Poets’ Corner: Rosemerry for Father’s Day – and His Birthday!

Poets’ Corner: Rosemerry for Father’s Day – and His Birthday!

Perusing the Internet for what more to say about Father’s Day, we came upon some interesting, though relatively obscure facts.

During the 1920s and 1930s, a movement arose to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether in favor of a single holiday: Parents’ Day. Every year on Mother’s Day, pro-Parents’ Day groups rallied in New York City’s Central Park – a public reminder, said Parents’ Day activist and radio performer Robert Spere, “that both parents should be loved and respected together.” 

Paradoxically, however, the Depression derailed that effort to combine and de-commercialize the holidays. Struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men, promoting goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards.

When World War II began, advertisers began to argue that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort. By the end of the war, Father’s Day may not have been a federal holiday, but it was a national institution.

In 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last.

The third Sunday of June is now all about celebrating the many ways fathers and father figures make a positive difference in the lives of their children – although some fathers are saints; some Santini.  Some can be both on different days.

Or, as in Word Woman Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer‘s singular case, he is simply the man with a plan.

Honor thy father?

Rosemerry’s gift-wrapped words certainly do.

Rosemerry & Dad

A Partial List
for my father on his birthday

I learned from my father to be silly,
to speak in strange accents, to make up
odd lyrics, and to hum when I don’t
know the words.

He taught me how quickly a car can turn
for a rummage sale sign,
and how easy it is to find treasure.

He taught me always to have a plan—
a one-, a five- and a ten-year plan.
You can always change the plan,
he says, but you need at all times
a one-, a five- and a ten-year plan.

I learned that even the strongest people
cry and that ice cream can save a day.

He taught me to use a chainsaw, shoot a gun,
drive an ATV, and wear dresses.

My father’s eyes sparkle, something
no one can teach, but I learned
it was possible for someone to shine
from inside.

His poem about his father
would be a very different poem.
There are people who give to the world
what they were not given themselves.

My father taught me I could be anything,
then accepted me for who I was.

I learned I could fail and still be loved.
In every room I enter, I bring my father—
don’t be surprised when I can’t stop
giggling, when I ask you
about your plans.

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