Carlton, Daddy's Boy Dad

Season 1, Episode 5


Carlton and I became friends while Carlton was doing his job delivering the mail in my neighborhood - or maybe I should say that we became friends while I was living in his neighborhood, because even though he's Brooklyn born and raised, he's been operating from the Planetarium Post Office since before I ever even set foot in New York. Now, we New Yorkers have a reputation for being unfriendly. That's fair to a degree, but I think it's more accurate and descriptive to say that our MO is to focus on our day-to-day business and to let others do the same. At the same time, because we live in close quarters to one another, some of the most familiar faces in our lives often belong to strangers that you walk past or ride the subway with on a routine basis. The vast majority of the time, a familiar stranger remains a stranger; rarely do they cross over to become an acquaintance; and rarer still do they cross all the way over to become a friend.  But that's what happened with Carlton and me. From our random conversations, it was obvious to me that he is passionate about fatherhood and mentorship, so even though we didn't know each other well, I had this feeling that it would be really great to have him as a guest on The Dad Bod. He graciously accepted my request to sit with me for an interview and thus we have today's episode.  

For the interview, I took the 2 train to the end of the line, near Carlton's neck of the woods in Brooklyn. From there, he drove us another 10 minutes or so to the Christian Cultural Center a.k.a. "CCC." On this particular Wednesday morning, CCC was bustling with activity for a FDNY graduation ceremony. As we walked through the building, Carlton exchanged hugs, handshakes, and banter with just about everybody and introduced me to everyone. The warmth and strength of Carlton's community was tangible.  I could feel why he credits CCC with changing his life and as you listen to Carlton speak, he does indeed sound like a person who is living a changed life; a person who has searched and wandered, experienced adversity and trauma, mourned and processed his trauma on his own and in community, has done the work to become something new, and is now sharing all of that wisdom, perspective, and presence back with others. I'm very grateful and excited to be sharing this conversation with you, as well as a little something different and new that I put at the very end of the episode.