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St. Louis Artist Cbabi Bayoc Reflects On Fatherhood, Fatherly Advice

This past weekend’s Father’s Day reminds us of the important role fathers play in the lives of their children.

Artist and businessman Cbabi Bayoc is the father behind 365 Days With Dad. It’s a project he started in 2012 with the goal of painting one portrait or narrative a day which depicts African American fathers interacting with their children in a positive light.

Originally from O’Fallon, Illinois, Bayoc began the project because creating art is his livelihood, but over the course of a year it morphed into a means of preserving memories and encouraging parents to be their best selves when with their kids.

Bayoc has 87 paintings remaining and he hopes to finish this summer.

Much of Bayoc’s work is displayed at Sweet Art, a bakeshop, café, and gallery in south St. Louis that he and his wife own and operate.

As part of this segment we asked you, our listeners and readers, as well as people who have previously been a guest on St. Louis on the Air to share with us the best piece of advice their father gave them.

We heard contributions from Mayor Francis Slay, former Missouri Governor Bob Holden, arts patron and philanthropist Emily Pulitzer, and jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard.

Listener contributions:

  • Treat everyone with respect and courtesy. Go out of your way to help everyone out without expecting something in return. Not only will it make you a nicer person but you never know when you can use a friend.
  • Everyone knows to go the extra mile for a CEO or authority figure. But it is the janitors that will help you when you are locked out of the building or the secretary that will help you get access to the CEO. By respecting everyone you meet along the way you will make friends with a range of people and you will be a better person for it.
  • Enjoy the small things in life… the moments in between the big stuff. Playing catch in the summer in the front yard, dad teaching me to drive and practicing parallel parking again and again.
  • He gave me this advice during the father daughter dance at my wedding and it's advice I try to remember every day.
  • The only way to achieve success is through dedication and hard work.
  • Be a defensive driver.
  • Just because you can see great as you drive at dusk without your headlights on, you turn your headlights on so that OTHER drivers can see YOU.
  • Always keep an air compressor in the trunk of your car. Even though that sounds very superficial and mundane, it serves as a reminder to me that a little preparation and self-sufficiency can save you a lot of frustration and anger.
  • Don't ever get old.
  • Don't put anything on the internet that you wouldn't want to see on a billboard.
  • “If you don't laugh, you'll cry." Dad was right - it's so much better for your spirit to embrace the absurdity.
  • "Measure twice, cut once" – it applies to much more than just do-it-yourself projects.
  • My dad would always say: "A humble servant is always loved by a wicked ruler." The emphasis was on the servant not the ruler.
  • Never let other people know what bothers/frustrates you! Always pay attention to what bothers/frustrates others!

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012. Mary retired from St. Louis Public Radio in 2018, but still serves the station as a St. Louis Symphony Producer.
Don Marsh served as host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air" from 2005 to 2019, bringing discussions of significant topics to listeners' ears at noon Monday through Friday. Don has been an active journalist for 58 years in print, radio and television. He has won 12 Regional Emmy Awards for writing, reporting, and producing. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in 2013, and named “Media Person of the Year” by the St. Louis Press Club in 2015. He has published three books: his most recent, “Coming of Age, Liver Spots and All: A Humorous Look at the Wonders of Getting Old,” “Flash Frames: Journey of a Journeyman Journalist” and “How to be Rude (Politely).” He holds an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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