This is part one of my two part conversation with my dad. When I first started having these conversations about masculinity and manhood, I knew that I was most nervous to have this conversation with my dad. Why? I think that's the very question I've been on a journey to discover.
Why is it so hard for young men to have serious conversations with their fathers? Isn't that the whole point? But throughout most of our lives, we find it easier to have these types of discussions with complete strangers. There's something easier about it. But as we all come to learn - growth comes in the uncomfortable.
This is the one year anniversary of the show. 45 episodes in and I finally worked up the courage to ask my dad to be on the show. We talk about 4 different stages of his life.
My goal with this episode is to be able to encourage other sons and fathers to continue to build and develop their relationships and have these harder conversations. I've seen an impact on our relationship already (we recorded this 3 weeks before releasing) and I can't wait to continue to nurture that relationship.
I hope you enjoy.
Welcome back to another episode of The Imperfect Pod this is episode number 45. It's also the one year anniversary. And it's also the episode with my dad is going to be a two parter. So there is today, Wednesday, September 30th and Friday, which is the real one year anniversary October 2nd. So it makes sure to stick around for both episodes, by following and subscribing on all platforms. This was really the conversation that I wanted to have one. I started this whole journey about masculinity and manhood.
I was able to have it on my birthday. And now it's the celebratory episode of the one year anniversary of the things that we talked about included what my dad was like at my age His relationship with his dad or my grandpa His approach to fatherhood and his relationship with me. So we really covered a lot of the basses. It really feels like it's full circle this episode. And before we get into the episode, here's the clip I recorded when I was walking home from work one day last October in Toronto, predicting this very moment in this episode with my dad.
0 (1m 2s):
And if that doesn't tell you something about how much I wanted you to this episode, I don't know what will let's get into it now, recording this
1 (1m 11s):
In downtown Toronto on October 17th, probably a long time before I actually record this episode, but there's in my mind. So I wanted to talk about it now or about the real importance that a father has in the sons life. And Y that relationship is so important. Don't think we give the fathers enough credit for what they do for their sons in a really healthy cases, even though, you know, a lot of the time, they don't really share they're their opinions or with one another, or a love for one another, if it does exist.
1 (1m 49s):
And that's really what this episode is there, the show is how much of father actually means to have some of his life. So, you know, enjoyed the scenes if you do with my dad.
0 (1m 58s):
Okay. How do you have any questions before we get started? No. Okay. You ready? I guess we'll see how this works to see how this goes, but I'll do my a little introduction first. Okay. So today I'm with my Dad Jeff, West my father, father of two, two sons, two daughters, husband of Trish West for how many years? 34 years. And this is going to be conversations with my dad.
0 (2m 29s):
So I have been thinking about this episode since before I started the podcast, which as of the moment of this recording will be the one year anniversary post one year anniversary podcast. So we started this October 2nd, 2019. This will be posted sometime early, October, 2020, but we're current recording it on my birthday, September 5th at our cottage. So yeah, this is, I kept convincing myself that this episode is gonna be like episode 10, then 20, then 25, then 30.
0 (3m 6s):
And then I think it will be ended up being episode 45. Not 50, no, not 50. It was either to be episode 50 or the one year anniversary, but I wanted to do earlier. This is to me, Dad going to be the hardest interview I've done. It is not. I think so. I don't know. I just, you were the hardest person for me to ask, so, and there's going to be, well, it shouldn't be But well, we'll get into that later in the episodes, but I'm going to be grilled.
0 (3m 39s):
Yeah. Well, not grilled, but we're gonna is gonna be good. We're gonna have conversation, but obviously you don't get led off the hook with my first question that I was as my guest is he was one person dead or alive that you'd like to have over for dinner. And what would you cook for them?
2 (3m 55s):
Okay. Yeah, you've given me lots of time to think about it. So it has been difficult and there's lots of different people I'd liked to interview, or I should say have her supper. And the one, I guess I was thinking just recently is a president Carter, Jimmy Carter. It just struck me. I thought, Oh, I'd like to have him for supper, ham over for dinner. Why a while? He is obviously senior to me.
2 (4m 25s):
He beat like my parents' age. And I remember him as is the president. And I also read the book. I can't remember which one it is. His biography. I, I can't remember the title, but in the book I I just realized how difficult it was and how much work and perseverance he put into, he was a peanut farmer. So he was not a famous person. He was not from lineage. He actually was from, I'm not sure while he wasn't from wealth, but he was from regular income, middle class probably, but he really worked hard and he was an underdog all the way through and he actually did it.
2 (5m 5s):
So that's hard. That's a difficult achievement. And he also is a Christian man who has his own principles, strong principal's. So we always think a politician's not in that light so much. And so I just thought, wow, he actually did come through and he lets say behaved very well as a precedent. He, and like any other president, he had never done this job before. So it's like being a father it's. So your first time to do that, when you, you don't get practiced to become a father, you just, if you decide to have children, you become a father and there's no turning back.
2 (5m 45s):
And so anyways, he became present and he actually did a reasonable job, probably not the best, but he was not in easy times as well. And so I just thought, Oh, I really, And not so much then, but now, so now I'm older. I realize, okay, now I appreciate a lot about him. So, and now he's 90 something and he's come through lots of a good times and bad times, and he's still got a smile on his face and he he's a Democrat.
2 (6m 19s):
So he's more liberal in some ways, yet as a Christian, usually they they're often Republican of that's usually what they would say they most Republican or Christian leaders would say never, almost never say their Democrat as far as I know, but he was that Democrat and a very interesting person. What year years was he the president? I'll say The 76 to 80 ish.
2 (6m 52s):
Something like that. Yes, because then something happened. And I am just trying to remember the specifics, but in Iran, a, there was a basically, I think it ran that's Ayatollah, Khomeini. They, he came to power. Then there was really a difficult time because they had Iran prior to that point had been a very liberal country. And the Shah of Iran was actually a wealthy person with not strong Islamic ties.
2 (7m 26s):
And so that's why the overwhelming power of the Islamic forces There basically shoot him out of the country. I don't think they took his life, but I think they shoot them out of the country aggressively. And then that's when you had a complete change over and with that, they took over the us embassy. And there was a, I forget the number of hostages. It's almost 200, let's say. And so the hostage crisis was famous, have the time.
