52):
That almost happened to me.

Speaker 3 (13:53):
I got lucky and at that point in my life,
I was, I didn't have much of a relationship with
my father.

Speaker 4 (14:01):
I was I was afraid of my mother.

Speaker 3 (14:03):
Uh, definitely afraid, so I couldn't talk to her about it.
And it was a situation where you know, this young
lady was convinced she was pregnant, and I, like, I
had to, I had to do something.

Speaker 5 (14:16):
Please don't go anywhere. We'll be right back with more
money Making Conversations Masterclass. Welcome back to the Money Making
Conversations Masterclass hosted by Rashaan MacDonald. Money Making Conversations Masterclass
continues online at Moneymakingconversations dot com and follow money Making

(14:37):
Conversations Masterclass on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Speaker 3 (14:41):
This was not one of those situations where in action
was an option, right, And I write in the book
about how I went to my aunt, and it was
my aunt that finally convinced me that I had no
choice but to talk to my mother.

Speaker 4 (14:54):
Right.

Speaker 3 (14:55):
But my mom has always been long before we started
calling people fixers, my mom was a fixer, like it was.

Speaker 4 (15:02):
It was.

Speaker 3 (15:03):
That obviously was an extreme example, but there were so
many other times in my life where I thought I
was out of option. I didn't know what I was
going to do, and I prayed to God and put
trust in Betty Joe Melvin and and Betty Joe Melvin
always came through and still does now.

Speaker 4 (15:18):
Mind you in a different way, my dad.

Speaker 3 (15:20):
You know, I wrote about that, that that part in
the book with Shan where he showed up at my
little league game, and the memory stayed with me because
it was so rare to that point my dad. And
again now looking back on it, knowing what we know
about addiction, about it being a disease and not a weakness,
I understand why he wasn't there. I understand why he

(15:44):
had walled himself off from our family and society at large.

Speaker 4 (15:47):
But back then I was a kid, you know.

Speaker 3 (15:50):
I was a kid who wanted my dad to be
proud of me and see me, uh and certainly watched
watch my little league games.

Speaker 4 (15:57):
And so when he showed.

Speaker 3 (15:58):
Up that evening and I I saw him down the
third baseline there on the fence, it's a memory that
stayed with me because it was so rare. That being said,
now he's everywhere, like you know, he was up two
weeks ago my son had a soccer game.

Speaker 4 (16:13):
My dad was right there with.

Speaker 3 (16:14):
Me on the sideline, and thirty seconds in, my boy
hadn't scored a goal all season, thirty seconds in, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble,
shoot score first goal of the game, and me and
my pops are high fiven like he had just won
a green jacket at Augusta.

Speaker 1 (16:31):
Yes, you know it was. The book is an emotional book.
And I would say emotional because I told people when
I get a book like this, after slow read it,
because sometime it they hit points where I go, I'm
about to about to go there, I'm not let me.

Speaker 2 (16:46):
Finish this moment.

Speaker 1 (16:48):
And because I remember a moment with my dad nineteen
ninety two when I owned the comedy club and my
dad had never ever been to anything I've been, and
he just showed up at the comedy club and uh,
it was sold out and I.

Speaker 2 (17:02):
Looked at the lobbaries.

Speaker 4 (17:03):
What you're doing here?

Speaker 3 (17:04):
Dad?

Speaker 2 (17:04):
He goes, I come to see my son.

Speaker 4 (17:06):
And he looked around.

Speaker 1 (17:07):
He looked, wow, this you this you this you? And
I went, yes, sir, yes, sir, you know, because I
always said certainly my dad, and uh and he said
he said, he said, I'm proud of your son, and
and and like I said, this is because that's what
the book did to me as a dad. Because when
you start talking about an incarceration, and you talked about

(17:30):
you talk, you said earlier, right turn, left, turn those turns.
I always say that. When I was in college, you
know you you played the fraternity. I pledged to make
us I fire, and you always do stupid things. I
remember that the big brothers said, we want some plants. Well,
we didn't have no money, and so I remember this
was this giant open field where they had plants back
in the day, and rem lying, brothers, we went and

(17:52):
stole these plants.

