Tom Hespos, Underscore Marketing on Beer, ATV’s, RV’s and Being An Old Timer in Media
Susan Bratton

Episode 76 - Tom Hespos, Underscore Marketing on Beer, ATV’s, RV’s and Being An Old Timer in Media

Tom Hespos is one of the fathers of digital media. He joins Susan live at ad:tech NY where they share a big bottle of Three Philosopher's Belgian-style ale from Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY.

He shares the highlights of his career... In 1996, he "dove off the cliff" into online advertising and never looked back. Going from K2, to Blue Marble, to his own consulting company to Mezzina Brown and then got together with Tim McHale and created Underscore Marketing.

Media is all he's known and he loves the technology behind the campaigns. Now at Underscore, he's doing amazing work for Wyeth and the Chapstick brand and introducing the product into the daily experience of young females through social networking.

Suz puts Tom on the spot to do an elevator pitch to Steve Case for Revolution RV's. He's in the elevator. 28 floors. He wants a fresh new brand to promote online. Hear his pitch.

Once the founder of The Old Timer's List, now owned by Skip Graham, Tom had the foresight to develop a list of early insiders who provided support for each other in these heady, early days of Internet advertising. Find out if there really IS a secret handshake for the Old Timers and what the original story is about how it was founded.

Tom is one of the smartest and nicest people who has marshaled in the digital revolution in media. Tune in to get the story behind this amazing man!



Susan Bratton: Welcome to Dishy Mix, I’m your host, Susan Bratton and I’m  looking out over the New York landscape out at this beautiful skyline, and I’m here at the Hilton New York, at AdTech,  and I’m with Tom Hespos. Tom is the president of Underscore Marketing and you're going to get to meet him today. On today's show, we're going to talk about being Old Timers, we're going to talk about, we may even toast to Three Philosophers, we're going to talk about ATVs, and RVs, something Tom and I share a passion about, we're going to talk about AdTech 12 yrs later, we're going to talk about what its like to be a new daddy, something Tom has some things to say about.
Tom Hespos: I think it was an interesting challenge, having to take myself out of where I sit, put myself into the shoes of somebody who’s much younger and female, and what they do with their life, and how they work with online, how it's just, you know, it's just an extension of everything else that they do.

 I would make the case as quickly as possible, Underscore Marketing, we’re the company helps you get digital right at first try, and you know that’s an important distinction. I think it really gets us away from our competitors, because, you know, we've got that deep experience, going back to the beginning of, you know, when the web first hit. I am just fascinated by, like the culture that develops, in news groups, in, you know, e-mail discussion lists, in message boards, in  social networks in general, and I love the study of that and trying to figure out how to leverage that for brands is just such a huge challenge .
There's so much great thought that's shared in this industry, and sometimes, somebody will just say something, and I'll go, Oh my God! , like I just never thought about it that way, and then BOOM! There I go into my own head.

Susan Bratton: Hey Tom!

Tom Hespos:  Hey! How are you?

Susan Bratton: I am good. I'm really glad to have you here, we’re doing a lot of live show and with a life show, we always have what?

Tom Hespos: Alcohol.

Susan Bratton: Ya… Exactly! So what did you bring us today?

Tom Hespos:  I brought a beer called Three Philosophers. It’s from the Ommegang Brewery, in Cooperstown, New York, near the baseball hall of fame. It's a beer; I actually stole the idea from my cousin, who runs a small agency in Jersey, called   Louis & Partners. He told me about this beer a few years ago, and it's just fantastic. It'll knock your socks off.
Susan Bratton: So, it's made in New York, but it had the kind of  champagne cork with the cage, and it looks like it’s a Belgian-styled beer, is it?

Tom Hespos:  It is, it's actually a blend, I wish I cud recall the details there on the side of the label here, but it's created by blending a rich multi-Belgian style ale with authentic creek, a classic cherry alambique from Belgium.