2 (7m 57s):
And Jimmy Carter was, unfortunately, the guy caught in most of that in the fall. And he wasn't what you'd call a militant leader. It's an American a, he wasn't like what we're used to seeing in the States, his leadership, but he was a strong leader. It was just that you had to almost be dictatorial to take over, take on this regime. And so what happened was that's when the elections around that time, and that's when Ronald Reagan and he's a Republican was a Republican and he was speaking, that's a tough language of America.
2 (8m 38s):
And he just said, I'm going to fix those guys. We're going to come in, we'll come and get you guys. And in all of that, Canada had a relationship with some of that. They snuck through the Canadian embassy or something. That's how they got out But Reagan and whatever he did on the probably they a really, really pushed to get the moat. And so that's why he got voted in because he was a strong president, as far as most Americans would have said.
2 (9m 7s):
And so that's why they voted him in. I think that's all I remember about how it went, but that's the gist of it. So, but I always, and especially now I appreciate Jimmy Carter. Cause it's, you know, I think he just says, he's a, he's like grandfatherly now. Yeah. And I think he's had brain surgery or he had cancer. He's had a lot of different things, even in recent times. And they were just shocked that he'd actually come through, but he still, so he's probably the oldest past president right now.
2 (9m 38s):
That's still alive. And he still makes sense when he talks. He's not, you know, better than Biden while we won't get into, I don't know about him, but he, you know, I think he had a lot of people of still ask, would you be president for a 90, some odd year old? And he just laughs. But he still can think straight. So that's great. I was gonna say, what am I going to feed them? So,
0 (10m 3s):
No, no, no. Well, yeah, we'll talk about that after, but I was gonna say, try to keep your hands off the table and cause it might catch it. You can't really hear what the This, but, and if you touch the wider, it might be, I've been told that that also can create some feedback. So it's better to keep your hands all sit on the mat. Okay. Perfect. But yeah. What would you feed them?
2 (10m 24s):
I was just saying stir fry. I can do a stir fry, not too badly, a practical
0 (10m 29s):
Earlier, or cause I was going to say,
2 (10m 32s):
Oh, data to know, well that kind of one of my go tos and do, you can see actually, if a person is sitting in the kitchen while you're getting it ready, you can still work on the stir fry and talk and it doesn't, you're not going in and out to the barbecue or something like that. You can just work on the stir fry and put it all together and it's healthy. And even if a person says I'm vegetarian, you can keep the meat out of the stir fry. So there's a lot of flexibility. And so I just want with that.
0 (10m 60s):
Perfect. And now we're getting into some of the real questions. What were you like at my age? I'm curious I'm 24 now. So I don't know if we've ever talked. I knew what you were like when we were kind of a teenager, but I'm interested in hearing what you were like at 24 specifically, if you can recall,
2 (11m 16s):
For sure. You can always trim, recall your own age or timeframes unless you don't want to recall them. But I was a tough guy that no, actually I was, I had let's see, let me just think I wasn't popular in high school or, and I didn't go to university, but I went straight to 3m, worked there full time. And I was when I was like 20, I'll say 21, a friend of mine. That was he. Wasn't what you call a fitness freak.
2 (11m 47s):
He was just a fitness guy. He stayed in shape and I'd never known anyone personally. That was, to me that took a working out, not seriously, but it was like His, it was just how he, his routine. He just, he wanted to stay in shape. So he did, we went, I started hanging around with Dan and this guy, he, part of it is routine would be no, he worked as a guy in a grocery store. Actually he worked as a produce manager, I'll say in a store and so forth.
2 (12m 20s):
But on the site he would, he would go to Fanshawe college in London and we would use their weight room and Dan was in pretty good shape. So he could do everything. He was used to it for me, it was kind of new. I just hadn't thought of working out. And so I started doing that. He also ran, but just enough to stay in shape. So he had, he was in good shape. And so I thought, gee, I can run. I've never thought of actually running. So I started running and then it was kind of one of those aha moments when I not only did that, but when I started running, I was just wearing in those days, we're talking 1980 ish, a flat bottom running shoes.
2 (13m 4s):
They aren't great for running jogging. And so I didn't know that I just had those kinds of shoes, basic running shoes. Then one day I thought, Oh, I could buy some Pumas or some sort of actual jogging shoe. And I put them on and I thought these are like pillows running on pillows. And so when I started running in those, I actually started to love running. And so I became a much better runner than Dan was because he didn't take it that seriously. I kind of just went to build for him. And I was taller slimmer and I was losing weight and in getting in shape.
2 (13m 38s):
And so the whole thing worked out really well. So, so the early twenties, all of a sudden, I didn't become a popular person, but I just became, you know, a more confident, confident, maybe, maybe that's what it was. And so with that, I, you hang out with a guy who, and then our friends, we were just in a, it was, he'd come out of the church group as well, but he a loosely. So I, most of my friends were to loosely church guys.
2 (14m 9s):
And so being that they were kind of, you know, one foot in the world, one foot in the church, I would call that. And so with that, they all knew the same church, folks, guys, people, young people, we gotta get big young adults kind of grouped, but then also you have, you know, your work world. And so I worked at three M and that was a huge company. So it was, I just had friendships there to, and so your world broadens at that age or just before, at least mine did.
2 (14m 40s):
And then I kinda just a, I guess a 24, I'm trying to think what year that was 82. So 82, I was just enjoying being a young guy with different friends and you know, you hang out with girls, girl friends. And so there was, it was a good time and you know, when you're getting into shape and I was still working at 3m and I wasn't sure if I liked it as much as I thought, But, I'm the kind of, I'm not the adventuresome guy who says, gee, I wanted to quit there and try something else.
2 (15m 19s):
That wasn't really me. So I just decided I've been staying there working and what 3m is a big company. So there is opportunity to be mobile upward. And if you really wanted two, you could. And unfortunately without a university degree, there's not a lot more opportunity. But if you show initiative, you could, and I don't really get into too much initiative in some ways. So I just thought I'm not sure, but anyways, that was what snapshot
0 (15m 50s):
Shot. So this is pre mom, right? What well, I'm curious what your dating life was like or what you, where you a ladies, man, where you not a ladies, man.
