The past few weeks, in honor of Father’s Day, we’ve been paying homage to the inspiring, handsome, and oftentimes hilarious patriarchs in our lives—by collecting vintage dad and grandpa photos from our colleagues here at Nordstrom HQ. So far, we’ve seen dads doing everything from getting hitched and riding camels to rocking ‘staches and taking home trophies. Today we’re keeping the streak alive with yet more bespectacled, long-haired, paisley-clad dads. Check back Sunday morning, Father’s Day, for our final installment.
As far as the all-important Dad’s Day gift—first things first: Let the man sleep in. Once he does roll out, place a steaming cup of joe in one of his paws, and the TV remote in the other. (A hug and/or a little shiatsu action wouldn’t hurt either.) Yes, you should buy him something nice, too; it’s a bit late for shipping, but for selected items, you can Buy Online, Pick Up In Store. Or just swing by a Nordstrom near you for tons of ties, wallets, watches, and other great options—find ideas here: GIFTS FOR DAD.
In the meantime, join us as we once again ponder: Why are dads so cool?
— — —
[Above]: They Put Mad Men to Shame. “This is my father-in-law. He’s been a huge inspiration because of his successful career, including being behind the scenes to ‘build’ the Nordstrom brand as architect for the first Nordstrom Racks, and the boutique store in Manhattan. Best thing about this image is that he still has the glasses, and my husband is eyeing them to be re-glassed for himself!”
—Sarah Huntley, Senior Digital Image Editor
They Were Good Guys…With a Wild Streak. “These photos were taken while my parents were dating in 1965, after meeting each other working at a factory that made bicycle seats in Tennessee. Both were from extremely small towns and my dad would borrow my grandfather’s car to drive the hour to see my mom on her parent’s farm (the dog was her little sister’s). Being one of five boys, he was surprisingly very low-key and polite—but he did like to race, and my grandfather’s car took the brunt of it.”
—Clayton Joyner, Digital Image Tech
They Taught us Stuff. “Near Atlantic City (long before the casinos). We rented a house on the beach for a few summers when I was little. He taught me how to swim there. (His math books are back at the blanket.)”
—Claudia Anastasio, Digital Marketing Copywriter
They Were Born Romantics. “My parents met in the 7th grade at the American Overseas School of Rome, Italy. This is my dad in Rome in the early ’70s. I would imagine Todd Rundgren was playing in the background when this photograph was taken. (They got married to this song.)”
—Sean Dutton, Motion Graphics Designer
They Dreamed Big. “Aside from a voracious appetite, I also inherited from my dad a disciplined sartorial dogma and unquenchable thirst to commit memory to film. That being said, he also really, really, really enjoyed being in front of the camera—a tendency to which I can’t relate. Notoriously illegible penmanship or not, he meticulously documented a lot of his old photographs (the red and black scrawl seems to indicate a childhood address/neighborhood, name and date—’67). Dad always embraced and exemplified a ’70s sense of immigrant Americana (having moved from Korea to Denver around that time)—muscle cars, road trips, bell bottoms, tireless work ethic, so on and so forth. And though he passed when I was teenager, the things that made him awesome (like his aesthetic splendor) still live on.”
—Mona Lee, Product Copywriter
They Dressed to the Nines. “This is my grandfather. It was taken in Belgium, late 1800s. He was born September 7, 1876, and died here in the US in 1941. We know this was taken before arriving in the US in 1910. How amazing were the clothes back then?”
—Ann Morrow, Photographer
They Did It All. “This is in ’76, one of my parents’ first Christmases in their new house in Medina, after they moved from Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he was stationed as a doctor in the army, taking care of soldiers training for Vietnam. My dad pretty much did it all—athlete, honor student, track star, doctor—even a great sense of style.”
—Deidre Crawford, Features Writer
They Knew How to Tie the Knot (…Seriously, Check Out at That Knot). “This is my grandfather’s wedding picture. I know it’s post WWII, but I’m not positive on the year. He was so dapper and has the best stories (like giving people 15-minute airplane rides around the airport for $1, just because he liked to fly!). Funny enough, his retro clothes are back in style…He’s in a Penguin polo and slim trousers almost every time I see him.”
—Lindsey Bollinger, Men’s Accessories Assistant Buyer
They Were in The Velvet Underground. “When John Cale left The Velvet Underground in 1968, my dad (third from the left with the saucy hip jut) was asked to join, partly because he could play bass well and partly because he was a Pisces—so ’60s, right? They immediately went on tour—think dive bars, they were NOT famous at the time—and ended up in LA to record their third record (he sings one of my favorite songs on that record: ‘Candy Says’). I love this photo because when people think of The Velvets, it’s often the Nico/Warhol-era lineup (with Cale), where the band is always wearing dark sunglasses and head-to-toe black. This photo is the polar opposite. Velvet bell-bottoms? Crazy wallpaper-print shirts? And the setting is so nature-y. Everything is in contrast to the NYC cool that most people associate them with.”
—Jenny Yule, Features Writer
They Knew the Basics: Fedoras and Football.
Left: “This is Grandpa Dean, circa 1950/1951. He worked at a hotel in New Orleans, but moved to Philadelphia with my Grandma in ’51, just before she gave birth to twins (my dad and aunt)!”
Right: “My Grandpa Todd (my mom’s dad), all dressed up in his high-school football uniform. He played for his school in Greenwich, CT, and graduated in ’34, so we’re guessing this picture is probably from ’32 or ’33.”
—Alli Dean, Studio Technician
They Wore the Pants. “My dad’s always taken pride in presenting himself well; even for family events like this (pre-Kristyn) Fourth of July picnic, he wants to look put together (though I’m very confused about the long pants choice on an Ohio summer day). I’m personally digging his aviators, and enjoying my older brother’s ‘Wait, you didn’t just see that, did you?’ look.”
—Kristyn Asseff, Proofreader
They Were Ahead of the Printed-Shirt Trend. “This is my dad growing up in rural Minnesota, in a little town in the SW called Jackson. He looks about 9 or 10, so it’s probably around 1950. The shirt is awesome. What can I say? Lucky [i.e., the horseshoes].”
—Christina Libertini, Senior Video Art Director
— — —
Father’s Day is this Sunday!
Get ideas of what you can find in-store here:
FATHER’S DAY GIFTS
And check back Sunday morning for
our final installment of Vintage Dad Pics.