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Classic Covers: Thanks, Dad!

Father’s Day might be a good time to remember: You weren’t always an easy kid to deal with.

“Early Morning Feeding” by Howard Scott

Early Morning Feeding by Howard Scott

"Early Morning Feeding"
Howard Scott
January 27, 1945

Sydney Field, copywriter for an ad agency and a short story writer, was having lunch with Post artist Howard Scott one day. It struck the artist that his friend would make a great befuddled dad on a Post cover. As his soup grew cold, he studied and sketched his lunch companion, and the next thing we knew, the writer was on the cover of our favorite magazine in January 1945 having a bad “heir” day.

“Swing Set” by Amos Sewell

Swing Set by Amos Sewell

"Swing Set"
Amos Sewell
June 16, 1956

Another Post cover artist, Amos Sewell, saw a father struggling to put together a swing set—and another Saturday Evening Post cover was born. We can understand the impatience of the kids, but for safety’s sake and the sake of their innocent little ears, perhaps they should stand farther back. This is from 1956.

“Sleepy Inning” by Earl Mayan

Sleepy Inning by Earl Mayan

"Sleepy Inning"
Earl Mayan
April 23, 1955

I love this cover from 1955. It’s tied up at the top of the ninth, but the game is called for Dad on account of a conked-out kid. Well, pops, there’s always the radio. Artist Earl Mayan did ten Post covers depicting life in the suburban 1950s, including the next one.

“Amusement Park Carousel” by Earl Mayan

Amusement Park Carousel by Earl Mayan

"Amusement Park Carousel"
Earl Mayan
August 9, 1958

In an amusement park in 1958, Dad is anything but amused. That string of tickets he’s wearing declares this is only the beginning. As he risks whiplash on the Whip or tries not to toss his cookies on the Screamer, he dreams of what a great day this would be on the golf course. Face it; you owe him for this one.

“First Prom Dress” by Kurt Ard

First Prom Dress by Kurt Ard

"First Prom Dress"
Kurt Ard
April, 18 1959

Speaking of owe… is that the going price for a prom dress these days? Poor pops—he not only has to foot the bill, he probably had to sit through the modeling of sixteen frocks… before mother and daughter decided on the first one after all.

“Fathers’ Homework” by John Falter

Fathers' Homework by John Falter

"Fathers' Homework"
John Falter
May 7, 1960

“If one furrow-browed parent spends x hours failing to solve the quadratic equations of one boy,” asked the editors of the Post in 1960, “how long would it take two furrow-browed fathers to fail to solve the quadratic equation of two boys?” Hey, you, kid in the red sweater—the smirk is not helping. Artist John Falter admitted to being hopeless at algebra. No matter. He solved the problem of what to do for a Saturday Evening Post cover 129 times.

“Brushing Their Teeth” by Amos Sewell

Brushing Their Teeth by Amos Sewell

"Brushing Their Teeth"
Amos Sewell
January 29, 1955

Dad seems to be waiting patiently in this 1955 cover—but if he doesn’t get in to shave soon so he can get to work, there will be no toothpaste for anybody. So, dads, for your patience, attempts at homework, baseball games, and prom dresses… we humbly thank you and wish you the best ever Father’s Day!

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  • vernon e. jaberg

    Great covers of the Saturday Evening Post – Chapters of the joy and responsibility of breing a father and a grandfather… I am a PastorI appreciate the love and caare that fathers show (UCC) for 65 years – In Nebraska – Iowa – Wisconsin…Having been born in Indy to a pastor and his wife show one generation after another…Happy Father’s Day – vej

  • Frank James Davis

    A fine tribute to “The Other Parent,” Diana. We fathers certainly appreciate a kind word now and then. There is nothing more precious to us than our wives and children. A father’s love is profound; just once, we’d like to be recognized for the great lovers we truly are.
    Pat us on the back now–and often. No matter how it may sometimes seem, we are surprisingly frail creatures and decidedly perishable items.

  • kay waldrop

    Just love these wonderful old covers. There is so much detail to enjoy and reminders of my own childhood. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy Fathers Day to all those great dads out there!