The Official Boomer Dad Father’s Day Gift Guide! 17 Gift Ideas Jess’ Dad Swears By

Hello everyone, I’ll be damned, I made another Father’s Day. I hope your father made another one as well. I live about the same distance from both of my kids (about 400 miles). It’s a good distance because it’s a short flight in an emergency and drivable when time is not a factor…but it’s not an everyday drive. Perfect! I have lived as far away as Paris and New York City. Loved those cities but something inside of me said I was too far. I can only think it was my fatherhood duties that were gnawing at me. I guess it’s a lifetime deal even when your kids are adults. Geez, I was really hoping it would be over with at some point. I guess not (Drat!).

I installed this little infant seat on my kitchen table. I have a family staying at my place while I am traveling and they have three kids, one of which is a baby. I have the baby seat because of my girlfriend’s granddaughter. When I sat at the table next to it I was flooded with memories of my son sitting in that seat at our dinner table (30 years ago) and me discussing life with him. It was a one-way conversation, as he wasn’t talking yet, but that didn’t stop me. It was a very good memory of something that I had long forgotten. Today, my son is happily married. His recent wedding had a Harry Potter theme that you can get a glimpse of in the first photo. I’m not a Harry Potter guy so wasn’t quite sure how it was going to turn out. Well, let me tell you something. I have never had more fun at a wedding. Me, in my robe and wizard’s hat. Ha! Don’t I just love/hate learning something new from my kids. On that note let’s see if I can come up with some not-so-ordinary gift ideas for you.

Rechargeable Mini Flashlight Keychain

This past year I have been carrying around a mini flashlight that stays on my keychain. I cannot tell you how many times I have needed it. It’s called the OLIGHT IMINI 2 and can be purchased at Amazon. It is rechargeable and bright as can be. It sits in a little magnetic holder connected to your key chain so you can just pull it off off its holder anytime. Just plain slick! (Or sick, depending on your age, ha).

Truck Cargo Grabber Reach Retriever Tool

Something else I discovered this year was a truck bed grabber. If your dad or partner has a pickup truck he’ll love this. It is basically a hook that extends from 29” to 74” to grab cargo that has slid to the front of your truck bed. No more climbing into your truck to get crap out. When you’re an old man nothing is better than not having to climb anything. I will never own a house that has anything but one level ever again.

6x Midnight Cowboy Hat | Stanhope 10x Straw Cowboy Hat | Shasta 10x Premier Cowboy Hat

In my youth, I did some cowboying for a while. I have since retired my cowboy gear. Last week I decided to break out the cowboy hat for a special occasion. I forgot how much I liked wearing that hat. Every man in this country has at one time or another wanted to be a cowboy. Buying your dad a cowboy hat would not disappoint him. A good Stetson or Resistol hat are the only hats worthy of your dad. Straw hats are for summer. Beaver hats are for year-round. I swear I’m almost good-looking in a cowboy hat. I need all the help I can get (getting old is a full-time job). You can also do cowboy boots but that would have to be a gift certificate. “A man has to buy his own damn boots.” (a quote from the man that taught me how to rope upon seeing that my wife brought me a pair of boots).

4 Way Folding Lug Wrench

I bought my girlfriend a 1964 Volkswagen Bug for her birthday. It was missing a lug wrench so I went to replace it and found a folding lug wrench. It was perfect because it doesn’t take up much space which is at a premium in a Bug. But, it is great for any vehicle. We never have enough space. That’s why there are cargo shorts. Yikes! As a kid, I had marbles, baseball cards, a rock or two, and maybe even a frog in my pocket. I am absolutely positive a man invented cargo shorts. Never enough space to put all our stuff!

360-degree Locking Die Cast Torpedo Level

I found some new tools to help me work on Jess’s apartment (geez). There is a level that can adjust to any angle. It comes in real handy when you are trying to duplicate an angle. It is the Milwaukee 360-degree locking die cast torpedo level. Works great in an old apartment building that is leaning one way or the other. Just ask Jess.

1 Gal. 1/2 HP Portable Electric Air Compressor

I also found a small compact compressor made by Senco. It is a 1/2 horsepower 1-gallon compressor. It is small and easy to transport. I have yet to find a job it couldn’t handle around here.

Telescoping Ladder

One other item in the tool department is the Telesteps Extension Ladder. It extends to 16 feet but telescopes down to just a few feet for easy storage and handling. It makes my life easier.

