Dad of America's newest "Idol" offers Father's Day advice

dlauderdale@islandpacket.comJune 15, 2013 

CandiceFamily3

John Glover and his daughter, Candice, hug in May after she returned to Beaufort as an 'American Idol' finalist for her hometown visit and concert.

SARAH WELLIVER — Staff photo Buy Photo

Candice isn't John Glover's only claim to fame.

She created a hullabaloo last month after she became the new "American Idol," but Candice Glover's father has six more stars under his roof on rural St. Helena Island.

"My wife loves kids, man, and she always had this dream of having a big family, and I didn't mind having one and so that's what we did," he said.

On this Father's Day, even with the oldest of his seven children having flown off to California, and the next two, Jonathan and Shaquoya, graduating from Beaufort High School on June 6, Glover says he still has a big job to do.

"Fathers, we just have to be there for our kids," he said. "We are their fathers, not their friends. We've got a job to do to raise them."

That's the way it was in his family growing up, and in his wife's family. John and Carole Middleton Glover are so committed to parenting, they adopted five children, blending them all into a home with a father and a mother, where children have chores, everyone goes to church and they do things together.

"My dad told me everything I want in life I work for it," Glover said. "Don't try to get it any other way. If you want something, go out there and work for it. That's what my dad told me."

Now that's what he tells his own string of stars: Candice, Jonathan, Shaquoya, Carlos, David, Careme and Bethany.

PUNCHING IN

Glover grew up about a mile from the girl who would become his high school sweetheart.

John Glover, who goes by "Ricky," was one of six children of John and Josephine Glover. His dad was a fisherman and a contractor. His dad sang at church and in St. Helena quartets, known for his high tenor voice.

Carole, daughter of Nathaniel and Albertha Middleton, said they didn't know each other until they got to Beaufort High. John remembers giving her a ring for Christmas and telling her they were going to get married. They celebrated their 25th anniversary June 4.

Glover started work young, with chores in the home garden. His first job was picking tomatoes and cucumbers. He bought his first bike with money he made heading shrimp at Gay Fish Co. on St. Helena.

Today, he rises for work at 3:30 a.m., five days a week. He commutes 45 minutes to the Waste Management office at the Hickory Hill Landfill in Jasper County, punches in at 4:30 a.m. and leaves the yard behind the wheel of a front-end loading truck that empties commercial dumpsters from Bluffton to Hampton.

He's been with Waste Management almost 16 years. Before that, he worked at C.C. Hendricks Furniture Co. in Beaufort.

He can work 10 or 12 hours some days, depending on the weather and the route.

But last week, the Glover family still managed to go to the movies together on Hilton Head Island. Carole said her husband doesn't delegate the children to her.

"I'll go out there and play basketball with them," said the 51-year-old father. "Sometimes it's video games, or sometimes we just watch a game. They love to watch football, but we like different teams, so on Sundays in the NFL season, there's a lot of trash talking."

'DARE TO BE DIFFERENT'

Glover said a father's main job is to simply be there.

But he can share a lot more wisdom if you ask.

How do you instill confidence in your children?

"By actually going out and doing what I say, showing them that even though there are going to be difficult times I still can go forward and do what I've got to do. Sometimes things are going to get hard. You just have to believe you can do it."

Why do you emphasize faith?

"It just gives them a little extra ooomph they need, just to believe that God can help them if they really believe."

What did you tell your recent high school graduates?

"I told them they are coming into the real world now. Always be polite to people and always remember to respect others. Just like how humble Candice is ... that's how we try to raise our kids. They are going to come across enough bad people or whatnot, so we say to always try to be polite."

What has been your advice to Candice?

"She keeps saying she does not want to change. And I tell her to be yourself. Sometimes when she was growing up I had to tell her, 'You know that's not you, so why would you do that?' I still tell her: 'Dare to be different.' "

If Candice can win "American Idol," there's no reason her father can't be the next Dr. Phil.

Follow columnist David Lauderdale at twitter.com/ThatsLauderdale.

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Candice Glover coverage

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