Life Behind the Highlight Real

Ep 24 Dustin Underwood (Part 2)

April 11, 2022 Sarah Huffman, William Huffman, & Jorie Schaaf Season 1 Episode 24
Ep 24 Dustin Underwood (Part 2)
Life Behind the Highlight Real
More Info
Life Behind the Highlight Real
Ep 24 Dustin Underwood (Part 2)
Apr 11, 2022 Season 1 Episode 24
Sarah Huffman, William Huffman, & Jorie Schaaf

This week we wrap up our incredible interview with Dustin Underwood, who served multiple jail terms before finding his path -- only to lose his way again. 

If episode one left you looking for a happy ending, then settle in for an heart-warming conclusion to his story. 

Wrapping up episode 1, Dustin was getting ready to leave Team Challenge with nothing but a garbage bag of clothes and a girlfriend 8 months pregnant. 

Now he had two goals: Find a place to live and find a job. 

In Part 2 life begins to open up opportunities and a brighter future, but not before more curveballs.

Curveballs that includes a simple mix up in paperwork that almost landed him in jail and a bad drug test that almost eliminated his job.

Meanwhile, Dustin was still searching for purpose. 

A purpose that was finally discovered through a fundraiser after the loss of a friend that raised thousands of dollars for his family. 

That moment opened his eyes and his heart. 

He wanted nothing more but to give back. A journey he's still on today through a fishing group that helps kids and families in need. 

Part 1 told the story of struggle. Part 2 is the conclusion that you hope would happen. 

Magical Quotes

"Who would ever thought I went from crackhead to killing it? Like I'm just killing it."

"You can always get more money, but you can never get more time."

"You don't have to be rich to do something for someone. Your voice can move mountains."

Show Notes Transcript

This week we wrap up our incredible interview with Dustin Underwood, who served multiple jail terms before finding his path -- only to lose his way again. 

If episode one left you looking for a happy ending, then settle in for an heart-warming conclusion to his story. 

Wrapping up episode 1, Dustin was getting ready to leave Team Challenge with nothing but a garbage bag of clothes and a girlfriend 8 months pregnant. 

Now he had two goals: Find a place to live and find a job. 

In Part 2 life begins to open up opportunities and a brighter future, but not before more curveballs.

Curveballs that includes a simple mix up in paperwork that almost landed him in jail and a bad drug test that almost eliminated his job.

Meanwhile, Dustin was still searching for purpose. 

A purpose that was finally discovered through a fundraiser after the loss of a friend that raised thousands of dollars for his family. 

That moment opened his eyes and his heart. 

He wanted nothing more but to give back. A journey he's still on today through a fishing group that helps kids and families in need. 

Part 1 told the story of struggle. Part 2 is the conclusion that you hope would happen. 

Magical Quotes

"Who would ever thought I went from crackhead to killing it? Like I'm just killing it."

"You can always get more money, but you can never get more time."

"You don't have to be rich to do something for someone. Your voice can move mountains."

William Huffman  0:00  
Hey everybody, William here and Sarah. And we just need to let you know that we are licensed real estate agents in the state of Minnesota with REMAX results of Good Life Group. And that's a legal disclaimer.

Accouncer  0:13  
Welcome to Life behind the highlight reel, the podcast that takes things beyond the curated life we all see online. Join hosts, Sarah and William Huffman, as they dive in with their friends to talk about the good and the hard things that come with a real not perfect life behind the highlight reel.

William Huffman  0:30  
Hey, everybody, William here, and Sarah, and, Deena in all right. Everybody, we are now here for part two of Dustin's amazing stories. So George is not here this time. But we have Deena sitting in with us. And we're going to go ahead and I'm going to do a little recap of what I remember. We had heard a bunch of stories. There was a the December issue had this happened where you were arrested. And then you are waiting for the the evidence to be thrown out. It was you were told that you could serve two more months. So you left Teen Challenge. And that's in a nutshell, kind of where we left off. Yep. All right. For our listeners, if you didn't listen to part one, do it. We highly recommend you go back. Yeah. Yeah. And start there. Because number one, it is well worth your time. You're gonna hear a fascinating story. And now I'm,

Sarah Huffman  1:33  
I've actually been looking forward to today. All week. Yes. So why? Because it's like we left off at like the it's like we left off with such a cliffhanger. The hype of the shitstorm. Yeah, yeah, I'm so thankful. Thank you for coming back today. But honestly, like your story deserves enough time to not rush it through. Right on. All right, cool. So where do you want to start? Where do we want to go from here? Yeah,

Dustin Underwood  1:59  
so I'll just, you know, recap back a little bit. I was getting ready to leave Teen Challenge, Melissa, at this point, you know, she was seven, almost eight months pregnant. And at that time, you know, I didn't really have anything, you know, I didn't have nothing, they'd confiscated my vehicle. Sold it at auction, you know, so I'm leaving Teen Challenge with zero. Like, I have nothing nowhere to live. bag of clothes. That's pretty much all I had more like when you say a bag, you mean like a legitimate garbage bag, legitimate garbage bag of clothes. Okay. And that was all donated stuff from Teen Challenge when I'd shown up there. So I didn't have anything. And I did have a driver's license. So that was huge.

Sarah Huffman  2:42  
Had you lost that at one point, but yeah, you have it

Dustin Underwood  2:45  
back. So I lost it. Because of all the back child support. Got it, all the child support and stuff was catching up. And I'd kept losing it. I'd get a little job here and there, you know, throughout using and, you know, enter a payment agreement to get it back. Just you know, so I had it. But for five years, I didn't have it at all, you know, I was driving with no license and stuff like that. But when I was in Teen Challenge, they helped me get it back. That was one goal was you know, I'm gonna need a license. And so I left Teen Challenge, Melissa pick me up, she had a car, she was seven months, almost eight months pregnant. This is in July of 2012. And she picked me up she'd been living at a friend's house in a bedroom. And I didn't have anywhere to go. Mom's was probably an option. But the stepdad was pretty ticked off with me. So that really wasn't an option at because I had a lot to prove. And so she picked me up from Teen Challenge. And I knew that I had this sentence coming up for the fifth degree. And I had to serve two months, when I was going to have to turn myself in I didn't know but I knew that I had a short amount of time to get established, get a job, and at least start making some progress because the stress level was so high, you know, because I had a lot of things going on, you know, I hadn't filed taxes in seven years on the little jobs that I'd worked and, and I had all this back child support and and it was like man, and you know, the stress level was super, super high. And so I got no Melissa pick me up and she was living at a friend's like I said in a bedroom. The baby was doing August, and I had I'd been out like three days. And Team Challenge. The Counselor actually called me and she goes, I Sandy County Jail is going to put a warrant out for your arrest. And I said for what? And she said well, you never bailed out on the three quarter million dollars on the first degree. Well, there is a paper mix up.

Sarah Huffman  4:49  
Oh my gosh.

Dustin Underwood  4:52  
There was a mixup in the paperwork for when I took the plea agreement on on the fifth degree that they were going to dismiss the appeal on The first degree so it should have went away, but it didn't yet. And so I was really, I was really shocked. And I'm like, You know what, I just got to do what's right, I'm just going to call the jail, and I'm going to talk to him and see what I got to do. Well, it was it was a matter of only a few hours, that's all it really took. It was actually nothing to be afraid of, you know, I called the jail. And they're like, Okay, we'll get in contact with the judge in the District Court and see if we can figure this out. And so, Jackie, the coordinator, she'd figured it out, called me back. And she said, Yep, you're good to go. And I was like, gosh, I was bailed out. But I was, I was scared, you know? Yeah, I was really scared because I thought, Alright, my mind set to start moving forward. And now here's a setback already three days later, like, do I got to go back to

William Huffman  5:47  
two hours? And that's all it took for the universe to be like, here's another curveball, buddy. Yeah,

Dustin Underwood  5:53  
yeah. And so that got straightened out. And the biggest goal was find a job. And I knew this was going to be hard, because at this point, I had seven felonies. And two that haven't been put on my record yet. And so there's a challenge there. huge challenge. And you know, it is true when you have felonies that it's really tough to find a job, or at least get established. And so we're living in a Noca, I moved into her friend's house with her, we're in just a small bedroom. She had the only car. And I went up to Cambridge, and I went to a temp agency to get work, you know, because that's where people told me they needed people to work. And I'd gotten a job that day. And I drove out there. They didn't tell me anything about the job. They just said, yeah, you can go start here. You know, it's a temp agency, they're gonna throw you in wherever. And I got out there. Well, I jean shorts on a t shirt. Well, here, there's a dress code for the job. You know, you gotta have a GM to get boots, all this stuff. So they turned me away as soon as they got there. And I'm like, man, like, really? Well, I came back to the temp agency. And she said, we got an opening for tonight on night shift. And I'm thinking, oh, man, night shift. And she goes, Well, it's $1.25 more. And I'm like, alright, I'll take all I can get. And so I took that job. And that actually turned out to be the job that established everything for me. I showed up to work, I was able to do a job. I guess that not a lot of people could do it, the company. It was making Cummins amps generator wire harnesses. So it's all these complex wire harnesses that go into the generators for our military and stuff like that.

William Huffman  7:44  
And gear, you're artsy. So you have attention to detail and stuff like that. And I'm assuming there's, it's not just one wire, there's probably a wire harness prompter? Yeah, hundreds of wires going into this harness.

Dustin Underwood  7:54  
Yep. And there's this machine, it's called a braiding machine. And it actually braids that coating over the top of the wires to protect them from heat and stuff like that with this machine, it's, it's pretty tough to run, you know, because you got to pull the wires through there in a certain way and flip them around and make tails. And so it was, you know, kind of a complex operation. Well, I caught on right away, and they were really impressed. So boom, they hired me on. And I'd had some friends from the past that were actually working there. And when you say the past, do you mean like, past addiction, or just off the street people that I knew, you know what I mean? Okay, and so I got the job right away. Melissa ends up having the baby in August, Ariana August 27, I have to turn myself in September. And for to do the two months. And so I'm working at Park. And it's only, I don't know, eight blocks away from the jail, which was my goal, because I knew I had to do work release. I knew at least I didn't have I didn't have a car. You know, I was trying to set all these things up to where it was going to work for what I had to do, whether it was temporary or not, whatever, but it was close to the jail. And I know I'm not going to make a ton of money. I think they started me at like 950