Speaker 3 (17:53):
Man.

Speaker 2 (17:53):
I mean, if you.

Speaker 1 (17:54):
Look back on the Craig from the freeway, you would
have seen us running across this field with these plants.

Speaker 2 (18:00):
It's okay.

Speaker 1 (18:00):
So anybody could have went, what are those black dudes
boys doing.

Speaker 2 (18:04):
Running with all these giant plants.

Speaker 1 (18:06):
And I had a little Fiat X one nine, which
is a two seater, and the truck was in the front,
so I had to put the plants in the front,
and it were blacking.

Speaker 4 (18:15):
My wis sealed.

Speaker 1 (18:16):
So along the way I could have stopped and stopped
by the police and been incarcerated, and my life could
have changed on that right turn left turn that you
were talking about earlier.

Speaker 2 (18:26):
You are meeting men who've done.

Speaker 1 (18:28):
Something far worse than what I've talked about, but they
have made a mistake. And sometimes because they made a mistake,
we don't give them a second chance because we feel
that they are unworthy of that second chance. And then
in your book you talk about guess what they are
fathers too. Let's talk about that journey of you doing
a story I think basically changed your life.

Speaker 2 (18:49):
And it started with Camp Grace.

Speaker 4 (18:51):
Yeah, it was one of the most impactful stories I've
ever done.

Speaker 3 (18:55):
There's a and I don't even remember how we found
out about this camp, but I was I'll be reading
some article in an obscure publication about this summer camp
at a maximum security prison in California. Salinas State Valley
Prison is the name of the facility, and for one

(19:16):
week every summer they bring in about a dozen or
so kids to basically have a camp experience with their dads.
I mean, you know, arts and crafts, and they play games,
and they sing songs and they.

Speaker 4 (19:31):
Do all this stuff that they would do at a camp.

Speaker 3 (19:34):
And these kids are between the ages of you know,
seven or eight and fifteen or sixteen, and the guys
who are part of the program have to exhibit good
behavior for a full year.

Speaker 4 (19:48):
The camp is a it is a privilege.

Speaker 3 (19:50):
And I went out and spent some time talking to
these guys and it ended up being just an emotional
day because these these are man.

Speaker 4 (20:00):
First of all, most of them are not going to
be getting out of prison.

Speaker 3 (20:04):
I mean they've some of them have been convicted of
doing some pretty heinous things. But the two women that
started the camp, both of their husbands were incarcerated and
consequently weren't.

Speaker 4 (20:18):
Really a part of the child's lives.

Speaker 3 (20:22):
They would get the occasional visit, you know, on the
weekend and you've got the glass, but they weren't able
to really be a part of the child's lives. So
they came out the side there for a camp and
I talked to one of the guys out there, and
I asked them the question I knew a lot of
people were going to be asking when they watched or
read the story.

Speaker 4 (20:38):
How can someone.

Speaker 3 (20:41):
Accused of some of the things these guys were accused of.
How in what universe do they deserve the right to
spend time with the child. Yes, and without missing a beat,
he said to me, tears in his eyes.

Speaker 4 (20:59):
They be right.

Speaker 3 (21:01):
I may not deserve it, but you know what, crag
my kids do. My kids deserve to know their father.
They didn't do anything wrong, they didn't make any bad choices.

Speaker 4 (21:12):
And his larger point, and I think this was just
as valid.

Speaker 3 (21:15):
If we're serious about stopping the prison pipeline that we
always talk about, then we need to make sure that
kids of incarcerated individuals have relationships with them. He spent
a fair amount of his time talking to his daughter
about choices, making good choices, not ending up where he
ended up. It's a fantastic program, and it moved me.

(21:38):
It also moved me Sean because my grandmother, and it's
the first line in the book. Not to give away
too much, but you know my grandmother. Now, when I
knew her, she was going to church, at church, coming
home from church like she she only loved the Lord.
But apparently long before I came along.

