Dads & Sons & Grandsons

I started out as a son-of-a-dad, you probably did too, unless your a girl, obviously. Then one day I became a dad-of-a-son (his mother might think I’m over simplifying that part), and a few years later: a dad-of-two-sons. Next, I became the dad-of-a-dad, and just a few weeks ago, the dad-of-two-dads, and the Pops-of-a-GRANDSON, and still the son-of-an-amazing-92-year-old DAD.

Even though Father’s Day is still several days away—Happy Father’s Day men.

#fullermen

#fullermen

Since this blog is ostensibly ABOUT POPS, specifically and generally, how can I not type a few thoughts about the whole man/family theme at this time of the year. Someone has to give Father’s Day its due. Let’s face it: Father’s Day isn’t one of the biggies like Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and Halloween. It’s more in the class of Groundhog Day, Columbus Day, Labor Day, etc., you know, those days that we’re glad we have but we’re not going to go to Hobby Lobby and buy decorations for them 13-months in advance.

So, I’m stepping up as a SpokesMAN (and I mean that in a true politically-incorrect and insenitive masculine form of the word) for Father’s Day 2017. Unfortunately, I won’t be around to celebrate the actual day with my father or my sons/fathers-of-my Grand-Girls and GRANDSON. My Amazing-Missus, Bambi and I will be on an adventure, somewhere in Ohio. (Yes, I know it’s stupid to post stuff on the WWW about being out of town, what with all the criminal types out there. But, hey, we have insurance and we’ve been talking about getting rid of some stuff anyway.)

Speaking of travel, some of the fondest father/son memories are of trips we’ve taken together. A lot of miles and great experiences and time shared together. It is sublime for me. An ideal Father’s Day would include a slow gathering around a table spread with a hearty shrimp-boil or burgers from the grill, and telling stories of trips we’ve made together.

Speaking of time and travel, another Father’s Day treat would be to watch a good movie together. A personal favorite is about the men of a family and their ability to travel back in time a bit. It’s called, “About Time”, and I highly recommend it (unless you’re one of those unfortunate literal thinking guys, who lack imagination and can’t just enjoy a story for the sake of the story).

Or how about a movie about one of my favorite fictional dads, Atticus Finch, in “To Kill A Mockingbird”? Which set me to thinking deeply about what is the criteria I use for choosing a favorite fictional dad? Is there really a criteria and if so, where did it come from?

So I put together a shortlist of my favorites:

Best I can tell, if you want to make my list of favorite fictional dads, or maybe real-life dads for that matter you need to be somewhat flawed but not afraid to embrace your flawedness. Whether its planning an awesome vacation or a celebration like “Festivus”, you take the chance because you want your family to experience life in all its richness. And yeah, sometimes you seem busy, self-absorbed, clueless; still you’re there. And even though you’re probably scared to death most of the time, you try hard to be strong; not the hero, but the one that can be counted on.

Girls & Boys

DON'T YOU DARE call me a “misogynist”, or even “male chauvinist” or a “sexist”. I’ve gone on record here and other places with my sadness and disgust for the distorted view of the role of women held by the most conservative of the church of my youth. I'm a firm believer in Girl Power.

Just try to tell me these girls can't be anything they want to be

Just try to tell me these girls can't be anything they want to be

But is it really too crass to say that boys will be boys sometimes, and maybe even need to be? And why does it have to be that if, when boys are boys, it necessarily follows that girls are less than human? It’s not a zero-sum game is it?

I’m 65. Right or wrong, sometimes I will say what’s on my mind. It’s one of the few perks of old age. Cut me some slack.

So I’m going to say this: guys need to be virile (or feel like we are) and a little primal, occasionally. Humor us.

This brings us obviously to the topic of gift ideas for Father’s Day.

Affirm his dudeness. Get him something to gnaw on like some gourmet jerky, or take him out for a plate of ribs and a refreshing beverage. Speaking of cows and pigs, something leather is always a good choice. My favorite place is Saddleback Leather. The quality is outstanding, oh, and the smell of the leather when dad opens his gift… Their stuff isn’t cheap in any sense of the word, but you don’t have to break the bank to buy him something great. I use everyday and highly recommend the ID Wallet.