Sarah Huffman  9:12  
That was what the overnight shift if, yeah,

Dustin Underwood  9:16  
or was 1015 with. And so I turned myself in in September. I did the two months and while I was in there, another curveball. drug tests aren't always accurate. So when you're on work, release, you get random drug tests every week. And I'd been in there two weeks, maybe three weeks. And I came back and I took my weekly test, and it showed up positive for marijuana. And I'm like, There's no way you know, like, this is not possible. And then another guy failed one for opiates. We're like what the hell you know, all these guys are failing. Well, it turned out they got a bad batch of drug Townline It's just crazy. You can't make it up. No, I'm not. I'm not even making it up. But the bummer was, is that I just got this job. And now they won't let me leave for work release. Oh, yeah, they think you're getting high at work, and I'm trying to be calm about it. But now this job that I have is on the line, because now I'm not showing up to work. And it was hard enough, you know, trying to find a job that I'm just freaking out. Well, they were super good about it. I had to sit the week for the test to be sent in, and actually get tested by lab and then come back. And when it came back negative, of course, I knew it was negative. So I'm just sitting there like, Dude, I can't go to work, you know, like, what's the deal? And the jail was really good. They actually called my job, the jail did the captain and Wow, talk to my supervisor and said, Hey, look, you know, this is our, our bad. Does he still have a job, you know, and I and I did, they let me come back because I was a good worker, you know. And so I got out that night of the day, they got the test back, went back to work, and everything went smooth, I wasn't making like a ton of money or nothing, it was pretty much enough to cover the weekly fee to get out of jail and go to work, you know, it wasn't a lot of money, because they were already hitting him for child support for all the rears plus current. And, you know, that went on for a while. And I kept working at PARC. A friend of mine, Nicole was working there. And she was dating a good friend of mine from past Ross. And these guys had started a group called Get you some outdoors. And it was him his brother and another friend of theirs Kurt. And I was like, man, you know, this whole time, I'm trying to find some way to spend my free time without thinking about doing other things because I had all this space to fill. And they'd started this outdoor group, and it was just, you know, starting to group, no intentions or anything, you know, and but I clicked with that. And I didn't have any fishing gear, you know, I literally still had not even a pot, the piston, basically your bag. But now and we're back, you know, I'm out living in an oak at her her Melissa's friend's house. And this outdoor thing started. And it was just kind of a way for us to connect with each other and do something a little bit better than what we'd been doing. Because we all kind of had that past. And all eventually things didn't work out for where we were staying. Because I wasn't making very much money at all. I was driving from a Nokia to Cambridge to work, but it still had a job. So I was just sticking with it. And Melissa wasn't working anymore. She's at home with baby, I was using the only car we had. And so we weren't really, I was doing what I could to help around that house. But there wasn't like we couldn't pay him anything, you know, and eventually things kind of worth then. So we ended up moving to my mom's house and Princeton. And alcohol, like I said, has always been a thing with my mom. You know, she's always been a good mom. But alcohol has always been a part of her life. And I needed to be away from that. So it was really, it was really tough moving there. And I was still working at Parc both on the night shift still on the night shift. And that was wearing on us too, because there wasn't a functioning father or boyfriend because I was sleeping all day and but I needed that extra dollar. You know what I mean? And

Dustin Underwood  14:03  
Nicole's boyfriend Ross, he ended up he had a brain aneurysm. And I was at work that day. And I remember seeing Nicole running out of work. And then we found out what happened to Ross. And they had him on life support. I went down to the hospital after work and see Nicole seen Ross and there was you know, there's at that point, there's pretty much nothing, nothing you could do. But Russ was an organ donor. And they decided to pull the plug on them donated his organs. And but Russkies kids have ended up in foster care in Minneapolis. And Rossi's brother Arnie, another good friend of mine, one of the ones that hope start getting some outdoors. He'd went down there to see his niece and nephew And he seen all them kids with no parents stuff like that. And something just kind of set a spark there. We got to do something for these kids. And so we started basing get you some outdoors on helping kids. And so that Christmas, we actually worked with the foster home. Got some ideas about the kids and what they liked and stuff like that. And we ended up going out and rallying all the troops and all these members in the group and getting lists of the for the kids or whatever. And then bottom all these gifts.

William Huffman  15:41  
Cat. This is like 2013 or whatever. He around that time writing

Dustin Underwood  15:48  

William Huffman  15:50  
You're still living at your mother's house. Yep. Yep. working the night shift. Yep. $10 an hour. And this is what you decide to do with your free time. Yep. Okay.

Dustin Underwood  16:01  
And you know, and that, at the time, I didn't know how to put it, but actually just listened to your guys other podcast last week or the week before that, Vanessa? She was spot on about when she said, finding that space where you lose track of time. I didn't know what a purpose was, you know what I mean? I was trying to figure this stuff out. And I had all these stresses and, and living at home within this came up in our knees like let's do this, you know, and, and I'm like, alright, well rusty, or Russ had just passed away and I got this wild hair up my butt just I'm gonna do a benefit for you and your family to to help pay for the funeral costs and all this stuff. And I'd never done nothing like this in my life. Like, you know, I was clueless. And so Arnie's working on the gifts for the kids for Christmas. I'm out running around with people I don't even know trying to get donations and build a benefit. But I'd never done it. You know, I didn't know nothing about it. I printed off all these flyers and loaded up this girl Peggy just met her through Arne and Ross. We drove down to Elko Coon Rapids, we walked in, in an auto every business, you know, hand him a flyer asking for donations because I was thinking to myself, like, what's the worst thing they can say? No, no. I don't care. Right? Yeah. You know, like, I

William Huffman  17:27  
want the ones that are saying yes. Right. And,

Dustin Underwood  17:29  
and people are questioning, like, doesn't really doing this, like, how's this gonna turn out? It's just gonna be a shit show. You know what I mean? Because my past, like, everyone knew that I just been this big fuckup, so to speak, you know? And, but I was all in, you know, and me and Peggy, we jumped in my blazer, and we drove down there. And by the time we came back that day, you couldn't fit anything else in the back of my truck. Wow, it was packed full of donations. Wow. And I just, it felt really good. And we did the benefit. And we raised like, $7,000 or something, I can't remember the exact amount. And then the work that I was working for at the time, they actually donated $5,000 to Nicole, cuz she worked there. They get a bunch of people donated their paid time off to her, cuz she needed time off to figure out put life back together, right. And that really brought me an irony closer together, because I knew Ross really well. But I didn't know Arnie, that well. And that brought me in our nice dad close together too. And I was like, how this was, this was awesome. You know what I mean? Like, this felt really good. Yeah. And so we're still living at my mom's and then there's this big blowup between my mum and Melissa. Alcohol off, obviously, part of the problem late at night, you know, binge drinking, you know, stuff like that happens. So Melissa and Ariana. They leave, because my mom's told him to get out. And so now, my family's split up. And this whole time I'd been searching for a place to live and, you know, getting turned down because they all want background checks. And I got a past you know, and,

William Huffman  19:28  
and a quite recent one, to be very honest. Real recent. Yeah.

Dustin Underwood  19:32  
I'm still on probation. Yeah. You know, and so it was super tough. I'd been at Park two years, I've been searching for a place you know, and Melissa's at her dad's with the baby, you know, they're not coming to my mom's to hang out or anything like that, because this huge blow up happened and, and life was really stressful. And so I ended up switching two days, because I just I couldn't function throughout the day on the weekends to try to find an apartment or place, you know, because I was sleeping all day asleep until two o'clock in the afternoon and working night shift just as a whole different thing to your brain, you know, and I, and I did it because I had to. And I needed the money. So it was about, I don't know, six months, probably six months, I was at my mom's house, by myself searching for a place to live. And I just so happened to be driving into work one day, and right on the main drag 95, there was a for rent sign. Right on the main drag, and I thought, oh, man, what kind of places this you know, I'm like, you know, whatever, I'm gonna try it. So I called the number and his name was Tom. And he said, Yep, you know, I got one apartment available. If you want to come check it out, come check it out. And so I went after work, and I went and checked it out. And he goes, You know, I do background checks and stuff like that. And I just thought to myself, You know what, I'm just gonna be honest here. And that's exactly what I said to him. I said, I'm just going to be honest. I have a job. I haven't missed any work. I don't show up late. I've learned everything about the company. Because at this point, I'd moved around the entire company learning every aspect of the company, your two years there already. Yeah, wow, I've learned everything about it. I've run all their technical cut machines, you know, everything. And I said, that's all I have going for me, but I have a criminal history. I said, but I have a girlfriend and a kid, we're not in the same home right now. And we need a place to live. And this is close to work down to you know, if I got this place. And so he ran the background check I you know, in 35 bucks, a lot of people don't think about it, but 35 bucks to me for each application, I was thinking like, and a lot a lot of money. Well,

William Huffman  22:00  
that's a full week of working the night shift for the extra dollar.

Dustin Underwood  22:04  
Well, and then you take away child support. So my checks every two weeks were 326 bucks. That's it 326 Every two weeks. So do the math, you know, every two weeks, every two weeks, so $652 a month, a month. That's what I was bringing in. So it was tight, it was really tight. And I hadn't even dealt with the taxes or nothing like that, you know what I mean? I was still kind of pushing them off. I hadn't filed them, you know, working at PARC, the last two years, I was just kind of pushed them off. Because I knew what I had done in the past that I knew I was going to owe taxes. And so I was on a really tight budget. And he gave us a shot. And I was so relieved. I'm like oh my god, we finally found a place to live. And it was the greatest day ever. And was in a huge apartment. 700 square feet, maybe two bedroom grow small. And it was old. You could tell it been through its runs with people and but we take it you know, it was ours was yours. You know, it was cheap enough to wear. I think when we moved in, it was like 640 or 670 a month. So it was cheap enough. And it would suit our needs. And so we moved in there. And I'm still working at Parc but like I said, Well, no, no, you know, I moved to day shift, you know, so I lost that dollar. But I was close to work. So I wasn't driving a half hour each way from Princeton anymore. So I was gaining money. And I'm a I'm a numbers guy. Like, I'm really good with math. And so I was always on top of finances bills, you know what I can and can't do. And I still at this point didn't have any fishing equipment, but I was invested in get you some outdoors. Well, after Ross passed, the group kind of fell apart. And I was still on this high from doing that benefit. Like I was still feeling so good. I'm like adding, you know, and I hadn't done it for a while that I was I felt like I was missing something. And then all that you started seeing all these posts on Facebook giveaways. And we'll notice about the giveaways because I've tagged him all over it just last night. He did right. So these giveaways you know, we started I started you know as following these outdoor groups and these tackle companies and stuff like that, and they started doing all these giveaways. Oh my god, you know, is it real? Is it not? Because you'll see some for like a camper or a you know, a Dodge Dart or something. You know, you're like yeah, right. Nobody's given that away. Yeah, but these are for, you know, tackle packages or wild tickets or you know what I mean? So I started entering all these giveaways, and I started winning them. But then I was thinking like, what I don't even really We need this stuff, you know, be cool to have some fishing gear, so a few things I kept. But the other things, they just kind of started piling up in the corner. All your winnings, all my winnings. And

William Huffman  25:11  
there's a whole story with this, let alone like keep going, I love

Dustin Underwood  25:15  
this. So they started piling up. And I'm like, with not having so much money at all. I never really got focused on money or stuff. I tell everyone that all the time, it's just stuff and it's just money, it, it's meaningless to me, like, literally, I could lose everything tomorrow, and I wouldn't care, I would go back and rebuild and do it all over again. Because it's just stuff. So that's how I kind of felt about all this stuff. I was waiting. I was like, it's just stuff. I'm like, you know, why don't we start giving it away to kids. So the group fell apart, and they were like, Dustin, you run the group. So that's when I took over the group. And I'm like, I'm gonna start giving this stuff away to kids. So that's what I started doing. And I actually, you know, kind of stole the idea of Facebook, social media posts that I'm just going to give it away on the group page. Well, then we decided to have a get together. On Ice, we didn't know how it would go, we weren't going to charge anyone anything we just said Come on out, we're gonna cook some food, get some prizes for the kids, you know, and I'm still on this tight budget, like I have no money, no extra for nothing. But I have all this stuff. And I'm like, I'll bring all this stuff out there. We'll give you know, kids rods and reels and whatever, you know, whatever I got, I'll give it away. I don't care. Why would you do that? You just want it. It's just stuff. Because I had my fishing gear, you know, no, I had a rod and reel and some tackle and still didn't have a fish locator or anything like that, you know? So we threw a little get together. And only a few people showed up. But it was good. It was great. And we gave these kids few of the prizes, you know, and their faces just lit up. And I'm like, I there's that feeling again, you know what I mean? And this whole time, you know, you you referring back to what Vanessa said, You never kept track, or I never kept track of time. Like I'd be out there all day must be like when you come home, like, oh geez, it's three o'clock in the afternoon, or, like, you know, totally losing track of time, because I'm just in that moment. And I'm, like, you know, maybe that's what we should be doing with this group. And then that journey took me down several different paths through, I don't know, the next six months or so. I'd met a four year old girl, Brooke with cancer. And then there was another benefit in I Sani and I rallied some guys and say we don't know the family but let's go I'm actually really good friends with her dad know Justin, little Kendall she was dealing with cancer as well

William Huffman  28:20  
take your time, dude. It's all good.

Dustin Underwood  28:24  
And that little girl seen what she went through and what she was going through and made me realize like my problems are real small. Like, I don't you know, some people think that their problems are the biggest thing in the world like I looked at my life and the stuff I was going through and and so stressed out but then I seen her and stuff like her and Brooke Burke was the other forego girl seen what they were going through. So innocent and you know, just trying to be kids but facing something that could potentially end their life and they were still happy and that changed my outlook on a lot of things. My, my stress level went like it was at the top and it just it felt completely off like then I was just calm about everything that I was going through because it was pretty insignificant compared to what they were going through. And it opened my eyes to a lot of different things and I Just thought, You know what, I just got to stick it out with what I got going on. Even if, even if I'm only making a little bit of money, not that big of a deal, we got a roof over our head, we got food in our bellies, we got clothes on our back, we got jobs. I'm thankful for that. Yeah. And I developed a lot of relationships. Like I said, with Kendall, dad, Justin, and just seeing what they were going through, started following their Facebook pages and, and seeing their progress on their treatments and stuff like that. And even Brooks, mom, Erica, she's still on my Facebook, you know, and, you know, I kind of keep tabs on what they're what they're going through. And and so I stayed so focused on helping these kids, one, because some parents, you know, they can't afford stuff. to, I don't want to see these kids out on the streets doing drugs. That's why the group meant so much to me. And eventually, I had an opportunity to apply at a different job. And I thought at this point had been three years little over three years. I thought that this point, I was like, Okay, someone else has got to take me, I gotta step it up here, I gotta find a different job. And I burnt up all my PTO going to orientation training, all this other stuff. And HR HR at the company, got my file, and they pulled the job offer. Because of my history, been too soon, it only been three years. And I thought really, like I've never missed a day of work never been late. I've learned, I learned everything at Park manufacturing. And I loved the people there like they treated me so good. They actually rate before I quit. Because I did eventually find another job. But right before I quit, they actually created a position at Parc manufacturing for me, wow. In drafting engineering, I never had a degree or anything like that. And they got me an office, they taught me how to do AutoCAD all this stuff. You know, I never dreamed of doing any of this style. But they actually created a spot for me. And I was designing the boards that all these wire harnesses were put together and, and I'd learned everything about that job. But I didn't have a degree, so I wasn't making very good money, I was still paid as a regular employee getting your yearly bonus, or yearly raise whatever. But I needed something more. And I think at that point, I was like a 12 something an hour after three years. And but it just wasn't cutting it. You know, I needed, I had all these other things that I needed to take care of. So I needed to make more money. And that crushed me when I've spent all my PTO going to this orientation and stuff like that. And just to get declined. It was it was heartbreaking. And it was probably three, three months later, a friend of mine really good friend of mine, Jeremy, he's like, Hey, why don't you come apply where I work? I said, Well, what do you do at USAA? I work in the trades, you know, doing utility services and stuff like that. And I said, Okay.

Dustin Underwood  33:28  
Give me an app, and I'll fill it out and see where it goes. So I fill out the app. I sent in the app with him. I get a call. They say hey, you know in this is August and he goes, Hey, you know, we'll we'll do the interview. But we really don't have any job openings right now. But at least the interview is out of the way for next season. Because it's seasonal work. You know, it's underground utility stuff.

William Huffman  33:52  
This is like 2014 ish.

Dustin Underwood  33:54  
Okay, 2014 2015 Okay. Yeah. Yeah. 2015 Because it was, yeah, three years I'd been in part. So this is 2015. Okay, cool. And I'd had three years work history now. So I'm thinking, man, something's, something's got to give. So I went in for the interview. And I thought, You know what, I'm just gonna be flat out honest. And I'm going to try and sell myself at this interview. And so I went in, you know, and at that time, they still asked you on the application, have you been convicted of a felony? Yada, yada, yada, all that good stuff. And I'm just like, Yes, I'll explain in person. Because it's a lot. And I went to the interview, and I fucking crushed

William Huffman  34:35  
it. Yeah, buddy. Yes,

Dustin Underwood  34:39  
they actually hired me right on the spot. No job openings, but they hired me right on the spot. And that was the best day of my life like, because I knew that I just doubled my wages, because working in the trades, trades actually pay really well. Even though I was only starting on it as a laborer. I'm just like, I just doubled my income. And that's huge. Wow. Because now I can deal with these back taxes and all this other stuff that's in the back of my mind every day just haunting me, you know, because it's a huge weight on your shoulders. And so I started work. It was short. The season was short, we only work till December. So August to December, it was really short. And I didn't want to labor I was 34 years old, almost 35. I didn't want to labor. Because, you know, my body was shot still is shot from the drug use and abuse to myself, you know, and I didn't want to labor so I just went in there and I kicked ass so to speak. And right away at the end of the season, they asked me, you know, do you want to move up? I'm like, Fuck, yeah. Yeah, I don't want you know, cuz I'm handing in with shovels, you got to remember I was in a factory. And now I'm switching to like this intense labor job where I'm digging with a hand shovel. And you know, things have changed now. But back then, when I started to this labor and job like it was Labor intense. And I ended up only being the one laborer on the crew at 34 years old. So I'm doing usually there's two laborers. So I'm doing the work of two guys, you know, every day and I was shot. So I'm like, Yeah, I want to move up, you know, okay, we'll get a hold in February. And we'll work on moving up and, and doing a different position. I'm like, alright. And that winter was tough, because unemployment was based off a park. Oh, wow. So it was it was, it was really tough. And even when I started that new job UI, you know, I was told, are you okay with travel? And at this point, I was like, Yeah, I don't care what I do. Well, it just so happened that when I started in August, it was the phone call was pack a bag. So now I'm leaving Melissa to kid at home. And I ended up in Mankato for the entire work season, every week. They covered the hotel and stuff, but I didn't have a great vehicle at the time. And I was having transmission problems on the vehicle driving all the way to Mankato Monday morning in the driving home, you know, so it was just one of the things like oh, man, just come on vehicle pulling through our day, our dry Yeah. And it was great that I could I didn't have to drive back and forth, they paid for my hotel, put a little stress on the relationship. But Melissa knew that I had to do this. And so I went through the training that winter. And I still wanted to do more with these kids. And I'm trying to figure out, like, what can we do with these kids? Well, now I got a better job. And I'd become so disciplined on my finances, that now I have all this extra money. And so once I went back to work, and I'd actually moved up, so I got $1.25 Raise right away and and then I got a work truck and a gas card. So now I don't worry about my vehicle, it can sit for all I care, you know what I mean? Yeah, and then a lot of people don't think about it, but you know, that gas card in that vehicle, you know

William Huffman  38:18  
that that's a race? Oh, that's a lot of money, huge race, it's a lot of money. You

Dustin Underwood  38:23  
know, I'm not taking care of the tires, the oil changes the gas, you know, like gas today, you know, just think about it. And so now I have all this extra money, and I filed my taxes. By law seven years ago, I was just waiting for the bill. IRS really good. You know, I owed him like $1,000. All I had to do is make a phone call and set me up on a payment plan. Well, the payment plan was set out where I'd pay it off. I don't know, I think the payment plan was like five years is when I'd actually pay it off. Of course, I had my you know, I wanted that span, but I knew I was gonna pay extra and pay what I could to pay him off early. But having that five years was nice and flexibility. Right. And so at this point, I got a lot of stuff going on. So I heard this thing where write down your goals. And you know, I my fourth year in being out, making progress. So I started writing down all this stuff. And the 10 year goal was buying a house and I knew I had a ton of work to do. I had a lot of back child support. I think that was like 42,000 that I owed him back child support from a lot of years of screwing off. And you know, I had a lot of work to do. I didn't have no credit. But I just kept plugging away at it and then I got so used to the physical work that I just started Doing side jobs started making more money. Oh, someone needs a fence done. You guys see me do my fence on my house?

William Huffman  40:07  
Yeah, your son of a bitch three hours. Right?

Sarah Huffman  40:10  
So you got you got acres, two acres, boom fences done,

Dustin Underwood  40:13  
right. So you guys know, you know, like, that's why I know how to do that, yes, because I started taking on all these side jobs and and you know, Melissa thought I was not you know, just because I was going to town, you know, I got this physical ambition where I just, I was going to grind this out, and I was going to get this stuff paid off. And I was going to hit that 10 year goal. And so, but I wanted to do more for these kids. So now I had all this extra money. And we started making this get together on ice annual. Let's get some more kids out. And the group kept growing bigger and bigger, bigger. And that stuff felt really good. And then I told Arne to I'm like, do we need to do this Christmas thing for families? We don't know. Like, let's find some strangers and do this. Like let's, let's do a post and reach out and see if there's any families that other people that we don't even know are in need. And and you know, could use a helping hand up for Christmas or something. And Melissa thought it was nuts again, you know, she's like, why are you? Why are you? Why are you spending all your money, all your extra money on people you don't know. And I'm like, You know what, we're okay. We're okay. I'm not rich, I'm still not rich, I don't, I don't care to be recovered. But our bills are paid. And we have food in our stomachs, we have clothes on her back. And, you know, my kids have more than I ever had. And, you know, I said, we're okay. And I was like, and this makes you feel really good. And it also started establishing stuff with Ariana because she was the youngest. And then my second oldest, Jocelyn, she started seeing what I was doing to getting stuff for these kids and, you know, going out and shopping for these families and these families that had kids and, and bringing home all these gifts. And, you know, even Ariana, she's like, is that for me? I'm like, No, those are, that's for people that aren't going to have a Christmas, unless we do something about it. You know what I mean? So it's like planting that seed and Ariana and Jocelyn and stuff. And now they're on board. Like, yes, you know, some, just the last two years, we haven't really been able to do much COVID and all that stuff, you know, but each year they've asked me Are we going to do the Christmas thing for the families, you know what I mean? And, and, you know, Jocelyn, she's 13 going to be almost 14, and Ariana is nine is going to be almost 10. So that's established in them, like, they know that they have all that they need all that they want. And they know that we do other things for people that don't get what we have. And so I'm doing all this stuff, I got all this extra money, not a ton of extra money, you keep

William Huffman  43:04  
seeing extra money, and it stresses me out. Because your your your discipline, like your your drive, and your focus at this point in your life. I don't know if I've ever seen or heard of anything like it, because you went from making $12 to $24 and you got $1 Raise. So you probably are 24 $25 An hour right now. And you're calling this extra money when you're still paying child support. So instead of bringing home 652 every two weeks, you're probably bringing home 12 or 1300 every two weeks, right?

Dustin Underwood  43:37  
Yep. And it wasn't extra money. I mean, bills paid, you know, two 300 bucks extra money, you know, or wow, you know what I mean? For the month,

William Huffman  43:47  
but it's all perspective. mindspace that, that that that that mentality that that vision that you have is is incredible. Sorry, keep going well it

Dustin Underwood  43:54  
you know, that filters back to it's just stuff and it's just money because we're okay. And and I always said to Melissa like we're we're okay. We don't need all this extra stuff. Because you can see what extra stuff does a kid gets all these extra toys and then these toys go over here and they don't get touched anymore. You know what I mean? And it kind of works the same with adults you get all these fancy new toys over here and you kind of forget about these ones over here. And and I still do it to this day like you'd be surprised what my basement looks like when we moved into the new house because I still have all this stuff laying around from giveaways or you know things that I went and bought for these outings and stuff like that. You know, so I had a few extra bucks extra money, whatever and we would kind of do stuff we'd go to concerts or whatever you know, just to kind of get away you know, we would do a few extra things but I wouldn't get crazy with it. I was super like on point with my finances like Everything's wrote down, I always tell people that write down your goals. I don't care if it's a one year goal or a two year goal. Because a lot of people think about a goal. And they'll be like, oh, yeah, I want to do that. But then they forget about it. Forget, you write it down. And I tell people this too, I said, write it down and hang it on your fridge. Because how many times you go on your fridge, you're going to see that every time you open that fridge door, you know, oh, yeah, my 10 year goal is to get a house, or my five year goal is to have all this debt paid off and start working on maybe getting a house or a new vehicle, or whatever it may be. And so I'm super disciplined with my finances. And and, you know, I'm still not making a ton of money, but I'm super disciplined. So I have some money. Yeah. And the Christmas giving thing. That turned into a huge deal, because I didn't you know, like I said, extra money, a couple 100 bucks, whatever. But I figured out that I had a voice. And your voice is huge when you don't have money, because I tell people that as well. I say you don't have to be rich to do something for someone you really don't. Yes, you don't powerful. You, your voice can move mountains. And it does. Social media can move mountains. And it does. And so I utilize that I utilize social media, the group accounts to get all these people on board. And before you know it my house, you can ask Melissa man, this is crazy. In my living room, like we did that first big Christmas giving for these families. And we picked out three families. And I put the post out and I would drive it home. Like I would just beat it. And all of a sudden my living room is filling up with gifts. And I mean, piles and piles of gifts, let alone the few things that mean the kids went and bought just to kind of get them in in the groove of what was going on. But my living room just started piling up with stuff and then I'd have to call like eight people over to help me wrap all this stuff. And you have a wrapping party. Oh my God, it was crazy. And

William Huffman  47:13  
I I want to see you wrap gifts. Oh,

Dustin Underwood  47:16  
I'm so sloppy. I get so sick of it the tape jobs get worse. That's odd, but I just you know, you get it done. And you know, the kids don't really care anyway, you know, they're not concerned about if you got them creases, right. Yeah. We don't care. Let me have it right. So we did that Christmas giving and then I'm like we got to do this on ice event again for get you some outdoors. And that's when we kind of went all out. We try and printed off some stickers and make a couple bucks off some stickers with the Get you some design or product, some hoodies a couple hoodies or here in there, you know and try to make a few bucks, you know, to try to help us have some kind of money to buy these fishing things for all these kids because we want this to get big. And it turned out really good. We we threw the event out on Rush lake. And I don't know, there was probably 4050 kids that showed up in all these adults. And I was like, Wow, this was big. And mind you we did all this for free. We cooked all the food out there for free some because we paid for it. You know guys help donate money out of the group and stuff. And it turned out awesome. And I'm just like, Man, this is so cool. Like, and this is where I'm losing track of time. Yeah, finding that purpose. Yeah. And, you know, I felt really good about stuff and other things in the background are taking place where child support is going down. Taxes are getting paid down. I still didn't have any credit. And I wasn't sure how to go about that. So it was like

William Huffman  48:58  
2016 2017 ish. Yep. Okay. Yep.

Dustin Underwood  49:02  
And I did the current job that I was in. I did that for four more years, roughly somewhere in there. And I wanted to, I wanted to progress and move up some more. So my goal was foreman. And I'd said that to some people, when I first started, they're like, I'm gonna come in here and I'm gonna make waves and I'm gonna move to the top and I'm going to be the best that I can be and learn everything about what we do, because I'd never done that line of work, you know, in my life. And you know, I wanted to get somewhere and I wanted to make a career out of it because I felt like that was more of a career move than just another job and I tell guys that that come on to the company that it worked for. This is just another job like this is a career move. Like the benefits packages and all this stuff like this is a career move. So if you want to take this opportunity and put me down as like a reference or whatever, this is a career move. This is not just your nine to five like this is going to set you up for life with watchin and all this other stuff. You know what I mean? Because it's a career move. And it's a dying breed being in the traits like yes, it is. Yeah. And it pays good. So um, all this stuff with the outdoor groups going great. And it just keeps growing and growing and growing. I'm still winning stuff off of Facebook.

William Huffman  50:36  
You guys this is this is literally there's a Facebook Live going on last night. And I don't know striker or something like that. But it was it was it was a fishing outfit it wasn't it Pitzer fun. Yeah, yeah, that's what it was. And all of a sudden, I get a William Huffman tag. It's from Dustin I'm like this some biscuits getting me here. I'm like, he's in then I'm reading it. Every tag is another entry. Every share is an entry if you like it, and I love Buddy. There's like 137 comments. And 135 Or him. He is He?

Dustin Underwood  51:07  
Yeah, it was awesome. Yeah. So there was one year and this is no bullshit. There was one year. I want almost $30,000 worth of stuff on Facebook. Oh my gosh, new fish houses. Portable fish houses, augers. Yeah, fishing rods and reels. You name it wild tickets, Vikings tickets, I want all kinds of shit. And people were like, dude, what's with the Golden Horseshoe man. But then then they'd also questioned me because two weeks later, I'd be giving the new auger away to some kid or is so for just who were just hanging on to it and and waiting until we had our on ice event. And I had all this stuff. And I just bought a new flip over shack and never had one. The fish house that I actually had was a fish house, I went on Facebook. And I took really good care of it. Because I didn't have a lot of stuff for myself still, like I wasn't spending a ton of money on myself. I tried to limit that. So my extra money I spent where it made me feel really good, where I could go buy that new fish flasher. But you know what, I could spend that same money on tip ups and fishing rods and give them to these kids. And that makes me feel way better. Yeah. Wow. And that was so true. Because money can't buy what you feel in a situation like that. It really can't, right. There's no way to explain it. Now at this point with the Christmas stuff, too. I went out and bought a Santa suit. I'm dressing up as Santa going into complete this year. For the last two years. Yeah, I'll have to show you guys pictures of that.

William Huffman  52:55  
Yeah, it's gonna be the cover photo for this. I would

Dustin Underwood  52:58  
do little skits. So like the one time I actually got really what do you call it? Really creative with it? Yeah. I'd made a video on my work truck. And I knew the girl's name that we're going to surprise and I acted like somebody was sitting next to me. And, you know, I was kind of telling her, I know, you don't know who I am. And but we're going to be pulling in your driveway. You know, I was trying to type this is like 4am in the morning, I'm recording this and I'm going to send it to her like right before we're pulling up, okay. I told her you know, I know you don't know who I am. But we're going to be pulling up in your driveway here in a couple minutes. And we're going to bless you with a Christmas. And then I'd act like someone was next to me. And I'd be like, What do you mean? What do you mean, I'm not going with Santa Claus gets to go with I don't get to go you know what I mean? So I was doing this Yes. Get like, arguing with someone next to me and stuff. And really, it was me dressed up as Santa pulling up to her house. And I did that a couple times. And it was super, super cool. So yeah, I went on, but Santa suit, you know, just showing up to random strangers houses and blessing him with a Christmas and it was really, really cool. And so that stuff was going really good. And then, you know, that's been December, and we're doing the on ice event in February.

William Huffman  54:23  
And this is 2020 Yeah. 20 Well, this

Dustin Underwood  54:27  
is you know, throughout like 20 2018 Okay, 2018 through 2020. Okay, yeah. You know, before COVID got crazy and yeah, I was like I we better back off a little bit. But so we're doing the ice event in February. And at this point, we didn't have a lot of funds from like, any stickers or anything like that, because time had been so crazy, like, you know, no time for printing stickers, cutting stickers, stuff like that. So there wasn't a lot of money generated You know, to help us out Newton never was really a lot, you know, maybe a couple 100 bucks or something but so everything at this point is coming out of my pocket. My other admin, Brian, Arnie, Cody, Tommy, you know, like, and then a few donations from people on the outside, you know, so everything is is coming out of our pockets. And I'd went out and I'm like, You know what I was like, hey, Arnie, why don't you go buy some tip ups, I'm gonna go to the fleet farms. I see their stuffs on clearance. Because the end of the year there will that's why I like doing it in February. Because at that point, they're trying to get rid of things. Everything's going on clearance. Yeah, I can go out and I'll even hustle them in the stores to be like, hey, yeah, cuz I'm not scared. You know what? I said? What? Are they gonna say? No. I'll go in and be like, hey, look, I'll take every single one of them tip ups, what kind of discount we give me. And I'll clear their whole fucking rack or all their rods and reels. And so I went out, you know, and just loaded up. I had already go get tip ups. And I had guys come in that were gonna smoke some pork and all this stuff. And this actually ended up being our biggest event was right before. COVID head. So COVID came what? 2020 20? March 2020. March,

William Huffman  56:16  
right? Like literally it was like two years ago. Yeah. So yeah, so you Yeah, yeah. So it's February 2020. Here. Yep. So

Dustin Underwood  56:23  
it's 2019 season. 2020. Yeah, February, this actually ended up being our hugest event. And I went all out. Like I went out. And I bought five portable fish houses, I went out and bought, I don't know, 50 rods and reels, 100 tip ups. I mean, we had everything, big boxes full of tackle and all kinds of stuff. And I had people coming in that were going to smoke pulled pork and all this other stuff, because we did all this for free. And then I buddy Dan, he got a bunch of burgers donated. And hopefully nobody shoots me if I forget someone but so we had a lot of help. And There ended up being almost 150 kids out, oh my gosh. And I was getting them all hyped up. I'll have to show you guys all this stuff. But I got really crazy with it. Because I was so excited to see that many people out there. And you know, just getting them hyped up, you know, yelling and screaming, you know, and I got videos of this too. People were actually recording me. I didn't know that. But just you know, all them kids lined up on the ice. Because we give them all this stuff for free. We want to keep them outdoors. Yeah. And so getting them all like

Sarah Huffman  57:34  
think I don't mean to jump in here, but I just keep thinking about like, what are their ages?

Dustin Underwood  57:40  
Every Age? We had 16 year old kids out there we had kids that didn't even know what what a fishing rod was yet. Wow. Because just

Sarah Huffman  57:50  
keep thinking about like you as a kid. Right? Like, what if you had had that opportunity?