Susan Bratton: Oh! Interesting. So it has alambique in it. Alright, so let's taste it, are we ready? Here we go, Cheers! mmm... that’s good... wow! that's super rich, huh?

Tom Hespos:  I love it, yeah... so just watch it, because it's got a higher alcohol intake... higher alcohol percentage but ya, it's a wonderful brew.

Susan Bratton: Are you a beer aficionado, or just a beer lover, or are you a collector, and... You know... like Mark Sylva, he's huge into beer... you know, from real branding.

Tom Hespos:  I'm not an aficionado in any sense, I actually... I probably gross people out with what I drink in terms of beer. I have a kegerator in my back yard; it’s filled with Bud Light. I'm not an aficionado at all.

Susan Bratton: What’s your backyard like, is it a party place?

Tom Hespos:  It definitely is... you know... pool, wide open area... you know... the grill, the bar, everything’s back there, and we just, we throw big parties back there.

Susan Bratton: And you live, where do you live, on Manhattan with a backyard like that, where do you live? 

Tom Hespos:  I live on Long Island, up in a place called Holtsville. I moved there just a couple of years ago from Wading River which is actually further out on the island and which some people remember from the Old Timers party we threw there a few years back that 500 people came to and it was just an embarrassment for everybody involved.

Susan Bratton: I like an embarrassment. I’m certainly been known to do that myself. Well, we're going to get to the Old Timers, because you’re the founder of the Old Timers, but before we do that I want to talk to you about Underscore Marketing, that’s where you’re the president now. And I would love for you to give listeners a little bit of your story, because so many of the people that listen to Dishy Mix are people who are moving up in their careers, and they would like to know how you got where you are now. Where did you get your experience and how and when did you make your moves and why? So would you tell us that story?

Tom Hespos:  Sure! Absolutely! What I did, I think, from, early on I cut my teeth, I think in the traditional agency world, which is a great place to get a start. I started at Young & Rubicam, New York, and it was right when the web hit. Like I got there in September ‘94 and they brought me in as basically like a secretary. And once they figured out that I knew something about online, they promoted me and gave me a lot of responsibility for the digital on the army account. So that’s where I really got things started. I got great exposure to online and offline. But you know, just like so many other big agencies, I’m an entrepreneurial spirit, like you and like so may other people you’ve brought on your show. And I just wasn’t happy there, I wasn’t happy being a part of a big machine like that. So while it was a great place to get experience, I mean that was where  I really just drove off the cliff, and then in ‘96 I went over to K2 design which was a full on digital shop. They did some traditional buying and some traditional planning out of there, but it was really own supportive online brands, so... That was a big jump, going from Y & R, where I knew it was very secure, very big corporate environment, you can get a job pretty much anywhere once you've worked there in the advertising arena, you know, to a small shop like K2, it was very small; it was probably traded, but not very well known.  So I jumped off the cliff there and landed on my feet thankfully. Spent three and a half years there, was to lead up their media department and I spent sometime in a lot of digital only shops and so, I did K2, I did Blue Marble, I went out on my own for a bit, just doing consulting from my apartment, I was a chief internet strategist at Mezzina Brown which was more of a traditional shop. And that led us right up to the last downturn, and they let me go during the last downturn, and I said, I got to be in charge of my own destiny, and that’s where it really happened, where I got together with Tim McHale, who had also recently been let go from travel DDP and we put the agency together and which was more about being in control of our own destiny than anything else.

Susan Bratton: When you were working at K2, was that owned by another bigger firm or was K2 independent? Who was behind that company?

Tom Hespos:  It was in an independent. There were 4 partners who started that out, but all who were I believe  still in the business in some capacity today,[***] Mathew Deegan, Douglas Cleek and Brad Solas, and I think they're all doing very sort of interactive things today, but they were an independent, it publicly traded company, one of the first interactive agencies to go public. But ya, they were pretty independent.

Susan Bratton: What led you into the media side of the business, rather than account planning, or in creative or, why is media your place?

