Father’s Day is a time to celebrate those who embraced their roles in the essential development of their children, offering love, care and acceptance, along with a bond that often is unparalleled.
A father’s role is looked upon as the sturdy foundation that preserves a family.
Sometimes days pass without spoken words of appreciation for fathers, past and present, but that is not to say that children don’t frequently remind themselves of Dad’s notable parenting.
Dave Kendall of Day’s Fine Jewelry, a south Tempe institution for more than two decades, shared the story of his influential father and the touching memories reciprocated between the two.
Kendall’s father, Bill, now nearing 90, was in the jewelry business in Louisville and Lexington, Ky., throughout Dave’s childhood. Bill took Dave under his wing and began working him in the shop when Dave was just 10.
“I started working with him, and he taught me a lot about the jewelry business,” said Dave. “One of the things he taught me was the importance of treating everybody the same, whether they’re a $10 customer or a $10,000 customer,” Dave said.
Like most relationships, there will always be differences in decisions and perspectives.
Dave recounts a memory from his childhood when he was involved in Little League, and the team hosted a father-son baseball game.
“My dad shows up to play in a dress shirt and dress pants while all the other dads were wearing jeans and a t-shirt. It was kind of embarrassing,” Kendall said. “It wasn’t until my dad’s 76th birthday that I ever saw him in a pair of blue jeans.”
Wardrobe idiosyncrasies don’t appear to be Dad Kendall’s only quirks, particularly his uncanny ability to reduce funds on shopping to the lowest limit.
“When we were in Kentucky he would love to take us out to dinner but it would only be to a buffet, and he’d always say, ‘don’t eat the vegetables, just eat the meat, because you have to get the most for your money,’” Dave said.
“That’s just the way he was.”
Dad remains loyal to coupons and prides himself on wearing only clothes worth only a few dollars. He’s a modest man dedicated to his relationship with his children and volunteering at the hospital in Cape Coral, Fla.
According to Dave, his dad averaged a yearly income of $18,000 for the majority of his adult life until one day an early investment became a profitable fortune virtually overnight.
“He chose to invest in Microsoft and is now worth roughly $1.2 million, yet he won’t go shopping unless he has a coupon,” Kendall joked.
Despite Bill’s admiration of saving a buck or two, he enjoys occupying the 89-year of his life with volunteer work at the hospital and working out at the gym three days a week to remain healthy. He was recently recognized at the Cape Coral hospital for his 8,000 hours volunteering for the organization he’s been involved with for 17 years.
“I can’t believe he has volunteered and worked 8,000 hours with no pay. It was pretty cool to hear,” a proud Kendall said.
A strong relationship between parent and child is an ongoing situation, forever holding each other up in times of need. Love and communication is a key element in that equation. Dave and his father talk often despite the distance, and Dave is able to visit at least once a year.
Dave remembers when his dad first came to visit for 10 days, right after the store opened. “It was so cool having him here at the store working with me because it was my turn to teach him things,” Dave said.
Dave’s appreciative attitude towards his unique and loving father allows everyone to reflect upon the sacred connection with their own and all the flooding memories welcomed with it.
A father can only hope he raises his child to reflect positively upon himself through happiness and overall success. A father can only hope his child will one day feel grateful for the positive and lasting difference he helped instill in their lives.
“He taught me a lot, and I’m very fortunate for that,” Dave concluded.