Bill Reid On The Secret to Lasting Relationships
In the second part of my conversation with Bill Reid, we spoke about fatherhood, marriage, and the advice he gives to his grandchildren.
I asked Mr Reid if he had a a philosophy in raising his two daughters. His response spoke to me especially in the current home schooling environment.
"Let me honest. I worked. And I had a philosophy, my wife gets all the credit. One of the things I will say is that, and I've seen it happen. I did not push academics so hard that they lost interest in academics. We simply suggested that this is the way you need to behave, this is what you need to do, and we monitored them. The things parents can't forget is that kids are kids. Just watch them and if you can talk to them and they can talk to you, you will get enough information to direct them, and they will feel comfortable in communicating with you. Andrea calls me up anytime to ask me what I think about something. And it makes me so happy. Tonya will do it it but Andrea does it more. And it makes me so happy that I still have value to her. I think an open line of communication, all the hugs you can give in your house, and holding them."
Mr Reid and his wife are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this coming August, so naturally I asked him if he had any marriage advice.
"When I got married in 1970, they had this picture in Time magazine of a silhouette of a Black man. And they talked about the contents of a book about Black men who had children but didn't take care of them. Well I decided when I got married that I would take care of my kids and they would know me before I ever left the home, if I were to leave. By the time they got to know me nobody else wanted me and I didn't want to go anywhere. And they still don't know everything about me, so I'm not going anywhere."
On Achieving Your Dreams
I asked Bill what advice he gives his grandchildren. He still uses "Eat. Sleep, And Read."
"Keep doing it, keep dreaming. Don't let people tell what you can't do. When I was growing up, the guidance counselors didn't spend time any time with me. I came from a lower socioeconomic background. My buddies and I talk about this all the time. They didn't even hip me to what college opportunities I might pursue. And my mother and father weren't college grads. I made a decision based on some information and graduated. But they never wasted any time on me because I wasn't from that level. But if you dream you do everything you want to do but ya got to remain focused. You can change the dream just be focused on the dream."
"Books to me are like treasures. I might not get to read them all but I have them everywhere you turn."
Some of Mr Reid's current treasures.