Tom Hespos:  That’s what I knew. I kind of, very shortly after I arrived  at Y&R, I did, kind of, looked at me to see, like what I wanted to do, I was a secretary basically to the media department on the army group, and they said, what do you want to do? And all I saw around me was media, I dint get much exposure to account management or to account planning or anything like that. So I was like, well you know, I kind of like this media thing, and it gives me all the exposure to the digital piece that I really want, so why don’t I stick to this? So that’s where I kind of cut my teeth and that’s where I’ve pretty much always stayed. Now with Underscore, I think we’re growing out of that media only piece though. We've brought aboard some people who are, you know, more into the marketing, you know, there's a reason why we called it Underscore Marketing as opposed to Underscore Media. So we're starting to grow out of that piece now, we're getting into more  consultative roles on clients, more, you know determining what the role for digital should be, how to get all the pieces working together,  the brand planning,  all that neat stuff is coming down Underscore and clients are really relying on us for it.

Susan Bratton: So, on the strategic side, when you think about all of the accounts that you've had, what has been the most favorite program or client or what has given you more satisfaction to work on as a project for a client than anything you've ever done?

Tom Hespos:  That is such a tough question. I’m very proud of the work that we've done on the YF business. That’s our biggest client right now, and we've done some interesting things, trying to, I don’t know how much of this I can kind of get into on too much detail, but we've done some interesting things, I think introducing the chap stick brand to social networking, to its target as they exist online, and integrating that brand into like the daily experience of, you know, the young women, I think is a fantastic thing. I'm not a young woman, so...

Susan Bratton: Well you look like a young woman Tom, just like a young woman. I’m going to have more sips of my beer, and you're suddenly looking so hot.

Tom Hespos:  I figured it was an interesting challenge having to sort of take myself out of work where I sit, put myself into the shoes of somebody, you know, who's much younger and female, and you know, what they do with their lives, and how they work with online, how it's just an extension of everything else that they do, and that was an interesting challenge, and a lot of fun to do.

Susan Bratton: You and Tim McHale started Underscore Marketing. He’s no longer there. He’s gone on to very successfully start Madison Avenue Journal and Madison Avenue Consulting. When you and Tim started the company, you had an idea for what Underscore...
 He’s taking a big gulp of Three Philosophers right now, please wait a minute… [Laughs]
When you and Tim started the company, you had an idea for what you wanted the company to be, you had this vision of it, you don't have to tell us what that is, but what I want to know is, where did you end up, where did the vision end up, what is the company now, and what's made it successful versus what you thought would make it successful or why you started it?

Tom Hespos:   Well, we didn’t really deviate too much from the mission, I mean, there's, it’s no secret that we've had quite a few partner changes over the years and some of the people outside the company have referred to it as the partnerectomy, which I felt was kind of cruel but, we really haven't deviated much from the company mission, I mean... like we called it like I said Underscore Marketing from the very start. And the idea was to get a bunch of clients that we could do media and really, you know, just form a solid base, and then really get more into the consultative arrangements and then figuring out what digital means to everybody's business, and you know, helping out in that way. and those are more high value assignments, those are things that are a lot more fun to do, and I think those are things that also need to happen before they get to be big spenders in digital, so we always saw that as a part of the mission, and Tim leaving, I don’t think that took us off track from that.

Susan Bratton: If you had to, say there was an account that you wanted, do you have an account that you would love to have in your mind, does anything pop out like, 'ah! I’d really like to have X-kind of a client', or a specific kind of a client that you'd like to work on?

Tom Hespos:  I would love to have any kind of a brand that’s got a clean slate. We’re going out, and we're going to… nothing that has any preconceptions about it. That’s like my digital dream brand. I don't care what it does, I don’t care who the target audience is, I would just like to work on something with a clean slate, because I think a lot of the clients and the brands, they're carrying a lot of baggage with them, sometimes into the digital arena, and they're carrying a lot of inertia in the other direction, and a lot of times that, that makes it difficult for them to really execute, so… anything without the baggage attached, I think would be a fantastic opportunity to work on.

