Freedom New Mexico: Tony Bullocks The Benavidez family strikes a pose Friday inside Children’s Haven Daycare, which the family operates in Portales. From left to right Cambree, 2, Dana, Patrick, and Caylee, 4.
Joe Rede, a Tucumcari retiree, father, grandfather and great-grandfather of “a whole bunch” of children, has seen plenty of Father’s Days. When it comes to bad Father’s Day gifts, Rede could sum up his thoughts in two words.
“Ratty ties,” he said. “Neckties. Terrible ties. I’ve seen some with polka dots of different colors that don’t match anything, any suit the man has. That’s the worst.”
But Rede, who has two grown sons, maintains that he has never received a bad Father’s Day gift.
“My son gave me a whole bunch of ties, good ties,” Rede said. “I have another son. He has never given me a tie. He’s given me a $50 dollar bill every now and then. My youngest son sends me some good ties.”
Rede said his all-time favorite Father’s Day present came on June 20, 1971.
“It was the very first Father’s Day that I had, the day my son was born. He was born on Father’s Day. It just so happened that June 20 was Father’s Day that year,” Rede said.
Blake Curtis, a former state representative who works at the Curtis & Curtis seed company in Clovis, was not as quick to name a “bad” Father’s Day present as Rede. But the father of two and grandfather of four with another grandchild on the way eventually came up with some gifts that may be considered “commonplace” by fatherly standards.
“Let’s see … well, let me think … there has been cologne and a few shirts along the way. A few golf accessories. The honest truth of it is that the very ever-loving best present that I’ve ever received … is for my kids to be around,” Curtis said.
He said the key to finding the right gift for Dad is to think of something he actually needs or could use regularly, but he said he considered the gesture to be more important than the gift itself.
“Price is not important. It’s something that really comes from the heart. Even if it’s something as simple as a card that says ‘you’re special’ or if it’s something you think your dad might really use … dads are pretty practical. If it really comes from the heart, that’s the important thing,” Curtis said.
Dana Benavidez, who runs Children’s Haven Preschool in Portales with her husband Patrick, named one item she considered an ill-advised Father’s Day gift.
“I wouldn’t recommend a nose-hair trimmer,” she said.
Patrick, on the other hand, said he would be happy to receive a nose-hair trimmer.
“I don’t think there is a bad Father’s Day gift. Fathers should be honored to have kids,” he said.
Dana and Patrick have two girls, 4-year-old Caylee and 2-year-old Cambree. Patrick said his favorite Father’s Day gift so far came from Caylee last year. She made him a card.
“She picked out stuff that she liked and stuff she thought I would like,” Patrick said. “It had a lot of ballet dancers in there. It was pretty cool.”
He said his daughters help pick out gifts for each other and for their parents on special occasions. They even had a say in naming the Benavidez’ soon-to-be-born twins, Ashlynn and Brooklynn.
According to Curtis, Father’s Days only get better over time, ties and cologne notwithstanding.
“I think the culmination of Father’s Days, looking back through the years, they just get more and more special as you transition from father to grandfather and you get to share with multiple generations,” he said. “It’s a really special day because, you know, grandfathers and fathers get to share it alike.”