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Father’s Day on the horizon

Father’s Day on the horizon

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ralphhardin@gmail.com

Looking at the calendar, and it’s June already. That means another Father’s Day to celebrate, coming up this weekend in fact.

Father’s Day isn’t really that big of a deal to me.

Don’t get me wrong… I have been the recipient of some pretty cool Father’s Day gifts. One year, my kids got me a “singing dancing hamburger” card. I still have it tucked away in a box somewhere, although the battery has probably died. But it’s OK. We’ve all got the song memorized!

Another favorite was an 18-inch-tall Boba Fett figurine. “Star Wars” fanis will no doubt understand how awesome that really is. He sits on my desk here at the office, holding an American flag and overseeing my collection of other cool characters, including a Joker bobble-head, a Hulk plushie, a Jason Voorhees (complete with hockey mask and machete) and a wind-up Poop Emoji.

Many of these were also gifts from the kids.

But we really don’t make a big to-do about Father’s Day. We’ll probably have a family cookout and Spades at my wife’s parents’ place on “The Hill.” I’ll either call or stop by my parents’ house (the same house I grew up in) and offer a quick “Happy Father’s Day” to my own Dad (or “Pop Pop” as the kids call him). After four-and-a-half decades as Dad, I think he deserves at least that. The man is going to be 75 next year, and he’s still plugging along.

I’ve been at this whole Dad game a while myself, and one thing we’ve always had in common was a love of baseball. Lately, he’s been following the Razorbacks and he always catches me up on the Diamond Hogs when I see him. Of course, back in the day, I was one of the many players Dad was coaching on the ball fields of Marion. We even coached together a few times when my boys were little and coaching my daughter in softball convinced both of us it was time to retire.

Nowadays, we sit together in the stands and watch her play. And of course talk about how much better we would both be at coaching the team, how terrible the umpires are, and wondering (a little too loudly for my wife and my mother) why Coach So-and-So thinks the little girl who couldn’t catch a cold is playing short-stop.

Yeah, Father’s Day might not be a big deal, but it is important to give a shout out to all the Dads out there. Sometimes “Dad” isn’t your biological father, but it still counts. Maybe your Dad is no longer with you this Father’s Day, and maybe, if you’re the dad, circumstances of life will prevent you from being able to spend time with your kids. Life throws curveballs at us all, but hopefully Coach Dad taught you how to lean back, watch the ball and learn how to play the curve.

My Dad was always full of that kind of advice when I was a kid. And even now, he tells me all the time I’m his “favorite son.”

Ralph Hardin is editor of the Evening Times. He lives in Marion with his wife and kids and is eagerly anticipating what they might have gotten him for Father’s Day.

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