Susan Bratton: Ok, so I’m going to put you in the elevator with Steve Case, because he starts a lot of companies, I’m thinking like Revolution Hell, Revolution Money. He starts with a lot of clean slate brands, so let's just pretend that Steve Case is in the elevator, right here at the Hilton, New York, and when you leave doing Dishy Mix a little bit… so you've got like, you're not so nervous, and there's Steve, and he has this brand new company, Revolution RVs, because you love RVs like I do, Revolution RVs and you want the business. Can you tell me what you would say to him, about Underscore Marketing, and why, what you would say to differentiate it, if you were going to give him literally the elevator pitch? 

Tom Hespos:  Well, how many floors are we riding?

Susan Bratton: I’m on the 28th floor.

Tom Hespos:   Ok. Well you know, I would make the case as quickly as possible. Underscore Marketing, we're the company that helps you get digital right first try. And, you know, that’s a very important distinction. It really gets us away from our competitors, because, you know, we've got that deep experience going back to the beginning of, you know, when the web first hit. We know all the tricks, we know the ins and outs, we know the people, so if you got to get it right on the first try, and you can’t afford to screw it up, then Underscore is your agency. 

Susan Bratton: I like that, and that really reminds me of your Old Timers. Gosh. I guess your roots, your Old Timers roots. You are an Old Timer; you started the Old Timers organization. There might be a lot of people listening now that our world is so big, you don’t know about that. Tell us when you started it, what it was like, how it's changed..? Give us that story...

Tom Hespos:  Alright. Well first we got a backup. And I got to tell everybody, the Old Timers is not like the illuminati of the internet, we don’t have a secret handshake, we don’t behind-the-scenes control what happens to AOL and MSN. That’s not what we’re all about.  I think it would be funny for me to tell you, like the story of the original genesis of Old Timers. Because I don’t think I’ve told that story to anybody before, who would give it this kind of an amplification, if you will.
Internet Old Timers was started as a list of people, who were early on into the business, and who like to go out drinking after work. So there were a bunch of us, who were in our mid- 20s, we were all in Manhattan or in San Francisco, and there was always some sort of, Yahoo was throwing this party here, Double-Click was throwing this part here, EdNet, Strategy, some of the older names... They were throwing parties pretty much every night for media buyers. I had gotten together with some of my younger media buyer friends, some sales reps that we liked, some people who were on the technology side, people who were part of conferences, the whole mix of everybody who comes together in this interactive industry. And we got tired of missing one another at events, like I was over here and you were over there. ..So the whole thing really started as a way to find like, which party are we going to first, which party are we going to second, and keep everybody on the same page. So I was kind of sitting there figuring out how we might do this, and I looked at my web host and they offered a bunch of free email lists. So I put this thing alive on the server, started signing up all my friends for it. We got a kick out of just figuring out where the next party was and then somebody just kicked out, I can't even remember who it was, and I wish I could, somebody kicked out a serious discussion about CPMs. And somebody else sent me an email saying I don’t know if we can discuss this, because it might be like a collision kind of thing. So we had to say, like, keep it on topic here, and we'll avoid any discussions of pricing, but soon after that, people just started kicking up serious industry issues list, and it became a place for people to speak about things without having to expose it to the rest of the industry. So it became very high level discussion. And that’s when I said to myself, hmm... there’s a business here. So we continued developing the list. I got a little bit of help in Sally Crumholts, who was the admin on that for years, and she helped me sign people up, we developed some ground rules for discussions, for who we would admit, so the original cut off was you had to get into the business by the end of ‘96 or you couldn't get in, but since we've changed that.. And basically, we had a great time with it. We threw a bunch of parties and events, usually surrounding conferences like AdTech, but other times we'd just go out to my house, or head east to Greg Stewarts place, and just have a good old time and get together like we used to. It was a fantastic thing, and eventually I had to take that off my plate. I sold it first to Andy Brolin of [**Quikonnex**] fame who was going to take it and sort of run with it. He ended up flipping it to Skip Cram. But, it was heartache to have to take that off my plate, but I really needed to concentrate on Underscore, it was an agency I was watching at that time and, I dint want to loose focus. I spoke to Dave Morgan. He's one of my mentors and I said, ' I got this big problem, I have an opportunity, I think, to get Old Timers off my plate, so I can launch Underscore without hesitation', and he said, 'Do it, just get it off your plate. You’re too conflicted, you've got two different directions, pick one’.