Dustin Underwood  57:54  
Oh my god, like it's life changing at that well see, and this, you know, this kind of circles back to you know, like I said, We'd always been going up to aisle and stuff. You know, and I lost track of fishing. During using drugs, you know, there was only a couple times in there. You know, I used I was using drugs from 16 to 31 to a long time, and there was only a few times and there were I went fishing. You know, I kind of lost track of that. And it's funny that everything circles me back to fishing. Because that's, that's my space. Like, that's where, you know, I don't drink. I don't drink alcohol. I haven't touched anything in over 10 years. And so that's my space. That's my destress I know some people get off work and have a glass of wine or, you know, maybe some people smoke pot, that's their thing, whatever. But that's, that's what I found that really helped me stay where I'm at. I can decompress the stress. Forget about everything else in the world. I did a lot of that this winter, because

William Huffman  59:08  
every photo you sent me is of you smiling and show me a fish bigger than the one I've ever caught.

Dustin Underwood  59:14  
But that helped me because you know, it been such a grind, you know, so up to 2019 it's been it's been a really a grind. Because, you know, like I said I was working side jobs on the weekends. I volunteered for winter work at my current job. And that, you know, sometimes can be 70 hours a week in the wintertime. And wow, you know, Thanksgiving week, you get your week off for Thanksgiving. There was one, one Thanksgiving weekend there where it had snowed. Well, what did I do? I called the snowplow company down the cities and I went even on my week vacation, I went down to the cities and I plowed snow that whole week. I mean like 1314 hours a night plowing snow just to get that extra money. And because it helped me do what I was doing, whether it was for the kids or paying extra bills and stuff like this, and so I was wore out and never taken a winter off, even though I could just, you know, grinding it out to hit these goals. And at one point in there, I'll just backtrack just a little bit. Three years ago, I had to figure out how to establish some credit. And, you know, in order to hit that 10 year goal, and I didn't know how to do that, I'd reached out and I thought, you know, this is going to be a lost cause. I'd sold my current vehicles, I needed a new truck. And even with you know, I had almost six, six or 7000 down cash. Because again, I was doing side work ice dams, making really good money doing that on the side when I had time off. So that helped me get the downpayment for my truck. But nobody wanted to give me a loan. And there was like a brick wall. It was crazy.

William Huffman  1:01:13  
Because you had no credit. I had zero credit, not bad credit. No credit, I

Dustin Underwood  1:01:18  
had one small. Well, I had the child support judgment

William Huffman  1:01:21  
on there. Okay. So there's okay, there's a judgment and then other than that, nothing,

Dustin Underwood  1:01:25  
nothing zero credit score zero. And wow. And I was I was completely shocked because I had this money. And I had my current pickup truck, which wasn't that great. But it was a great truck. It treated me well. I paid 1800 bucks for it. Maybe I had that truck. And I had this money for a down payment. And I went to the dealership. And I said, Well, I got this truck. I don't know what it's worth, they ended up telling me it's worth about 700 bucks. It's a cool ticket. And then I had the money down. And the truck that I have now you know, it was 1616 999. So I had a really good chunk of ask towards this truck, like almost half, almost half. Okay, almost half. And they still turned me down. And I'm like, really? Like, dude, I got a job that I've never missed. Like, I have a huge work history backing me up and what I make and I'm like, You guys really ain't gonna give me up. You know, you're not going to help me out. And so I didn't know what to do. So I'm just screwing around at home one day. This is funny story. screwing around at home, trying to figure out how to build

Sarah Huffman  1:02:42  
credit. You enter a contest.

Dustin Underwood  1:02:45  
No. I actually went online filled out an application and Malacca, unclaimed freight for an ice castle. fischels. That's right. They approved me with zero down for a $25,000 fish house with no credit. And I'm thinking to myself, like Is this for real? Like you're gonna give me a $25,000 fish house. You don't have a truck to pull it right now. But I don't know. If I would have pulled it with that truck. Game over. I'm telling you like this thing was rusted out. It was on Twitter.

Unknown Speaker  1:03:24  
The ice house people to call the truck.

Dustin Underwood  1:03:27  
Right? Yeah, right. So I'm like, really? So now I got a nice cast on the way. I'm like, Cool. You know, sweet didn't expect that, you know, like, right? Oh, no, I gotta, I gotta like the boss fish office. You know, I'm like, sweet, but I don't got none to pull it with. And so in the meantime, I taken out a secured credit card, 450 bucks, something like that. And just to establish, start establishing some kind of credit. And I really needed a truck. So I went back to that dealership. And I said, Look, I really want that truck. I said, I'm gonna see what I can figure out today, yada, yada, yada. And in my mind, I was like, today's the day I'm going to go home with that truck. Like something's going to happen today. So I started researching other companies and stuff like that. And I found an old school financing company. I knew it was going to be high interest. They don't report to credit agencies. It's the old card where they write down your payment when you send it in, they send you the card back, you know, yeah, I found one of them. And basically, they ran my credit and they're like, Yeah, you don't have no credit. And I'm like, I know. And I said, but I got a good job. They asked me what I could afford. And I was like 380 a month, you know, let's not stretch this out. And so they cut me a check and I went back to the dealership and I handed him the check and I counted all the all the cash and I hand him the keys to my truck And I left with the truck. And I feel really good. But now I had a truck payment and all this other stuff and but I was establishing credit I had Yeah, I had the ice castle comment. And that's what I said, in the back of my mind, I knew the truck wasn't going to do anything for my credit. So that was pretty much a wash. But I did have a new truck, which was ideal because I'd never had a new vehicle ever, you know, every vehicle I had was 1000 bucks or 1200 bucks or Yep, you know what I mean? Whatever I could get at the time. And so I had a nice truck. And that felt really good to see that truck in the driveway. Even though I was driving a company vehicle, it felt really good to know that I had that secure vehicle in the driveway, and that was going to be mine. So then I get the ice castle, and I start making payments on the ice castle, I go pick it up, while I'm working so much that I've been using the ice castle. And that went on for two years. But for two years, I was making payments. And for two years, I was using that $450 credit card not trying to go over 30% just make you know, get some gas paid off, go, you know, a couple groceries, pay it off. And because that's what people told me to do. Yep. And, you know, by this time, you know, now we're nine years in to this journey. And I'd been paying back child support for nine years, filed all those taxes, all them refunds, even though I owed I gotten all that paid off. Because I knocked out these things one at a time I focused on one thing, and I paid them ahead early, you know what I mean? So I paid off the taxes way early than the payment plan said. And then I had all this child support coming out of my work checks every week, you know, they were taking the IRS plus the current, you know what I mean? So then the tax return started going to the IRS. So I knew these numbers were dropping. In the back of my mind, I knew all these numbers were dropping. And I knew if anything was going to hold me up, it was going to be child support on hitting that 10 year goal of getting a house and nine years came along. And well actually was the eighth year, the eighth year, I actually contacted Matt, because he worked with me. And I said hey, man, you know, yeah, I'm gonna, I'm looking at buying a house, yada yada yada started the paperwork rolling, and had the lending company pull my credit. Yeah, you got some credit, but you do have this judgment, yada, yada, yada. Let's see, you know what we can do? Then they asked me, of course, they want to know about the truck. You know what I mean? Yeah, they're gonna see this, like, you know, Tracy, Greg lender? You know, he's like, we see the 380 a month coming out of your bank account. where's that going? Where is it going? Yeah, you know what I mean? So what in the world? So even though it didn't help my credit, none, you know, I still got to bring it up in this whole home loan process deal. And I'm like, yeah, it's for a truck, it's not going to do nothing for my credit, whatever. And I did other little tiny loans throughout, you know, a firm credit, just something to get on my credit history, build that file a little thicker. And, and

Dustin Underwood  1:08:12  
so, I got ahold of Matt. And I said, Yeah, you know, we're gonna start looking. This is the only the eighth year, you know, I got two years in the back of my mind to hit this 10 year goal. And so we were just kind of looking, you know, here in there wasn't really gung ho about it, because I felt like I wasn't quite ready yet to just go all in. I wanted a little more money on the loan end. And I was going to be moving up at my company again. And so at this point, I took that job offer will that created more income, which helped debt to income ratio, all that stuff? This is all stuff I learned last year, and then what year before, but

William Huffman  1:08:54  
because spoiler alert, you bought that house?

Dustin Underwood  1:08:57  
Yeah. Brand new house. Ah, sorry. Keep going. Yeah. So we, we started kind of looking at houses. And at this point, we'd move you know, we'd move out of the apartment into a house that the same landlord owned. Oh, wow, that's cool. Yeah, I missed that part. You know, just because there was stuff going on at the apartments that I knew, you know, being an addict. I know, sign deal was going on. I knew it was going on. And it got to the point where I was banging on people's doors, and it wasn't gonna end well. Because my kids were there. And so yeah, we actually ended up in a house that the landlord owned because he'd bought another one. So now we're out on 40 acres, which was great. Wow. And you know, cuz that's, that's my jam. You know, like out of the country. Leave me alone. I love it out here. You could do what you want, right? Go Karts, all that good stuff, you know, and the kids love that. So. So we're in this house. We're renting it. It's not the greatest house needs a lot of work. We're heating the outdoors. I'd kind of told you guys Yeah, yeah, literally heating the outdoors. You know, so yeah, I wanted to get on this house thing. And I had been working on the credit and stuff. And so you know, I brought it up to Matt. And I'm like, Yeah, you know, we're gonna start looking. And so we kind of just started picking away at, you know, houses. The market was starting to change and starting to get really crazy.

William Huffman  1:10:26  
Yeah, this was this was 2020 2021. No,

Dustin Underwood  1:10:33  

William Huffman  1:10:34  
it started cuz I met you know, it was a rainy day. Yeah, at that one funky house out in the middle of nowhere. Yeah, yeah. And that was 2020. You know.

Dustin Underwood  1:10:43  
So the market started kind of pick up, and we were seeing things change. But then I also seen that the interest rates were changing. And I'm not trying to get all like house knowledgeable, but I seen that this stuff was changing. And people would give me information on that kind of stuff. You know, if I can get a lower interest rate that's like free money. And I'm like, I'm all about free money. Yeah, you know, yeah. So, you know, I started kind of looking at a few houses. I wasn't gung ho, because I didn't feel like all the cards were lining up yet. It was early 2020 was January. And that's when I'd contacted Matt. And I was at work February of 2020, February 19. normal day. And I got a call at about three o'clock. Usually, I'm running my routes and stuff. And if I was up north by Princeton, usually I would swing into my mom's and say, Hi. And I was like, ah, you know, you're gonna stop today. You know, I got a really busy day. The rest of the crews gone. You know, like, I got a lot to do. And so I was like, I'll see her at purchase extravaganza because we had planned to go to a mall actually for extravaganza. And it was about three o'clock or so. My stepdad was calling me I couldn't answer because I was actually driving at the moment. And so I called back and my stepdad was freaking out. He said, he came home. He found my mom on the floor. And I couldn't I couldn't really comprehend what he was saying. He said the ambulance was there trying to revive her. And I remember just, I don't know, it was like everything went into slow motion. I was in a work truck, I may not see go. I got a big trailer on full heaters. I have no boss to call because they're all in meetings to get ready for the new season. And I'm just, I didn't know what to do. So I dropped what I was doing. I flew back to the yard, I dumped the trailer because I didn't want to drive with the trailer on. And I just flew to Princeton. And I was trying to call my boss no answer because he was in meetings, of course. So I left him a voicemail, a really frantic freaking voicemail. And I got to my stepdads and I remember seeing all the squad cars. And in my mind, I knew she was already gone. And I don't I didn't want to go up to the house. But I did. And I got to the door. And my stepdad opened the door. And I seen her on the floor. And I pretty much just collapsed right there. She was like my, she turned out to be like my number one support. Even though she was still dealing with things in her life that maybe didn't line up with what I thought should be happening after all circumstances of childhood and everything else, you know, she knew I didn't agree with the drinking and stuff like that, because I knew she wasn't taking care of herself for eating right or you know what I mean? So that was tough. And I went back to my work truck and I just sat on the street in my work truck for I don't know, probably four or five hours, just sat in the truck. I didn't. I was numb. I didn't understand what just happened, you know, because she was really aware of all the things that I was doing. I have pictures with with her at Vikings games at benefits that I put on. She was really proud. And there's still a couple things in life that I wanted sorted out before anything like this happened. My oldest daughter was back in my life at this point. But my son hadn't been yet. You know, because like I said earlier, I had lost all the rights to my son. And so

