Staff Picks: Our Editors Name the Item They Picked Up From Their Dads
PlayStations, polos, pocketknives and more
Welcome to InsideHook’s Staff Picks, a compendium of what our editors are digging recently. This week, in honor of Father’s Day, we’re all sharing an item we picked up from our dads.
In the late ’90s, my dad bought himself the original PlayStation. He’s way more of an outdoor guy, so I never truly understood why that purchase happened, but thank goodness that it did. I spent hours playing Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Need for Speed, and NFL Gameday 96 with my siblings, and from there on out we were firmly a “PlayStation family.” Ironically, I can’t say I ever played too much with my dad specifically — we spent more time together playing tennis on Sunday mornings — and, I’m not much of a gamer today. I found out what Red Dead Redemption was just two weeks ago. But I cherish every hour I wasted in the basement playing PS2 and PS3 in my formative years (Tanner Garrity hit 106 home runs in a season in MLB 2K9 for the New York Yankees), and credit my dad for the habit. So here’s a blast of nostalgia: the original PlayStation 1, in mint condition, for just $37. You could get the re-released PlayStation Classic, which came out last year, but that console was rightly panned for neglecting a ton of beloved ’90s games. Go with the real thing. –Tanner Garrity, Associate Editor
Before heading off to college, my dad told me two things: 1) Drink lots of orange juice and 2) always have a can of WD-40. In the 20+ years since my University of Michigan days, I’ve owned two small bottles of the do-everything lubricant. It makes door squeaks go away, it helps me remove labels and other adhesives, it loosens up bolts and screws and sometimes it even remove stains. Between this, duct tape and a Leatherman, my home needs are 90% covered. As for the orange juice? I do love an occasional screwdriver (speaking of loosening up…) — Kirk Miller, Nation Editor/Managing Editor
In addition to his predilection for loafers, which I’ve most definitely picked up, another style flex of the old man’s that I adhere to is the corduroy short. Admittedly, the concept of a pair of shorts made from one of the more notoriously cold-weather fabrics out there is somewhat ridiculous on its face — but the throwback vibes are undeniable, and if you, like me, are nostalgic for an era where easygoin’ dudes got some sun on their thighs with a cheap beer in hand, well … grab a pair of these babies from Birdwell and a Miller Lite and you’re set. — Danny Agnew, Creative Director
My dad was never a flashy dresser and has never really wanted for things. But if there’s one thing I’ve picked up from him — beyond his love of good books and his disdain for bad ones — it’s the importance of having a good folding knife close at hand. Start carrying one and you’ll probably find yourself using it constantly for various and sundry tasks, wondering how you ever got by without one. I use a Mercator Black Cat, but he says this Case XX is his favorite, because it’s discreet and good to travel with (pro tip: be sure to check it). It’s like Roosevelt said: Speak softly and carry a small knife. — Walker Loetscher, Editor-In-Chief
I once heard somebody describe my grandpa as a “Semitic John Wayne,” which is pretty cool. I am definitely not that. I’m not as tall as he was, don’t have his business acumen and I didn’t serve valiantly in any wars. I did, however, develop a fondness for colorful polos. I see guys in standard blues and blacks and think, man, you could do better. Rock some Ibiza blue, yellow or pink. — Jason Diamond, Features Editor
Back when I only had money from shoveling snow during the winter, my dad’s old leather wallet was in my back pocket. It wasn’t fancy, but it was well-worn and I used it for as long as humanly possible. When it was finally time to get a new one, I tried to find one that was as similar to the original as possible. This simple number made of100 percent full-grain vegetable tanned leather from WP Standard isn’t an exact match, but it’s pretty close. — Evan Bleier, Staff Writer
My dad was more than just the Mr. Fix It in our home — he was a carpenter who helped build other people’s houses and fixed things for friends and family up until the day he died almost 11 years ago. He took me with him when he’d pop over to my grandma’s to install a new sink and to our neighbor’s to build a wheelchair accessible ramp. He explained everything he was doing as he built my treehouse and enlisted me to hand him tools when he crafted, as if from nothing, the shed and garage that still stand on our property upstate. For minor fixes, my dad always had this heavy, bright red Swiss Army knife handy in the pocket of his work pants. It sits in the top drawer of my end table now, ready to go for whatever I need, but the ease I feel in using it or any other tool is all dad. — Ariel Scotti, Senior Editor
Mornings when my dad had off and the weather was nice he’d sit outside on our back patio and quietly have a cup of coffee. As a kid the idea of sitting outside drinking a hot cup of coffee, usually on a hot day, seemed weird and quite boring. But then I became interested in how the coffee maker worked and my dad explained why coffee filters are important. Then when the Keurig made its debut, my dad bought one and you’d have thought it was a flying car with how amazed we were with the technology. But the Keurig was fun to use, and it was easy to make cups of coffee for my dad. Then when I developed my own crippling caffeine addiction (thanks dad!) getting or making and drinking coffee was our thing. And on mornings when I get the chance to drink a cup alone on my fire escape, even on hot days, now I understand it. — Logan Mahan, Editorial Intern
I learned, just a minute ago, that the reason certain smells elicit such vivid memories is that the part of our brain that processes them, the olfactory bulb, is closely connected to the amygdala and the hippocampus, regions that help us experience memory and emotion. That said, I don’t think I have any particularly strong smell-related memories except for this one: my father, who died just a few months ago, wore the original green-bottle Polo cologne every single day. He smelled of it. His suits smelled of it. And as he’d come downstairs on weekend mornings, freshly dressed and on his way out the door to get us bagels or breakfast sandwiches or baseball cards or whatever else we’d asked for, it seemed like our whole living room would smell of it for just a few fleeting moments. Later in life, he experimented with other fragrances, but none of them ever stuck the way Polo did. I wear it now — not every day, but whenever I need to feel like I’m not just drifting around the universe without guidance. — Mike Conklin, Executive Editor
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