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Dads Just Want a Little R&R

Westport resident Paris Cheffer spent Saturday gleefully watching his kids, Remy and Lulu, take to the rides at the Yankee Doodle Fair. Today, like a lot of fathers, he's just hoping for a little rest and relaxation.

While the Minute Man Statue has stolen a bit of the limelight, it isn't the only thing turning 100 years old. It is believed the first Father's Day was observed June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Wash. Technically it took a bit before the day was nationally recognized. The third Sunday of June wasn't officially set aside for dads until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation in 1966.

"I guess it's just a day to think about all the times spent and how important our fathers are," said Cheffer. Becoming a father has been the hardest job he has ever had, and in his own words changed him "totally and completely." That said, he loves the challenge and the children.

Dan Scholler, who was also at the fair with his kids, was in the same mindset as Cheffer that some time to relax would be the best gift he could get. "Everybody says 'Happy Father's Day," but considering its another weekend between business trips I'm not planning on spending it any differently than I normally would," said Scholler. He added, "If I'm lucky, I'll get some time to myself."

A few dads however are quite eager to go out and celebrate their day. For 23 years Wilton resident Harold Britto Jr., has worked keeping Westport's town hall clean and maintained. With his children more than a few years older than Cheffer and Scholler's, Britto has a somewhat significance the day holds. "It means they are all grown up at this point," chuckled Britto.

The birth of his son was the most frightening point in his life. "The nurse handed him to me and I realized I didn't know a thing about being a father," said Britto. He was a fast study though, and when his daughter was born 18 months later, Britto felt like an old pro.

As to how successful he was in raising them, Britto thinks he did OK. His children live in Norwalk and Milford, near enough to visit. They have jobs and according to Britto never got into any sort of trouble. And for raising them and putting them on the right path in life, Britto gets to enjoy his dinner tonight at the Redding Roadhouse.

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