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September 9, 2013

A Personal Story About Fatherhood and Donald Trump’s ‘The Apprentice’ and Rutgers University Football. Hey it’s September. September 9, 2013

Filed under: November 2009 — Tags: , , , — earthood @ 1:15 pm



prodigal son and myself tailgating in new brunswick's olive branch

prodigal son and myself tailgating in New Brunswick’s Olive Branch


Please note; before plunging into this short article with pictures, I am a Rutgers alum so I wear the gear around the house and environs.


When I was a kid and the song ‘See You in September’ used to permeate the radio waves and make me depressed before I understood the etiology of the seasonal affected disorder. Simply, I just didn’t want to go back to school. It was too much fun playing baseball in the corner lot or street hockey with  hand-made sticks or going to the Roosevelt Theater on Clinton Avenue in Newark or waiting for the evening arrival of the Good Humor truck; Chocolate Éclair still my favorite.

Then a curious passage occurs; you watch rapid fire decades pass by and values and likes on Facebook and real life change. I now love the pomp and circumstance of college football; especially being on campus and tailgating and absorbing the myriad of energies, sights and sounds. I’ve observed being on a college campus is better than taking blood thinners. It may even play a role in obviating dementia; to be around and part of the Rutgers college scene; if only for a few Saturdays a month. In my writings for local Jersey media, I’ve become a huge fan of trying to extricate people from their sedentary sofas. Maybe the words here help extrication.



prodigal son and myself the night before the Pinstripe Bowl

prodigal son and myself the night before the Pinstripe Bowl





The following article I wrote for (and am sharing it now thanks to Hooplaha) to extol the virtues of fatherhood, football, bonding, and experiencing life with my son. The foundations and pathways we initiated back then still are in place today and have become part of the lives of two New Jersey guys; me and my son. And how Donald Trump’s ‘The Apprentice’ fits into the stream of consciousness makes for a little out of the mundane.





our first official team for beer pong.

our first official team for beer pong.

a father and son trip to arizona to the Insight Bowl followed by trip to Sedona Arizona

a father and son trip to Arizona to the Insight Bowl followed by trip to Sedona Arizona



Since fatherhood caught up to me when I turned 40, a few abstract thoughts came to mind like being forever young, living to 150 years; basically notions of finding ways to keep up with my son as he gets older (maybe I won’t). When he was ten years old (17 years ago), I took him to his first college football game at Rutgers to do some father-son bonding. The following year we got season tickets for all the major sports at Rutgers and we’re still going strong. Of course there is more to the institution of fatherhood for me. I’ve been working hard at it for reasons like the essence of this article.

Seven years ago my son was a college sophomore; living in the dorm and had just become a member of a fraternity (the same one I joined a few weeks after Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston to win boxing’s Heavyweight Championship in 1964).  One Wednesday, my son called and asked what I was doing Saturday night and if I wasn’t busy, I should come down to the fraternity  house and hang with him and the guys. There was no hesitation. “What time? Should I come straight to the frat house?” I instantaneously knew what my son’s invitation meant to me and our relationship since the day he was born. I also thought about meeting real life movie ‘Animal House’ characters and I did. Third floor beer pong was going on when I arrived. My son and I teamed-up but I managed not to drink beer; visions of my making the cover of Time or Newsweek danced in my head as being a father who endorsed under-age college drinking; there’s something positive about partial conservatism and vibrant visuals.

more father and son bonding the old fashioned way

more father and son bonding the old fashioned way


Cut to a few months later. Rutgers University, Donald Trump (‘The Apprentice’) Randall Pinkett, who actually won ‘The Apprentice’ and was an undergraduate at Rutgers, endorsed a program reaching out to the Rutgers community to get them involved in the audition process for an upcoming season of ‘The Apprentice.’ Normally laborious long lines of waiting to audition were waived for a select group of Rutgers people. Without hesitation, even at 60 years old and far removed from only 20 and 30 somethings, I became one of the 125 people who auditioned on Rutgers College Avenue campus student center. Prior to sitting with Randall Pinkett and telling him why I’d make a great contestant (I could probably beat every one of the contestants in singles tennis or around the world basketball), I filled out forms and wrote five essays. One essay asked “What is Your Most Impressive Work or School Achievement.” Without hesitation, I wrote about my son calling and asking me to come down to the frat house and hang out. This was my most impressive achievement. In a public discourse like I’m doing right now, I’d venture to say no one from the world of ‘The Apprentice’ had any idea what I was talking about.

But I know that I’ve prioritized life, put my son and our relationship where it should be, ahead of any class of business pursuit; so when he grows up to be a young beer pong playing fraternity guy, he’d be comfortable and secure enough with me and our relationship to want me to hang out with him and his frat brothers; indeed my most impressive accomplishment and achievement. I figured that no one at ‘The Apprentice’ would understand or appreciate the depth of my essay answer and it would probably wind-up on the cutting room floor.

As they say on Broadway, I’m still waiting for the call back. Funny thing; I had a connection that could’ve placed my application and essays on Donald’s desk. However, this particular edition of ‘The Apprentice’ was shot in Los Angles for the summer (taking me away from my beloved New Jersey) and if you lost that week’s segment, the on screen television punishment was sleeping in a tent. I did that once my freshman year and woke up with a frog in my sleeping bag. I resolved no more tents in my life so I declined to have my application appear on Donald Trump’s desk. I hope that didn’t show my age.



Also you can find me on Facebook as Cal Schwartz

and on Monday nights (every 2 weeks) from 8 to 9 pm check out my radio show: 

TUNE IN LIVE HERE!!!!!!!!!!! From 8 to 9 pm Monday September 9th (before Monday night football )




1 Comment »

  1. Keep on writing, great job!

    Comment by so in love — September 10, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

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