Susan Bratton: It sounds like you're glad that you picked the one that you did.


Tom Hespos: I am. There's a little heartache of old timers, I would have liked to, I think  develop it, but I don’t think it would have gotten me closer to where I want to be and I think I’m getting to a spot where I think I want to be with Underscore. I did pick the right path, but it's not without heartache.

Susan Bratton: Well, you're going to the Old Timers party tonight, right?

Tom Hespos: I can’t wait!

Susan Bratton: And you're going to be looped by the time you get there with our Three Philosophers alambique beer.

Tom Hespos: That was the whole plan all along, right?

Susan Bratton: Exactly it was. So you triggered a thought for me. I’ve lost touch with Greg Stewart, which is silly of me. What’s he doing now, do you know?

Tom Hespos: I wish I knew. I get a couple of LinkedIn requests from him from time to time, but I really don’t know what he's really up to.

Susan Bratton: Well we're going to have to have him on Dishy Mix, don't you think? And Dave Morgan? What’s Dave Morgan doing these days?

Tom Hespos: He’s probably on a boat, but I think you should have those two certainly. They would make great episodes of Dishy Mix, I think.

Susan Bratton: Are there other people in the industry that you track, that you kind of watch, or keep up with, or that you learn from?

Tom Hespos: Well, there are lots of people. I like to think that I learn a bit from everybody that I come into contact with and that’s why I’m just such a social networking type of guy. But you know, there are a couple of people that stick out. My former partner Jim Meskauskas is definitely one. He’s a guy that is... You’ve got to hang out with him. He's so much fun to be around. You can just carry on a conversation with the guy and you can talk about, like the most obscure and challenging media topic and then shift gears and really start talking about Saturday morning cartoons or something like that. He’s that interesting a guy, and he's got so much upstairs stored in his head, he remembers everything, that like, if you make any sort of obscure cultural reference or anything, he'll immediately pick up on it. We’re kind of like intellectual soul mates I think in that regard and I just love hanging out with the guy.

Susan Bratton: Nice. He’s so much fun. I like to dance with him. He’s a cook on the dance floor.

Tom Hespos:  I have not personally witnessed that, although we have sang together in a piano bar downtown on some Broadway show tunes. So I’ve heard him sing, but I haven't seen him dance.

Susan Bratton: He’s a very multi-facetted man, isn't he? Well, we're going to go to a break, thank my sponsors, and be right back here with Tom Hespos, he’s the president of Underscore Marketing, not media.  More than media... And we'll be right back. I’m your host, Susan Bratton.


Susan Bratton: We’re back, with Tom Hespos. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. So Tom, here's what I wanted to get a sense of from you. You’ve been in the industry since you said 1994, from the agencies odd; you've been to lot of AdTechs. I want to know what you see happening in the world of digital media and marketing now that’s interesting to you. Are you totally in love with social networking, are you still involved in search, what’s the thing that you find most intriguing about the world of digital media.


Tom Hespos: Well, I would really have to back up and say that lets take it even out of the digital media space and just into digital overall. I’m just always fascinated, I’m the kind of guy, who is very fascinated by the social online peace, and I know that sort of hackneyed phrase, social media. But I’m just fascinated by the culture that develops in news groups, in email discussion lists, in message boards, in social networks in general. And I’d love the study of that, and trying to figure out how to leverage that for brands, it's just such a huge challenge. I don’t think that a lot of folks have really figured that out yet. and I think that once that really happens, we're going to see a huge influx of dollars in the digital marketing space, because that’s going to build brand platforms, that brands are going to enjoy for years. So I’m really looking forward to that peace and I’m personally fascinated by that peace.

