NORWALK – He was called Pops, Pappa, Daddy, Papacito, Papi, or like most people, good ‘ol Dad. He was Father to us.
Whether you are celebrating your first Father’s Day like 19-year-old Sam Rivera with his two-month-old son, Issac, at Norwalk Park or are the patriarch of five generations of the Ayala Family, it is still nice to be loved.
Norwalk was quiet Father’s Day. Maybe it was the near 90 degree weather or some other reason; the streets were quiet with only the hum of air conditioning units in the background.
Riding my Raulmobile for a last time before scheduled toe surgery Monday, I spoke with several families and parents about their activities.
On Arlee Avenue, brothers Miguel, 40, and Jaime Arvizu, 42, were leaning over an open hood of a truck, “priming the brakes.”
No big party of celebration for these dads. Younger brother Miguel was off to work later as a truck driver and Jaime was left to fend for himself. He had the day off as a cook.
A dozen members of the Ayala family were out on their front lawn, complete with two canopies and an inflated splash pool nearby.
“We have five generations here today. Grandpa is in the house right now,” a proud Priscilla Ayala and everyone seem to say in unison.
“Grandpa was called ‘Fish,” according to the family, for when he was young, he liked to swim in the irrigation canals of Rancho Cucamonga.
“Some people thought it was for, maybe, he liked to drink, but I don’t think that is right,” another member chimed in. Everyone laughed with that remark.
Under the covered pots and bowls were roast beef, potato salad and other yummy selections.
As I pedaled towards Norwalk Park, I drank another gulp of water. It was hot out.
I made my way over to Leche Café for an afternoon coffee. My favorite barista, Mellissa, was waiting for me with a hot cup of coffee. Am I that predictable?
I don’t receive cards this day, by choice. Mr. Samaniego, my dad, was a good father, teacher and mentor.
Happy belated Father’s Day to all dads, whatever your loved ones may call you.