Father’s Day is Sunday, I am told. I don’t really know when Father’s Day is except that I know its in June. Same as I know Mother’s Day is in May. What Sunday in those months, I can never remember. Third Sunday in June sounds right.
I have children, so I know they’re expected to at least acknowledge the day by a phone call, or card, or gift. And mostly they do and I appreciate it. I really don’t do anything to deserve this special holiday for being a father, and I’m pretty sure it’s just another holiday manufactured by the greeting card industry, and the retail industry, to help sell ties, and fishing poles, and recliner chairs. Never got a new recliner chair for Father’s Day come to think of it, but I guess I could go out and get one and say its my Father’s Day present to myself. Might work.
I would have to say that my father and I weren’t close. I came from a family of six siblings, three brothers and three sisters. We were sort of two separate families though. My older sister and I were separated from the other five by five years. I was already in kindergarten when my brother was born. Then they came almost exactly a year apart.
There were moments with my father that were endearing I guess, but most of what we did was disagree and that’s what I remember. I think I perpetuated it on purpose. He was a Chevy man, I only owned Fords. He bought Firestone tires. I purposely preferred Goodyear. He drank Hamm’s Beer. I drank Coors mainly because he and his fellow union members boycotted it. He liked to fish and hunt. It bored the shit out of me, thankfully my brothers picked up the slack. There were many other examples of it, and sometimes it wasn’t done on purpose, it just happened. Bottom line is we didn’t like most of the same things.
Now that my father is gone, of course I wish I had gone fishing with him more often, or had the opportunity to go deer hunting more than once, or maybe even bought a Chevy truck so he would be proud. But it’s too late now and I probably wouldn’t have done it anyway. I think we were the classic father-son, very little to talk about and agree to disagree.
Even the history of Father’s Day is a conflict though. It is now accepted that the first celebration of Father’s Day was on July 5, 1908. It was to honor 210 fathers who had died in a mine disaster in Monongah, VA on December 6, 1907. President Woodrow Wilson tried to make the day official while speaking in Spokane, WA, where the other “first” celebration of Father’s Day occurred, but the Congress was afraid that it would become too commercial. Look how that worked out. But it wasn’t until President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation in 1966, that the day was officially recognized as a national day. President Richard Nixon made Father’s Day a national holiday by signing it into law in 1972.
And there’s the usual conflict about the proper spelling of Father’s Day too. If you’re talking about fathers as a group, it should be spelled Fathers’ Day. However, its your fathers’ day, so its more accepted to be Father’s Day. The original bill says that and the 2008 commendation of its creator spells it that way.
So, Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I really wish we could go fishin’.