Susan Bratton:  So the catalyst for community and place where brands can be part of that conversation is what you're saying?


Tom Hespos: Absolutely, ya. I’ve been a fan of the whole conversational marketing thing for a very long time. You know, we established as Underscore Marketing, as me personally, I think there's some great street cat around that for a few years ago. You know, we shelved in, in some degree inside the agency, because we weren't sure that marketers were ready for it necessarily. I don’t see too many big brands that are willing to really sit down and have an honest discussion with their customers. And I constantly see a lot of marketers making mistakes in that regard. So you know what I wanted to do is kind of take a step back even for a couple of years, and just watch it develop a bit, and then we'll jump back into it, once the warm hearts in the world have made their mistake and the aftermath is past us, we can get into that in a more real way.

Susan Bratton: Where do you think that social media is going specifically? The worlds of MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn those larger aggregate social spaces. Where do you thin they’re headed?

Tom Hespos: Well I think that they can either become the aggregators in a real way, which means, that you know, they can start doing things like what FriendFeed does, pulling together all the various applications that we’re using… I think we were talking about this a little bit with Mark Sylva, I believe it was... And I think I agreed with almost everything that you guys said there, but I think they can either become the aggregators themselves, or they can have those types of aggregators eat their lunch. It all remains to be seen whether they are only bold enough from happening, but I think that Facebook really starts pulling in these different applications from all over, they'll do well.

Susan Bratton: You’re a big Facebook user aren’t you?

Tom Hespos: Absolutely.

Susan Bratton: What do you use it mostly for?

Tom Hespos: I just keep reading about how the maximum number of social connections we're supposed to have, you're meaningful social connections is right around a 150. And I want to kind of see if I can use the technology to push that. And have meaningful relationships and just keep tabs on a lot more people than that. So far I think that I’ve been pretty successful, and I’ve got some ground rules for who I invite to be my Facebook friend, who I invite to be my LinkedIn connection  and so far I think it's working out pretty well for me.

Susan Bratton: You strike me in knowing… I think... I’ve known you since about ‘96. You have always struck me as someone who really likes people, but is a little shy. Would you say that’s a fair representation of you?
Tom Hespos: Sometimes I can get to be a little shy, but that’s also because of how my brain works,  it's not very good at multi tasking for some reason, and what ends up  happening is somebody says something and it’ll be just so profound that it'll start thoughts for me, and I’ll loose myself in my own brain. And sometimes, people think that that’s shyness or even arrogance sometimes, and I really don’t mean to come off that way, it's just that there’s so much great thought that’s shared in this industry and sometimes somebody will just say something and I’ll go, 'Oh! Oh my God! I just never thought about it that way', and BOOM!, there I go into my own head. And it's just the way I am.

Susan Bratton: It’s lucky that you have a blog, because you do use that as an outlook for a lot of insight that you get from talking to people. I have another thing that I want to talk to you about. You told me that you want to be remembered for ending the one way model of how companies communicate. Was that the social space in the community piece that you were alluding to when you told me that?

Tom Hespos: Absolutely ya. It’s all about the conversational marketing. I really think that we're approaching this sort of plateau or limit rather. The number of commercial messages that somebody can get, and still have it be anything close to meaningful. And I think how that’s going to sort of end up is that we're going to have a few case studies of brands that really make it in the social and the conversational space, and that’s going to revolutionarize the model, and I want to be right there when that happens. I want to be guiding clients towards that... like just getting them away form the push model and getting into real dialogue with customers. If I can be remembered as one of the guys that helped make that happen, I’m sure that I’ll have to share that with a lot of people, you knew, like Joseph Jaffy and some of those other folks, but I’d be happy just to be there when that happens.

