Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite, back by popular demand. It was originally posted on June 15, 2013. Enjoy!
It’s Father’s Day in the U.S. Whether you’re honoring your dad in a waste-free way, cooking him something fresh and healthy to eat or just sitting down together to reminisce, here are some very cool dads!
Most of all, wishing you and your dads (and my own — Happy Father’s Day, Dad!) a wonderful day together.
1. Abraham Lincoln
The 16th president of the U.S. had four sons and has been described as a doting father, allowing his children free run of the White House and even stopping cabinet meetings for them (qualities suggested in Steven Spielberg’s movie which shows Lincoln piggybacking his son, Willie, off to bed). Sadly, only one of his children, Robert Todd Lincoln, lived to adulthood.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
2. William Jackson Smart
An American Civil War veteran, Smart raised his six children on his own in Spokane, Washington, after the death of his wife in childbirth — yes, even in the “olden days,” dads stepped up to the plate to take care of their kids. Smart’s oldest and only daughter, Sonora Smart Dodd, created Father’s Day in honor of him, after hearing about the newly invented Mother’s Day.
Photo via Phil Downey/Flickr
3. Dick Hoyt
1,091. That is the number of races that 72-year-old Dick Hoyt and his 51-year-old son, Rick, have completed together. Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy in 1962. After the father and son team completed their first 5-mile race in 1977, Rick told his father “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.” So began their participation in marathons, duathlons and triathlons (including the Ironman) together. Talk about a team!
Photo via Drew Bennett/Flickr
4. Rick Cass
On July 3 of 2009, 19-year-old Jamie Neale decided to go for a 10-mile hike in New South Wales’s Blue mountains wearing only light clothing and without his cell phone. He was not seen for twelve more days, during which he ate seeds and leaves and slept under logs for warmth. A huge rescue operation ensued until Neale chanced upon two walkers. While Cass joked that Neale had done something not so very smart, his honest joy shows that he knew what was most important. As he said to reporters: “I was like a lunatic. My boy’s been found! My boy’s been found!”
Photo of Blue Mountains via Emma Goodard/Flickr
5. Lunchbox Dad(s)
Determined to make his daughter’s school lunches not only healthy but fun, a northern California father crafts lunches that totally put Lunchables to shame. Check out his broccoli turtles (and contemplate whether Lunchbox Dad ought to be recruited to jazz up the vegetables and fruit that many kids discard from their school lunches). Graphic designer David LaFerriere also has to be noted: since 2008, he has been drawing “sandwich art” every day for his kids.
Photo via sheri chen/Flickr
6. Nils Pickert
Pickert and his young son live in a “very traditional” village in Germany. His son prefers to wear skirts and dresses and had undergone more than his share of being ridiculed. Pickert decided that, rather than discouraging his son, he would join him and wear skirts too. After seeing his dad in a skirt, the little boy pulled one out and put it on; he’s since been wearing skirts to school and when other kids (usually boys) make fun of him, he says, “You only don’t dare to wear skirts and dresses because your dads don’t dare to either.”
Photo via Eric Peacock
7. Dicken Schrader
Columbian video artist Schrader enlists his two children, Milah and Korben, in a rendition of Depeche Mode’s “Everything Counts.” It is tres cool to see the trio perform but the best thing is, they look like they’re having fun making music together.
8. Steve Sobchyshyn
Another highly creative dad uses his crafting powers to create awesomeness for his child. Video editor Steve Sobchyshyn devoted an estimated 150 hours and a few hundred dollars to make an armor-clad Emile costume from the game Halo: Reach for his 12-year-old son, Brandon.
Photo via Dennis Kalantarov/Flickr
9. Mike Mika
When his daughter bemoaned the fact that the classic Donkey Kong game lacked any female characters, Mika did what a dad has to do and hacked the game to add one. You can see Mika’s version of Donkey Kong: Pauline version in action here:
I can’t end this list without a shout out for my husband, Jim aka “Charlie’s dad.” Over a decade ago, Jim took the training wheels off of Charlie’s little bike, beginning a sometimes harrying but often thrilling bike-riding adventure. Charlie is severely autistic and has lots of challenges, but he rides a bike in New Jersey traffic (with some unforgiving drivers) just fine. Together, they’ve biked several thousand miles since then. As Jim has often told me, the one thing he wants to be remembered for is the dad who “never said no to a bike ride.”
Photo via Thinkstock