Dads are ABBA-solutely the Best!
by Cate Murway
Father's Day in the USA is celebrated on the third Sunday of June, a day to recognize publically the contributions that fathers and father figures make for their children's lives. Shared appreciations include their strong belief in family and their untiring commitment to do right by them.
On July 19, 1910, Marion E. Hay [1865 –1933], the seventh Governor of the U.S. state of Washington, proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day,” but it was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States.
The same enthusiasm to celebrate the nation’s mothers was not met perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.”
Mother’s Day may have taken off like a rocket, but Father’s Day took off like a rock!
In 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, attempted to establish an official day for male parents and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910. The holiday’s June date is tied to Sonora Smart Dodd’s birthday of June 5.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day but many men scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving.
Was this merely a commercial publicity stunt to sell stuff, often paid for by the father himself?
A movement arose in the ‘20’s and ‘30’s to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in favor of a single holiday, Parents’ Day, seemingly stating that both parents should be acknowledged, loved and respected together. During the Depression, efforts to combine and de-commercialize the holidays were nixed. The retailers and advertisers, as everyone, were struggling so they worked to establish Father’s Day promoting masculine merchandise such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards. Celebrating Father’s Day during WWII was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort. By the end of the war, Father’s Day became a national institution.
It was midst a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign that Richard Milhous Nixon [1913-1994], the 37th President of the USA, signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last.
American fatherhood may have been redefined in the past years, but Americans still spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.
What makes/ made YOUR father so amazing?
Nary a mention of material possessions, but only emotion filled voicing of how blessed each were with an abundance of intangibles, and a myriad of recollections of discussions that built character and hope, important in development.
There was something called expectations and there was something called discipline.
And levity could be found in unexpected places.….
“His sense of humor…” Megan Hems, Bristol PA
Hems Truck and Auto, Bristol PA mechanic Tony Munchback 's daughter Amber says "He builds stuff”.
“Behind every great love is a great story.” - The Notebook, based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks
“My dad, Jeff Paleafico is my number one encourager.” Nicole Marie Paleafico, Bristol PA
Most related to language such as love, affection, caring, honesty, integrity, responsibility and many endearing terms that made them good men and women; taught, not in words but in action.
“What I remember most about my dad was how gentle he was and what a great example he set for my brother and me.” Teacher/ Realtor John A. Benigno
“I was 4 years old when my Dad passed away. No memory of my Dad except his love letters to my Mom.” Raquel Vertucio, Bristol PA
It was steel and grit tutelage that honed leaders.
“Dad came to America when he was 18 in 1928. His mother brought him here to escape Mussolini's pending military draft. Later he wrote a letter to his cousin and said, ‘Tell Mussolini if he wants me he'll have to come to America’. Our mother died when I was 5 and my brother was 12. Her medical bills left Dad broke. He raised us by himself for five years until he remarried; worked the midnight shift his whole life. Salt of the earth; had a hard life and didn't smile much until his grandkids were born, then everything changed. Couldn't have a better role model! " Author, Bill Pezza, Bristol, PA
The respondents knew and practiced behaviors that were right because their fathers instilled in them with a visible understanding, allowing them to internalize any things that were wrong.
“My Dad is the best ever. He worked so hard to give all 4 of his children the best. He is very humorous and makes me laugh. He supported my music lessons and was my cheerleader. Most of all he continues to give me unconditional love. I love my dad to the moon and back.” Professor Gloria Galante, Professional Harpist, Bristol, PA
“I was so lucky to have this guy as my dad. He celebrated girls, and my sisters and I were raised to throw footballs and given time to shop in the makeup section of Kmart. My father never held back on his praise for the things we did, and I will hold that with me forever.” Molly Williams Reed, VJM ‘91
Their fathers’ lives were their other classrooms where they always made time for them and shared in their enthusiasm.
“My dad was always there when I needed him.” Paul V Jones Jr., Levittown, PA
Decisions made, mattered; they were important responsibilities of citizenship.
“Growing up my dad never attended any of my track meets. Shortly after I was born dad became a cop; my siblings claim it was to keep me out of trouble. I can still hear my mom’s reprimands when I left the house to play, ‘Remember your dad is a policeman, don’t do anything to embarrass him!’
Cops work shifts around the clock and dad was no exception. The last thing my father did before leaving for work each day was to hug and kiss my mom. They never failed to do that. Only as an adult did I realize the importance of that. Unlike most couples, that hug and kiss could be their last and they both knew that.” Bill Slack, Hudson, FLA
If you are fortunate enough to still have your father, never permit life to remove all the innocence... keep stealing the moments to spend with your dad.
Be forever grateful that he shared his name, and so much more.
“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task, who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauties, nor failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had; whose life is an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.” Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)
Hope your Father’s Day was meaningful and memorable.
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