Father’s Day 2014

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Dad and me in Oakland, Calif. in 1953.

What does a father eat on Father’s Day?

If you’re my dad and living in Silver City, New Mexico, you and your wife drive to the next town over to have menudo — the ultimate Mexican soul food — at a church with fellow parishioners and veterans.

If you’re me and living in Portland, Oregon, you drive across town to join your eldest son and his girlfriend, and your daughter and her girlfriend, for a tasty brunch of homemade corned beef hash, poached eggs and kale salad — the ultimate Northwest dish.

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Portland brunch: Kale salad, corned beef hash, poached eggs.

How did we raise such great cooks? Don’t know, but it’s a treat every time we visit one of them.

On this day, I’m enjoying seeing a lot of vintage photos and appreciative comments on Facebook. Personally, I’m grateful to have a father who was so caring, so responsible, so encouraging during my formative years. Though he and Mom divorced when I was 15, he’s been a constantly positive presence in my life, as well as a great grandpa to our kids and a loving father-in-law to Lori.

If you have (or had) had a great man in your life, cherish that relationship, treasure those memories.

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Silver City breakfast: menudo, made from tripe and hominy. Chopped onions and lemon wedges, optional.

And if you’re so inclined, take some time to remind yourself of why fathers matter now more than ever. I recommend this piece, “Manifesto of the New Fatherhood,” by Stephen Marche in the June/July issue of Esquire.

Here’s a taste.

— “A single small but vital fact distinguishes men of the past fifty years from all other men in history: Most of us see our children being born. It’s one of those changes to everyday life that we take for granted but that have the most radical consequences.”

— “The old fatherhood was a series of unexpressed assumptions. The new fatherhood requires intelligence. It requires judgment.”

— “The new father is not so shallow nor so old-fashioned. Only the truly lost man would want to return to his grandfather’s way of life. Who would want to go back to the bad food, the boring sex, the isolation? Who would want to be financially responsible for a family and then never see them? The new fatherhood is a huge gain for men, the chance for a deeper intimacy, a whole new range of pleasures and agonies, a fuller version of our humanity.”

Fellow dads, Happy Father’s Day!

Photograph (menudo) photobucket.com

 

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