Dustin Underwood  1:15:21  
she known my oldest daughter met my oldest daughter, my oldest daughter's start, you know, we're working on that relationship, me and my oldest daughter, and, you know, she's finally back in my life, but my son still isn't. And the, the one big goal was for my son to meet my mom. And at least establish that that's Grandma, you know, and, and, and those are things that I still had to face, you know, like, why wasn't I there? And, and, you know, why didn't you care? Like, I've had to answer all those questions now. And that was tough. So she passed away in February of 2020. And that was like, that was really tough to deal with. Um, it was, it's still tough on my stepdad. We don't know why she died. They don't really recommend an autopsy on someone that's a smoker and a drinker. And 60, some years old, you know. So that was tough. Because I hadn't quite accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish. So that's been hard for me to swallow. And I knew that I was in search of finding a house and stuff like that. And it kind of that kind of put me in Pause mode. And so 20, you know, 2020 was, it was like, I was just kind of walking around aimlessly for quite a while, because she died in February. But it was winter. So we still had to go back and revisit that whole deal in May when the ground thawed. And, you know, basically relive everything that just happened a few months ago. And you never can really like start moving forward until you deal with that. And so that was pretty tough. And so I was kind of off track, in my own little world, trying to figure out how to deal with losing my mom. And, you know, because there'd be many nights, I'd be thinking about it. Like, I'm gonna lose my mom to alcohol. Because I know what this stuff does to people. Not seeing alcohol does it everyone, but I see what alcoholism does to people. It ruins people's lives. Just like drugs do it? Yeah, it will take you on a ride. Yeah. And, you know, so it's kind of weird that when it happened, I was like, Man, I just, for some reason, I felt like this was going to happen. And, but I was just a like, a lost cause for a few months. Like I was walking around pretty aimlessly. Not really, you know, Matt's asking me or, you know, what are you thinking about a house and stuff like that? And I just, I didn't really have any answers for anybody. You know, I didn't really know what I was doing. I got sidetracked. And there was not really, you know, when you lose someone close like that, you know, you always, hey, you need anything, let me know. But, man, let's be honest, during during nothing nobody can do for you. There really isn't? No. You appreciate those people. You appreciate their offer of help. And you know, but there's, there's nothing no one can really say or do to make something like that any better. Like, that's going to be a self journey, and something that you're going to figure out on your own. And I was trying to do that all still trying to figure out life and where I was going and getting those goals. So things were on pause for a few months. And of 2020 things got a little bit better. And I started focusing back on the house thing. I decided to work that winter again, because I felt like I needed to grind just one more winter. And I'd started the new position. So I moved up again, switched into another union and I started doing plumbing and pipe fitting. And that was a huge jump. That kind of took things to a whole different level as far as income and and just where I could go with that stability. Yeah, and Then our landlord died. And it was just crazy to me because I had all these other things going on too. You know, when my mom's funeral was, my aunt showed up, she said her brain cancer was back. So that was in the back of my mind. Our landlord died. His kid took over.

Dustin Underwood  1:20:23  
Then my uncle died, which was my mom's brother, he died. And then my aunt that came to the funeral with brain cancer, she died. And then my dad's wife found out she had cancer, and she was gone in three weeks. So it was just bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, and 2020. Holy, and people say 2020 sucks. Let me tell you what, it didn't even have nothing to do with COVID. Like, yeah. Like the death was just read, and it was all. I don't we don't know what happened to my mom. But all the rest of them were all cancer stuff. No, my aunt had already beaten cancer, but it came back in her brain. And there was pretty much nothing they could do. They gave her till Christmas. With my uncle, he had already beaten throat cancer. And he wasn't feeling that great. He went in. And I think it was a matter of three weeks before, from the time he found out till the time he went. So it was like bang, bang, bang, there's all this stuff going on. And I'm just like, Man, why are so many people pass away and stuff like that. And Melissa's really good friends had passed away at the same time in a motorcycle accident. So we're dealing with all this stuff all this like death, like all this death, and it was crazy. But I'm still trying to stay focused. You know, my mom would hit me the hardest. That's when people really worried about me. If there was ever a trigger to trigger you, if there was ever a trigger in my life, that would have been. Yeah. Because, you know, my mindset on being clean and sober. You know, it was different than all the other times because I'd hit rock bottom this time. And I didn't deal it's so weird to explain, like, I didn't deal with any withdrawals throughout the last 910 years. Like I, like I just knew I was done. It's not like that for everybody. But there was no withdrawals. I was perfectly okay with talking with people from my past, after a couple years, that we're still actively using, and we're still trying their best to get away from it. I'm trying to coach them. However, I set up boundaries. And you know what I mean? I always kept my walls up. I didn't like invite them over to my house. I knew they were actively you know what I mean? But I always tried to be some kind of coach to them to help them out. And so yeah, if there was ever a trigger, people thought it would be my mom. And I never thought about it. Like, not once did I ever think about going back to using because my mom passed away? I'm like, you know, because in the back of my mind, like, what would? How would this honor her? She sees me doing all this good before she passes away. Like, why would? Why would I do something like that? So I had absolutely no desire. I know, a lot of people were concerned, you know, because a lot of my friends that I have now, you know, they were always in the background before, but they didn't want to mess with me because I was using drugs. And they're some of my best friends now. Hands down, like, and they tell people that all the time that Dustin was doing anything, I wouldn't even be hanging out with them. But they're like my right hand. People No, yeah. So that was a concern. Our landlord died. And that kind of kicked the hosting into hot HYDrive because the kid took over and he'd had never had anything to do with rental properties. So in February of 2021, February 8, I think this just popped up actually on my Facebook because I got this letter, just a random letter on a piece of white paper in the mailbox, no envelope nothing just a piece of white paper sitting there and I opened it and it was from the landlord son and he said that I'm coming out with some estimators realtor, whatever, and honestly thinking about selling the property. And I'm like, Oh, shit. Like I'm not like what are we gonna do now? You have a timeline. Oh, my God. Well, we we have a timeline, but what is it? Yeah, that was the huge like, you guys knew that. That was the hugest stress out of all that aside from dealing with a crazy market. Like because I didn't, I didn't have a timeline from the landlord's kid. And, you know, is it going to be the Mario, is it going to be 30 days? What's my rights? Would you know what I mean? What? What's going on here? And so in February, you know, that's when I called Matt. I'm like our dude, it's game on. I hope you're ready for this because I'm about to drag you through hell.

Dustin Underwood  1:25:18  
And he, you know, even even now, you know, I was just talking to me the other night. He's like, Dude, he's like, pretty sure I didn't make any money. I don't really care that I didn't he goes, but that was the most How do you explain it the most

Sarah Huffman  1:25:36  
lossy emotionally investing? Oh, my

Dustin Underwood  1:25:38  
God, he was yeah, he was. I literally drugged him through hell. In this market, three houses a night, two houses a night getting you guys out there to show houses. I think he had a couple other people from here, show me how Yeah, just to fill in because it was like every night because I didn't know. I didn't have a timeframe. So I'm like, are we gonna find a house in a market where everybody's offering like, $100,000 over market price? Not far off? You know, like, because I'd seen a couple go, you know, and I'm like, man, what are we going to do? And at that point, you know, I was still on a low end loan, like, I didn't, I didn't have what I actually ended up getting, you know, I, I think I was approved for like, 240,000 or something in this market. That was tough, really, really tough. So I'm like, What can I do? Like, I'm trying to get these, you know, and, you know, I put in a few, I thought, really good offers on several different houses. And I think the one we were closest to was the Zimmer. When when you showed me the 2018 build? I think we're in second place, if you want to call it that one. Yep. You know, and that was like, That was almost a new house. And that was really great. And it would have been great. But you know, I kept telling myself, like, if it ain't meant to happen, ain't gonna happen. But I need something to happen. Like, yeah, yeah, yeah. Otherwise, we're gonna be living in the Ice House. Yeah.

William Huffman  1:27:14  
Those were conversations that were had,

Dustin Underwood  1:27:16  
though, you know, cuz me, for me from what I went through to rent before having the criminal history that I had. Dude, I didn't even want to deal with trying to find a rental. Because it took me two, almost two and a half years to get their first rental that we got into him. Like, I just do not want to deal with that. So I'm like, What can we do? You know? So then I started you, we went USDA, and I think we started checking out the counties and the maxes in the counties. And what did I have? I had three scheduled that day with you. And I just so happened to look on Facebook that morning. And I was on Facebook, and I was making a shit post is what I call it because I was so frustrated with the market. And I'd posted that morning. I said, on today's game show of going out to find a house but not fucking find. And one. I'm your host, Dustin Underwood. And my brother got on there. And he's like, today's the day man and I'm like, Just shut up. Pretty much shut him down right away. And but I was scrolling because I had a few minutes before I was supposed to meet you and Zimmerman or Princeton, wherever, Princeton. And I was scrolling and I seen this gorgeous house. Because I'd been following some builders and stuff like that. And I seen this beautiful house. And I'd asked him, you know, I'm like, How much for that one? I think he said 360. And I'm like, Oh, God, like, way, way out of my range. But then he said, I got another one. northa here for cheaper. And I'm like, okay, so then I messaged Sherif, and I'm like, hey, you know, this guy's got a house. It's in construction. You know, I want to check it out. And when check the model out, and then we'll drive up and check this one that's in build, we'll go check it out. And kind of pushed off I think we went and looked at the one Yep. One that I had scheduled that morning. We went and looked at it was gorgeous house. Nice big piece of property five acres I think it was. But then we kind of pushed the other ones off because I was so drawn to this builder and and stuff like that. And I'm like category, check this out. And we walked into that house that was 360. And I was like, Oh my God, this place is beautiful. And I'm thinking man, and he, the builder told me he said the one north of here is the same layout. It's just a little bit smaller square footage. It's a two bedroom upstairs instead of a three and you still got the basement. I'm thinking in my head like we need three bedrooms. That's just what we need. We need we need not a want

Sarah Huffman  1:30:03  
it to me. It's a need.

