Even more could argue that the day set aside to pay tribute to dads’ everywhere parenting contributions is no less diminished.
Moreover, between daybreak and sunset Sunday, plenty will pay homage to the ol’ man – as the plethora of soon-to-be opened gift boxes of ugly neckties, unveiling of the latest ‘World’s Best Dad’ coffee mugs and preparation of countless home-cooked meals will attest.
For its coverage of the 2013 holiday, the Northside Neighbor dropped in on multiple families – with the intention of solely focusing on the dad-daughter bond.
Meet the Meaghers
Bill Meagher already has Sunday planned out.
The 55-year-old Chastain Park resident’s Father’s Day agenda: church, golf, dinner and maybe a movie with the family.
He and wife Betsy are proud parents to Mary Corder and younger sister Ann Patrick.
Mary Corder Meagher, 22, is a Teach for America Corps member based in Nashville. Ann Patrick, 19, is a rising sophomore at the University of Georgia.
The following are excerpts from a conversation with Bill and his brood:
On what the holiday means to him:
“Father’s Day to me is recognition of how fortunate I was to have a father like [mine] and how lucky I am to be the father of two amazing daughters.”
— Bill Meagher
On her favorite recollection of her father growing up:
“My favorite childhood memories of my dad are when we lived in Birmingham and would go to the father-daughter dances at Birmingham Country Club.
“He is quite the dancer and I was always so proud to get all dressed up and be the “princess” of the dance floor … shagging with my dad and being twirled around and around. I’ll never forget that feeling.”
— Mary Corder
On the best advice he’s been given about fatherhood:
“Be the parent, not their friend, and, listen closely to what they have to say, without reacting too quickly. That, and spend quality time with your children.”
— Bill Meagher
On the best advice Bill has given her:
“There are so many things I’ve learned from my dad, by example and through his advice, but there’s one thing that always comes to mind first when I reflect on what he has taught me: Always have a positive attitude.
“It seems [so small], but it has proven so valuable. I’ve watched my dad embody this my whole life, always admiring his bravery, perseverance, and optimism. He’s told me before, in times of trial or disappointment, ‘The only thing you can control is your attitude. Don’t let it get you down.’ He is truly an incredible man and I’m so beyond thankful for our relationship.
— Ann Patrick
Daddy’s littlest girl
Merrill Hatfield has been a widower for a little over a year now. Still, family traditions remain strong.
Sunday will find the 82-year-old Acworth resident spending quality time with family, including his three daughters: Karen, Sandy and Linda.
The following are excerpts from a conversation with Merrill and his youngest – Linda Mohan, a gallery manager at Huffington Fine Art in Buckhead:
On his Father’s Day plans:
“I usually spend the day with my children and grandchildren whether here in Atlanta or at Lake Keowee.
“We always cook out and just enjoy being together. I most enjoy watching one of my seven grandsons play basketball on a backyard court, and critiquing their game. I played basketball for Ohio State back in the late ‘40s and enjoy giving any tips they feel they need.”
— Merrill Hatfield
On her dad:
“He is the best dad ever. Here is this big jock who ends up with three daughters and adored every one of us, sharing in our passions and making us feel like we hung the moon.
“He was always there for us and makes us laugh to this day.”
On the best advice about fatherhood:
“My wonderful mother, Lexie, once said, ‘Marriage is a two-way street … changing diapers and late night bottle feedings should be shared by both parents.’
“Of course she didn’t know I’d need to wear a bandana over my nose to tolerate the smell.” (laughs)
On her favorite childhood memory:
“My favorite recollection of my dad is our Saturday fishing expeditions. We lived on Lake Erie and I cherished our outings, where I could sit all day with him on the pier and try to catch dinner. Of course he had to bait the hook for me, but he never minded.”