The men on the mainline have a variety of opinions on fatherhood. “Asked on the Line” conducted random, informal interviews with 20 mainliners and asked: “Did you grow up with a dad? If not, did you have a father figure or male role model? What characteristic did you love about your dad or role model? What characteristic should every good father have?”
Nine or about 45 percent of the men interviewed did not grow up with fathers, but did have father figures or male role models they looked up to.
James Evens said that “Teddy” was his father figure. “He used to take us to the park and fishing in Louisiana,” said Evens. “What I liked most about Teddy is that he had many other women and he always looked out for us.”
For Kenyatta Leal, his sports coach, Dennis Garon, was his male role model. “He was caring, consistent and always available,” said Leal. “One thing I learned from him was my work ethic.”
“I didn’t have a dad or a male role model.
I was raised by my grandmother”
Ke Lam’s male role model was his teacher. “He was a good listener,” said Lam.
Rico Roger’s father figure was his stepfather and Dwight Kennedy’s father figure was his uncle. Kennedy respected his uncle’s integrity and ambition. But for Terrell Merritt, his “friend’s father” was his male role model.
Two men claimed that they had no father figure.
“I didn’t have a dad or a male role model. I was raised by my grandmother,” said Danny Linn. “She was honest and strong minded.”
Juan Arballo also claimed to have had no male role model in his life.
Of the men interviewed that had fathers, all liked or respected at least one trait or characteristic of their dads.
Rudy Walker liked that his dad was humble and a great provider. “He never beat us,” said Walker.
Tommy Winfrey liked that his dad was tough, while Tristan liked that his dad was “very calm.”
Eric Boles liked his father’s loyalty, and Nou Thou liked that his dad was “giving.”
“He was smart,” said Jesus Flores. “He had a great sense of humor,” said James Burrell.
“He was very loving,” said Joseph Demerson.
Many of the men were also proud to have similar character traits with their dads. “My dad and I both love women,” said Arturo Avalos.
Jeffrey Scott Long and his dad both know how to “build”. “I like building and creating,” said Long. “We both tend to work hard,” said Joseph Burrell.
Finally, as to what characteristic every good father should have: Leal, Flores, Merritt and Boles all thought a father should be present or there for his children. Long, Linn and Thou all thought a father should be loving to his children first and foremost. Demersen, Jones and Evens believe every good father should first be understanding toward his children.
“He should be dedicated,” said Kennedy. “He should be truthful,” said Burrell.
“He should express love for his children,” said Winfrey.
“He should educate his children,” said Walker.
“He should be a positive example,” said Lam.
“He should have integrity,” said Arballo.
“He should know how to communicate with his children,” said Avalos.