Randy Waldron Jr.'s boyhood dream was to be an airline pilot. He hoped one day to "sit in the left seat of a great, big Boeing 777."
But his dream is on hold because of the very person who should have helped him the most.
Waldron, 27, is a licensed pilot desperate to find a job in the airline industry. Despite his fine reputation as a hard worker, he says he's been turned away time after time because of his father.
Waldron grew up in a rough neighborhood outside of Boston where he managed to avoid trouble as a kid thanks to his mother, whom he described as exceptional.
"I had some great role models, but no father to speak of," Waldron said.
Although Waldron grew up without a father, his grandparents pitched in to help raise him.
When Waldron was 12, his father, who had left his mother when he was an infant, suddenly came back into his life.
Waldron received the phone call one day after school.
"I wanted to see him in the worst way," Waldron said. "And, you know, we were developing a sort of bond and he wanted to make up for lost time, at least I thought, genuinely, I thought so."
Waldron said his father acted as though a dozen years apart was normal and then invited his son to come down to Florida so they could meet.
"He gave me an American Express number card on the phone that I can still recite to memory this day. He said, 'Book whatever seats you want, stay in whatever hotel you want to stay in. Sit in first class if you want. I don't care. Get your mother a rental car. Do whatever you want. It's on me.' So 14 years old, get a credit card -- I had a blast!"
Randy Waldron Sr. was a big spender and for the next three years Waldron flew to Florida for every vacation. He became acquainted with his dad's multiple families and more than a dozen siblings.
Waldron Sr. was a flashy man with a big personality. His son described him as always having "a wad of 20s."
"And he would just, you know, 'What do you need? Do you want a book? Do you want a video? Do you want a Gameboy? You want this? You want that? Here!' And he'd just dole it out," Waldron said.
He believed that his father was a rich, successful businessman. Waldron Sr. owned a string of restaurants and was friends with the movers and shakers in his West Palm Beach community.
But there was another side to Waldron Sr., a hidden, dark side that wasn't revealed to his son until he turned 17.
Again, it was a phone call that changed Waldron's life for a second time.
It all started when his mother wanted to put his name on one of her credit cards. "And she gets the application process started, puts me on the phone and I gave the nice lady my Social Security number and my date of birth, and 'OK. Fine. You'll get your card in four to six weeks.' Click. 'Goodbye.' That's the end of it."
But it was just the beginning. Soon the credit card company gave Waldron the shock of his life in the form of a denial letter.
"It said, 'Dear Randolph Waldron, your application for credit has been denied based on derogatory credit information found in your credit report.' And I'm thinking, 'Credit report? What the hell is a credit report?'"
Waldron thought it was a big mistake and sent away for his credit report. When the report arrived, the bad news was all there in black and white.