• The Refined Man is Wild at Heart

    Miscellany  

    "Adventure is not outside man; it is within." —George Eliot

    Boys are wild.
    Dangerous.
    Free.
    Dreamers.
    Explorers.
    Fighters.
    More creature than child, boys are untamed.

    Every man was once a boy. To carry this adventurous spirit into manhood is of paramount significance in the maturation of our boys. Sadly, today, that insatiable longing to explore is largely but a relic of childhood for many men. The adventurer is the child who survived. He is unapologetically wild at heart. He runs toward danger. Takes risks. Embraces spontaneity. In his book Wild at Heart, John Eldredge shrewdly notes, “Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.”

    How a man seeks his adventure is how he embraces his purpose.
    How he embraces his purpose is how he pursues his woman.
    How he pursues his woman is how he loves his children.
    How he loves his children is how he loves his neighbor.
    How he loves his neighbor is how he loves his God.

    There are two types of men in this world: those who love what they do and those who don't. Those who have found something to fight for and those who haven't. The former are men who go on to great achievements, lead extraordinary lives, and love deeply. They have explored the depths of their hearts, discovered their (present) purpose in this world, and pursue it with reckless abandon.

    The latter are confused, timid, drifters. They are lost boys—succumbing to a culture that would prefer we be docile, domesticated, well-behaved children. How do we, as men, reconnect with that indelible wildness? How do we recover the masculinity our emasculated society so desperately needs? We must look within. What did you love to do as a child? What would you do even if you weren't getting paid to do it? What turns you on inside? Fight tooth and nail for that.

    When was the last time you climbed a frozen waterfall? Slept under the stars? Or crossed an ocean? The refined man not only needs adventure, he seeks it. The passion for this is at the core of a man's spirit. The thrill of closing a big deal at the office, cheering your team on from the comfort of your couch, or emerging a war hero in Call of Duty are nothing more than metaphors and cheap substitutes for what your spirit truly wants—danger, risk...adventure. Get out there.

    There is no place in our society more desperate for the wild heart in man than in the pursuit of a woman. Women are designed to be pursued, wooed, to be caught up. No woman wakes up saying, "God, I hope I don't get swept off my feet today.” They long to be swept up into an adventure. Gentlemen, you get one chance to make a first impression—and I've witnessed it squandered so often over a cup of coffee...or a drink.

    Plan something outrageous and memorable. Anything but a meeting that resembles a job interview. I like to know right out of the gate if I can laugh with a woman, so I'll plan an experience conducive to that. A little imagination goes a long way gentlemen. Have fun with it—but most importantly, have a plan. Remember, if this girl is as amazing as you hope she is, she's been on more first dates than Drew Barrymore—make this unforgettable for her (hint: women love surprises). Be intentional in writing a gripping opening to your story together!

    The refined woman creates the space for the wild at heart...spontaneity...and the unknown to invade. It is incredible what transpires within relationships when a man is given the freedom to be a man. To be unapologetically wild. What results is a beautiful encounter between the masculine and feminine.

    Every man is an adventurer inside. But the choice to live one is his own.

    * Originally written for The Refined Woman.

    Jun 11, 2014 | Permalink (2) View/Leave Comments

    K McCurry left a comment on 6/11/2014 at 10:12 PM:

    This post is great! Where is that “Veritas” hat from? I really like it…


    Katherine left a comment on 6/11/2014 at 7:21 PM:

    Knowing your heart is an honor.  You are such a prolific writer + inspiring human being!  Thanks so much for sharing this with the world!


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  • Shoptalk Radio Interview

    Style | Miscellany  

    Nick Onken and I first met when I hired him to shoot branding images for my photography business. That was 2008. Fast forward to 2014 and not only have we become great friends but for much of that time, Nick served as one of my creative mentors. For that I am forever grateful. He possesses a youthful way of looking at the world in front of him—a unique blend of music, community, food, and pop culture.