Speaker 1 (22:00):
Just say she's a bootlegger. I won't give away no
more than that. Just say she a boot leg. I
don't want to give away the earther part Okay, she
a bootlegger.

Speaker 4 (22:06):
She was a bootlegger. She was a bootlegger. And and
and got a second chance, Yes he did. And had
she not gotten.

Speaker 3 (22:14):
A second chance, uh, who's to say whether I would
be here right now, you know.

Speaker 2 (22:19):
But here's the thing I want to point out about.

Speaker 1 (22:21):
That now his grandmother was in the same jail that
Martha Stewart was in. So she got how many chances
that she's got, Okay, but in the same facility now.
And so so when I when I when I read
the book and and and and I'm and it's like
I say, it's an.

Speaker 2 (22:37):
Emotional journey because it's your story.

Speaker 1 (22:39):
But it's a relatable story because I remember when my
younger brother was incarcerated in California and uh glass talking
and uh and I was in tears and and and
he told me.

Speaker 2 (22:50):
He couldn't cry. He's Irish. I can't cry. I can't.

Speaker 1 (22:53):
They can't, he said, I can't. And my nickname is Ricky. Ricky,
I can't cry because they see me crying out here.
I pay a price when I go back inside. And
in that book, you know, gentlemen, you interview and he said, look,
he said, thank god I have a seal by myself
because now I can cry. And so I love the
fact that you were humanizing people because we see these

(23:16):
we see this, we see the violent size, and nobody's
trying to downplay that.

Speaker 2 (23:20):
But we have made mistakes.

Speaker 1 (23:22):
There are people on the other side of this that
have to deal with the emotion that these are kids,
And like one of them said, look, it's all right
early on when you plan cards and you plan catch,
but when it becomes teens, the conversation becomes different.

Speaker 2 (23:37):
And that's what fatherhood.

Speaker 1 (23:38):
Is all about, which leads to your whole life of
being a father, being connected to your dad, and now
being a present day father.

Speaker 2 (23:44):
Let's talk about that, Greg.

Speaker 3 (23:46):
You know, I think that I think that you can
be shaped by negative examples, Yes, just as much as
you can be shaped by positive examples. In fact, I
think in some instances, maybe even more so.

Speaker 4 (24:01):
So.

Speaker 3 (24:01):
You know, growing up, I didn't know the kind of
man that I wanted to be. I didn't certainly know
the kind of father that I wanted to be. But
up until a few years ago, I knew I didn't
want to be anything of anything like my dad.

Speaker 4 (24:14):
Yes, and and and.

Speaker 3 (24:17):
That was what what motivated me personally and professionally, probably
to a certain extent now that that I'm talking about it.
But no, it's it's it's funny because I have to
remind my kids sometimes and I have a job and
and and consequently I cannot be at their beck and
call uh day and night, because you know, when my

(24:38):
dad was there when we were younger, it was it
was big, like it was a wedding or funeral or
graduation or that that Little League game that I write
about that I remember because it was so weird. Dad
didn't show up for stuff, in part because he worked
third shift at the post office, but in larger part
because because of the addiction issues that he had.

Speaker 2 (25:00):
So as a.

Speaker 4 (25:00):
Result, I've gone to the other end of the spectrum.
So if you know, I'm there for.

Speaker 3 (25:05):
Soccer games and my daughter had a gymnastics recital last
Sunday morning, and some I'm physically present as often as
in as much as I can to do you know,
pick I do school pick up, and I try to
do it all because you know, my dad didn't do
any of it. Now, now, the problem that that that
you create when you do that, and it took me

(25:26):
a while to figure this out, I've created expectations. Yes,
so if I'm not there to go, Daddy's got to
travel for work. Well, Daddy, why can't you write can
you take a later flight? And me can you go tomorrow?
Enough had to say it a few times. You know
that it's the job that pays for all of this.

