Fathers Day - The POTUS Pops Club

June 1, 2023
Written by
Don Vidler

For Mother’s Day, you might remember, we suggested changing your routine by paying a surprise visit to a mom other than your own. You might also remember that the Other Mother we suggested visiting was Phoebe Fillmore – the late President Millard Fillmore’s mom – who lies buried just a short walk from Vidler’s, in East Aurora Cemetery.

Well, this month, we’re pleased to bring that Mother’s Day suggestion full circle with a very similar one for Father’s Day: 

Before or after visiting your own dad, why not visit Nathaniel Fillmore Jr. – father of our 13th president, Millard Fillmore? Nathaniel, too, is buried in the beautiful East Aurora Cemetery. Born April 19, 1771, in Bennington, Vermont, he died March 28, 1863, in East Aurora.

As dads go, Nathaniel is quite distinguished, a historically noteworthy member of the POTUS Pops Club. Nathaniel is noteworthy because he’s one of only four presidential fathers (the others are George Tryon Harding, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., and George H.W. Bush) who lived all the way through a son’s presidency. (Millard, a member of the Whig party – and the last president who was neither a Republican nor a Democrat – called the White House home from 1850 to 1853.)

MIllard’s dad, Nathaniel, came to New York by way of Vermont, where he was a farmer until land agents offered him and his brother Calvin tracts in the Empire State. Jumping at the chance to leave behind the stony and unproductive land of Vermont, the two brothers moved to New York. (That’s right: This state owes its claim to being Millard Fillmore’s home almost entirely to the infertile quality of the land in Bennington, Vermont.)

After moving to New York and finding that he had been duped by land agents who sold him defective titles, causing him to lose the land he thought was his, Nathaniel slowly righted himself, eventually overcoming hardship to become a justice of the peace and productive farmer.

These days the only plot of land Nathaniel can call his own is a small patch of green in a Western New York graveyard, but it’s okay; East Aurora Cemetery is a beautiful place, and a perfect excuse for a late-spring outing, so drop by and pay your respects if you have a few minutes; Ol’ Nate deserves some love for securing for Millard the clerk’s position that pointed him toward a successful legal career and, ultimately, the White House – even if it was his wife’s idea.

Just remember to make time for your own dad. But be sure to come by Vidler’s first and check out our grilling supplies. Your pops would surely be delighted if you gifted him something for his special day that he could use to make the family a nice, home-cooked meal in the backyard. We recommend you start by giving him our Ass Blaster Hot Sauce with Outhouse and then really wow him with a tin of Dill Pickle Mints – you know, for that fancy, restaurant-style conclusion to the barbecue you kinda-sorta roped him into. 

If grilling out back isn’t your dad’s cup of tea, how about giving him a pack of Gnarly Teeth? Or a Spinning Bow Tie? Or – We know! We know! – a silly hat! Dads love silly hats, and we have the silliest: bison hats, hamburger hats, hot dog hats, parrot hats – you name it.

Think about it: Most dads wear many different hats, but few of them wear a pizza hat. So, if your pops were to go around sporting a big-ole, floppy pepperoni pie on that – *ahem* – occasionally hard head of his, he’d really distinguish himself. (Not to be confused with “distinguished.”) 

Unless you plan on being president, it might be your pop’s best chance to achieve a lasting measure of fame for his very own self.

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