    One thing I love about Nick is that the guy has a big heart. He is genuinely interested in people. In an effort to give back and inspire, he recently created a podcast that explores the entrepreneurial journeys of creatives he has personally come to know over the years. He’s interviewed over a dozen friends who are are up to big things in their lives—music moguls, dancers, non-profits, actors, and fashion designers—all living a unique and inspiring story. I listen on a regular basis and always walk away inspired to continue pursuing my own vision. When Nick recently asked to sit down with me, I was honored to dive into my own creative journey and look back at exactly how I got from there to here.

    You can listen here and check out the rest of the photo story Nick created. It’s a a real treat being shot by Nick…so of course I had to pogo around SoHo.

    Mar 25, 2014 | Permalink (6) View/Leave Comments

    610 left a comment on 5/11/2014 at 2:02 PM:

    This is amazing! I’ve started to follow your blog a couple of years ago. Back then I did not really care how I dressed, I did however love to go in here and look at the pictures. since my passion for style came way later than this I never took my time to read any of the posts. Now a couple of years later, after moving to London and working in the sartorial end of retail I realise what I have missed.

    Shame on me.


    ali left a comment on 4/23/2014 at 9:50 PM:

    What a great collection of photos. I wanted to pint out that I noticed your pogo stick was the standard issue silver color. Was it monogrammed? I could not tell. I am so sorry that you cannot find any pants that have the right inseam for you. Your poor feet must be so very cold.


    Cate left a comment on 4/17/2014 at 11:18 PM:

    great photos, great piece on nick’s site.


    Joey Dee left a comment on 4/8/2014 at 5:23 PM:

    Dear Fred:
    Your site & style will always be an inspiration! The content is always refreshing!
    Joey Dee


    Lauren left a comment on 3/31/2014 at 5:52 PM:

    Love your site!


    Jen K. left a comment on 3/26/2014 at 8:42 AM:

    That is so awesome! I’ve followed Nick’s blog for awhile!


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  • The Wagon and the Road

    Miscellany  

    At the time I dreaded it. I had better things to do with my summers, like pump my best friend to the comic book shop, watch CHiPs, and build forts in the creek behind my backyard. It was the early 90s and my parents were very much into road trips. The more states the better. The combination of economy travel for five, around-the-clock sightseeing, and an ‘87 Mercedes-Benz diesel wagon made it the sensible choice to satisfy what wanderlust my parents needed to pacify.

    There is something very American about the road trip. Given our love affair with cars, it's no wonder. The 47,000+ miles of interstate highway, National Monuments, and roadside eats have made it about the journey, not simply the destination. Castleberry family road trips were no exception. Our destination was always home…with one caveat: never return the way you came. To drive in a huge loop was completely normal. In the summer of 1993 we circled the American Southwest...Sequoia National Park, the Grand Canyon, Delicate Arch in Utah—we hit it all in a week.

    The trips never came at a convenient break in the summers though. Occasionally, I'd enlist a friend from the neighborhood to join the circus come along. They never knew it but they were the buffer and served a very specific purpose. After all, I couldn’t think of anything worse than being cooped up with my younger brother and sister for nine hour stretches while dad threatened to pull the car over every other rest stop. My one reprieve was throwing my feet out the window and watching the world fly by.

    Today, I actually find myself pining for those road trips. Nostalgia seems to do that—romanticize our memories. My brother and sister now live overseas, sadly, and I rarely see them. Over the weekend, I found my way into the backseat again as spring hesitantly stepped out from behind winter's shadow. I just laid there. In the relative quiet, I propped my feet out the window, closed my eyes, and let the warmth of the sun take me back to that summer in ’93.

    Mar 13, 2014 | Permalink (3) View/Leave Comments

    Richard Ross left a comment on 3/18/2014 at 11:17 PM:

    I sure do love road trips. Our family road trip rule was that we couldn’t eat at chain restaurants. Only “road food”, as my dad would call it. I still apply that rule to my road trips with friends.


    Lee Emerson left a comment on 3/17/2014 at 8:09 AM:

    Road trips are big in Australia too. There’s something mesmerizing about them - like getting lost in time…


    scaleworm left a comment on 3/16/2014 at 10:02 PM:

    memories are always nice.
    thank you for sharing.