2 (16m 1s):
I hadn't been But, you know, you kind of become, somebody's more confident somebody, I dunno, it was a kid I'd gone out with I'm a couple may be before that time. And then during that time, I actually, Oh, you know, here's a side thing in 1980 or 81 chariots of fire came out. And so for me, that was an interesting time because it's all about running. And so that really kicked my running into gear.
2 (16m 35s):
It was huge because it was a, if you look at the movie that the prime runner, Eric Liddell or Lidl, he actually is a Christian Guy from Scotland. He was, and this is 1924. So it's almost a hundred years ago now of that was the 1924 Olympics. And he really was an incentive in my mind for being a runner and an upright guy. And so I, I actually quite liked that, but at the time I was going out with a girl from 3m.
2 (17m 11s):
And so it was just, you know, at 3m I have just, there was opportunity to go out with different females and I hadn't, I have, for some reason it was just a friendships at that time. We were mostly three of them work related. And so kind of just have done that. And then But, you know, There, they're just, its hard to say how relationships go. Sometimes you kinda just tell right at the beginning that this isn't going anywhere, but at least this is kind of nice for the summertime or whatever it is.
2 (17m 47s):
Right. And so did you have summertime flings? Oh, I didn't aim for that. But sometimes that happens because we had a cottage as well. And so youth group can come to the cottage. Then you hang out with friends, but you know, you kind of, you're always open to female options at, you know, you just that's the way it is. And as a single guy, you're not sure who you're going to marry. You're not sure if you're going to get married because you think of different things.
2 (18m 19s):
I mean, being a fit person is only one dimension. What if I'm not that interesting and other dimension I and another dimension. And so I didn't think I was and a lot of ways. And so I just thought, well, you gotta play with this dimension. So this is the one that works and you know what? You can hang out with And and B not a, it wasn't a charmer. I'm not really that, but I just thought, you know what? You can hang out and have friendships and nothing really got him very serious at all.
2 (18m 54s):
So, but it was just kind of that phase of life.
0 (18m 57s):
So that's interesting. I feel like I'm the exact opposite. I am not fit, but I feel like I have many layers to myself beyond just being fit.
2 (19m 7s):
Well, I was, I wasn't re I was raised in a family where it was easygoing, nonconference confrontational and we didn't talk about serious things really openly sometimes with my mom, my mother and I did, but really it was just whatever comes along in life, that's where you're at. If it wasn't like I drove my life forward in any sense, but actually the fitness running and that helped actually drive something forward.
2 (19m 39s):
I just wasn't surprised that you can actually do it. But. And so that was that phase of life anyways.
0 (19m 45s):
So I guess in our, in follow up to that, does it, have you ever questioned your Manliness
2 (19m 53s):
Question Manliness? Just yours? Not actually, I would say no. I mean, because back then I didn't weight that generation really, as far as I know, I mean being brought here, but the back in my earlier years on the, I don't remember anyone talking about manhood, but I guess there was always the assumptions. Manhood is being tougher or not tough. I'm not a tough guy, but you know what, there's a confidence, but there's, it's very hard to explain what man Manliness or man hood looks like.
2 (20m 32s):
I just knew men were different than women. So, but the specifics around that is we didn't a, we didn't challenge anything back then that I can think of, at least not the group that I was hanging around. And I don't remember many people challenging what they thought about concepts of manhood, if it was sort of the Archie bunker days. And I, you probably haven't heard of Archie bunker, but there was Archie bunker was on a three is not three's company.
2 (21m 4s):
There was another TV show anyways, and that was, he was the father. He sat in a chair and he called his son in law meathead and his daughter was too good for the son-in-law as far as, as he was concerned, but any, he was very outspoken in his views of the day or ethnicities or whatever he was just, and so there that, that generation, I like that was, would have been my dad's generation, technically that Archie bunker was my dad's generation, but that's the kind of father We I would've had, my uncles were mostly like that.
2 (21m 46s):
A lot of men around that were my dad's age were like that. And not completely Archie bunker ish, but, but there's elements to that where you never challenge your father and he's an authority figure and you always respect them. And that was just like I say, even from the generation, when I grew up, my grandfather would have said, children should be seen and not hurt. And I'm not, that's not, not, that was the absolute truth of that.
2 (22m 17s):
There wasn't like, Oh, that's just an interesting quote. No, that's what was actually expected. Children were seen and not heard. So I heard that when I was a kid and that's what you got to the table, you heard your older peers, parents and grandparents talking, you never interrupt them. And they, they talk their, the ones talking you're eating dinner and their talking. And so things had changed a lot since then.
0 (22m 44s):
Yes. So I guess in regards to that, do you feel like you're traditional at all? Do you feel like your cause growing up with you, I wouldn't call you a traditional handy handyman or I dunno like the typical, I guess kind of construct of what people would say is the man from your generation, you're a kindhearted you're generous. You're very lovely and present with us as kids, which is typically not what is seen of men your age, I guess, or that's the common stereotype.
0 (23m 20s):
So do you consider yourself masculine or how do you define you being a man?
2 (23m 26s):
Well, for me, actually a probably, and I dunno if you have other questions in this direction, but more when I met your mom and I knew her family growing up, even so I've known the Brown family even from before I ever dated Trish. And so, and it's just ironic. I mean, it's totally the opposite family of my family. I'm like almost 180 degrees.
2 (23m 56s):
So, and it was not planned like that. I mean, it wasn't like I went in that direction. So there's a lot of what I am today. That's different because of that family and a, you know, the change, there's a, I mean you can keep to your ways a lot of people do, right? So they might, my family is the right family. My family is a normal family. That's how most of us are raised because if it wasn't, then we are family would have chosen something different.
2 (24m 32s):
So that the only is a logical. So my family obviously thought their style of upbringing, it's just the way that was. And my dad was my dad. He was somewhat overbearing And, but my mom was, she was passive in a lot of ways, but not. And in fact, in the home, not so pushed around, it's just that in public, it might look more of that style because that's kind of the generational thing.
