Gift for Dad

The Skippack Blogger's Dad (AKA Bernie Shaw) still looking good and going strong at 89.

The Skippack Blogger's Dad (AKA Bernie Shaw) still looking good and going strong at 89. Happy Birthday, man.

When it comes to gifts, we may say that it is the thought that counts, but the truth is we want the object given to be meaningful. Yesterday was the a special day for someone very special in the life of the Skippack Blogger, my Dad turned 89. Happy Birthday, Bernie Shaw. But what gift could I give to commemorate the occasion?

What gift is worthy for a man who grew up in the Great Depression, served during World War II, married my wonderful mom, became dad to me and my brother and sister, taught me about the world, taught me to love jazz music, paid my college tuition bill, was so proud of the accomplishments of his children, lectured me, taught me right from wrong, discussed intimate aspects of being a man, helped me during the troubled times of my life, and still makes me laugh? (I am probably leaving a lot of things out.) A tall order for an object in a wrapped box — to express my feelings for Dad.

As happens in life, the first path I choose is not the correct one. I go to a nearby mall and purchase a Ralph Lauren Polo sports shirt. But something inside me is dissatisfied. It seemed so impersonal. A voice inside me is telling me to find something. What is it I need to find? The receipt. This first attempt-at-a-gift is getting returned.

Then I remembered a wonderful gift Debby gave me a couple months ago for our fifth wedding anniversary — a collectible pen purchased at Sharp Unique Gifts for Men, a Skippack shop specializing in fine and unusual gifts for men. A collectible pen is the perfect gift for me and perfect for Dad as well.

My Dad is a practical guy and so the next part of the story is practical; turning an idea into action. Debby and I head into Skippack Village and visit Jack Berk, shop owner at Sharp Unique Gifts for Men, and begin browsing his collection of beautiful and unusual collectible gift pens. Buying from Jack is like visiting a friend. Now it is starting to feel right.

Jack Berk, owner of Sharp Unique Gifts for Men in Skippack, helps me select a pen for my dad's 89th Birthday.

Jack Berk, owner of Sharp Unique Gifts for Men in Skippack, helps me select a pen for my dad's 89th Birthday.

One reason a pen is the right thing: Dad always encouraged my writing. I remember the first time I got paid for my writing; a free lance article for Baltimore Magazine. He wanted to have the check framed. But which pen best expresses my thoughts and feelings for Dad? He is a down-to-earth, working guy. For many years, he put on a business suit everyday. He managed a car dealership for most of his career. However, Dad has an exceptional, even astounding, appreciation for the creative and the contemporary. Even when we were little kids, he and my mom would take us on trips to the art museum to see works by modern artists.

I am looking for a pen that expresses my father’s love for creativity and modern art; something unusual and youthful, because my Dad makes 89 seem still young. I select a roller ball pen with a bright, multi-colored, almost cubistic design by Thom Reaves, an artist and designer from Trenton, NJ, manufactured by Acme Studio, an international product design company and creator of fine writing tools. This pen is called “Happy” which fits because my Dad is an upbeat guy with a terrific outlook on life.

A selection of gift pens from Sharp Unique Gifts for Men

Which one is right for Dad? A selection of gift pens from Sharp Unique Gifts for Men.

The story ends with my father surrounded by the family he loves, singing happy birthday, the gift bag handed to him, with a card and a happy birthday kiss. Eighty-nine years so far and still going strong. Fifty seven of those years married to my amazing and lovely mom.

Many years ago, I left my parent’s home. I did not find another home until I married Debby and we bought our home in Skippack. In between, was a time of wandering in the desert, a time of struggle and searching. But I always had a great friend to look up to and who, by his example, stopped me from getting too lost: Dad.

About Sharp Unique Gifts for Men

Located in Skippack Village, this boutique men’s gift shop offers fine items such as shaving accessories; cufflinks; desk accessories; gifts for the beer and wine connoisseur; hi-tech flashlights; hand-made knives from world-renowned knife makers and much more. Gifts for all types of men: The corporate executive, the rugged outdoorsman, the retired hobbyist, the eager young man beginning his journey through life, the writer who loves beautiful pens, and the man celebrating 89 good years on this earth.

Sharp Unique Gifts for Men
4002 Skippack Pike
Skippack PA 19474
Phone: 610.584.1818
www.sharpuniquegifts.com

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The Final Choice

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The final choice: "Happy," a roller ball pen designed by Thom Reaves for Acme Studio.

"Happy," a roller ball pen designed by Thom Reaves for Acme Studio.

 

The Skippack Blogger with Dad in Starbucks

Enjoying time with Dad in a Starbucks in the town where my parents live.