By on June 17, 2012

It’s an extremely wet June morning and the three men in the above picture are about to go off on a tour of the various car shows that only the most hardy or negligent of owners will have on display. Standing around in the rain looking at cars: what a passel of eejits.

Still, to use one of the less-lovely cattle-based rural Northern Irish expressions that peppered my childhood, my brother and I didn’t lick it off the grass: it’s a family trait.

I can thank my father for this strange fascination with wheeled metal boxes that frequently go *sproing* and break down. I thank him also for teaching me to be self-sufficient, handy with a hammer, patient, kind, and mildly disorganized. As I gaze out along the long, challenging and rewarding path of my own impending fatherhood, it’s with a renewed appreciation of sacrifices made and lessons learned.

To all the fathers out there, whether just starting out, or ensconced in the wisdom of grandfatherhood; adoptive or biological; married, divorced, single-parent, or simply the father-figure to someone who needs one – we salute you.

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11 Comments on “Happy Father’s Day from TTAC...”

  • avatar

    Hope everyone else is enjoying their Father’s Day, be you father or son. As for me I took my father to a huge flea market and then to a buffet for lunch. He picked up a bunch of Superbird merchandise (that’s his automotive “thing”) and I managed to find a badge to add to my collection. Displays well with my old Prelude badge (hope no one minds me showing off.)

  • avatar

    My late father spent many hours working with me on our family’s cars, then on mine. The most memorable was an engine/transmission installation on a 1980 Bobcat in 103-degree heat, where we slaved all day until the job was done.

    Among many other life lessons, he taught me that just about any project on a car is possible with the right tools and a lot of patience. I still miss his companionship and advice, but enjoy the richness of being a dad with my own five kids.

    Thanks for the holiday cheer, Brendan.

  • avatar

    In 1973 I faced a dilemma: Do I come home when I get out of the air force or try to stay in California where my heart (and blood) had settled. Since I had nothing to keep me in Californai other than my wishes, I came home on leave in the spring to see what was next and realized at that time my parents, especially dad, needed me home as he was retiring that fall.

    Seeing him slowly going down health-wise, I did my best to spend as much time with him as possible. Just taking him along to run errands meant a lot to him.

    I was proud of my dad and he lived to see his son get married, our first house, but unfortunately, not his grandchildren. He died in 1978. Mom died in 1993.

    I miss dad every day…

  • avatar
    Brendon from Canada

    My 3 year old and I spent the latter part of the morning replacing the rotors & pads on my wife’s 06 Mini Cooper “S”. I believe he may have the bug (he spent most of the time with a screwdriver “fixing” his tricycle).

    His first official duty everytime I need to jack up one of our cars is to put the wheel chocks in place, a task he finds immensely funny as he thinks chalk is what he uses on the driveway to draw pictures with his older sister.

    My daughter is slightly less inclined to work on the cars, but she already understands the basics around the pedals, clutch & gearbox, and loves the feel of acceleration – especially with the windows/roof open and pair of sunglasses on!

    My father had a series of interesting vehicles throughout the 80s, and and since he couldn’t afford a car until I was almost 5 years old, I wonder in retrospect if he was compensating by making things interesting! He was never much into the mechanical tinkering, though he had a ’63 T-bird that we worked on a bit in the late 80s… He does seem to have a rather abundant amount of brochures that are constantly changing; he’s retired and has done reasonably well, so I get to sniff new Jags – interesting beasts, though not my cup of tea!

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Thanks Brendan,
    My three adult children are on their way to auto independence too!

  • avatar

    Wish every son felt that way about his father…maybe it comes with age (at least I hope so). As for my own father, he was gone too soon and I miss him terribly. He knew how much I loved cars, and I’ll never forget the day he called me when he was back in Germany. Seems he’d just seen a little white 1970 coupe that intrigued him…a little BMW 2800 CS! He and I talked about it for some time, and he decided to go back to look at it and call the owner who was selling. I couldn’t believe it! My dad…wanting an old BMW (my first love of cars…BMW), and asking ME about it. I sat nervously by the phone for the next two hours, wondering how the process was going. When he called, I could hear the disappointment in his voice when he told me the car had sold in between the time he first saw it and his return to the place on base where used cars were displayed for sale. Though slightly depressed that our family wouldn’t be the proud owner of a 2800 CS, I remember hanging up the phone feeling extremely content. Just a few years later, he was gone.
    Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads out there. And for those of you who are still fortunate enough to have your dads in your lives, never take that relationship for granted…it never lasts long enough.

  • avatar

    This is my first father’s day as an actual father. It was a very sunny and hot day. What did I do ? Rebuild a deck… with my father. :)

  • avatar

    My greatest joy in life is being a father, but I do miss my Dad who passed from cancer 5 years ago. This might sound corny but last night for the first time every I was dreaming looked right and a there was my Dad as a young man. He gave me a quick hug and then I woke up.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Gracias Brendan. Your father day will come when your newborn arrives, and it will change your life forever.

    When I saw the picture I remember the story you wrote about your dad, or it was his BMW?, en fin, that story also made me remind my dad, the fact that he was a migrant too, and how life ends being a cycle.

  • avatar

    My Dad never understood my car bug. In the spring of 1968, he had to buy a commuter car and decided on a base Mustang (one option – an AM radio). The salesman had to take us to a remote lot to check out the inventory, and offered to take us in a Cobra. My Dad, bless his heart, says “No, we’d rather go in a regular Mustang, just like we’re going to buy.” If looks could kill…

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