We have so much to thank our fathers for. In addition to teaching us how to ride bikes and be good sports, they’ve also been our sagely guides through life. As a small token of our affection, we’re counting down to Father’s Day (this Sunday, heads up!) by celebrating our dads’ style, wit and wisdom.
What did your dad like to wear? Suits and really nice shoes. And the best leather belts, which I still borrow/steal when I visit him. But I also have heard many, many stories about how he was a troublemaking kid in the 1950s and I like to imagine the rapscallion outfits he wore when he was getting in elementary school scrapes. There’s a story about him getting into a fight with a kid who tried to steal his “Vote for JFK” button, another one about a particularly vindictive homeroom teacher who moved his schooldesk into the broom closet because she was so sick of him interrupting class. Hearing stories like that, how could you not imagine muddy striped shirts, dirty Converse and ripped jeans? As you can tell from these photos, he liked the haircut that Kirk Douglas notably had in Spartacus (is this called a high and tight?) and that every young guy was essentially required to have before the hippie revolution let hair grow long. What a badass little kid.
What music did he listen to? The Beatles! Always. Bob Dylan, too, whom he analyzed like he was Moses. And Tom Waits, who I hated and was absolutely terrified of as a little kid until one day I got it and wasn’t scared anymore. We went to a Waits show in Toronto when I was young and he shot confetti everywhere and I remember thinking that was really cool.
What would he say? Does he have a favorite phrase or saying? Something anecdote-y. The Golden Rule, which he repeated to me and my sister all the time when we were young: treat others as you’d like to be treated. My dad studies the Talmud, and I think that rule is consistently important in the annals of Jewish theology. He also did not like liars, and told us all the time that to lie is the worst thing you can do.