This That and Other Stuff

Enjoy Father’s Day!

Enjoy Father’s Day!

Bob Neuman

Fathers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are tender, good listeners, good providers, lovable, protective, generous, happy, etc.

If one can believe the news nowadays, others are worthless and child abusers who sometime murder the children.

For a moment think about your own father. What words would you use to describe him? Did his example prepare you to be a same type of father? What attributes do you share with him?

I was born in the Great Depression when life was very difficult. My father provided not only for his wife and two sons, but his elderly parents by providing substance. We actually moved into their home to help them.

He worked at a grocery store, sold insurance and, on weekends, at a men’s store down downtown stimulatingly to make what money there was then. We never had cash for extras. Even though a triple dip ice cream cone was only a nickel, it was a treat that did not come around often.

My father was a generous man. On one occasion when a relative was soon to lose his house to the bank, my dad drew out all of the little cash he had and gave it to the relative.

He was born in 1906 and grew up in the Roaring ‘20s when everything was booming. The stock market crash in the 1930s was a disaster. If people had bank accounts, they lost them. No doubt, you could relay some heart rendering stories of unbelievably hard times your own family endured then.

In May we honor our mothers who raised us, worried about us and loved us. Therefore, in time, there was a push for a Father’s Day although many were uninterested or against it.

Like Mother’s Day, with its stops and starts, Father’s Day took many years to become a national day. Instigator Grace Golden Clayton was probably inspired by Ann Jarvis’ efforts for Mother’s Day.

A celebration in Spokane, pushed by Sonora Smart Dodd on June 19, 1909 to honor her father, a Civil War veteran who raised six children as a single parent. Held in the Methodist Episcopal Church successfully, the pastor agreed there should be a Father’s Day for the country. June 18, 1910 was the first Father’s Day in Spokane. The plan was to celebrate it each year on the third Sunday in June. However, in the 1920s it faded into obscurity.

To continue was backed by the merchants who could see money coming their way. More people, though, denounced it as commercialism.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended the day be observed nationwide. Congress defeated bills to have it declared a national day. It wasn’t until President Lynden B Johnson in 1966 finally designated the third Sunday in June as a national Father’s Day. Today it is celebrated in different ways in many countries.

What do people do on Father’s Day? Many send or give cards or gifts. Presents range from a simple phone call or card to large parties honoring all father figures in an extended family.

Perhaps your father is still living, but with the age of our SunBird residents, many fathers have left us.

Well Dad, have a joyous Father’s Day. You’ve earned it especially if, like me, you once raised teenagers.