2 (25m 3s):
But for me, there was just changes once I, once you start moving beyond, I guess that's it. As I walk, as I look at you guys, my kids, I started to see you changing from the family we had and it's not good or bad. It's just the way it is. And so, and when one day you find a different of a spouse, hopefully, or whatever you can, you'll start to see there's elements to the new family that they think they were all our, our normal, and I'm using small in normal.
2 (25m 39s):
And it's just, that's the way every each family is. And so when you're going into a new family, you have to go in seeing it like that, because if you don't, then you are resistant maybe, or, or, and the other sense, some people embrace the other family cause they thought GI was. So I'd been so tired of my family. I want this family until they realized somewhere along the line, actually this always happens. As far as I'm concerned, they gravitate back to what their family was.
2 (26m 13s):
To some degree, if you say, I want to escape what my family is, you will gravitate back to it because it's just the way it is over it. That's what I have actually seen in my lifetime is there's elements to me gravitating back to mind. But it's harder to explain some of that, but, and it's not good or bad. It's just the way it is. As far as I can see And because our familiarity with our upbringing from childhood, that is all we knew as a child, children, as you get a bit older, like your age, you are now saying you might rebel against what you had.
2 (26m 50s):
I mean, that's part of it. You could just say, Oh, I didn't like this or that about my own family. That's why I'm not doing this or that. Or I'm doing something different. But somewhere along the line, you start to realize there's just different options. And one you had might have been pretty good at a lot of ways, not everywhere, but a lot of ways.
0 (27m 14s):
That's a good transition point to talking about your dad. So grandpa, who has he had been passed for a while? Five, six, seven, eight, 11, nine years already. Wow. So you talked about transitioning beyond what you had and I know a bit about your relationship with grandpa. Not to much. Cause I was, I guess only 15 when he passed and he'd been in the senior's home for, for years.
0 (27m 45s):
So really like 11 without with like my memory of like seeing your relationship with grandpa. So what about yourself? Did you want to model after grandpa and what parts didn't you want to model after grandpa? So
2 (28m 2s):
Those are good. Cause there's always something you can model after. Even if you're, aren't really wanting to be like someone or the other way around, if you're wanting to be like someone, you know, it probably would start realizing if you check into who they are, then a there's things. Oh, I don't really want to be known for that or associate with that. Cause nobody's perfect. But a lot with my dad, there was some good things. He was a hard worker, a much harder worker than I am, but he, he did his job.
2 (28m 33s):
He drove trains. He was an engineer for <inaudible> and he, it was a union job. So there was, I needed it for 40 years. So he put all of his life into that. He didn't really, he didn't really have any other career really. And so that was good because it became, it was like a good paying job, hard work. And because of union, you, you could actually get laid off if you weren't, if you were in the lower or things just didn't get busy with work, right.
2 (29m 9s):
That's the way unions are a, if you have, if you are higher up in the union, you're going to have your job. If you are down lower in the union, then a, you may, they have layoffs, you get laid off first. And so it was always worried about that. He seemed to worry a bit, he thought too much about having his job, but he never lost, ah, he never got laid off and there was always work with that. He worried a bit too much. That was such kind of a negative. And he was two.
2 (29m 39s):
I think what I realized he was too about being on time. And now on time is a good thing, but a train, a guy who drives a train has a watch on his lap and that's why they have these big a deal. Oh, what do a pocket watch? So he had a pocket watch, think my sister has it now. And because in a passenger train, you're going stop to stop. And there's a time that you are supposed to be at the next stop. Just like the go train or subway, right?
2 (30m 11s):
A on a train like from London to Toronto has to be at all these different stops at the right time. And as soon as you're late and people on the platform aren't happy and those who are in charge of your schedule, watching trains, they are saying, pick up the speed, get it going. Cause you're falling behind. And then if you're too fast, then you have to slow it down because now you're getting to the station too quickly. They actually could get caught for speeding. Trains can get caught for speeding technically And because there's times when, so if there's an accident, they always check all those things.
2 (30m 48s):
And so my Dad, there's a lot of stress driving a train. Just imagine that. And I remember as a boy getting on a train on the diesel so that we were talking to the diesel of the Trane, the diesel is just an engine. So it was like, you know, you think of your car. It has an engine in it, but it's got the body around it. It's got on the train. The diesel that you're actually sitting on is just a hundred percent motor. And so that's intense.
2 (31m 18s):
I remember as a boy, you can even jump to, to get your foot up to the first step. It's like four feet from the ground. And as a boy, it's like up for your show, do you have to get lifted to the first step of a diesel? And so it was terrifying for one thing. And then it's smelly like grease and oil and all that. And it, the earth around is shaking. So it shaking. And as soon as they put on the gas or the lever forward, that means more power is pushing to pull the train.
2 (31m 52s):
So I'll this thing. And I don't know how many thousand horsepower or whatever they have. And then if you have two or three of those things running, so they're, they're used to this, but we aren't. And I just remember, I thought, you know, and so there's a, there's an amount of power and pressure to that job. And so I always found him either getting to work late because he would never leave on time for work. He always was late. And so he'd go out in, in a, so this is what I remember.
2 (32m 24s):
He leave the house and it was never a positive scenario because he was just intense. And sometimes he was called, you know, at, for, in the morning he, his shifts, he got, you know, they'd get the spare board, that's a random sort of thing and that's money, which he would like to make. But at the same time, those are extra shifts and, and you can get called at, for in the morning. And then, okay, he's got, let's say 20 minutes to get down to the train station because in London it's not that far, but my dad would always be in our last minute panic and everything seemed like a flurry, but, and then when he comes home, he is still up in a bit of a tense mood, because like I say, there's timeframes.
2 (33m 7s):
And I just found him stressed all the time with whatever his work it's all the way it was steamed stressed. So I always thought, I don't really want a job like that. I didn't want that.
0 (33m 20s):
But you're literally the opposite of as well. To me, it seems your, the opposite of stress is the opposite of getting out of the house quickly. Yes. You, I probably am rebellious about that. Yeah. Is that, do you think that's where it comes from?
