Finding a Father’s Day gift is difficult, especially when you have a dad like mine who keeps every tool and gadget — outside of that marble-headed Coors putter he broke that was a real life Billy Baroo and the only club of his I coveted — in pristine condition. If there’s an oil or a treatment for it, he’ll find it and follow the application directions to the letter.
My go-to gift of late has been comic books, because his mom sold all of his first editions at the world’s most unassuming garage sale decades ago, and his hobby outside of golf is walking his dog Bear on the cart path of the course he lives on in search of lost golf balls. (I’m not going to buy you new Pro V1s when I know you have a couple dozen egg cartons worth sitting in the garage, dad.)
Usually, I call him to set up a tee time, buy a bottle of brown liquor, and play 18 with him for Father’s Day. I find that spending time with him is easier than scouring Amazon for a gift, and he prefers out-dueling me on the links to another trinket for his golf bag. I can’t do that this year because I no longer live 40 minutes away from my parents’ place in Colorado.
So we’ll see how the comic book goes. I think he likes them because he’s a Marvel/sci-fi geek at heart, but also his grandson Henry enjoys when Papa flips the colorful pages for him so he can point to anyone who looks remotely menacing and say “Yuck-O.”
While riding shotgun in the golf cart and tracking his drives is my present to my father around the third Sunday of every June, my dad’s gesture to his father was taking him to a game at the College World Series.
As an Omaha native it shames me that I haven’t been to a CWS since it relocated to its fancy new downtown stadium from the old Rosenblatt by the Henry Doorly Zoo. Work obligations kept me from attending the past decade, but there were serious discussions about making a return this year, had Tennessee played up to their ranking. (It’s kind of difficult to talk my girlfriend into watching baseball in swampy midwest heat with nowhere to hide from the sun when it’s not her team on the field. I may not have been to the event in 10 years, but I know the Nebraska humidity likes to make its debut in conjunction with the CWS.)
My dad, Steve, has been to several iterations since the change. He has enough friends and family in town to obtain tickets within a few phone calls, and can usually arrange lodging during the same conversation. As I mentioned, his partner of choice to take to at least one game is his father, Stan Beckwith. However, health problems and COVID restrictions at the nursing home made it impossible to bring Stan the past few years, and sadly it’s definitely not feasible to bring him from his current resting place.
This is the first Father’s Day in 69 years that my dad will be without his father, and the thought of those two going to a CWS game — hat on and sunscreen thoroughly rubbed in, trying to one-up each other on who’s more ready to go, and then seeing who is the first to crack under the scorching heat and call it a day — will forever be one of the first things that goes through my mind when this event pops up on ESPN in mid June. And I know that’s probably the case for my dad, as well.
So, the next time you’re struggling to find a Father’s Day gift for your pops, my suggestion if you can’t see him in person is reading material. But, if you are capable of hitting the links, fishing, barbecuing, or going to a ballgame with him, I think he’d appreciate that a lot more than the best suggestion on Amazon.
Happy Father’s Day to my dad and to all the fathers out there. May you not lift a finger unless it’s gripping an ice cold beverage.