Chocolate Chat: The Heart and Soul of Being a Dad

There is something commanding about a father’s love. Fathers are made up of dependable men who can be our spiritual source of knowledge, strength, courage and most importantly unconditional love. They carry a strong and comforting presence that lets us know that we are loved and protected.

In honor of Father’s Day, we’ve rounded up four fathers:  Yuhanna El, Nasara Gargonnu, William Purcell, Jr. and Boston Hall, who are all men that represent fatherhood beautifully. We invited them to share their thoughts in a Q&A on what fatherhood means to them.

This weekend, as we celebrate fathers, we want to thank these men for their care and support, and we wish you a Happy Father’s Day!

Meet the Dads below: 

Yuhanna and Amber El and their beautiful family.

TCV:  When was the last time your Dad dropped some knowledge on you?

YE:  (Answered by his 9 year old daughter Ajai El): My father told me about sodium and how it can majorly affect your life, sodium can create certain heart disorders and problems, when I think of sodium it comes up as salt but not as much as sugar. My dad also taught me how to read food labels and that when the box says nutrition facts it is REAL food when it says supplement facts you can tell the company is talking about a supplement like mineral eye drops which is not a bad thing. My father taught me everything I know now and  I love him for everything he has done for me.

TCV:  In what ways are you most like your child or children and in what ways are you different?

YE: My oldest daughter makes a friend everywhere that she goes. She talks to everyone and loves being around people. Since a small child she could mesmerize a room of adults with jokes or funny stories. My wife tells me that she gets that from me.

TCV: What do you enjoy most about being a Dad?

YE: Watching my children at any moment is a reminder that there is innocence in the world and that all people at their heart and core are good. (But when they grow up they can become some trifling raggedy summimabiscuits) lol!

TCV: What mistakes taught you the most about life?

YE: What I have learned is that, “Men don’t make mistakes, Men make choices.” A man will make his choices based on his values. When we make the choices that send us on the rough road of trial and error, we then learn to make better choices and consider the power and impact of our thoughts, words, and actions. Each choice I have made has placed me exactly where I am, purposefully and without mistake.

TCV: How do you want your kids to remember you?

YE: Every man wants to leave evidence of his existence. With my children, I will leave them a legacy replete with the memories of joy, laughter, and that their father was a man that cared, provided for and loved them, lived bravely, and never quit. He was resilient. 

Yuhanna El is a Sales Consultant in the nutrition and wellness industry. He seeks constant improvement both professionally and personally. Being a better husband, father, businessman, and a global citizen is marked by his consistent efforts to improve how he lives. He summarizes his philosophy with and F5 concept: Family, Faith, Finance, Food & Fitness. He is happily married to his wife Amber and together they have 4 children.

Nasara Gargonnu and sons.

Nasara Gargonnu and sons.

TCV:  When was the last time your Dad dropped some knowledge on you?

NGWhen my father was alive one of the most important gems of “knowledge” he passed on to me was that he told me that I would have to work extra hard to be successful in this society because I was a Black man. I don’t think I totally understood back then, but I definitely understand now.

TCV:  In what ways are you most like your children and in what ways are you different?

NG:  What makes me most like my oldest is that we are both creative, strict and disciplined. We are different because he’s much more cautious than I am. What makes me most like my youngest is that we are both risk takers and creative. We are different because he is way more sensitive than I am. (Lol! It’s my New Yorker thick skin!)  

TCV: What do you enjoy most about being a Dad?

NG: I enjoy doing the same things with my boys, that I did with my father. It’s so awesome being a dad! 

TCV: What mistakes taught you the most about life?

NG:  I look at the mistakes that my father made and made sure that I didn’t repeat them.  I’m determined to make sure that I do everything in my power to always be present in my children’s lives.

TCV: How do you want your kids to remember you?

NG: I want my children to know that their dad was willing to sacrifice “to the fullest” in making sure that they have a great life! Also, it’s important to me that they know that their dad was a person that did his very best to make sure ALL people lived healthy lives!

Nasara Gargonnu is a P.E. Teacher and fitness professional. Originally from New York with ancestry from Trinidad and Liberia, he currently lives in San Diego, California, by way of the Navy with his wife Makenna and two sons. He is presently living out his purpose and determined to spread knowledge on Health and Wellness by teaching others as well as leading by example.

William Purcell and sons Ricky and William, III.

William Purcell and son’s Ricky (L) and William, III (R).

TCV:  In what ways are you most like your child and in what ways are you different?

WPI will base this answer on my youngest son. He and I are so much alike when we geek out over superhero and fantasy movies and T.V. shows. We can talk for extended periods of time about the latest Marvel and DC movies that are coming out and always watch The Flash and Supergirl together. It is our bonding time and I really enjoy it. We are different in our overall personalities. Will is much quieter and laid back than I am. I can be more outgoing and forthright than him. My oldest Ricky, is more like me when it comes to our outgoing personalities.

TCV: What do you enjoy most about being a Dad?

WP:  I really enjoy knowing that I have been, and continue to be, a major part of raising two well-rounded and centered young men. There are too many Black children that are fatherless. I was raised by a loving and present father. I wanted the same thing for my kids. The way they conduct themselves and take pride in being men who take care of their business fills me with pride. My oldest has a child now and is such a great and active father. He is being the father that I hoped he would be.

TCV: How do you want your kids to remember you?

WP: I want my sons to remember me as a father who was always supportive of them and who prided himself in being a Black man that took care of his family. Most importantly, I want them to remember how much I loved them and want them to always do their best.

William J. Purcell, Jr. lives in the great city of Austin, TX. William is extremely proud to be a Texan, but that does not compare to the pride he has for being married to the most wonderful woman on Earth. He and his wife Alma have known one another since they were fourteen years-old and just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They are the proud parents of William J. Purcell, III and their child-of-the-heart, Ricky Hayes. In 2016, Ricky made the couple grandparents when his daughter, Mya Grace, graced the family with her joyful existence. 

Professionally, he is the Director of Quality and Training within the Customer Care division of the city-owned utility company in Austin. He has worked in customer service and quality management for over 20 years and is passionate about instilling a customer-centric philosophy within the organization. His hobbies are watching movies and T.V., listening to Gospel music, watching political news coverage, cooking and going to school.

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Boston Hall and his 3 sons and one daughter.

TCV: What do you enjoy most about being a Dad?

BHWhat I  like most about being a dad is watching your children grow up to be nice respectable adults and teens. I am a blessed father who has not had to go through some of the challenges other parents have gone through. It’s all about setting boundaries, rules, communication and trust. Never try to be your child’s friend. They have plenty of those. A father is what they want. If you raise them right they will respect and honor you. That same respect and honor will also show when dealing with their peers and other adults. It’s such a great feeling to hear people say you have great kids. It means you did something right.

TCV: How do you want your kids to remember you?

BH:  I  want my kids to remember me as the one person they could talk to about anything and get solid advice back. And, they better miss my cooking. Lol!

Boston C. Hall was born in Panama and raised in Tucson, Arizona. The proud University of Arizona alumni, currently lives in Corona, California with his four children. A very busy man, Boston is the CEO of a Southern California staffing agency and an entrepreneur with his hands in many different projects. He enjoys cooking, home projects and wood working. He says that his secret in keeping  sane is to not worry because,  everything works itself out in the end.  His motto is, “Have faith and you’ll be blessed.” 

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