Bryan Echols (R) and his father, Lindberg (L), talk about how their relationship has changed over time.
BE: Pop, this is what I’ve been thinking about a lot. We’re exactly almost 40 years apart (1). What were you like at 40?
LE: Well, I had seven kids (2) and working hard to support them (3). And I guess I was pretty tough on the boys.
BE: It was a relationship that got better. When it got good was when I went away to school. I did my undergrad at Southern Illinois University (4) and it would take us about six hours to get down there (5). Those drives drew us closer. You know, we talked and we joked and I’d never really joked with you prior to that. I learned during that time period that the reason that you were so strict was that you wanted to make sure that I became a man. I don’t know if you remember but we were driving down, you know, and I told you, I was like, ”You know man, when I was younger I didn’t like you much.” (both laugh) You said, ”You know, I wasn’t your friend, I was your father.”
LE: I don’t think none of the other kids told me that. I figured they all sort of had that feeling about me but we did our best to raise you all, and you look back on it, it was a good thing. Because you did something that matters.
BE: I felt that I was blessed. I was chosen to have an amazing man in my life as a father. And, you know, whenever I am blessed to have kids, it will be the same way.