For 54 years, Carl Smith has gathered fellow dads together for a Father’s Day tea the day before the holiday at Marilla Park.
“I was a young kid when I started, in my 20s,” he said. “Now, I’m 78.”
Smith said he is one of three or four original organizers, who started the tradition because they took note of the fact that there are often Mother’s Day teas and events, but not so many gatherings for fathers.
While Smith said 70 to 80 people have shown up in the past, he understands COVID-19 will inevitably impact this year’s turnout.
No matter. The spirit of the tea remains. It’s a way to celebrate fatherhood and unite dads.
“Some guys have been coming for 40 or 50 years,” Smith said. “We just get together and cook and eat and talk about old times. Sometimes, you don’t see somebody for three or four months, so it’s nice. It’s a good gathering. We enjoy each other’s company.”