Ok so this is one day late, but still relevant. I just wanted to share something for all the AFi dads out there…
Some fathers fish, or hunt with their sons. Others camp, or work on cars, or more sadly, don’t do much of anything together at all. But my own father, he and I always had three things we shared – playing sports, basketball and baseball in particular; a love for the Chicago Cubs, and my collecting of toys.
Now, we have done and shared many other activities together, but the toy collecting really is unique. He never treated my love of this genre as an oddity, or something to be ashamed of, even though it might have been considered immature, odd, or not overly masculine. Throughout my life, he was always there after work to drive me around on toy runs, and share a lazy Saturday afternoon in the enjoyment of the simple pleasure of collecting these childhood mementos. He and I would hunt down the latest G.I.Joe figures at Lionel Playworld, or go search for the latest Masters of the Universe figures at the Toys By Roy shop at the local mall. And on occasion when I would go with him on cross-country business trips, he would stop at every single store near the interstate that carried toys to look for Super Powers and M.A.S.K. And when I wasn’t with him, he would call and ask if I had the specific figure he saw during a solo toy run. And when he returned from every East Coast trip, he would bring back some amazing toy that hadn’t even been released in Arizona yet, much to the amazement of my friends. The times we shared on our various toy adventures are the best memories of my life.
To this day, my Dad still supports my hobby, and through it all, he has never judged me for collecting or liking these kinds of things. He has never asked me to explain why, or make me doubt who I am. And I’ve passed on that acceptance to my own son, who thoroughly enjoys playing with all of these amazing vintage toys from my childhood . We now share in the same joy of toy hunting that my Dad shared with me, and when my parents visit, the three of us always go on a toy run or two. And we reminisce about the various adventures we shared when I was younger.
So to my Father, who has supported this crazy hobby of mine for over a quarter of a century, no matter how silly it was to my family or anyone else – Happy Fathers Day.