It’s a day for bad ties, smelly after-shave, and celebrating paternal figures in our lives: Father’s Day.
Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington in 1910. Sonora Dodd was inspired by the creation of Mother’s Day, and wanted a day to also honor fathers. After growing in popularity through the years, Congress passed an act officially making it a national holiday in 1972.
For leaders around the Upper Cumberland, Father’s Day brings quality time with loved ones, as well as gifts showing appreciation for their love.
Livingston Mayor Curtis Hayes said his favorite Father’s Day present he’s ever received, is one he received recently from his two sons.
“A poster-sized collage of pictures of me and them that dated back over a five or six year span,” Hayes said. “It was poster-sized and hung in my office all the way up to about two years ago. The only reason it’s replaced, is because my granddaughter gave me a ‘World’s Best Grandparent: Hands-Down,’ with her hands in the little painted mold that is hanging on that very mold.”
Jackson County Mayor Randy Heady said the greatest gift came from his heavenly father.
“When I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior,” Heady said. “Best Father’s Day gift I ever got. February 4th, 1997, a Tuesday evening, around 8:30 p.m. I’ll never forget that. It was a day my life changed forever and it was truly the greatest gift I ever got.”
For Cumberland County Mayor Allen Foster, family time is his favorite present.
“The thing that matters the most to me every year is when I get to spend quality time with the kids,” Foster said. “Just seeing how they’re living their adult lives, their successes, and hopefully watching some of the skill sets I’ve taught them being passed onto them and how it’s helping them in their lives.”
Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton said it’s the personal gifts that mean the most.
“I’m kind of hard to buy for, and I do love ties and things like that,” Shelton said. “Ties and fun socks, but often times it’s simply as something they made or effort that was taken to do something special. Kind of the personal things like that really mean a lot to me.”
But at the end of the day, Father’s Day isn’t about the gifts.
“To me, it’s the result of some of the best gifts that I’ve ever had in life, my two sons,” Hayes said. “Trying to be a positive role model for my kids and trying to teach them the game of life to the best of my ability as it’s been taught to me.”
“Father’s Day is huge to me,” Heady said. “It is an opportunity to reflect back on our dads and other people who have been father figures in our life, and then the most important thing is the father that we have in glory. We get to think of what a wonderful father He is. Father’s Day is really special and has a special place in my heart. I can’t wait til Sunday when we get to celebrate that. It also means my kids or at least one of my kids will take me out to eat!”
“As the son of a father who’s passed away, a lot of times on Father’s Day it’s a time to reflect on the life lessons that were learned from your father and how you’re living those lessons in your own life. The most valuable, common sense things like ‘Don’t quit a job until you have a job,’ how to handle finances, how to treat others. I guess that’s what I would reflect on.”
“You think about Father’s Day and I think about my father, and the great example he was to me,” Shelton said. “McCoy Shelton. How he lived, and he taught and the example he gave me and I’ve tried to instill that and do that for my children and give them that same example of living a godly life, your word is your bond, and things that I was taught that I’m trying to instill in them.”
To all the fathers, grandfathers, and father figures, Happy Father’s Day.