Susan Bratton: So what are the things that happened for you recently is that you had a daughter, you got married and you had a baby. Tell me about that?

Tom Hespos:  It happened very quickly.

Susan Bratton: Well you were ready. You were just waiting for this to happen to you, I think.

Tom Hespos: I think I was. There’s no secret. I dated women in the industry for a long time. And I think that actually was my problem, if you forgive me. I just couldn’t do interactive marketing all day and then come home to interactive marketing. What I ended up doing was, going on and I started dating around people outside my industry, people outside the city, and I just met this wonderful woman, who was a lawyer, and wonderfully independent, and we just, in a very short period of time, we met, we fell in love, we decided to get married, and then, BOOM!...  right into the having kids part. And it's been a fantastic ride, I never though that this would happen to me. To tell u the truth, I had to resign myself to just being single, and living alone and I made my peace with that and then all of a sudden it happened. It was fantastic.

Susan Bratton: And you have a new little girl whose name is Kate, and you adore her. You’ve been showing me pictures of her beautiful face. What’s the best part about having a wife and a daughter for you?

Tom Hespos: It’s just fantastic. Nobody prepared me. They said that it would change my life in ways that I just couldn’t foresee, and I was like ok, I accept that, I heard that from so many different people. I think the best part is just the unconditional love… like there hadn’t really been a point in my life where I had truly experienced that. And you’re holding a three month old in your lap, you’re bouncing her up and down on your knee,   and you just see her look up and it's like she's depending on you to be the person that just takes care of her, and it's just that unconditional love that’s coming back to you, and then you're like hit with a brick in the forehead and WOW! This is fantastic.  I just loved every second of it.

Susan Bratton: It’s only going to get better. That’s what everyone says too. I have an eleven year old daughter and we have an RV, you know, you and I trade our little RV stories, and over the holidays we're going to take our daughter down to Pismo beach and take her ATV riding out in the dunes, and go on an RV trip, and it's so much fun with our little girl to do that. I bet that… Are you thinking about doing things like that too with Kate?


Tom Hespos: Absolutely. That’s one thing that a lot of people don’t know about me. If there’s an area on Long Island where there are red necks I’m from there. A lot of my childhood was spent riding dirt bikes and going camping with friends and stuff like that... That was all the culture, and I just couldn’t wait to do that with my own family, and one of the first things that we did was, we bought an RV and it's a 28 foot trailer, I tow behind my pick-up truck, and we knew that it would be something we could do with the baby, because our friends, they all have their own campers and they take them. You know, even just a couple of weeks old, in the trailer, and have a great time, and we go to the beach, we go to Pennsylvania, we go all sorts of different places. So it's a cultural thing that I wanted to carry on, and sort of pass on to my own daughter.

Susan Bratton: I love that. It was so much fun. We went down to Big Sur State Park, and we were out on the beach, and I have the most beautiful photos of that beach. It was weird algaes and seaweeds that had washed up. It was just so much fun, with my daughter, her friend, and our dog, our puppy… It’s just so amazing to have those memories so… I wish we cud RV together Tom, but I think our RVs probably are too far apart.
Tom Hespos: Don’t count me out though. I do want to do a cross country trip, at least once. I got to talk my wife into it, but I think we'll do it at some point.

Susan Bratton: Well, you have an open invitation to visit us and do a little hook up in our driveway.

Tom Hespos: Nice.

Susan Bratton: Well, it's been so nice to talk to you. Thanks for coming up to the Hilton and bringing me a delicious quadruple, this isn't a double or a triple, this is a quadruple, this will… this'll get you! I can't believe this. Alright. We better drink some more…

Tom Hespos: Absolutely. Thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it. I’m just such a big fan of this show, and I’m really happy to participate.

Susan Bratton: You’re very sweet Tom. Thank you so much. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. I hope you've had some fun getting to know Tom Hespos, and I hope that you have a great day and realize your unconditional love and fun drinks too.