When Looking For Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts, Go To The Source

Need some last minute Father’s Day gift tips?

Forget the tie, which is perhaps the worst invention of men’s clothing ever. A round of golf balls? You might as well cut out the middleman and dump him in a nearby pond yourself. How about a shiny set of cooking utensils? Yeah, that makes every daddy’s dream come true: a glorified spatula.

Instead, I have a perfect suggestion that has a sensational price and lightning-fast delivery: ASK DAD.

Fathers generally like to talk about how life was different – harder, but better – when they were growing up. In particular, sports equipment varied considerably just a generation ago during my childhood in the 1970s and 1980s. None of that high tech, high priced, bloated technological nonsense. It was simple and sufficient.

Here are some talking points, along with some old-fashioned “talk-dad” answers.

BASEBALL: “I see teams of young people marching across the field as a patrolling combat unit, all wearing bulging backpacks loaded with a pair of bats, batting helmets, batting gloves, sunflower seeds, Gatorade seeds and probably a partridge in a pear tree. In my day, I rode to the diamond ball – usually on my Huffy bike instead of my parents’ car – with a ball glove hanging from my handlebars, a batting glove in my back pocket, and a wad of gum in my cheek.

Players have eaten Bazooka, Dentyne, Big Red, Bubblicious, Bubble Yum, or even Big League Chew on occasion. I myself was a Juicy Fruit man. If you were thirsty you would run to the nearest park water fountain, often scented with a green substance growing on it – I hope it was moss? Or you went down to the end of the bench and hit a button to get water from the team’s giant thermos that came in two flavors: tap or hose.

Those $ 350 composite bats that kids carry around these days? There was none of that. First of all, we threw in some good old American aluminum. Your grandfather even used wood! And this bat cost me the same amount that you pay every month for all the electricity you use in my house by charging your phone, leaving the lights on and looking endlessly in the fridge: NOTHING! I didn’t buy a stinky bat. I just walked over to the team’s bat bag and picked a winner. In high school, we basically had a choice of two types (the two Easton models): silver with green letters, or my favorite, the “Black Magic”.

No one had their own batting helmet. You just grabbed one from the bat bag, hopefully not too dusty and sweaty from the previous wearer. If the bases were loaded when you went up, that meant the picks were thin – you could wear the cracked base or the giant waistline that made you look like a bobblehead. I went to bat wearing maybe just one batting glove. None of these cheek pads, shin pads, elbow pads, forearm pads. The ump plate used an inflated shield like Captain America, the bases were attached with belts – the second base always loosened – and the training signs were simple: belt means decay, shirt means flying, tightening the throat means tightening the throat. game. And the catcher, not the coach, called the shots.

TENNIS: “In the early 1980s, I remember my grandmother bringing home this huge plastic frame racket the size of a giant fishing net with a ‘P’ painted on it. This Prince model was about the size of today’s racquets. At the time, I thought I was pretty cutting edge with my Wilson T-2000, the one Jimmy Connors was using. It was silvery and shiny; it looked a bit like a banjo! Do you even know what a banjo is? These steel rackets were actually quite new technology. Even in the late 1970s, most people still used WOODEN rackets. Can you imagine that?!? They looked the size of a fly swatter compared to today’s behemoths. When you were done with them, you weren’t putting them in a sleeve or gym bag – you slipped them into a trapezoidal shaped wooden contraption that you tighten firmly with wing nuts to keep the racquet from warping! “

GOLF: “Speaking of wood, do you know why it is called a 3 wood? Because before they were made of wood! Same thing with the driver, who back then was a full size instead of today’s ones which are about as big as those gigantic plastic kids’ clubs. People generally walked when they were playing. Driving golf carts was like drinking soda from a can – a luxury. In the 1970s, we would drink soda from bottles and then take the bottles back to the store to deposit some money… sorry, I’m digressing. Anyway, once the first hole was done we would take off our shirts to polish up our tan until we got near the ninth hole clubhouse. Quite classy!

TENNIS SHOES: “You wear your Chuck Taylor’s like a fashion statement. We wore them out of necessity. That was pretty much all you had back then – other than an occasional pair of Keds, Adidas, or the cheap brand K-Mart (Trax) – before Nike got big. Heck, most NBA players wore these Converse All-Stars in the 1970s before leather sneakers arrived. And they cost over $ 50 now?!? I ride a wooden bike to the local sporting goods store – yes, a bike – and buy them for around $ 10. I had all the colors of the rainbow.

BELOW: “There’s one thing that’s worse to wear than that tie you usually curse me with… a jockstrap.” I’ll keep the details for you. Let’s just say the internet, chicken nuggets, and compression shorts are the three biggest technological advancements in my life.

Happy Father’s Day!


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About Shirley Dickson

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