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George Little: Move Fathers Day closer to hunting season

June 11, 2012 at 03:47 PM

The State Journal-Register

Father’s Day is going to be here faster than you can say, “Save the receipt.”

Nobody asked me, but if they did, I’d make it closer to the first day of hunting season. Say, the first weekend in October. By then, the yard isn’t growing out of control, and latex paint doesn’t dry fast enough for a second coat the same day. And, all those summer things that come with “some assembly required” would be stowed away for the winter.

Moving Father’s Day back to a more practical time would simplify shopping. The new fall hunting gear would be in stores, and useful gifts would be plentiful. Thoughtful gifts such as paisley neckties, a new shovel or a box of roofing nails, might be replaced with something eminently more desirable, such as archery targets, a range finder or a case of shotgun shells.

Father’s Day has been around for more than 100 years, long before President Lyndon Johnson made it official in 1966. Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea in 1910. She wanted day to celebrate the efforts of her father, a Civil War veteran who raised six kids by himself. I suspect that the greatest Father’s Day gift Mr. Smart could ever have received would have been one day out of 365 when he didn’t have to fix something.

Steeped in the knowledge that (like many of my other great ideas) my suggestion to move Father’s Day to October will never see the light of day, I’m going to keep my Father’s Day expectations grounded in reality. I already know neither one of the Little Girls is going to detail my truck, give Toby a bath, or even bring back the tools that now reside somewhere in the dark recesses of campus apartments. Father’s Day or no, some things are as likely as finding the last unicorn.

I also know that the Little Girls are going to ask me what I really want to do with the day. We can all have some fun if I get out ahead of it and tell them. You can do the same. There are fish to catch, bikes to ride, and trails to hike. Out there somewhere is a bluebird, an indigo bunting or a Baltimore oriole waiting to be spotted. If you’ve been putting off taking them target shooting, here’s your chance. After all, it’s your day. There’s a good memory waiting to be made by stretching the traditional envelope.

If your great outdoor idea turns out to be a bust, full of insects and sunburn, don’t worry about it.
By next Father’s Day, the scratches will have healed. The bug bites will have stopped itching. They will have forgotten about removing that fishhook, and your kids will make you king for a day again.

Bill Cosby said, “If the American father feels bewildered, even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does, in any fathering situation, he has a 50 percent chance of being right.”

George Little can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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