Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.
CP: When he was alive, my father didn’t get half the razzle-dazzle that moms get on their Hallmark-ordained holiday. Not sure why.
RN: The Mother’s Day-Father’s Day divide is wide, kemosabe. Most pops probably consider themselves fortunate if they receive a text from their offspring.
CP: Maybe it’s that most fathers don’t get bent out of shape by being ignored. Or am I wrong, as happens once in a week with four Thursdays?
RN: You sound like Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction.” You know, “I’m not gonna be ig-norrrrrr-ed.”
CP: To me, the real meaning of Father’s Day is not the sappy heartfelt sentiments. It’s the cologne, the wristwatch, the wrench set.
RN: Dad’s Day is probably the salvation of the nation’s necktie industry, although with my dad I moved into golf shirt territory long before he retired.
CP: Both of our dads were avid golfers, yet neither of us picked up on the sport. Hmm.
RN: Unlike my agile brother, I clearly did not inherit our father’s eye-hand coordination, which explains why I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding the humiliations associated with footballs, baseballs, golf balls, hockey pucks, you name it. I had a fifth-grade tetherball incident that scars me to this day.
CP: Tetherball is not supposed to be traumatic. But it so is. Were there some activities that you did share with your dad?
RN: Absolutely. Later in his life he was a big walker, and although we never played golf — he knew better than to subject himself to that torture — I have happy memories of morning strolls near his home in the California desert, where I’d get him to talk about his parents, his stint in the Navy, his cars. And I’d get him laughing. My dad had a wildly infectious laugh, it was a joy to behold. How about you and Claude Sr.?
CP: Well, I did play golf briefly. My father patiently outlined for me some of the finer points of grip and swing. We both liked canoeing, so I have a solid J-stroke, thanks to him. And he inadvertently helped me get started on a years-long cigarette habit. I get dizzy to this day, recalling the impact of those purloined Winstons on my adolescent lungs.
RN: File that under the gift that keeps on giving. When Donny was a smoker, he was a Tareyton man. I can still picture the red double stripe on the package. The best Father’s Day gift he ever gave his kids is when he quit.
CP: Ditto for my dad. He quit when he was about 60, and lived another 25 years, even if it was lung cancer that finally felled a guy who lived through polio and being blinded in one eye in a gun accident when he was a teenager.
RN: Here’s to our remarkable dads. Gone, but still with us.
Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib