Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard some amazing stories and seen some wild photos (ranging from ’70s comical to ’50s cool). All that’s left to do now is open some presents, rent Dad an all-day Schwarzenegger (or Kubrick—whatever he’s into) marathon from the local video store, and celebrate the men who taught us how to live, love, laugh, swim, ride motorcycles, get into and out of trouble, and grow mustaches.
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Photos above courtesy of Jon Jones, Photographer, of his dad Dudley.
They Were With the Band. “Until my parents had kids, my dad’s main source of income came via drumming in various Pacific Northwest garage rock-era bands. (My parents met at a concert in their hometown of Longview, WA; my dad’s 6-foot-4 and says he noticed my 6-foot-tall mama standing a head above the other ladies in the crowd.) Dad’s a giant nerd with talents for math and minutiae, which made him both an excellent drummer and an excellent band manager—he did a great job of booking shows, divvying up the pay, making sure the musicians didn’t get ripped off by the venues, etc. Here he is in the Furys [sic] in the early ’60s, repping some sweet mod style.”
—Meg Van Huygen, Proofreader
They Served with Pride (And Looked Good Doing It). “My mom’s dad was a Navy pilot in the Pacific during WWII. This was taken around 1942, when he was training at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. He was always a pretty well-dressed gentleman—clearly something that started at a young age.”
—Laura Oxford, Men’s Features Writer
They Knew How to Accessorize. “This pic was taken by my mom in 1971 in Racine, Wisconsin. I was incredulous (and proud) to discover that my dad once looked like a roadie for Black Sabbath. Don’t let the mean mug fool you, though—I couldn’t have asked for a better role model. Love you, dad!”
—Brian Lodis, Web Designer
They Helped Us Understand Our Past.
Top Left: “My grandpa (mom’s dad) giving a toast at my parents’ engagement party. It’s Chinese tradition that we drink strong white-rice wine at any formal party. Everyone sits in the round table and takes turns toasting each other.”
Top Right: “My dad, the one with black frames, at the engagement party. Men didn’t do the proposing in Taiwan back then. Engagement was a formal affair involving a formal dinner between the two families and special guests.”
Center: “My grandpa (mom’s dad under the red arrow). Two of his best friends in college married my grandma’s sisters. They all got transferred to Taiwan with the Chinese air force and they all lived in the same military village. This big family picture was taken at Chinese New Year, when it was the only time everyone gets new clothes.”
Bottom Left: “My grandpa (dad’s dad) was definitely a character. His family was in the seafood business and he was first in the family to have higher education. He was born in 1908 during the Qing Dynasty with queue hairstyle. He used to tell me he cried for days when his mom cut his braided pigtail. During the war, he was a secret agent for the Nationalist government and started an underground newspaper against the Chinese Communist Party. He had extreme interests from everything such as Chinese painting, calligraphy, poetry, writing, magic tricks, and the most amazing thing for us as kids was his Kung Fu. He was a well-known Kung Fu master (too bad that we didn’t learn anything from him) and he specialized in pushing hands and Tai Chi. Up into his 80s, he was able to do 100 one-handed push-ups every morning.”
Bottom Right: “My parents’ wedding photo. I was told that my dad was a serious trend follower. He always had the coolest haircut and Ray-Ban sunglasses even when he was in the military.”
—Gloria Chen, Senior Graphic Designer
They Stuck to Their Guns. “Christmas Day, 1975. My dad is a classic Texan, into guns, race cars (Corvettes, specifically) and fine-looking ladies. He had a stand made for that rifle and powderhorn, which doubled as a fashionable floor lamp. Three wives attempted to banish the lamp over the years, and eventually someone broke into my dad’s house and stole it. I suspect his fourth wife hired one of the neighbor kids to do the deed.”
—Amy Leigh Morgan, Features Writer
They Traveled the World. “This photo is circa 1973-74 in Iran. My grandparents lived there for 3 years while my grandpa worked as an architect who designed the town of Arya-Shahr, while my grandma worked as a translator.”
—Nini Gabunia, Digital Image Editor
They Acted a Fool. “I was not actually here, but just a glimmer in my Daddy’s eye. My family was at a picnic in a park in Portland, my Dad went to go get the picnic umbrella to put up, and this was the result. I think it was the early ‘60s. I love this pic because this is in essence how my Dad really isfun, funny and loves to spend time with his family. We often joke that he’s an 18-year-old stuck in an 83-year-old body. I have a feeling if we gave him a picnic umbrella today, he would reenact the same pose!”
—Sharon Kitashima, Internet Producer
They Had a Need for Speed. “Bakersfield Bandits motorcycle team, 1976. My dad, Steve Nutter [far right] raced speedway for many years and still rides for fun today.”
—Tess Nutter, Internet Producer
They Had Great Hair—and Even Greater Stories.
Top Left: “My parents still have that woodland-scene wallpaper, which I’m jealous of. My mom laughed that this was my dad still in bachelor-pad mode (note the wooden wire-spool used as a TV stand).”
Top Right: “Yes, my dad rocked a perm back in the day. Don’t knock it, though—my mom said it’s one of the reasons she wanted to date him back then. That, and his denim jacket with jeans combo, dark shades, and the Beamer didn’t hurt either. Also digging that bicycle-print shirt—Dad, do you still have that one?
Bottom: “Here’s what my dad had to say about his dad:
‘My father was born in 1909 and moved to the California oil fields when he was a year old. His days were filled with walks of many miles to school, maintaining a collection of animal traps, selling animal pelts and newspapers after school, and participating in BB gun wars with other oil-field children. He was always an amazing athlete: Thanks to a track and football scholarship, he was the first in his family to attend college—and I don’t think he lost a foot race in his life, until Jesse Owens beat him at the trials for the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
“‘Fishing and hunting were life-long passions, and he was always willing to help other sportsmen with suggestions—or with fish and game if they came up empty and needed food for their table (or for bragging). That’s me looking over his shoulder in the photo (circa 1950), and those fish were from a river where others were happy to score a 12- or 14-inch rainbow trout.’”
—Justin Abbott, Senior Editor, Men’s Shop Daily