I recently traveled to Richard Branson's Spaceport America in New Mexico to interview Will and Jayden Smith about their movie, "After Earth." As I spoke with them, and observed their relationship, I couldn't help but to think about my own father, Orage Quarles III, and about how, much like the Smiths, who have passed down their love for their craft from one generation to the next, my love for and of family, journalism, adventure, athletics and giving back, comes from my father.
Growing up, we moved every three years because my dad is a newspaper President and Publisher. This meant I was always the new kid. Naturally, I hated it, but I learned how to adapt and knew I always had two choices with each move: be a fly on the wall, or put myself out there, ask questions, let people get to know me, and not be afraid of judgment. I look back now, and am so thankful my father (and mother, who is my best friend), moved my sister and me so often. I can speak with anyone, from anywhere, and relate: skills that have served me well at E.
When I started my career as an entertainment journalist years ago, I can't say it was my father's biggest passion (human interest and hard news stories are his calling), but he has been there every step of the way, acting as my mentor, sounding board, editor, and just being good old Dad.
Recently, my mouth fell open (and I knew he was an E convert – ha ha) when he said to me, "So, what do you really think is going on with Justin Bieber?"
I am fortunate enough to be at an age where my dad is not just my father, but my friend. Not everyone grew-up with their fathers or still have them on this earth.
So, this one's for you dad (who is now a grandfather to London, my sister's baby). Thank you for all that you are. I would not be at E if it were not for you (and mom). Happy Father's Day!