If you’re unsure of what to get him, let me offer this advice: don’t pretend you’re going to find something for him at Bed, Bath & Beyond, or Kohl’s, or Hobby Lobby, or Target.

If you’re within a day’s drive of Oklahoma City, there is a store where you can’t go wrong. It’s called Weldon Jack. It is the amazing concept of my good friend and the proprietor Jerrod Smith. This little shop is part motorcycle store, part “candy store” for guys where you’ll find leathergoods, knives, hatchets, hats, helmets, and amazing grooming products for guys. And as if this wasn’t enough, there’s a barber shop where you can even get a straight razor shave.

Jerrod named his shop after his grandfather, Jack Weldon Smith

Jerrod named his shop after his grandfather, Jack Weldon Smith

Father’s Day shopping can’t be any easier than a trip to Weldon Jack at 36th and Western Ave. Or better yet, get Dad a gift card for there and let him go hang out with the boys and get a haircut and a shave. Then take him up 36th street a few blocks and feed him at Iron Star BBQ.

While we’re on the subject of food, here’s another gift idea for you. Even the stereotypical Dad likes to think of himself as Master of the Grill. Go with some grilling accessories or maybe even a few big steaks to throw on his grill. If he’s all set when it comes to goods for the grill, check out another option for outdoor cooking—cast iron dutch oven cooking. This is something I’m trying out right now. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. It’s bound to be good—there’s fire and knives and meat and potatoes involved.

Here's just a taste of what you'll find at Weldon Jack.

 

A Father's Day Gift That Keeps On Giving

I STILL PREFER TO WRITE; on good old paper with a pen or pencil. I know, I know, I carry in my pocket an amazing little device that is all at once: phone, camera, music-player, calculator, encyclopedia, atlas, GPS, cookbook, calendar, notebook, ocarina, "book", pedometer, radio, dictionary, mailbox, newspaper, gossip source, and on, and on--not to mention a computer more powerful than the room full of computers once used by NASA. And like you, my life as I know it today, depends on that little sucker, so it goes with me everywhere I go.

But still I prefer to write the old fashioned way. Now I feel like the hypocrite that I am, because as is always the case, I'm writing this blog post on my MacBook Pro, using an app called iA Writer®, which, when I'm done and push the appropriate keys, will send it to the "world" via a service called Squarespace®. My faithful subscriber(s) will automatically be notified of the new post by the miracle of something called Mail Chimp®, and Twitter® and that ubiquitous force known as the Facebook®.

But still I prefer to write the old fashioned way. So I carry a pen and a little memo book called Field Notes. For years I've kept a journal. I did quit for awhile to be honest. Some misguided soul broke into my vehicle in our "gated" community and stole a bag containing my notebook computer, which could be replaced, and two journals I had written in almost daily for a year, which could never be replaced. Disillusioned by the violation, I decided journal-keeping wasn't worth it. But it is.

I highly recommend Field Notes books as a great tool to successful journaling. Field Notes is developed from the legacy of the memo books of yore. Something all of us old guys will recognize.

As a sort of challenge to all you "men of a certain age" out there to start a journaling habit, I have an offer you can't refuse.

For all you women and children who tolerate us "men of a certain age", if you are in need of a one of a kind Father's Day gift, here you go. But as they say, "Don't delay; quantities are limited." Seriously. I only made 3 sets.

Field Notes did a special limited series of Field Notes memo books for each state. I have bundled one of each book for the eight states along the Mother Road--Route 66. Plus I've thrown in an extra "Oklahoma" edition, plus a few other treasures like a Field Notes pencil, a Royal Pine car air freshener, and more.

Did I mention I only made 3 sets?!

So the first three people to send me an email at hey.pops.hey@gmail.com to say, "I want one of these sets and I'll put my check for $48.00 (shipping included), in the mail as soon as you tell me I'm one of the lucky three", will be the winners.

SPECIAL "ABOUT POPS" LIMITED EDITION FIELD NOTES ROUTE 66 BUNDLE

SPECIAL "ABOUT POPS" LIMITED EDITION FIELD NOTES ROUTE 66 BUNDLE