2 (33m 34s):
For sure. As part of it, I don't like to be late, but I don't like to be early. So
0 (33m 39s):
All the time control your schedule.
2 (33m 42s):
Yeah. Mine is fairly loose, so
0 (33m 44s):
Right. Go where you want.
2 (33m 46s):
Not on a, anything like a schedule like that. So I don't know the intensity. It's not like that. And I actually don't allow myself to get like that. Cause I know what that looks like or feels like it is stressful on the whole home when you have that person. So he, my sisters we're married for years before me. And so, I mean, I almost threw up like I'm an only child. Cause they, they were gone.
2 (34m 16s):
It seemed by the time I was 15 or whatever, it was 16 maybe. And I think they were, this is my impression. I think they were glad to get married. Young, just be younger for it. Especially, you know, they were just younger. I mean 21 or whatever, back in those days. So not anymore. It didn't happen to me like that either. But you know, my mom and I we're at home. And so we actually, she's a relaxed, my mum is a relaxed person and I didn't, I can tell she didn't like who she was when things were tense like that either.
2 (34m 47s):
It's just not her personality. But when you're with a person like that, that's it's, it's like The Oh, I'm trying to think of the cartoon character that on bugs bunny wear the guy, not wildly the coyote, but there's a guy that does The he turns into a tornado. We have, what is his name? I can't remember. And he's like, he is a little like a dog. He is actually an Australian character.
2 (35m 19s):
And I, but I just can't think of it now anyways, I'm one of the animals from Australia is the name of that kind of that character. But for some reason, this guy's like a, he's just, Oh, you have to see him to see it. But that's how my dad felt like at, with those sorts of things. Other, I don't mean he wasn't, if he was relaxed, he was much better. He was just that some things in life create those situations for people. And like I say, my family didn't think about things like that.
2 (35m 52s):
And since that time I've understood. You can actually think about my, I can think about my behavior, not yours. I can think about my behavior, a in any scenario, sometimes we get in situations where there's panic situation and then we behave, you know, whatever more aggressively or something than we normally do. But your normal behavior, you don't want to be intense. I saw that's my thinking because it's controlling, it's sometimes oppressive.
2 (36m 25s):
It's a dozen have to be, you know, What, if you want to go to work, you can say, how about I go 10 minutes sooner? It's that simple.
0 (36m 34s):
It is a complicated it. What about anger? Cause I know that that's been something that, or I think that's been something that you've struggled with. Something that grandpa from Conversation struggled with. I'm curious about that.
2 (36m 52s):
I'm trying to re I know I used to get frustrated a lot more.
0 (36m 55s):
I can't remember the last time I've seen you angry. What? I remember what I was younger. I remember times where you were angry. It wasn't, it wasn't often at all, but when it was, or when it did happen, it was shocking, I guess. Yeah. But I don't remember. I, I always found it really interesting because I always thought your anger was valid. Yes. And I'll hope so. I felt that in the house, the reactions from my two sisters, wasn't fair. That's something that I always thought, because one, I always knew that you and mom were gonna stay together.
0 (37m 31s):
And two, I believe that I think the same way, a lot of the time is that I don't respond to the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th time. But on the 11th or something, I'll get really angry. And that's kind of how I saw it within YouTube is a nice, I recognize that from when I was really young, as I would just want to snap, I don't. Right. Like no one ever thinks of me was an angry person. I don't think I get angry that often, but we'll, we'll see.
0 (38m 1s):
Like, I think I've
2 (38m 3s):
Usually when, especially a young married and with children, that's probably the most stressful time because you're, you're working. Your spouse is probably working at least in some form or another. Even if, when their home with the kids, like you're mom was home with you guys, but it's not like she's not doing much. She's busy. And so there's that there may be less sleep. That was really a tough one. If you got more than one child and then one's waking up on another or whatever, it's just, you're getting less sleep.
2 (38m 38s):
That's harder. And so there's a combination of things. Usually And other people you can't pass on your excuses too. Cause they go, they don't really care. And so, but anyways, back to anger, yeah. Usually it would be building I'm kinda the way it builds up. And then it was a release, not necessary to blow up. Maybe that was at times, but that's what happened in my home more.
2 (39m 9s):
My dad was yes, he would. It was pretty crazy when I was a kid. I actually, and I'm not even gonna say its like that generation dealt with anger or the way they did it. I leased. So I only know the home I was in. So I'm not gonna say, I think other homes are fine or you know, they got anger, but they got through things. But when I was little, I, for sure there was really volatile anger in the home and its kind of scary as a kid.
2 (39m 41s):
When your turn, when I actually, as I got older, I always cited with my mom. I don't know why it wasn't like she was innocent, but I mean, I didn't know the conversation. So I didn't know. I'm not part of, what's making a, lets say my dad angry. If it didn't seem like my mom was angry at at least initiating anger, but she had to deal with it and handle it. And it wasn't always, she was, she could handle herself. And so she fought back and that's just the way, if not, she would have, you know, I think, I don't know about these days, but, and you know, a women have more of a voice for sure.
2 (40m 20s):
Or these days than they did when I was younger. I know that everybody has a voice and in your home, its whole other thing than in society. But umm, so my mum had to manage things and she probably was feeling protective for children or whatever, maybe that motherly, but I know. So as I got older and then you get bigger and citing with your mother, then my dad also had to kind of face me the odd time because I thought, you know what I mean?
3 (40m 50s):
He, you know,
2 (40m 52s):
I'm here on her side because we always had very positive conversations all the time without him around. We did, we had a great conversations. We had a great relationship and I think there was some jealousy with my dad actually about mom, your grandma, his relationship with you because we were so much the same. We were We and we could talk about things. We just, I dunno, we just didn't get more or less. Most things didn't get me worked up.
2 (41m 22s):
And if I did, I could talk to my mum. And so I guess that's what we did. We talked, which sounds normal for today, but it wasn't at least in the home so much. My dad, I guess wasn't with that. And there's an auto are a lot of reasons I understand was my dad's upbringing and I can't get into all those things, but you know, he had a tougher way, tougher upbringing from his father. So, you know, you go back to generational people where they've been fighting in Wars and those men there's a lot of damage.