Dustin Underwood  1:30:05  
Yep. And I'm not worried about the rest of the basement, like I got the skills to pay the bills, man, I'll get the basement done. Yeah. So we went and looked at it. And of course, it's in construction, you know. So, me being a house builder, you know, I already knew, like, what I was gonna see and stuff like that. Melissa, on the other hand, I didn't know what she was going to think when, you know, she was going to come look at it. So we went and checked it out and checked off the lot. And, and I'm like, Yeah, this, this is the one. And I knew there was other stipulations that came with it. I knew that we were going to responsible for all the closing costs and stuff like that on a new construction build, which was something that I was trying to always work into the agreement when I made an offer, because I didn't have a ton of money. I didn't want to walk into a house house broke. Right, right. Yeah. You know what I'm saying? So, um, and I didn't know if I could get my loan that high. That was the other thing. And but man, I was just like, This is it. Like, this has got to be it. And you know, and I remember asking Jaws, I said, I don't got to battle anyone for this. He's like, no, like, Sign me up. Yeah, no, I was like, we're here. Yeah, we're here like, This is it? You know, I want to show Melissa and make sure she approves, you know, but yeah, I think this is it. And, you know, this is nine years. So we're ahead, we're a year ahead is my goal. And, you know, the whole ebtb is, is is really going to happen, and oh my god, it was so real. Like, I was so nervous. And, like, Is anything going to fall through as a lender gonna call me and tell me this or tell me, you know, and, you know, at this point, I'd had my truck for two years. And that payment, you know, it's like 380 a month. Bucket, just go pay it off. So I did that. And that actually freed up my debt to income more than enough Yep. To where I got approved for the whole loan. And it was only a two bedroom. So we had talked to Josh or whatever about adding the third bedroom downstairs, what that would cost and it ended up landing us right in like the max allowed amount for the county and, and, you know, everything kind of came together. And that was one of the greatest moments. That was definitely the greatest achievement, above all things else, you know, cuz I never expected a new house. I, you know, I figured I was gonna end up in somebody's 3040 year old home, maybe run into some issues that didn't get caught with an inspection or not, because I'm a new homebuyer, you know, I don't know everything about this stuff. But that was my greatest moment. And I called my stepdad. And I said, we found a house. And I remember bringing them out there and showing them the inside and stuff, you know, under construction and whatnot. And we were standing at the top of the steps. And I said, I wish mom could see this. And then I said, who would ever thought I went from crackhead to killing it? Like I'm just killing it. And, and that's not like to toot my own horn, but like,

William Huffman  1:33:33  
you took the hell out of that horn.

Unknown Speaker  1:33:36  
I was like, that's his book title. Yeah.

William Huffman  1:33:37  
Oh, my gosh,

Dustin Underwood  1:33:41  
you know, that is one of the greatest things and and will was there when we did final walkthrough. And I don't know if you remember this. Will took a picture of me. And I said, I need an extra picture.

William Huffman  1:33:54  
Yeah, yes. I Yes.

Dustin Underwood  1:33:58  
Yep. So I had well, I needed that picture, because that was a defining moment of the last 10 years, well, nine years because, you know, I actually completed this goal before the 10 year, Mark, you know, 12 611 was actually that's the day my life really changed. That's the day I got arrested and everything. But that's the day that my sobriety started. So, you know, I was before the 10 year mark, that's my 10 year mark, you know, 12 621 would have been my 10 year mark. So actually beat that goal. Yeah, he did.

Sarah Huffman  1:34:35  
And cashed by like seven months.

Dustin Underwood  1:34:37  
Yeah. Yeah, actually early and that felt really good. But that comes from writing everything down and, and focusing even if you got 9 million things going on, and you got these debts to pay off or whatever, you know, I I focused on one thing at a time, all while still enjoying my life. And like I said, I'm not I'm not really lm $325,000 But you know I did those things I wrote them down and and I stuck to my guns. If I needed to put in the extra work I put in the extra work. Was I tired? Hell yes. Even moving into the house, doing the yard, yeah, that's like I, I bought two and a half acres worth of yard myself, Hey, um, my buddy helped me in the weekend. It was a lot, you know, built 600 feet of fence, put up the fence for the dog, you know, out there pounding holes and driving steaks and stretch and fence till nine o'clock at night. And, you know, so this winter, even though I knew, you know, we're spending the money on the closing costs and paying the truck off. You know, I knew that I was really tight on cash. But I also knew I was exhausted. I was wore out, really wore out. And I knew that I needed a break. And so this winter, I decided to take this winter off. And let me tell you what, I needed that. Yeah, even though I was kind of financially worried, you know, but I felt like I was gonna make it through. I did all the math, you know, beforehand, before I even said, Nope, I'm taking this winter off and figured out that, you know, hey, my unemployment will actually leave me $24 in the bank after bills. It's tight.

William Huffman  1:36:31  
We laugh now. But I mean, laughing just because $24.09 years ago, was the difference between having that food in your belly and not? Yep. And Absolutely. That's so incredible. Keep going.

Dustin Underwood  1:36:49  
Yeah. So you know, and that was, that was the stress, you know, because I did the math, and I knew how many you know, I even went ahead in the calendar, you know, I might be laid off till April. You know, I did all the math, I broke it down, you know, how many actual unemployment checks, I'm going to have this lay off and, and what the bills equate to every month and what I'm gonna bring in each month, and it was literally 24 bucks out of each month that I was going to have extra. So then I got to go back and say, Okay, well, what do I got my savings account? Can I limit fishing trips? Can I limit all this stuff and still just take a break? And I said, Yeah, you know, what? Almost feels like a plus some snow or something. You know, I'll do what I needed. I think it'll be alright. And I'm glad I did. Because now, now, I'm, I'm actually moving up to a foreman. Yes. And that's, that's huge.

William Huffman  1:37:45  
I know, I know, this would be your first season right now as a foreman,

Dustin Underwood  1:37:49  
great, no, holy, she's starting next month. And I'm glad I took that break. When I decided to take layoff I hadn't known this. It was actually my last week of work. I was unloading my truck and putting it away for the season. I signed out all my stuff that Thursday, they actually called me that night and said, Hey, you want to come in and talk to us tomorrow morning. And so I found out after he pulled the trigger, you know, like, Oh, I'm gonna be a foreman. And you know, that's it was kind of a goal. It was a goal, but it was, you know, I knew it was gonna take a lot of work to get there. I took different routes than a lot of people take I did the labor and stuff I did the in the ground stuff and actually working on live gas and stuff like that. But I decided to take on the housework side of things because I felt like that would be that would be really beneficial to be in a foreman in the line of work that I do because now I know the stuff in the inside of the house and I feel like that's gonna help things on the outside the house run smoother if I know that stuff and I don't got to be pulling a plumber away to say hey, come look this you know, do we know where this is going on the outside of the house, a gas meter, whatever. I felt like that was one more beneficial thing that I could have in my back pocket and that knowledge because I think that'll make me a better form and in the long run. So yeah, you know, like this this whole week. I got some fishing in but I had to limit it. But I did really really good every time I went

William Huffman  1:39:36  
yeah, you did all the photos of those Walters. Yeah, man.

Dustin Underwood  1:39:41  
Yeah. And you know, and I, and a lot of that, you know, Melissa got out there a couple times with me or maybe only once but you know, just me and the dog out there by myself. Just hanging out and having some neat time to try and recollect what's happened over the last 10 years, you know, because it has been 10 years now, we're going on the 11th year and, you know, just take it all in decompress and get ready for this new adventure that, you know, I don't know where it's gonna go, I have a backup plan. And I keep that just kind of off to the side that, you know, if it doesn't work for me, or it doesn't work for my management, you know, we have a backup plan. Because I can always go back to what I was doing. But I know what you know, that's why the break was great, because I know that with being a foreman, now you're in charge of a crew, it's gonna have its added stresses, which is, you know, I get it. And, you know, basically, it's running on, you know, I guess my soup setup has basically it's like running a small business within a big business. Yeah, yep. So it's gonna have its added stresses and like, just this week alone, you know, with the meetings and stuff I've been in. I'm getting a taste of that. And, but this is what I want. So you know, I'm all in. Yeah,

William Huffman  1:41:06  
that is awesome. I, I know, we have some questions here. So we want to take the next 1015 minutes or so. And just like we, we were on our phones, we were messaging each other questions we want to ask, and a little bit of work, but we're messaging here. And, you know, we're just gonna, we're just gonna fire away. First, I want to ask, how can people, you're gonna do the Ice Fishing thing again this year? Right?

Dustin Underwood  1:41:35  
That's the plan. I actually put it up on my page that I, I promise, I'm going to do my best because I really missed that the last two years. The only reason I didn't go at it this year. It wasn't a COVID thing. It was a finance thing. Yep. Because I know a lot of things come out of my pocket.

William Huffman  1:41:55  
Well, we're gonna, we're gonna change it, I guarantee this, this is gonna change that we're gonna, we're gonna we want to be a part of that. And these will be conversations, we'll have offline, right, but like, we're gonna go out and we're gonna make sure that you can have that this year, I guarantee it. So I just want to say that so I look forward to that, because I want some seven year olds to show me how to fish because apparently, somebody who has bought all the gear doesn't mean jack because I'm wrong here. Right? Yeah, that's it. Yeah. All right. So who wants to go first? Do you know much get?

Unknown Speaker  1:42:27  
Um, I was just reflecting. You know, when you're talking about having you win all this stuff at giveaways and just hearing your story, I'm like, why don't you just like keep it and resell it, you know, like your perspective, and your giving heart just really shines through. And that was like my takeaway, and like, my reflection point, I don't necessarily have questions, but I just think that's truly incredible. Like, your first thought wasn't? How can I, you know, I'm entering this giveaway to sell it to get more money, right? You're just like, you know, I'm gonna enter it so I can give it away. Give it blanket or something. Yeah. That's amazing. That's incredible. And

Dustin Underwood  1:43:03  
some stuff, you know, some stuff I did sell, like, you know, if I didn't feel like it was something that could go to a kid. But then I take the money and go buy stuff that I knew that, you know, could go to work in, you know, so yeah, I, you know, I get it a lot from my friends. They say that all the time. Like, dude, why are you giving away a $500 auger to a kid? Because I don't need it. I don't need it.

William Huffman  1:43:30  
I have an auger. It's very simple to you.

Dustin Underwood  1:43:33  
It's simple. It's just money, and it's just stuff. And if I can touch on that real quick, the coolest thing that ever just happened recently, before we moved out of the house, I forgot about this. A friend of mine, Jeff hit me up. His kid was in the Fishing League in one of the high schools. Jeff's kid doesn't have a lot of stuff. Basically, my background, not a lot of stuff. We don't have a lot of money. nonchalantly is like, hey, you know, if you hear something about a fish house, let me know. And eventually I'd like to get him a fish locator. Because he doesn't have nothing. And all these kids in the school, they have all this stuff because their dads have money and they have the nice lawn boats and all this stuff. And I took that and I was like, you know, and I know it sounds weird, but I was actually taking a shower, and I was thinking about the shower. I'm like, I'm gonna give them all my stuff. This is where the outer package comes in. Seriously, seriously, so I went outside. I grabbed my otter sled. I grabbed my pop up fish house that I'd taken really good care of, because I still hadn't had nothing really nice. But now I bought that flip overshot. Yeah. I had a brand new auger in the basement that had one I hadn't touched it in two years. It just been sitting down there. So I went downstairs, I got the new auger and I have all this stuff. You know, I try to always keep a bunch of stuff on hand like right now I have bins with some things pups and some rods and reels and you know, I always have extra leftover stuff. Yeah, from these events. So I went got a bunch of stuff. I went got a minnow bucket, you know, because I had all this on hand, you know, just from buying it all. Some tip ups, couple fishing, fishing rods. I had an extra sunflower heater had some extra propane tanks. Yeah. And this fish house had had a floor in it and stuff. You know, it was a unique polar bird fish house. I don't even know if they make them anymore, but I'd want it. So I put all this in a sled. And then I called my buddy Brian. He's one of my right hand admins of the group. And I was telling them what I was doing. I'm like, I'm not gonna post nothing about this, like, I'm gonna keep this hush hush, but this is what I got going on. And I hung up with him. He called me back like two minutes later, he's like, Dude, I got a Vexilar I'm gonna bring it off. And I'm like, Fuck, yeah, this is cool.

