Excerpts from Manhood from the Hood

One of Manhood From The Hood’s most enthusiastic fans is Coach Denny Welter!

Coach Denny has spent a career teaching young people how to use the same life values Bill Roddy’s grandfather shared with Bill when he was young.

We are excited that Coach Denny wanted to share his commentary with our readers. So check in every Monday to see more of Coach Denny’s Favorite Quotes from Manhood From The Hood!

Coach Denny would love to see some of YOUR favorite quotes as well, so send them in! Thanks Coach!

1.) Humility, integrity, industriousness, loyalty, and patience

2.) Self-Reliance

3.) Benefits of hard work and family values, sharing and self-reliance

4.) Baseball was a team sport.  My grandfather didn’t want me to focus too much on myself

5.) We never want the government taking care of our family.  He believed in the value of self-reliance.
  • Health movie & lesson in self-reliance – Ron Hood’s Journey to Self-reliance – 70 miles across the Sierra Nevada Mountains without a compass, map, or food.

Advice to my 21-year old Self, by Bruce Wiessner


Bruce & Julia

1. When I turned 21 years old I was starting my junior year at the University of Minnesota.

By this time in my life I had already completed two years of service (out of a six year commitment) in the Minnesota Air National Guard as a medic.  I had, also, started my own business (Metro Legal Services) to help pay my way through school and was playing the violin in the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra.  I also was starting my first year at the University of Minnesota School of Business Administration (now Carlson School of Management) and was active in and living in a fraternity on campus.

2. What did you worry about – what was that one thing that you feared the most?

My greatest fear at the time was being called to active military duty from the National Guard and dying in the Vietnam War.  The Vietnam War was a hugely unpopular war, by then, and protests were rampant on college campuses all over the country.  Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy had already been assassinated.  I can remember having to clear University Avenue of smoldering barricades made from bonfires started the night before in order to leave campus to get to National Guard duty on Saturday mornings. The University was closed down during the Spring Quarter of my junior year because of student unrest and protests.  This turbulent period made it interesting for me entering adulthood to attempt to “discover” myself.  This backdrop of unrest became the incubator for the new and emerging counter-culture.  As a result, traditional “American Values” were under siege and being challenged.

3. What did you hope the future held for you?

At age 21, I didn’t have much time to ponder the future.  Attending classes, playing in the orchestra, running a part-time business and serving in the military occupied my time.  I didn’t think about why I was doing it – I was too busy doing it!  In retrospect, I wish that I had taken more time to try to understand the consequences of these activities on my life.  Perhaps, I was a little bit like the Nike commercial, “just do it”.  I became a “jack of all trades, master of none” sort of guy.  This suited me because I had a lot of interests (maybe some ADD built in there, too).

4. How did you define what it meant to be a man?

It was expected, back then, that when you graduated from college you were on your own.  Becoming a “man” was a learning process and living independently on you own was one part of that process.

5. What advice do you give to that young man of yesterday?

Looking back with the wisdom of experience that I’ve acquired (I’m old), I would advise myself to take the time to reflect on and better understand my true value system.  Values are derived from multiple sources including religious, family and cultural.  I wish, in hindsight, that I had understood this better.  I would have been more grounded in that value system which would have helped guide my decision making.

Advice to My 21-year-old Self, by Ed Gschneidner


Ed gives advice to his 21-year old self

1. When you were 21 years old, where were you living and what were you doing?

I was living in a fraternity and going to college at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.  I was taking courses in the architecture program studying to become an architect.  At the same time I was involved in the fraternity, working part-time at a grocery store in the produce department, and spending most of my free time convincing my future wife to join me for pizza and beer

2. What did you worry about–what was that one thing that you feared the most?

That period of time saw unemployment and economic activity reminiscent of our current circumstances in 2010 and 2011.  Many of the architectural graduates I knew were working bagging groceries and were not able to find positions with architectural firms.

3. What did you hope the future held for you?

I hoped that upon graduation from college that I could find meaningful work in my chosen field and that I would be facing life’s challenges with my then fiancé Martha.

4. How did you define what it meant to be a man?

I can honestly say that I never gave being a man any thought – it was just part of my “being”.  I’m sure that a lot that being was based on whatever I learned from living with my own father and the fathers of my friends and neighbors.  From my father I think I absorbed the importance of hard work, education and knowledge, and respect for other people without reservation.

5. What advice do you give today to that young man of yesterday?

Life is not a passive activity, get engaged, have a take, and try to make things happen – these are still things that I struggle with in life today.