A Caddy for Daddy
By this Sunday, Vineyard children will find out if their attempts to guess what it was that their fathers wanted for Father's Day were correct - or if they even came close. Hard to know, because fathers have a tendency to sometimes be evasive, a bit glib, and in general to claim there's nothing they need nor want. Most might say since they can't have the yacht, private jet or Bahamian retreat, all they really want is to have family around them.
Ah, but we owe them so much that we want to find a way to tangibly demonstrate our appreciation: ties, power tools, or the latest Ipod.
West Tisbury resident John Christensen, who has a 23-year-old daughter, was asked his Father's Day gift wish: "My daughter just asked me that question, and I told her a Beamer, but she said that was a useless answer. So, I guess realistically, if a Dad didn't have one, get him an Ipod. That'd be good."
Wayne Guyther, an Oak Bluffs father of two girls, had the same idea, different make. "A brand-new Porsche and some power tools and electronics would be nice," he said. "But there are all kinds of things I could say. Most Dads would just love to be catered to by their wives. Spending the day with my family is always nice."
One father, Neil Satran, offered a very Vineyard suggestion: Put in an order for a new fishing rod.
Long-time Vineyarder Richard Potter, with three grandkids and one great grandson, just laughed at the idea of admitting what he'd like to receive for Father's Day. If he could tell his children what to buy him as a great gift, he said it would be a "computer that lasts forever." Then on second thought, he added, "I think probably the best gift would be to get to spend the day with as many family members as possible."
Russell Rogers, an Oak Bluffs native, also thought of being with children first when he was asked about his choice of present. "What a tough question," he said. "I'd probably have it picked out if I knew that. The kids around me, I guess, would be a nice present. I'm 61 years old, so that rarely happens."
Mr. Rogers said he is worried about what to get his own 81-year-old Dad, since there really isn't anything he needs.
Jack Street has lived in Vineyard Haven for 17 years, but his three daughters and two sons are grown and live elsewhere. He answered with a simple sentiment: "My kids all live far away. The best Father's Day present would be them arriving on the ferry all together, since they haven't seen very much of the Vineyard. But with airfare the way it is, it's not likely to happen."
So, children, the answer is that most Dads just want you. Most don't need gifts, they just want to spend the whole day with their kids - a rare chance these days, some admit, as their children have moved away and life has become more complicated. Of course, nothing smoothes out the rough spots better than a Beamer.
Alix Cabral of Chilmark attends Colorado College. She plans to surprise her father with a Porsche.