Craig and Jesse Fletcher

Shannon Kelley

Craig and Jesse Fletcher

Peeping Pops

Father’s Day in S.B.

Iam, have always been, and will always be, daddy’s little girl. My dad was the one I’d ask for permission to do something my mom would inevitably forbid, the one who’d let my sister and me go nuts in the grocery store: Where my mom insisted on natural peanut butter and Grape Nuts, my dad let us toss Trix and Skippy into the cart. (Major excitement.) He taught me how to ride a bike and coached my soccer and softball teams, operating according to a single, all-inclusive policy: Everyone would play, record be damned. (As virtuous as this policy was, he was not without his share of red and yellow cards: While players of all skill levels had his equal respect, this policy did not extend to the officials.) He helped me figure my way out of many of the messes I found myself in, and was generally unfazed by (most of) my adolescent shenanigans. To this day, he encourages all of my adventures, no matter how insane they might sound. (In fact, he and I had long plotted a skydiving expedition that was foiled by my slightly saner-than-us mom; shamefully, I went without him. Twice.)

So, this weekend, since I couldn’t be with my own dad, I decided to go daddy-hunting in his honor. I hopped on my bike and made my way to some of S.B.’s most family-friendly turf to do so. From Shoreline to the Harbor, the dads were out in force, basking in the beautifully gloom-free June Sunday. Whether practicing karate, playing catch, going for a walk, barbecuing, or just fooling around, these dad- (or granddad-) and-kid (or -grandkid) combos all had one thing in common: They were loving the time they were spending together.

It was a lovely Father’s Day in Santa Barbara, and even though my dad spent the day watching golf (um, barf), I’m sorry I wasn’t there to share it (or to tease him about it, from the other room). But Dad, here’s a promise: The next time I jump out of a plane, I’m taking you with me!

And I promise I won’t tell Mom.

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