Father son reunite in Dothan after decades of…

Father, son reunite in Dothan after decades of estrangement – “When Carl Redding was 4 years old, his father walked out of his life. A week and a half ago, Carl walked back into his father’s.”

Carl, a chef who spent time in New York and Philadelphia before recently moving to Atlanta, hadn’t seen his father, Jesse, in nearly 30 years, largely because he didn’t want to. But a change in attitude began to form in recent years, and Carl felt the resentment gnawing at him daily.

“I had been bitter for so many years and thought it was time for me to get over my bitterness, because I didn’t want to go to the grave feeling bitter about my father leaving us and me not knowing my father,” Carl said. After finding out Jesse lived in Dothan, it still took time for a friend, the Rev. Kenny Glasgow, to talk Carl into meeting with his father. 

Finally, two Wednesdays ago, Carl made a hasty decision. “I was in Atlanta, and I just said, ‘To hell with it, I am going to drive to Dothan, Alabama,’” Carl said. “He didn’t know I was coming. I showed up in front of his doorstep. Kenny asked him his name and said he wanted to introduce him to somebody.

When I came around the corner, he said, ‘Oh, you don’t need to introduce me to him. I know who he is.’ I sarcastically said to my father, ‘Who am I?’ And he said my name.” 

For Jesse, it was a long-awaited reunion. “The relationship was poor due to the divorce,” Jesse said. “When he was younger, I didn’t know much about him because me and my ex couldn’t agree on different things. It’s always been that I want to have a relationship with all of my boys, and I look forward for (this relationship) to be great.”

Better late than never.