Here Are 30 Pics From My Instagram Honoring “Old School Dads” In All Their Glory
About once every 3 to 5 years I like to grab a couple bombers of my favorite IPA, knock the dust off the old family album, and settle in for a nice long stroll down memory lane.
While the general outline of the journey always remains the same ("yep, I sure did think Ricky Martin turtlenecks were the pinnacle of high fashion" or "hmm, bleach blonde frosted hair tips haven't made it back around? That's shocking"), there's no telling what features of my family's photo chronicled past I'll appreciate the most.
This time through I found myself reveling with the most awe at pictures of my dad who, apparently, was a one-man '80s monument constructed to honor the perm, short shorts, and some odd form of iconic dad-coolness that I'm 100% certain I'll never achieve.
I was so moved by his photos, in fact, and by the certainty that there is a whole generation of dad photos of equal quality sitting unappreciated in family albums across the world, that I created the @oldschooldads Instagram account as a place where the most classic of these photos could be readily and permanently appreciated, as they (and the world) deserve.
So far the reception has been warm (10.7k followers in approximately 3 months), and there has been no shortage of amazing dad submissions, with each new dad seemingly raising the bar to insurmountable heights.
The series that follows presents some of the great old school dad submissions so far.
The photos of my dad were taken in 1988, when he was 27 years old. Unfortunately, he died in a plane crash in April of 2020, just shy of his 59th birthday. He was just as happy, healthy, handsome, and vigorous at 59 as he was at 27. We miss him, but we remember him happily.
My dad was a hell of a man. He loved well, he listened intently, and he gave generously. He did it freely, without expectation of anything in return. He was loved, admired, and respected by men, women, and children alike.
There are too many great memories from my childhood with my dad to pick just one: rides through the countryside on the back of his Harley; rides through hillsides on the back of his horse; his voice as he sang me Stewball by Mason Profit; the list goes on forever. Now that he is gone, though, my favorite memory is of him telling me often that he loved me, I hear those words whenever I need them now, and I can't thank him enough for it.
I myself have a son too. He's named Lou, and he'll be 3 years old on Sunday. He is incredible.
I think we may be losing something sacred because we don't print the physical pictures anymore. The reason I started this project was because I physically dusted off our old pile of photos and found the masterpieces. In a world where we take thousands of pictures a year but print only a few of them, I worry the future may lose these modern dad gems. That being said, I have every reason to believe modern dads are as rad as dads from the '80s and '90s, so their memories will age well.