2 (41m 54s):
And I didn't, I never knew my grandfather on that side. My dad's dad. So umm, my dad had a not so great upbringing and in some ways, and like I say, there's a lot to that story, but so I didn't really, and not saying I was critical on my father. I mean he actually had a lot of good characteristics and he can be very, my mom used to say he was in the neighborhood when I was a boy, they thought he was the life of the party.
2 (42m 24s):
It was like a Crescent. And so people that were on the Crescent, they would have, they were very friendly neighborhood. I wish we'd never left there. I was always, that was my favorite neighborhood. And then we moved to the other side of London and I hated it. I told my, I probably told my parents, I hate it because it was nothing like that. It was a busy street. I didn't know anyone.
0 (42m 46s):
It was at the same house that a waste of time,
2 (42m 49s):
If I count rode, it was not okay. So I was nine and I didn't know anybody can go on to a public school. I, it was just, that was probably one of the forests times of my life. And I I'm sure, I told my parents, I hate this. Why did you move here? Because all of my friends wear the other place and it was friendly neighborhood. Even the adults, it was just a nice quiet neighborhood. So that was a bad experience in my life as far as I'm concerned. But I was there something that was kind of have to say about my mum and dad's relationship, but to, you know, they worked at through and they were always together.
2 (43m 26s):
They, you know, they understood each other. They changed over time. Things got better and I'm glad cause I always like to see people change for the better. And so, and you hope for that. I hope for that.
0 (43m 44s):
I remember your quote is, is you expect, I can't really remember the context of it, but I remember having a conversation about change. And you said, cause I think my generation is very caught up with this idea that it's not for me to change. And that's one of the most annoying things to me is that no, you are supposed to change. That's the whole point of life. And I always remember you saying, I expect people to change that's one year, one expectation and life is that people will change because change as the one thing that all be automatically happens to people and for the better, yes,
2 (44m 19s):
I know that's kind of a vague, what's better. Sometimes you can change for the better, the better and different elements or parts of your life. And you just know it and so healthier let's say or smarter or whatever that word might be. But better is a word I use. So, and it's amazing. Cause that's what the human capacity is. We actually humans get to do that.
2 (44m 52s):
Other creatures, they don't have that flexibility, but they don't know a dog still goes with the vomit and we all think, Oh it was my faith. It's my, it's my family dog. And yet it does that. Well that's just the way a dog is or you know, different creatures, different things, but humans actually don't have to go back and wallow in their vomit. And I'll tell you on my, this is a side thing. When you watch TV shows that show that a man has to go to a glass of whiskey or a drink to get through whatever he's gotten through.
2 (45m 23s):
I hate that. It's the dumbest thing ever that is not going to help going to a glass of any alcohol. It doesn't do anyone any good. It doesn't even probably even calm nerves. But you know, it's taken control of my life and saying where I can do something. I can do it. I can't do something if another person's still doesn't like me, its very hard to change that, but I can do what I can do. And you know, or I can even say to that person, I'm sorry for doing what I did, but you still have no power over their response, but you have the power over your response or your action and our I can't.
2 (46m 6s):
And so that's what I say. Sometimes I'm too stubborn to do it, but I still know in my head that maybe I should do that. And so sooner or later I probably will. Yeah, I agree.
0 (46m 18s):
I don't know. I, that's one of my biggest things about alcohol and, and university students is that they do it when they're sad or you know, I always think it's the reason why you do something. That is the dangerous part for me. I don't think I've ever drank in my life because I was sad or feeling a certain way that I felt like I needed it. That's why that's any substance I've ever had my life. He was just, it wasn't because I felt a certain way. My intent was always, this is for fun or this, like its not to calm my nerves.
0 (46m 51s):
Its not to get more confident its not to do this, which I think is where a lot of addiction settles in is the intent of Why you do it. But I wanted to talk about what you said is that you always use decide with grandma. Did you ever see your dad as like a, a hero in your life or someone that you fully wanted to model or cause like when I, whenever I think about your fights with mom, I usually sighted with you, but not because I didn't agree with mom, but in, it was more of a fantastic I thought and I didn't ever get involved.
0 (47m 23s):
I never got involved, but I just thought, you know, for this one I'm with Dad because I think it's valid because I think one thing that I got frustrated with is that when I was younger, I never felt my anger was valid. Not that it was okay to be angry, but I never felt like it was valid. Hm. So I guess like, did you ever see your dad as a super hero?
2 (47m 50s):
I did when I was younger in some ways, I mean I just thought, wow, this guy can drive this train. That's huge. I mean, as a boy, I thought that was really, you know, as a boy, I actually liked train sets. So in some men I probably would be like them today. You know, men actually grown men had to go to not stores, but a places where they join like a railway thing, you know, like a, what do they call that for whatever.
2 (48m 23s):
Yeah. I don't even know the name of it, but I've gone. My uncle Don has went to one in London and I went there to this. It says building and it had,
0 (48m 32s):
Oh huge model.
2 (48m 35s):
Like we're not talking single model, we're talking dozens and dozens of trains and mountains and valleys and all sorts of things. And they had them going around and through and they're like small scale. Like, you know, there's whatever the model of scale is. And so when I was a boy, I still remember, I thought does the CN, Trane was so cool to me. The diesel on the CN training is black and white and an orange, but it's an orangy red color and the emblem. So if you look at the side, have a diesel, its got an emblem on it.
2 (49m 8s):
And I just thought it was an emblem, but as an, as a young adult or somewhere along the way I realized, Oh, that actually says C N so its a C and an N. And I didn't think that when I was, when I saw that train, I just thought it was that's what the kind of train my dad drove only on real scale, but I thought they were so cool. Even on small scale, like just tiny things, you know, that goal around a track. It was just something very engaging with it.
2 (49m 40s):
And I always liked it, but so there's an appreciation for that. And you know, he built a cottage, so my dad planned it and actually made it happen. Like he built it. Like I always fascinated when people can make something out of your head. So this is the image or the thought in my head and now This thought it exists as a physical entity.
