Fathers: Fred Egan Castleberry


After returning from lunch with Unabashedly Prep’s Fred, someone in my office asked me how I felt each time I made a new friend thanks to All Plaidout. The kindred spirits that exist, that feeling of familiarity that happens in spite of having never met, it lets me know that I’m not alone. I always worry that marching to my own drum means that I’m doing something wrong. And then someone like Fred comes along, and we speak the same language, and we share a common bond — granted it may have begun as something superficial like a love of oxford cloth button downs — we quickly realize, our bond is formed in something deeper, more meaningful. After listening to Fred talk about leaving a life in banking to follow his passion for photography, I felt better about the path I’ve taken. Fred wrote the following letter to his boys, and in it offers some advice we could all use.


Dear boys,

Today was special. I watched you sleeping as I lay next to you—like every other weekend we’re together. All too soon you will be too big for me to sleep in between you, hang on my limbs as we play “Monster”, and kiss you whenever I please. I cherish these moments.

Harrison, my firstborn, my strength. Your eyes are a mirror into my childhood—the joys, the disappointments, the adventures, the failures, the triumphs. There is this joy in your
eyes that lights up an entire room…engaging everyone around you.

Jonah, my baby, my heart. Everything I loved about your mother I experience in you. We speak an unspoken language in the hugs, wrestling matches and piggyback rides
we share. I vividly remember the day I found out I was having a second son…they told me I was having a daughter. But you arrived, and have not ceased to amaze me.

Sons, nothing you do will ever change the way I feel about you. Follow these rules when we are apart. And when we are together, make me proud.

• Take lots of pictures.
• The key to good photography is not timing. It’s editing.
• Live in New York City at some point.
• Make sure your clothes fit properly
• Spend time with your mother. She’s cooler than you think.
• Learn to tie a bow tie.
• Never side against your brother in a fight.
• Don’t be afraid to ask out the best-looking girl in the room.
• When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.
• Always use your last name when introducing yourself.
• Surprise me at the office. Trust me, whatever I’m doing is not as important as you.

Your Daddy