Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dad's Delight: Another Father's Day, Another Tie

Fathers always seem to get second billing. Father's Day follows Mother's Day, and even Children's Day, although no one takes Children's Day seriously except the children. Mother's Day usually means breakfast in bed (a dubious honor), flowers cards and gifts.

Fathers, on their designated day, get ties; hideous dated ties that store owners save up all year and then offer on sale to unsuspecting children. Wives are apt to acknowledge their husbands fulfillment of fatherhood by buying them tools to fix things around the house, then letting them foot the bill. 21th century fathers would much prefer a variety of I-gadgets.

If it weren't for Mrs. John Bruce Dodd of Spokane, Washington fathers might still be a forgotten entity. Dodd suggested venerating fathers to Rev. Conrad Bluhm, president of the Spokane Ministerial Association as a suitable tribute to her own father, who, upon the death of his wife, successfully raised his children.

Her proposal was approved by the Association; the first celebration took place on June 19, 1910 in Spokane. Although the rose is recognized today as the official flower for Father's Day it was originally a lowly dandelion because “the more it is trampled on, the more it grows.” This tongue-in-cheek suggestion reflected the inequality of parenting. Motherhood was revered next to godhood; fatherhood, in this respect, was compared to a common weed.

In 1911, the observance of Father's Day in Chicago came as a novel idea. Jane Addams, the famous social worker, approved the concept, saying “Poor father has been left out in the cold . . . But regardless of his breadwinning proclivities it would be a good thing if he had a day that would mean recognition of him.” Pres. Calvin Coolidge, in 1924, expressed his approval of the idea as he wrote, “As I have indicated heretofore, the widespread observance of this occasion is calculated to establish more intimate relationships between fathers and their children, and also to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.”

Fathers of the 21st century participate more in the daily care of their children. In some instances it is voluntary, in others it is necessitated by both parents working, causing the workload and pleasure of childrearing to be shared. Feminist pressure has helped to release the male from stereotyped thought and behavior, making nuclear families more a cooperative than a monarchy.

Before there was widespread observation of this holiday, different sectors of the country celebrated independently in different ways, even different years. The tradition eventually spread throughout most of the Americas and parts of Europe and Asia. A general agreement was settled upon on June 16, 1946, more than 30 years after Mrs. Dodds suggestion. Fathers finally got their day

Both Mother's Day and Father's Day have become “Hallmark Holidays’’ and while florists and confectioners flourish on the second Sunday in May, haberdasher's profit on the third Sunday in June. Commercialism aside, it seems right and fitting that on at least one day of the year fathers receive recognition and tribute from the children who bear their names, their legacies and their love. And what father can’t use another tie?

“Father! To God himself we could not give a holier name”— William Wordsworth


  1. Excellent entertaining article Mickie, you hit the nail on the "tie" :)

  2. So true, Micki. Well said. Many dads, Mister Mum's, should receive greater recognition.

  3. A well-written and informative post that I enjoyed. My husband and I will get together with our son and his family and share a meal. But since my husband is now retired, he definitely won't get a tie for Father's Day!

  4. Hi,

    Fahter's Day was something special for me. Maybe it is because I saw how much my own father struggled to keep his family together. He wasn't a big talker. A quiet man, he planted within me the seeds of endurance and perseverance.

    So, I enjoyed reading your article. I must say that I am delighted that Father's Day exist and have nothing but praise for Mrs. Dodd and her initiative to praise her own father for keeping his family together.


  5. What a wonderful tribute to fathers. Fathers all over would certainly appreciate this post, Micki. I wish I'd been more thoughtful of my own father on this date because he was a great man/person.

    We lost our Dad to heart problems back in 1989 at a young age of 55. This year I'll be 55 and it doesn't seem to be so old, but back them I thought he was "old." Oh, how we miss him.

    Now, I can help my young daughter pay better and honorable tribute to her Super Dad. Thanks for sharing this very important blog.

    For those reading this blog, if you have a great Dad, shower him with love while it's day.

    I love this post so much, I'll share with others on my network.

    Cherrye S. Vasquez

  6. This is a wonderful article, Micki. I love it... I'm sorry I'm commenting so late, but I was on vacation...
    Unfortunately I've lost my father 17 years ago, but I still miss him - and your post reminded me of him strongly. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. Hi Lori,
    So glad you dropped by and liked the article


    Clancy, you're right! Happy to have you visit.


    Sandra, thanks for your comments. I bet your husband is quite happy about not getting a tie lol.


    Pat, I'm so happy you had a great relationship with your father. It means so much. I never knew my birth father and my relationship with my step-father was ups and downs.


    Cherrye, I 'm so sorry you lost your father at 55. I almost died of the same thing at 56. But you're passing on his memories to your daughter and that's so important. Thanks for sharing my words.


    I'm glad you liked this post and am so very sorry for your own loss. I hope this post reminded you of him in all good ways with a smile on your face.


  8. Hi Micki, This was a very interesting article! Now I feel bad about not even getting my dad a tie. He lives far away, and I do send him a card. I don't think he wears ties anymore! Does this let me off the hook? ;)

  9. Thanks Penelope, yep, you're of the hook. He'd really like a new tablet or smart phone anyway lol. Maybe a picture of one in the card would help. :)


  10. Thank you Micki! My father died at 62 in 1987. He was dubbed "The World's Greatest Crime Reporter". I loved him so much and respected him greatly. Unfortunately I didn't get to see him too much as he worked nights in the City, and was gone when we came home from school. He was handsome and so very cool. Knew the best of them. Thanks, Micki, I needed to reminisce. Love you! Deirdre

  11. Deirdre, so nice to see you here. I remember you telling me about your dad. he had a fascinating life even if it was hard on his family.