2 (50m 11s):
And so that's a, an amazing thing to do. And so he and its on sand, on Lake Huron, it's still there today. We don't own it, but my dad built that cottage and he did the plumbing. He did the, would he did the window's. He did the septic. He did the well the pump post for the, well you got to pump up water from the, well he did the driveway, the rockery, we called it And pounded rocks until the sand. And then he did the front, you know, like a, a little, Oh what did we call it?
2 (50m 45s):
The front of the cottage. Like, you know, the, the room at the front kind of thing. Yeah. It's just a nice, and then he did the addition, everything. So my dad, I like that's impressive. And he just wasn't a good teacher. So that was my problem. He wanted, I was the gopher. I would help out. Cause he didn't want us going up there having fun at the cottage. He went up there to do work. Yeah. And so that's not what I wanted it up to the cottage for. I went up to the cottage to go down to the beach or go fishing or whatever, what it was we were doing, wasn't building a cottage.
2 (51m 16s):
So him and I were not the same. Yeah. But, but actually to build that, it's amazing.
0 (51m 23s):
Great. I actually have that note here is that cause I, I wanted to follow up with that. His, you know, he was a craftsmen, he felt his own cottage drove his trains and these are typically very masculine things. Right. Did grandpa, did you ever feel like grandpa questioned your masculinity or manhood? Do you ever think he, because you didn't, you're not a very handyman at at least, right? You taught me how to change a tire, but I think that's really the extent of what you've taught me. I also have said, no, they are you asking me, teach, teach me things.
0 (51m 56s):
But I think, but did he ever look down or, or question your honor
2 (52m 2s):
So much he, I dunno if he looked at it like whether it's manly, he and I were different. He was a union guy. I had a nonunion job. That's that was the thing that stuck out my mind. So I didn't, I didn't go down the path of, you know, being the, the work guy, the blue collar man, a the laborer I have, I did it. Ah, you know, I did some things worked on a bowling alley. Did S fencing fence putting up a fence for a summer.
2 (52m 34s):
That was hard work that I hated that stuff. It was hard work and it was brutal, but the bowling alley was interesting, but 3m was not in w it, wasn't not interesting. And it just wasn't, it wasn't manual. It was an office job. Okay. Even though 3m has a factory at the London plant and the factory workers would have were union and they would have made good money, but I never got hired into that. You once your, in one side, your, in one side you can go into The.
2 (53m 5s):
I couldn't go from The nonunion side to the business side, to the union side. They just don't do that. So I was different than my dad. He was union blue collar thought like a blue collar men two, and just in all his thinking and whereas office or white collar. And that's my inlaws side of things. They, the two don't see each other in positive light because a blue collar guy says, you're cutting out my job.
2 (53m 37s):
You're cutting just for the finance. It's just for the money or the business, the white collar guy, he is saying, I, you know, the business is failing or getting better. And so when it's better, it's good for the union guys. When it's getting worse, are you losing business, then you, the blue collar person doesn't realize it's not that easy for the white collar fellow to just hack jobs. I don't think they're trying to, but that's how it works. And so the two don't see each other in favorable lights, usually because they, and yet white collar, I would give them more benefit of the doubt because they, from what I've seen, as they try harder for the union guy, they try to get the business going.
2 (54m 23s):
They try to make a success of the business, the fellow that is putting in hours and getting paid really he's in some ways he is self focused. He's just thinking about his job. Am I getting in cars off the line? Am I doing the train, taking it, you know, and having enough shifts, it's almost self-focused I find. And so I, I grew in appreciation after going at three of them. This is how business, you know, I actually sails to me, I've not a salesman, but sales is one of the toughest jobs because a, you have to go out and get the business for the company.
2 (55m 9s):
You have to go and get someone to buy the product that now the laborers are going to make. And so that actually, especially if people don't want your product, that's one thing. If they want your product, it's another thing. If they really don't, you have to be a good salesman. And then you have to hope that your guys that are making the product, have the heart and soul going in to the product. That's what a business is great. When the both sides worked together to have something that somebody wants.
2 (55m 44s):
Right. And so that's how I see a good business. Right. It's a good product. And someone out there selling it anyways. Yeah. Perfect. I'm trying to think whatever else. Oh, on manhood. So my dad on manhood, the, so who, we would probably differ because, but I mean that one's, he started to see me do working out. I mean, then you're thinking, okay, my son is working out and he's exercising and you can't not call that n***a. And it's manhood in a difference in the sense that he would call manhood, man.
2 (56m 18s):
It, right. I mean, it may not be that I'm, I mean, you can be in great shape and then never used it for anything practical, to be honest, but a that's what he would have said, Oh, well you gotta be practical. But Michael But at the same time, working out is hard. It's not easy. It's hard work. And so you're producing an end product. And so as a man, usually most men appreciate something about that. Right? Yeah.
0 (56m 47s):
So I just think it's interesting. Cause there's a book I read right over there on the table for the love of men. And it talks a lot about the generations of laborers and men and how it's worked down and you know, your dad or grandpa guests would be very much that blue collar worker. And then your age is more white collar and then you're raising kids, but you are, you still have that blue collar influence. And then there's us or the people my age, who is much more white collar, very little blue collar.
0 (57m 20s):
If anything, at least not from my experience. Like we're not we're from Toronto, so it's not really a manufacturing city anymore. And then there was just so much confusion about how a man is supposed to, to act in today's age. I know that would probably wasn't discussed as much back then, but we're seeing kind of ramifications or because a lot of men in fifties and above commit suicide. It's the other thing that number one age group have suicide in especially white men, especially the blue collar men.
2 (57m 54s):
Well, they don't feel like they're accomplishing or contributing anymore. Exactly. Especially as they retire early, they can. My dad used to say he knew men that would retire at 63 or whatever it was. And dropped dead. Like even as it were engineer's or whatever, he just se and here they paid in to their pension all of these years and never really got the money out of it. Whereas my dad lasted 20 years after his, after we finished in 1990, he lived till 2011.
