Episode 33 - Daniel 'Bird' Hobert: Living Simple and Loving Your Family

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If there was ever going to be a time I was going to bring my father onto the podcast, this was the one. For those who have personally met him over the years or know him directly then you know not to call him Daniel… you call him ‘Bird.’ If you’ve lived under a rock and don’t know who the great Boston Celtics player Larry Bird was, his number was 33.

 

Growing up my father stepped in as a father figure and did everything to keep both my sister, mother and I happy. He got involved with our youth sports and was the coach for both my soccer and basketball teams for many years, he used to sit outside and read the paper once a week while I took guitar lessons the next town over from us (unfortunately, I was no John Mayer.) He did everything in his power to make sure the family was happy and although we had our ups and downs as almost every family does, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for him.

Back when he was growing up it was common for people to have large families and ‘Bird’ ended up being one of ten children. The house was always constantly filled with people and it made for an interesting time growing up as all the ages varied which kept everyone in the loop. If you know any of the Hobert family we all have the same personality - outgoing, fun, caring, and most importantly… loving.

This episode for me was something special. Over the years the ‘Birdman’ would tell me stories about when he was a child and what it was like growing up but it felt special to be able to get his story documented. He is one of the reasons I am who I am today and if you know me well or even just through the podcast, you’ll quickly get a sense that my personality doesn't fall far off from who he is.

Episode Takeaway: When it comes to life, there is no dress rehearsal. We aren’t able to hit the ‘reset’ or ‘start over’ button when time has passed and we’ve missed out on certain opportunities we wish we could go back too. Live life the way you want to within reason, try the things that interest you and live each day like it's your last.   

 

Podcast Outline

  • Who is Daniel “Bird” Hobert today?

  • Grew up in Holyoke, MA

    • Was one of ten children, born in the middle

    • Loved growing up with a big family there was always someone around to hangout

  • Spent his summers down in Groton, CT

    • Took sailing and tennis lessons and participated in different tournaments

  • Had to have four operations growing up on his ears because of wax buildup

    • Led him to having a learning disability which kept him 2-3 grades back

  • At 13 ended up going to Linden Hill School, only an hour away from home, to catch up with his learning

    • Only 20 kids attended school all from different places (Montreal, Texas, Florida etc)

    • Once a week could call home and speak to family for 10 minutes and was able to write letters

    • After at first being homesick he started to like the school and said it was the best 3 years

  • Cellphone’s and internet wasn’t around when “Bird” was growing up, communication between people was much different

  • Hobert’s are outgoing, fun and very close for a big family

    • Credits his mother who cared for everyone, always reminded them to treat people the way you wanted to be treated and show them how much love you have

    • Father passed away from a heart attack when he was only six years old

    • Stepfather played role as father figure and stepped in with seven kids in the family and one on the way

  • Where the nickname “Bird” came from

    • Hair used to stick up when he played soccer, his friend Tommy decided to give him the name

  • One of the biggest Boston’s sports fan

    • Loved sports growing up and still loves watching them

    • Best moment: Was in the old TD Garden when Larry Bird banked one off the glass to win game 7 in the semifinals after being down 3-1

    • Everyone rushed the floor to put them into the finals.

  • Studied Law enforcement at Holyoke Community College

    • Wasn’t sure what he wanted to do but enjoyed the courses

  • Spent eight years at UPS after finishing up school

    • Didn’t want to go full-time because they controlled where you worked

  • Started working at the Hampden County Sheriff's Department in 87’ after someone recommended applying

    • Spent the past fifteen years working with Springfield Housing Authority doing community service work

    • Doesn’t treat inmates any different, tries to be a mentor for them

  • Bird has had inmates try to run from him twice in his career in the field

    • One turned himself in after 24 hours after being on the run

    • Second was when he was out on community service work

  • Ran the Boston Marathon when he was 30 years old

    • Ran it in 4 hours 23 minutes

  • Is most proud of seeing who is daughter and son have become

    • Gives his wife all the credit for being the backbone of the family

    • Certain moments that have stood out the most with raising the kids

  • 55 Years on this earth

    • The key to happiness is health and good people around you

    • Be a good person, be honest and treat people the way you want to be treated

  • One of the items still on the bucketlist: wants to visit the 9/11 museum in NYC

  • 28 years of marriage

    • Happy wife = happy life

  • All-time Bruce Springsteen fan - has been to 30 concerts over the years

    • When Bruce was asked why he still does it, answer back was “what else would I do?”

  • Ask Bobbbaaaay 1 Question: What made you want to get into this, the podcasting?

  • Picture frame on the wall 10 years from now, what/who do we see?

    • Sitting on the beach in Florida with his wife

  • Find “Bird” on social media

    • Keeps low profile, can’t find him!

  • What 2-3 pieces of advice to someone trying to find their passion/purpose?

    • Follow your heart

    • Try something you’d like to do

    • You go around once, there's no dress rehearsal