Learning Ahead: Father’s Day
Father’s Day: Local Geography & Family Trees
Vistas & Byways
In 1910, inspired by the already established Mother’s Day, the first Father’s Day was proclaimed. It wasn’t until 1972 that it became a federal holiday to be observed on the third Sunday in June. Similar to Mother’s Day, consider celebrating this holiday with the father figures in your life. Give non-commercial gifts that are handmade or creative in thought to those you consider fatherly spirits by making cards and offering gifts that engage your creativity and our local community. (So much better than another tie or wallet!) Looking for the right words to share in your handmade card? Let poets inspire your muse! Many have shared emotions and stories as they relate to the father figure in their lives. Visit http://www.poets.org and search for “poems about fathers.”
June is a month that encourages time spent outdoors, so why not plan an excursion along one of the many Western Massachusetts scenic byways! Along the way, you can stop at different farm stands, take photographs of beautiful country views, take a hike, and enjoy a picnic lunch at one of our many vistas. (See September/October Season issue of Learning Ahead for a list of area vistas.) Scenic byways to explore with the father figures you cherish in your life can be found at www.bywayswestmass.com. They include:
- Route 116 Scenic Byway
- Connecticut River Scenic Byway
- Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway
- Route 122 Scenic Byway
- Route 112 Scenic Byway
- Mount Greylock Scenic Byway
- Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway
While traveling these back roads, look for rivers and their tributaries and see if you can identify their impact on local history as you travel through different mill towns, taking the time to learn about the different manufacturing industries that resulted in the 19th-century industrial age. Note the architecture of the mill buildings, the infrastructure remnants of rail transportation, and the repurposing and transformation of spaces once used for industry. You’re sure to also encounter covered bridges, museums, historic districts, landmarks, and wooded landscapes while traveling, so plan accordingly and arrive feeling curious!
Celebrate Father’s Day and Mother’s Day with family stories and shared memories. In doing so, you may want to think about making your own family tree together as a way to preserve your personal histories. You can collect letters, photographs, and other significant objects in your family history before sitting down to create your family tree. Social media sites, such as Pinterest, can help you curate a group of images that inspire what you would like the family tree to look like. Perhaps it’s an art activity everyone does together that can be framed and displayed in your living room. If you’d like a family tree that is multimedia, consider adding anecdotes, recipes, stories, photographs, and letters. Making a family tree together provides the space for intergenerational interaction, storytelling, and the sharing of personal history.
Download our May/June edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.