Welcome back to another edition of the Art of Manliness podcast! Today, we’re starting a new series on the show called “Man Stories.” Every other week, I’m going to bring on a different gentleman who reads the blog and ask him a few questions about what manliness means to him and the men who have had an influence on his perception of manliness. I’m looking forward to this series. It will be interesting to hear different men explain their view of manliness, plus I think it’s a great way to get to know more about the men who read and take part in the Art of Manliness.
Man Stories with Dan Lauth
Our first Man Story is from Dan Lauth. Dan is 26 years old and lives in Portland, OR. He works for a PR firm in the area. Dan says his idea of manliness is rooted in the concept of the Renaissance Man. When asked how his father influenced his idea of manliness, Dan says that his father’s work ethic taught him the importance of providing for your family. Dan also says Theodore Roosevelt has had a huge influence on his idea of manliness and he spends his time reading biographies about Teddy. Dan recommends Theodore Rex. Listen to more of Dan’s Man Story.
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Brett McKay: Brett McKay here, and welcome to episode #2 of The Art of Manliness Podcast. Now, today I want to start something new, a new series that I’m calling Man Stories, and what Man Stories is going to be is every other week, I’m going to bring on a different gentleman, man who reads the blog, and sit down with him and ask him some questions on about what he thinks manliness is and what it means to be a man, and you know, discuss some of the men that have had an influence on his idea of manliness, because one thing I’ve discovered as I interacted with readers on the blog is that we all have a different idea of what manliness is, and it makes sense, you know, we all come from different backgrounds, we have different experiences, we’ve had different men in our lives that have influenced, you know, what we think manliness is. So I thought it’d be cool to catalog, you know, all these ideas of what manliness is in a podcast. So that’s what we are going to do with Man Stories. So with that said, let’s get started with the first Art of Manliness Man Story.
To kick off the Man Stories, we have with us Dan Lauth. Dan, welcome to the show.
Dan Lauth: Yeah, good to be here. Thank you.
Brett McKay: Dan, thank you for your being willing to be the guinea pig for this experiment I’m doing putting yourself out there. Before we start asking the questions, Dan, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, introduce yourself?
Dan Lauth: Yeah, yeah, sure thing. Yeah, again, my name is Dan. I’m a 26-year-old man located in the Portland, Oregon area. I work for a local PR firm in the area and just kind of enjoy the typical things, going out in the town, hanging out with friends and all that good stuff.
Brett McKay: Excellent. So, Dan, let’s get right to the questions here, what does manliness mean to you, Dan?
Dan Lauth: See, personally my idea of manliness is really kind of the idea of the Renaissance Man. I find that, you know, often there is kind of the stereotypical, you know, you are the handyman, you are the good mechanic, you are, you know, the guy who knows a lot about fitness or sports and those kinds of things, but I find, especially in today’s society, it’s very, very segmented and it’s very where you can find somebody who, you know, can one minute be fixing your car and then the next day, you can sit down, listen a little jazz, you know, have a conversation about literature and, you know, at the same time, have a knowledge of fine line single malt scotch and all that good stuff. So, I think just a versatility of kind of incorporating all of those skills is kind of one of the goals I’d certainly strive for because I just think being sharp in kind of all those combined areas it just really helps you around yourself, not only as a man, but also just kind of a person in general.
Brett McKay: Dan, how did your father influence your idea of manliness?
Dan Lauth: Well, growing up image probably what stands up in most for me was his work ethic. He has always been just kind of a hardworking blue collar kind of guy, the kind of guy who, you know, leaves the house at 7:00 in the morning and, you know, doesn’t get back until 7:00 in the evening, so just kind of his, you know, determination of work in providing for me and the family, you know, putting the kids for school and all that stuff, just kind of really taught me the importance of just, you know, hard work, providing for your family, and just, you know, doing things one day at a time and being their support, you know, always there to support me when he could.
Brett McKay: And were there any other men growing up who had had an influence on your idea of manliness?
Dan Lauth: There are a few. I’ve always enjoyed in terms of just kind of classical influences. I’m a big fan of Teddy Roosevelt. I’ve read a couple of his biographies. Right now, I just jumped on a great one called Theodore Rex. That’s really good, but just this kind of ideas of, you know, bringing youth and energy to the office at the time, he is elected and just kind of grab the bull by the horns, so to speak, and just really got stuck down, just kind of take charge or authoritative kind of attitude was, it always kind of really strike me. He is definitely one of my favorite historical figures.
Brett McKay: Yeah, you said there were some other men too besides Teddy Roosevelt?
Dan Lauth: Yeah, Teddy Roosevelt is certainly one, you know, others there is always, you know, the star athletes or things like that. I do always– I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Alex Trebek. It’s been Jeopardy, especially back in the days when he was rocking the ‘stache.
Brett McKay: Yeah, I can’t believe he took off his mustache. It’s like his power was in that thing.
Dan Lauth: Exactly, it’s just not same any more.
Brett McKay: No, no. And going back to your dad, Dan, you mentioned he was kind of a blue collar guy, is there some skill that your dad can do, but you can’t?
Dan Lauth: Yes, I mean, it’s not a skill in the traditional sense, but, yeah, my dad is a fairly small guy who is probably like 5’8” or 5’9” and, you know, all grown up throughout childhood and still to this day can go out and play basketball kind in the backyard or wherever and the guy has a skyhook like Kareem Abdul Jabbar that he is absolutely lethal anywhere, you know, within the three-point line, and I’ve tried, but he is deadly with that shot and that’s something I just can never master or defense. So it’s just– just one of those things.
Brett McKay: Do you think you will ever obtain the hook shot of your father?
Dan Lauth: I’ve been trying, but it’s– he just got some kind of funky little spin action that’s just– there’s no way to replicate it, so I’ve been trying for years now, but still no success.
Brett McKay: So, Dan, you’re pretty young guy, we are actually about the same age, I’m 26, about to turn 27, was there a moment when you felt like you became a man or do you feel like you are a man?
Dan Lauth: Well, there was kind of certainly the stage of life kind of, you know, after the college when you are no longer suckling the parental teeth, and you are definitely out on your own so to speak, you know, there is no, I mean, there still is a lifeline, toward certain stance, but you’re definitely taking care of yourself, responsible for yourself, all that good kind of thing. There is also kind of a few standout moments in my life, I was backpacking a few years ago and I was actually able to snare and catch a rabbit, you know, kill it, got it cook it, eat it…
Brett McKay: Wow.
Dan Lauth: And it just felt like a very, you know, caveman sort of primordial manly feeling at that moment, but then that there is always a first time you’re able to rock, a decent beard is always a significant moment I think in any guy’s life.
Brett McKay: Have you been able to do that?
Dan Lauth: Yeah, just over the past maybe five years or so I could get decent when I tried, so it’s a good feeling.
Brett McKay: Very good, very good. Well, Dan, thank you for speaking with us today, it’s been a pleasure.
Dan Lauth: Yeah, yeah, thank you for having me on.
Brett McKay: That wraps up this edition of The Art of Manliness Podcast. For more manly tips and advice, make sure to check back at the www.artofmanliness.com, and until next week, stay manly.