Dad Was Never ‘The Old Man’

Fathers’ Day inevitably stirs memories, not only of my own experiences as a father but also those of my Dad. It was 25 years ago that we lost him but he’s still fondly remembered, and isn’t that the kind of immortality we can all hope for?

I remember calling him Daddy when I was little and then Dad as I grew older, which is probably dadnuswhat most kids do — or at least the sons. Daughters seem to stick with Daddy a little longer, and sometimes never change. Speaking of daughters, look closely at who’s peeking from behind Dad’s legs in the picture. (Click on it for a bigger view.)

Of course, there are a lot of other names for Dad. Your family might be more accustomed to using Papa or Pops or any one of a number of others, but the one name I could never get comfortable with was The Old Man. I know a lot of kids used the term affectionately, and one of my favorite writers, Jean Shepherd, got a lot of mileage with it in his nostalgic stories, but it just never felt right to me and I’ve never used it.

I’m not sure that British psych-pop group Fire really meant to participate in that particular discussion when they recorded what would be their most memorable song, but the title certainly fits and it’s a pretty good song too.

Fire – “Father’s Name Is Dad”


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