Honor Thy Father: Vintage Dad Pics

Last Father’s Day, we were enjoying a blog called Dads are the Original Hipsters—a celebration of the fact that men today, once we’ve grown up a little, tend to realize that not only are our dads NOT complete dorks; they in fact achieved a pinnacle of coolness that we of the next generation can only hope to emulate.

This year, we decided to cut out the middleman and crowd-source our own vintage dad pics from right here at Nordstrom HQ. We think the results are even better than the blog mentioned above (maybe we can get a book deal, too).

Check out our first round of favorites below, in all their mustache-having, strike-bowling, motorcycle-riding glory. More amazing photos to come next week, so stay tuned—and don’t forget to pick up a killer gift for the dads in your life by Sunday, June 16.

They Looked Like Movie Stars. “This is my grandpa at age 17. He played professional water polo for the Georgian national team (former USSR), and this picture is taken at the pool during practice. His name is Zurab Chachava. Photo is circa 1950.”
—Nini Gabunia, Digital Image Editor

They Wore Rad Camp Shirts. “We lived in Germany for a bit when my Dad was in the Foreign Service. This was on his 31st birthday, in June 1982, on a trip to Lake Chiemsee near Salzburg. You’re right, the shirt is darn good…Clearly where I get my love of men’s oxfords.”
—Kate Bellman, Site Merchandising Manager, Women’s Designer & Weddings

They Snagged the Drumstick. “My dad is Richard Hermstad, front left. Such a ham. This photo is mid- to late- ’50s.”
—Kara Hermstad-Buckaloo, Copy Manager, Selling Content

They Had Hair Like Frank Zappa. “This was probably 1974 or ’75. We were at Lake Wapapello with Unet and Joan. Thelma and her siblings owned a lake house and one of Unet’s uncles owned a pontoon boat that was made out of half of a barge (we were huddled on the barge when the photo was taken). Notice the Budweiser beach towel draped over your dad’s shoulder.”
—Mom of Lindsey Bollinger, Men’s Accessories Assistant Buyer

They Were Up to Something. “My dad in a plaid suit! So fancy! About 1963-ish.”
—Ashley Newcomer, Web Designer

They Knew a Thing or Two About Love.
Top: “This is my dad with his friends and brother in Coco Solo, Panama, 1953. The car is a ’53 Plymouth.”

Left: “The sepia-tone headshot was in ’59, when he went to visit my mom in Presidio, Texas. Presidio is a border town in way, WAY west Texas, and he went across the border to Ojinaga, Mexcio, to get that picture made and gave to my mom. They were courting at the time. They married in August 1960.”

Right: “On the back of this photo is written, ‘For Mother Celine with immense love. Your children love you very much. Gracie and Raul.’ Mama Celina was my grandmother—my father’s mother. My mom, Gracie, wrote this note and when she writes, ‘Your children love you very much,’ she is referring to herself and my father.”
—Tony Balquin, Creative Director, Online Marketing

They Built Decks in Denim Jackets. “I think I was about 3 or 4, so this was around 1978 or ’79. He was building the back deck at our house, and it’s still there! Kool-Aid has been replaced by cocktails, but it remains a great place to enjoy some afternoon sun. I could ask my mom for more details, but knowing my family, there was probably a nail through a foot or trip to the emergency room involved. As for my dad—he’s everything anyone could ask for and more.”
—Kirsti Kling, Senior Web Designer

They Were Heroes. “Enclosed, please find a WW2 photo of my dad, Loren Hughes, relaxing in his barracks in England. He just passed this last January at age 92.”
—Michael Hughes, Digital Image Editor

They Had Swag—Literally. “My dad, Jim, when the beard was still pretty bushy. (He does more of a goatee thing now.) This must be the Oregon Coast, a couple-hours’ drive from where I grew up in Portland, circa 1982. Based on the logo, I’m guessing that trucker hat was corporate swag—he was an engineer/salesman and sold giant boilers to factories and whatnot in the ’80s. The Häagen-Dazs shirt, I have no idea—maybe he just likes ice cream—but the fit is pretty on-point. And the wire aviators are just excellent. Dad, do you still have this stuff?”
—Justin Abbott, Senior Editor, Men’s Shop Daily

They Dressed for the Occasion. “He was living in California on his own and going to college at the time, around 1982. His parents were still in Vietnam, and he was loving the freedom and was just having fun. My mom took these photos.”
—Donovan Nguyen, Web Designer

They Understood the Value of Teamwork. “My dad, Clarence Roy Sumner: Pro bowler, rocket scientist, and the most sarcastic individual I’ve ever known.” [He’s the one with the killer polo shirt.]
—Angela Sumner, Video Producer


Have a rad vintage dad pic of your own?
Tag it #NordstromMen on Instagram, and we might feature it here.

And don’t forget, Father’s Day is June 16.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Jim May 25, 2013, 6:30 am

    The trucker hat was boiler manufacturer swag. The shirt is from a Palm Springs ice cream shop (coffee with dark chocolate chunks was the right choice). Prescription shades are long gone.

  • Bob May 25, 2013, 3:16 pm

    How kewl is this…great pics guys &
    a team effort 2.
    Thanx 4 the smiles.

  • Justin, Blog Editor May 30, 2013, 10:49 pm

    Thanks, Dad … I guess I inherited your taste in ice cream, too.

  • Justin, Blog Editor May 30, 2013, 10:51 pm

    Bob, you’re welcome of course! Thanks for reading.
    —Justin, Men’s Blog Editor

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