Father’s Day in Bristol, Tennessee

John M Dabbs
3 min readJun 22, 2021
Father and Son (Hannah Nelson-Pexels.com)

The forgotten parent? Not hardly. Men are men and women are women. We are entirely unique in our own right. We can see the differences in how we celebrate Father’s Day in Tri-Cities.

Fathers in the Tri-Cities

A quick search divulged hardly any mention of any celebratory events or mention of festivities related to Father’s Day. The effort is the same every year. Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City alike were not head-over-heels to make fathers the center of attention.

The Bristol Motor Speedway & Dragway advertised a Father’s Day event by getting your dad to the drags for some raw power. The embodiment of many such men revels in the thunder of horsepower. We saw Home Improvement, the sit-com featuring Tim Allen, provide many near-truths which poked fun at our antics. We deserve it.

Celebrating togetherness

If most fathers are like me, they just enjoy being together with family. Their sons, daughters, and wives with them are enough. Spending time with our own parents while they are with us is also treasured, as the meaning grows stronger with age. We also learn to heed their wisdom more often than we did growing up into adults. Time and technology may change, but people remain the same.

My father doesn’t get around as well these days. Recent medical challenges have him home, or at a doctor’s office more than not. I rose early (semi-early; I slept in a little) and made breakfast for my mother, father, sister, and sons. My sons joined me there, and my sister lives next door.

It was a simple breakfast of homemade waffles, with coffee and juice. I made the effort to seek him out and spend some time with him. My sons shared the time with me and their grandfather. My mother and sister rounded out the ensemble and we ended up telling tales about the misadventures we had growing up — and things our father had done and survived out of pure luck.

I started to buy my dad a father's day card, but I knew it would only be a small token that’d be read and set aside before throwing away. He is at the point where he needs no more do-dads sitting around or even gift cards for anywhere. Instead of buying him anything that’d be a shallow token of my affection and gratitude, I…

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John M Dabbs

Journalist, consultant, and author with a love for travel and exploration. See more at my neglected website JohnMDabbs. Author 979-8834744412