2 (58m 26s):
So 21 years almost, it was. So he got the benefit of being a man who finished his job, his career and kept enjoying life, but not in work. Right. He ended up seeing his children and grandchildren and enjoying them quite a bit actually. So I think that was good for him. He left it behind once he was done for two years, I guess he figured he put in his time and now it's, you're passing it onto the next generation they're doing.
0 (59m 1s):
Did grandpa coming from that generation? Did he ever tell you he was proud of you? Did he often say that he loved you? Was that something that he did a lot or an oar?
2 (59m 13s):
I can't remember my dad ever saying, I love you. I'm like in my whole lifetime. And so that those weren't words were used, but there's an appreciation I think there was, but it's sort of an expectation. You it's like whatever he did for me went on into me now he's done. Then it's up to me to keep the ball rolling or pass the Baton or whatever it is. Right. And but the assumption is, that's what you're supposed to do, not, Oh, you know, I love you, whatever, going forward, it's just a that's they just pass it on.
2 (59m 52s):
And so I didn't hear that there wasn't really much affirmation, but I mean, I, after 3m, I ended up quitting in which they were shocked at after 10 years of 3m and then moving to Toronto. So really you guys, if it wasn't me going to Toronto to go to seminary, then you guys wouldn't have ever grown up there. We would have stayed in London. You would have grown up in London. And that would be a different experience because as London is 300,000 people and very Caucasian, pretty much a lot of white collar work there, but it's just compared to, when I moved to Toronto in 87, 1987, when I, and then go downtown to while not to go to school, but a lot to work in the summers, it was it's for me.
2 (1h 0m 48s):
So its half a lifetime ago, one, I have two different lifetimes. Really. I have one in London that was where I met in my hometown. And then And upbringing and work and family from their, my mom's family really. And then to move to Toronto and we became our own family really because there was no one else. Well, my wife Tricia's family was there for a while, but they weren't worried about whether they saw us all that much really.
2 (1h 1m 25s):
So we really had our own life in Toronto. And that's where you guys were raised into communities that were almost completely not Caucasian. And so your upbringing was totally different than mine in some sense. But I got two sides of life really by leaving London and broadened. All of them are the rest of my life because we ended up in a Chinese church and like we are talking completely. So English speaking for the most part, but the cultural difference, even for me, you can just imagine that, right.
2 (1h 2m 3s):
The mine is night and day and, and your mom. So we, we came, we left a completely comfortable life to come to the unknown, completely unknown and things change even from over those years. So I don't sure what my dad even thought about some of that, cause it was just hard to imagine for him when he'd come to our neighborhood and it was all Chinese. Right? My dad was not used to a whole, like we were talking a 100%.
2 (1h 2m 35s):
So it was a cultural change that my dad probably went into mass confusion thinking he could never do that. He could never do that. So, and I didn't know if I could. Right. So it's all new to me. And so I'm not a, I think they were him and mom were proud of me, but it's not about, manhood's so much. It's just about succeeding in life. Really that's the bigger accomplishment actually is to succeed in life because there's so many elements to life.
2 (1h 3m 12s):
Right. You ever wish he said, I love you or found those words or is it more, did you ever question it? Umm, it's hard to say it wasn't like, I thought he didn't love me, but he didn't because, so here it goes. And here's the benefit of the doubt because his life only in the last number 20 years or so have I figured out his life. So what he was raised with.
2 (1h 3m 43s):
So think about what my dad was raised with. His dad was 52 when he was born. That means he was an old man. When my dad was like a teenager, can you picture your father being 70? And you're in your teens, your father, he's not running around with a baseball bat and his hand or something like this. He's an old man and he'd already fought in the first world war. And he had whatever was a arthritis from being in the trenches and, and all of the, whatever the trauma of and the depression.
2 (1h 4m 16s):
My dad was born one year before the 1929 crash. He was born in 1928. So my grandfather was this older man. He's got this surprise, baby. My dad was a surprise if my dad told me that his so he was raised in not the easiest times. In fact, nothing like I have had it. Great. I've had a great like earthly experience life because I've lived in good place, a good place. And I've never had a depression like a crash or a war.
2 (1h 4m 52s):
Not that close to me really. I mean, there were possibilities of four, but not really in my lifetime and in Canada. So But mother and my dad just miss going to the second world war. Cause he was like 17 and then it finished. Well, he finfin, it is a war finished. My dad was actually wanting to go like the young men wanted to go and then all of a sudden the Wars stop it, it was done. And so he went, so my dad actually was raised in a pretty good time himself. He didn't actually get off to war.
2 (1h 5m 22s):
He, he had the good fifties, you know, in the fifties and sixties, there was some good things happening for them. And so it's just that his dad, wasn't probably the best influence on his life in some ways, although he was a builder and he taught my dad to build. And so that was a good thing, but I'm sure he never heard those words. I love you. Or I care about you or I miss you or anything like that. So it passes on. And so it would have passed on to me to right, that I don't do that cause my dad didn't do that, but I, I am open more open minded in a lot of things and a lot of ways and the world, the ways, our, our more interesting these days there's, I mean the pressure is on dominant males, not to be dominant males, right.
2 (1h 6m 14s):
This world isn't about dominating males. And so that's a huge change over the last, you know, four decades or five decades of whatever it is. So men in general, not at all, but men in general, I have become in some sense much more passive more than what I remember. And so it depends what you call manhood, right? So I mean, in my mind, I don't mind letting your mom do a lot of the work.
2 (1h 6m 45s):
I mean, there's elements of work that if she wants, if a woman wants to do it and can, then I say they can do it and There, I'm not saying should do it, but a man doesn't have to feel like, no, no, no, you can't do that. Yeah. And so that for us has been, so I don't know if you're going anywhere with, to that. Okay.
1 (1h 7m 6s):
I'll get into that. I think that's somewhere near the end. We'll do the three hour session. Yeah. So to follow up on that, was it ever hard for you to tell us kids that you loved us and that is it for Part One I knew I left it on a bit of a cliffhanger, but you gotta stick around part too. Comes this Friday. Were he answers that question? And we talked a little bit more about fatherhood his relationship with me in a bit more.
1 (1h 7m 36s):
So make sure to tune back in on Friday and until then think about what my dad said. And I hope you look forward to part two.