William Huffman  1:45:54  
So things started like four or 500 bucks. Yeah.

Dustin Underwood  1:45:57  
And it was just enough LA to you know, homme LA. Yeah, that's probably your cheapest one around 300. But still, he's like, I'm gonna bring it up. And I said, Okay, so, got all this stuff together. Basically, it's a big otter sled and it's packed full of awesome, everything you need to go fishing. Yeah. And the only thing you needed was bait. So I pulled it all in the kitchen. I got it in this big otter sled. And I had hit Jeff up and I said, Hey, man, what do you got going on today? You know, and I didn't talk to him in a couple months. And he's like, Oh, just down at grandma's you know, and not doing too much. I was like, why don't you swing by and we'll talk about finding a fish house for your kid. We had no idea. So Brian's up there. And my other buddy Justin just so happened to stop by. And I have this sled packed full of gear in the kitchen hid behind the center island. We had a really big center island in that house. And we're just hanging out and Jeff and his kid show up. And I just kind of start talking to the kid. And I'm like, so you like fishing? He's like, Yeah, and it turns out he just won a lifetime fishing license. For no way. So I was like, all this is getting sweeter and sweeter. Like, you know, he's got no idea. Yeah. And I'm like, you like fishing? He's like, Yeah, I was like, Well, what do you prefer? He's like, I really like ice fishing. He goes, but I don't have a lot of stuff. And that was my cue. Like, I just got up out of the off the couch. And Jeff and his kid are sitting on the floor in front of me and I just got up off the couch. And I walked into the kitchen. And I grabbed that sled and it was a bitch to pull that in. Oh, yeah. So I pulled that sled out of the kitchen. I pulled it right in the living room. And I said, Here you go. This is all for you. And his dad was like, Are you fucking kidding me? I mean, because you know, yeah, all this brand new stuff, lightly use fish shells, brand new agar, all this stuff? And I said, Yep, that's all for you. And I said, You got everything you need. There. Your dad just got to buy you some bait. And that kid was just fucking blown. Oh my gosh. Yeah. And that was that was that was pretty awesome. Jeff's a really good friend. And, and you know, and I that that's why we do it is, you know, we know people struggle. I struggled. I still don't have everything you could possibly want for ice fishing. I mean, I got a good chunk now but yeah. You know, but I denied myself, you know, a lot of different things just because, yeah, it's just stuff. It's just money. You, you can always get more money. Yeah. But you can never get more time. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, that reflects back to one other thing too, that it always stuck with me. When I was in prison. I had read this poem. It's called spending your dash. Have you guys ever heard it? Yeah. Oh, no, no. Okay. So there's this poem, I don't remember exactly how it goes. But basically, it talks about you know, you always have your start date and life your year, and you have your end year in life. But nobody really talks about the dash in the middle. And that's, that's all your time. Like that's everything you do throughout your entire life. It's such a small incident of nificant mark in such a you know, meaningful event you're born date and your death date, but it holds the most value. And that always stuck with me spending your dash and you know, that goes back to the thing with Vanessa said finding your purpose and all that stuff, too. I literally lose track of time. Whenever I'm doing stuff that involves those kids fishing, anything to do with that that outdoor group like that is that is my jam, like I will. I mean nothing else matters really. It In the world when I'm doing that stuff, and it's the greatest feeling in the world, okay.

William Huffman  1:50:05  
And this is the GI T Cha some outdoors,

Unknown Speaker  1:50:10  
get you some outdoors, you have almost 7000 people

William Huffman  1:50:13  
in there. Yeah, it's gotten pretty big.

Dustin Underwood  1:50:15  
And, you know, people love that event. The last one was really huge, pretty depressing that we didn't get to do it because it COVID And Mayor rules or governor rules at that year, and then this last year, I was just kind of tight on money. So I didn't want to try to pull something off and not have it, what everyone's used to it be. Because we always go all out. We don't even own expect nothing from anyone. We don't charge anyone at anything. And we just go out there and have a good time we feed everybody, we make sure that kids have a good time. Usually, we're really lucky and get some really, really big northern pike and some copies and some Sony's and stuff like that. So yeah, that's just, that's my, that's my stuff, right there.

William Huffman  1:51:01  
Oh, we're gonna, we're hopefully we're going to be a part of it with you this year. We're looking forward to that cyber question.

Sarah Huffman  1:51:07  
Um, you talked a lot about goal setting and writing them down. What is your next 10 years look like?

Dustin Underwood  1:51:13  
Next 10 years, I don't really have a 10 year, um, the next biggest thing that I would like to do that's kind of always been on the back burner is make get you some outdoors a nonprofit. Yeah, I kind of started it. And then I just lost track of it. admin stuff, you know, just, you know, everybody's got their own life's going on. So those cards really have to align. Because, you know, there's so many stipulations that go with a nonprofit, you know, you got to really have a board of people and yeah, yeah, you know, there's, there's stuff there that really has to align. And, but that would definitely be a goal. As far as anything else, you know, that's kind of what I was doing this winter is just reflecting on actually accomplishing all this stuff in the last few years. You know, and I hit that big goal of a house. And that's huge to me. Like, that is so huge. I know, some people like outs, it's the house. No, and it actually ended up being so much more than I anticipated, that I really had to take some time this winter to reflect on that, because I never thought it would happen. Just because all the debt. You know, there were so many challenges,

William Huffman  1:52:38  
because that means you paid off the IRS. That means you've paid off the the back child support. Yeah, I mean, all that had to be done in order for this to happen.

Dustin Underwood  1:52:46  
Yeah. And I actually got my first tax return this year, it was a much, you know, from what it should have been. You know, I ended up with a couple 100 bucks. But that told me that all the back child support is finally pay. Amazing. Is that, right? That is so cool, paid in full. And then you know, what's funny, is I actually just got another check the other day, because I paid too much. I'm not even kidding. God bless the universe, right?

Sarah Huffman  1:53:16  
How old is your son now,

Dustin Underwood  1:53:17  
my son is 21. And there's some issues there. But that's the thing, you know, when my mom passed away, he came around right after. So that was hard to swallow. Because it was like, Hi, my mom just missed it. Um, so that was really tough to deal with. I didn't raise them. So I have a lot of work to do there. And I try to do that on a daily basis. And he's got some legal issues going on. Doesn't surprise me, just because of, you know, I try to relate to what he went through. Because he knows that, you know, who raised him and his real mom and dad and you know, stuff like that. But we do have a relationship now. And, you know, I went through it with my oldest daughter to when her mom told her exactly why it wasn't around and stuff like that. And I don't blame her for telling her. You know, I knew it was going to happen eventually. And I'd have to face that. Yeah. She was really upset with me. And you know, she's even told me, you know, there was times that I would only talk to you because I knew I could get something out of you and stuff like that. And I don't blame her. I don't blame her one bit. But now our relationship today is so great. Like, I mean, it's not like on an everyday basis and stuff, but you know, she actually decided to come and live with me before she moved with her boyfriend up north and he could go to school and you know, so that felt really good. Because I had been carrying a weight on my shoulders even when I was used to You know, I never stopped caring about my kids. I was just stuck in a place. I didn't know how to get out of it. No, I know how to deal with it. Like, addiction is real. And it's, you know, them hard drugs are nasty stuff, you know, they tear your life apart and you don't even know it. And then by the time you do realize it, like you're in a place that you just you don't know how to get out of. And everybody deals with a different. Everybody has their own interpretation with drug addictions, like, you know, I have my own. Why I didn't go through any withdrawals. The last time when I finally got sober. I don't know why I got blessed with a chance to turn my life around like I did. Even being such a serious charge. I don't know. But I'm thankful for it.

William Huffman  1:55:51  
Yeah, yeah. You did not miss that opportunity.

Dustin Underwood  1:55:53  
No. Yeah, there was no, like, I had to hit a home run on this one. And I made sure I did. Yeah. It was. So it was a long home run. But

William Huffman  1:56:04  
the 500 footer off the left wall there. Down the left field. Yeah,

Dustin Underwood  1:56:07  
yeah. But yeah, so the stuff with my son, it's a work in progress. It definitely has a lot more. It has a lot more ground to cover than the relationship with my other kids. You know, like today, I'm going to pick up my second oldest daughter, you know, she tries to come around, she tries to hang out with Jocelyn. Yeah, Johnson, she tries to hang out with grandpa. She's really close to my mom. So that's been a hard thing to deal with. And now we're dealing with my stepdad. He's got cancer. So we're dealing with all that, you know, so there's still going to be all those life challenges that throw themselves in the mix. But you know, I, I tell people all the time, there's, there's nothing you can do about this. Like I even told my stepdad like, there's, there's nothing you can do to control this. This is out of your hands. Whether you want to turn to God or whoever with it. That's up to you. I'm going to pray about it. And I pray about it every night. I said, but there there ain't nothing you can do. This is in the doctors hands and nurses hands. And in my opinion, God's hands and there's not there's not anything we can do. So, you know, enjoy what you have right now. And, you know, might Jocelyn she was pretty upset because we didn't want to tell her about grandpa, because she just dealt with grandma. So she was pretty upset when she found out that we didn't said nothing to her. But she's doing. She's doing her best to spend time with grandpa. And I have no problem with that. She's spending more weekends at grandpa's house and she's been coming to my house is actually the first weekend she's coming to my house and few months because she's just going to grandpa's, so I have no problem allowing that like, go right ahead. You know, if I want to come see your eight miles down the road, you know, I can come see you guys too. Or we can just go do something together, whatever. So I get it. But yeah, the sun definitely has some work.

Sarah Huffman  1:58:08  
And you and Melissa have now been together for how long?

Dustin Underwood  1:58:11  
We've been going through all this together? Yeah, yeah. And wow. And we've had struggles there too, you know, getting sober didn't hit Melissa, the same way it did me. You know, trading one for the other, going from using what we were using to drinking alcohol. That was a battle with me and Melissa. But she never gave up trying to change those things in order to better relationship. And she has worked her ass off at it. So kudos to her, you know, she never really gave up and you know, she's like, Yeah, you know, I want to be sober on every aspect. Because it wasn't a problem, but then it turned into a problem. So then that's when I took notice, you know, like, Hey, you're drinking way too much like you're just trading things out. And but she wanted to change that for us for a relationship for a family and stuff like that. So yeah, we've been in this, you know, we met during the drug days. And then she went through with me being in jail and all that stuff. And you know, we stayed together throughout the whole whole ordeal. So I mean, we've been in this battle together for quite some time. I think it'll be 11 years in July. Right?

William Huffman  1:59:28  
Yeah. That's incredible. It's just an incredible story. All right. Well, we're gonna wrap this up here. I'm sure we're going to have you on again, because we're going to talk more specifically about ice fishing and this event and we're going to we're going to have some hell of a good time with it. I want to say thank you so much for sharing everything. And just being so many like lessons so so real, so authentic, and, and it's an incredible story. So I am I like You enjoy you but now I'm I'm really? I know it sounds weird but I'm proud to know you. Right that's really cool. Thank you. Yeah. All right, everybody. Well as we always do we out deuces.

Accouncer  2:00:12  
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