My Talk With Dad

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.


  1. Excellent interview, Tom. I am very glad that you were able to sit down and connect with your father like this. As much as we think we know our dads at times, there is always more to the story—small (or in your case, large) details that would have gone otherwise untold unless you spend quality talk time.

    I enjoyed this. You both are good men.

  2. Jean Matlack says:

    What an interesting guy your dad is, Tom!.
    One of the striking things that comes through this conversation is that despite your returning to the father/son theme over and over, in so many instances that you and your dad address the fathers were not present, or the men were not in family situations etc. Makes it clear how major a shift your generation is in the midst of, and how timely your focus is!

    • Thanks for showing open interest in your son’s cause, Jean Matlack, in your comment here and your own interview in May. Discovering his TGMP work is one of the best things that’s happened for me in the past few months. It does my heart good to see Tom honoring his father and mother while finding his own way!

  3. Tom, It took me a couple year’s after my Father Passed away in September of 1999, to understand who he was but more importantly The man I thought I had to be…
    I think our Fathers, seem so Hero like as children in our eye’s! As we age and mature, They have exspectation’s and we tend to think or believe what they want for us, is Not in our plan’s. So we fighnt it every step along the way.
    Tom, My Dad many times through out my childhood made me feel WEAK and Unexcepted! Growing up My eye’s saw his true streagth! I feared his streagth’s and he taught me that this was RESPECT… Sadly year’s after his Death I understood RESPECT in my understanding was not the true meaning. My Respect was out of Fear! That took me awhile too fully understand this Impact in my life.
    This is what I do and Have alway’s known of my Father! He relentlessly worked Hard for my Brother’s and my Sister’s! Nothing Came easy and This to the very end is what I had questioned in my own life after he passed away! His Legacy in my eye’s has a diffrent meaning now than before 2002. I am so-proud to say I am his son and His hand’s and hard work in life is the most Important to me. I love him and Yes I maybe diffrent than him on many level’s both as a Father and a Man. I have found we all take alittle bit from each person that we saw Influenced our live’s. Then as we Mature, All those Little thing’s mold us into the men we are! Thank You. Rick Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

  4. Louise Rotholz says:

    Hi, Tom-

    I took a couple of courses with your dad at Cornell in spring and fall of 1970 (so he was not at U Mass then). He was a wonderful lecturer and one of the teachers I admired most at Cornell. He definitely influenced my views on race. He was also a tough grader, which did not help my GPA at all, but it was worth it. I was interested and pleased to hear of the direction his life took and that he is alive and well in beautiful Rockport, Maine.


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