Teeth Whitening

Like I have said in the past, if it makes my life easier or makes me look better, I’m in. When it comes to looking better there is a teeth whitening gadget that you can use at home. It’s made by Pola and is easy to use. You do need a dentist to prescribe it but it’s worth it. Dads don’t like to admit it but we hate getting old and have no problem being a little vain at times.

Mini Big Green Egg

I am the proud owner of “The Green Egg” grill. Never had one before. It was a gift and I was skeptical. But after some practice, I must admit it is a great way to grill. Who knew? I got the baby one, it’s enough  I do have my regular grill when I am in a hurry but when I have time I go to “The Egg”.

Sport Peppers | Hot and Mild Giardiniera

Growing up in Chicago you could always get a Chicago hot dog or an Italian beef sandwich. It was a quick and easy solution to hunger. Two of the main ingredients were sport peppers (for the dog) and giardiniera (for the beef). The peppers are a little bit hot, the giardiniera comes in mild and hot. What I have found is that I can use these ingredients for many of my meals. A little imagination never hurt any meal. If your dad is into food that is not boring, it’s a slam dunk. They are made by Marconi or Mezzetta. You can also find them on the “Tastes of Chicago” website.

6 in. 12V Lithium-Ion Brushless Electric Cordless Battery Pruning Saw

For the gardener dad, Milwaukee makes a 6-inch chain/pruning saw. It’s cordless and lightweight. Come in real handy around the yard, and again, makes my life easier.

Rechargeable Magnifying Glass with Light

As does my lighted magnifying glass and is relatively inexpensive.

kinda studly, right?

Also, I seem to remember mentioning pocket squares in one of my posts. I neglected to add a pocket square pin. I always hated when my pocket square would fall into my breast pocket. It would damage my fashion statement immensely. My solution was using a single earring that I would steal from my mate. Most women have single earrings that just lay on the dresser in a jewelry dish or something. I figured I might as well put it to use. I punch it through the seam just below the top of the pocket and through the pocket square. Works great and looks great (another one of my protocols). Of course, I prefer diamond or pearl studs. Always get a compliment on it. What nicer gift to your dad than to give him one of your personal possessions that he will use? He’ll treat it like the Hope Diamond!

Neck Massager with Heat | Osteo Cervical Pillow

Finally, I discovered an item by trial and error recently. I have been plagued by some severe neck pain recently. I cannot figure it out. Bad pillow, bad sleeping position, old age, or even arthritis. All I know is that I wake up with excruciating neck pain. It seems to be muscular but it has been interfering with my everyday activities and my sleep. My girlfriend bought a memory foam pillow for me. It helped to some degree. It took a while getting used to it but it helped. I then tried a litany of neck massagers. Finally, the Hotodeal Mini Kneading neck massager actually helps in the morning. The foam pillow at night and the neck massager in the morning. Almost back to normal. Yikes! The neck massager is nice for any dad. We do have aches and pains, you know. 

on our way back from the lumbar yard because my kids work me like a dog

Every gift I ever mention in these posts I own. When I am finished writing these I usually am in a very grateful place. I used to think it was because I had all this “stuff”. I have come to realize that the “stuff” doesn’t mean a damn thing. I am grateful because this post reminds me that being a father was/is my best job ever. Judging by my kids I am pretty good at it. It was easier with the help of their mother but I’m doing ok. I will be at my son’s place next month to get his house ready for his first child (my first granddaughter). Both my kids think I work on their houses because that’s what a dad does. That may be true but the real reason is that I get to see them and spend time with them. Don’t lose sight of that. Time is always the best gift. No doubt my son and I will tire of each other as do Jess and I. That’s ok and normal. We all still have our own lives. But I will tell you that when push comes to shove this family is one! No matter what happens, we have that. I wish the same for all of you. 

 Have a great Father’s Day,

Jess’s Dad

Editor’s Note: Les Bunge loves pretending that my brother and I don’t know that we are the luckiest people on the planet to get to have him as our dad. I’m sure it’s clear that he’s one of a kind and no amount of words could ever fully describe our love and his impact on us. Believe his gift ideas, don’t believe his nonsense:) Oh, and he loves reading the comments (I think that’s why he keeps agreeing to these posts lol) so know that he’s seeing them! H+S, Bungo<3

Opening Image Credit: Photo by Molly Piszczek

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