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Celebrating Father’s Day in Lodi: Hot weather, warm hearts

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Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 12:30 pm | Updated: 7:13 am, Mon Jun 18, 2012.

Whether it is working on a project together with new power tools or cooking some barbecue out in the backyard, Father’s Day has become an annual way to not only thank fathers for their hard work, but also to show them how much they mean to their family.

The annual holiday was signed into law in 1972 by President Richard Nixon, but Father’s Day had been celebrated years prior, as people across the United States took a day to recognize the efforts their fathers took to put meals on the table and a roof over their heads.

For Lodi residents today, the warm weather beckoned many outside for barbecues and swimming in pools. Others chose to go on bike rides or enjoy a nice breakfast prepared by the kids.

Ninety-year-old Henry Ippolito remembered his father for his courage. He said his father immigrated from Sicily all alone when he was 14 years old.

Ippolito said his father landed in New York on Ellis Island before heading upstate on a train to start work so that he could earn a living.

“It took a long time to make a living,” he said. “He worked hard. Children that age today could not do that.”

Ippolito celebrated Father’s Day on Saturday with his daughter, who lives up near Jackson. The two enjoyed a nice dinner at Pietro’s on East Kettleman Lane.

James Taylor, 87, said his father was a defining influence in his life who helped mold him into the man he is today.

When asked what he remembered of his father, Taylor said it was easy because his father was “the greatest father that ever lived.”

Taylor said his father taught him qualities like integrity and honesty, and that working hard would lead to a good life.

“I had a good life,” he said. “He taught me a lot of wonderful things.”

While Taylor’s children were not able to make it to Lodi for Father’s Day — one lives in Hawaii and the other lives in Washington state — he said he also fondly remembers days at the park or the beach as his children grew up celebrating Father’s Day.

Taylor said the memory of his father and the qualities he taught was something he hoped he had passed on to his children as he reflected on Father’s Day.

“I want to try to repeat what my father did with my life (with my children),” he said. “I hope that other young fathers are able to learn exactly what my father taught me.”

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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