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  • Porsche Sport Driving School

    Sports | Miscellany  

    It was five years ago that I consciously decided to be a "Yes Man." Since that time I've jumped into some crazy experiences, formed lifelong friendships, and have laughed all along the way. I'm constantly asking myself, "Am I living an interesting story?"

    When the storied Italian tire maker Pirelli invites you to the Porsche Sport Driving School for a day, that's a knee-jerk "yes." I first fell in love with Porsche when I test drove one at the young age of 15. For good reason my parents cut that idea off at the knees...but the encounter stuck with me. Porsche's Sport Driving School is housed on a track in Birmingham, Alabama in what, for all intents and purposes, is considered to be the middle of nowhere. But that's its charm. It's man, machine, and God's creation. As if to acknowledge this is where we came from, now where can we go (and how fast)? If it sounds romantic, that's because it is.

    "Your most powerful weapon is your brakes. Racing is all about your braking. They are 4-5 times more powerful than your engine."

    Let's just call the driving school what it really is, "The sensual seduction by a 911 Turbo." The lines of her body move like a woman...curving, rolling, sloping ever so gently down her back. Opening up the throttle to 97...99...103...111...117 (and I'm only in third gear at this point), the engine's roar rattles among the pines, blood pumping through my chest as my heart rate rises with the needle.

    Easily the single most fun day I've ever experienced, I'm excited to share that Pirelli is feeling generous. They are sending one lucky driver (and a friend) to experience two days behind a Porsche 911. Not only will you get your fix for your need for speed but you'll receive first class driving instruction from experienced race car drivers. I experienced this firsthand as I rode shotgun for a hot lap. By the end of it, I was ready to lose my lunch...not as romantic.

    Feb 24, 2014 | Permalink (11) View/Leave Comments

    julia left a comment on 3/17/2014 at 1:26 PM:

    2 years ago my husband bought a 911, then took this course last summer, and now we’re going again this year….#hooked. your photos are superb!


    Stefanee left a comment on 3/6/2014 at 5:33 PM:

    I just recently wrote about wanting to start agreeing to any and all adventure on a blog that my sister and I started up. It was a New Years resolution of mine, and seeing this definitely made me want to keep following through with that!
    Great blog, you have some awesome stuff!

    itisourphilosophy.com


    Corey Young left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 11:49 PM:

    Thanks for this posting! I have always been a Porsche man! They were a “dime a dozen” when I was a kid living in “Silicon Valley” back in the very early 1980’s-late 1970’s. I can remember one summer day counting 50 of them on the way to Half Moon Bay from Fremont! My father had a choice back in the day between a Lancia and a 911. He chose the Lancia. He did repent and later bought a Mercedes 280 D. Not exactly a Porsche but German and classy no less. Myself…still dreaming. Maybe in 5 more years when the kids are older and the wife will let me look beyond SUV’s!

    This is the best post you’ve had in a long time…and just when I was about to give up. You peaked my interest yet again! This really brought back alot of great memories for me. Thanks!


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 8:05 PM:

    @Hillary—Thank you. And the base price on a 911 Turbo S (which I also had the pleasure of driving) is $180,000.


    Hillary left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 7:15 PM:

    A Cayman S lists for under $66k….not $100k.


    Dan left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 11:31 AM:

    Wonder what the dress code for a Veyron is.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 10:19 AM:

    @CC—If I’m driving a $100K sports car, I’m wearing a tie. The car deserves at least that much respect.


    CC left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 10:13 AM:

    One of those necktie-required racetracks?


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 10:03 AM:

    @Barbara—It was 7 degrees in Birmingham that day. You bet I wore a parka. Of course we shed them once inside the cars…but there were periods of standing outside while receiving instruction.


    Barbara left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 9:46 AM:

    That’s not what you wore to drive cars, is it?


    George left a comment on 3/4/2014 at 11:30 PM:

    Porsche = YES! Nice story, nice shots.


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  • Farewell Philip

    Miscellany  

    1967—2014

    Jan 29, 2014 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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