(25:47):
You don't get to go to dance or you don't
get to go to soccer if daddy's not hopping on playing.
So that that's the that's the that's the unfortunate part.
But they're you know, they're starting to understand. But it's
funny as you become a parent, how you at some
point become you become the kind of for me at least,
the kind of father that I used to mock. Yes,

(26:10):
hate it with My dad would talk about, you know
how much something costs.

Speaker 4 (26:13):
You don't have money for this.

Speaker 2 (26:15):
And.

Speaker 3 (26:16):
When we were younger, we didn't like he wasn't lying,
Like we knew we didn't have a lot of money.

Speaker 4 (26:21):
We knew we had enough.

Speaker 3 (26:23):
With my kids, you know, I've said a few times
and we can't afford this, And myself, I'm missing the
beato say yes we can, you can, and I'm like
and then you then you find yourself trying to come
up with a new excuse like, ah, well maybe we
can't afford it, but that we don't need it.

Speaker 4 (26:41):
You don't need.

Speaker 2 (26:42):
That, right right right?

Speaker 4 (26:44):
You know, So it's hard.

Speaker 2 (26:47):
I know we're about to wrap up.

Speaker 1 (26:48):
I want to bring up a very a fun moment
as a parent, and I want to share with you
because you wrote about it when your son climbed into bed,
and you know, and then your kids when they sleep.
If you don't have kids children of you got a
very young child, when they climb in the bed, they
forget you in bed. They kids are the worst sleepers

(27:09):
in the world, especially when they get that six to
ten years of age. They were sleep And so when
you said that in the book, you said you may
miss that. I remember I talked to my daughter when
she was like seventeen. I said, hey, want your hop
in bed, we watch the TV.

Speaker 2 (27:24):
Shit what you're talking about?

Speaker 4 (27:26):
I said, you.

Speaker 6 (27:26):
Know, can we not watch a TV? Can we not
watch TV together? Remember we used to go I don't
do that. No more, Dad, No, no, we're not doing that.
So I would tell you this, Greg. That moment brought.

Speaker 2 (27:38):
Laughter to me. It brought back memories as your book.

Speaker 1 (27:41):
You know, they're amazingly good book, Pops, Learning to be
a Son and a Father.

Speaker 2 (27:44):
Man, it's a great read.

Speaker 1 (27:47):
Like I said, it slowed me when I said the
word slowed me because I was becoming emotional because, like
I said, my father was a beer drinker.

Speaker 2 (27:54):
My father worked hard as a truck driver. My father,
like I said, was he in my life? I don't know?
But did he shape me to be the man I
am today?

Speaker 1 (28:02):
Yes he did because he had a role in it
and that that role has made me to be the
man I am. I'd like to believe I'm a good
parent to my daughter, a good husband to my wife.

Speaker 2 (28:12):
And uh, those are the things that the stories that you.

Speaker 1 (28:14):
Tell out of this book, from the incarcerated to individuals
who raised you as a family, the community, and whether
teachers who shaped you as third grade, teachers who shaped.

Speaker 2 (28:24):
You as you go through life and you went.

Speaker 1 (28:27):
To school and want they want to shame your uncle
where you didn't pledge cap aside, But it was all
good man.

Speaker 2 (28:35):
I love your book, Craig. I want to appreciate you
for putting it out there.

Speaker 4 (28:38):
Man, thank you, thank you for your time. I've enjoyed
this conversation. You're very good at what you do. Thank
you for having me, Loko. We talked so many all right,
bye bye.

Speaker 1 (28:48):
If you want to see or hear in my interviews
a money Making Conversation, please go to money Making Conversation
dot com.

Speaker 2 (28:53):
I'm Ushan McDonald. I am your host.

Speaker 5 (28:59):
Thank you, Thank you for joining us for this edition
of money Making Conversations Masterclass. Money Making Conversations Masterclass with
rough Shan McDonald is produced by thirty eight fifteen Media Inc.
More information about thirty eight fifteen Media Inc. Is available
at thirty eight fifteen media dot com. And always remember
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