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Heirlooms, Heritage, and Bedtime Stories: Matouk Employees Share Favorite Family Memories for Father’s Day

Heirlooms, Heritage, and Bedtime Stories: Matouk Employees Share Favorite Family Memories for Father’s Day

For three generations, fathers have passed along their knowledge of manufacturing and industry know-how here at Matouk. But business acumen isn’t the only wisdom that’s been paid forward. Passion and dedication to quality – and family – are the heirloom attributes that have driven Matouk into the modern era. From founder John Matouk to his son George to current president and CEO George Jr., Matouk’s commitment to excellence has become its heritage.

With that in mind, an ode to Father’s Day seems fitting. With three daughters nipping at the younger George’s heels, Matouk’s core beliefs are sure to continue thriving. (Though perhaps Mother’s Day will become the queen of holidays for the next generation.) In honor of the occasion, we took a trip down memory lane by asking a few of our Matouk employees to tell us about their most cherished bedtime traditions old and new, as well as other memories of their fathers.

These tales we’ve collected are alternately hysterical, adorable, and sentimental, but they all have this in common: A father’s love can make a lasting impression, and that’s a heritage that can be passed along for generations.

George Matouk Sr., Chairman

On books and radio...
My father was very into detective stories. He would read segments of detective books, and we would solve the mysteries. It definitely wasn’t Curious George. (I’m not even sure he existed back then.) When I was growing up as a youngster in the ‘40s during WWII, my dad and I used to listen to radio shows, too. There were all sorts of great characters who came to life, like Dick Tracy and Flash Gordon.

On satin sheets...
In the ‘70s, ladies used to wear these huge elaborate hairdos; of course, sleeping on normal bedding would ruin all of their hard work. So we sold luxurious nylon satin sheets to Neiman Marcus, which the ladies loved because they didn’t mess up their hairdos.

George Jr. was one of the lucky ones who got to test out the satin sheets. He slept on the navy samples. The ones we made for sale were red and black, more exotic colors. George recently complained that I made him sleep on those satin sheets, but it wasn’t my decision; that was his mother! I don’t know why he didn’t protest then; he waited until now when he’s 45. Those satin sheets put him through college!

FathersDay_GeorgeWithHisDaughters
George Matouk Jr. enjoys the views along the Sea to Sky Highway outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with his daughters.

George Matouk Jr., President and CEO

What I remember about my childhood bed...
I was probably the only 10-year-old boy in America who slept on satin sheets every night. It was horrible. I would wake up freezing every morning because the covers and blankets had slid off the bed to the floor. They were navy blue. My dad refused to let me change them because he had made a duvet that he said matched them perfectly.

As a young adult, I complained to my father about this mistreatment and he would say, “Those satin sheets put you through college!”

FathersDay_SatinSheets

These nylon satin Matouk sheets from the 1970s were a dream for ladies with big up-dos.

When dad put us to bed...
At bedtime, my dad used to entertain my brother and me by singing the Skeleton Dance song. We thought it was hilarious, and by the end of it, all three of us would be dancing or squirming on the floor, nowhere near ready to go sleep.

When my firstborn daughter was an infant...
Our eldest daughter Chachi was a colicky baby. In her first few months, she would start to scream at 5 o’clock in the evening and wouldn't stop until 7. It was the dead of winter, so it was too cold for a walk in the stroller. The only thing that calmed her was putting her in the Baby Bjorn, facing me, and walking up and down the stairs. We lived in a three-story townhouse at the time. I must have logged 10,000 flights of stairs with her that winter. It marked my lifetime peak of core strength.

Later on...
Several years ago, I made a great playlist to help get the kids to fall asleep. The songs are all super mellow or funny, and they loved them. Sometimes they still fall asleep listening to them.

Stuart Kiely, Senior Director, Technology and Marketing

When I was a kid...
Growing up, my brother and I shared a bunk bed and both loved reading books at bedtime. We especially loved the Berenstain Bears series. We built a book slot so that when I was done reading a book on the top bunk, I could pass it down to my brother on the bottom bunk. We'd pass books through the book slot every night until one of us fell asleep or until my dad stuck his head in to say that the book slot was closing for the night.

It’s the little things...
With kids ages 4 and 7, our nighttime ritual is an artful balance of chaos and calm. I enjoy reading to both kids at bedtime. We also talk about what we're thankful for that happened during the day. It's fun hearing what kids consider highlights – eating ice cream, playing on the jungle gym, going to swim lessons, taking Hadley (our dog) for a walk.

We sing, too...
My kids insist on hearing three specific songs every night – The ABCs, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” (We "root, root, root” for the Red Sox.) The kids like my wife or me to stay in their room while they fall asleep. It's usually a race to see who goes down first – my son, my daughter, or me!

Colleen Daniels, Product Line Director

Friday night rituals...
My favorite bedtime ritual growing up was getting to stay up late on Friday nights to watch TGIF with my dad and make our favorite dessert — s'mores!

FathersDay_BedtimeRituals
Colleen Daniels (at right) shares a good time with her dad and sister.

Octilia Tavares, Sales Associate

From faraway lands...
My father was a merchant marine, so he would be home for a few weeks, and then away. Since he wasn't with us year round, bedtimes were special when he was home. I remember sitting on his lap in his big tan chair. He told me tales of his travels and the stories behind the souvenirs he brought home.

A story for everyone...
I have a 5-year-old son, Spencer, and an 8-year-old daughter, Simone. They take turns having Daddy put them to bed each night. Daddy reads Spiderman adventures to Spencer. Since Simone already knows how to read, she reads books to Daddy! After story time they talk about their days at school, and then it’s lights out.

John Paiva, Cutting and Automated Equipment Manager

Rituals with my father when I was a child…
I was born in St. Michaels, Azores in Portugal, where I lived for the first 11 years of my childhood. When I was 5 or 6, every Sunday afternoon after our family lunch, my father took me to a soccer game. I can still visualize him holding my hand while we were walking to the stadium. He spoiled me with all kinds of snacks and drinks; my favorite was – and still is – the rice cake.

With my own kids...
My wife and I have three children who are now 35, 34, and 17, plus two grandchildren. When my first two – both boys – were young, I used to read a bedtime story and then ask them if they could tell me the story’s meaning. I had to read two different stories so they each got a chance to answer. When my daughter was born, we kept the same rituals as with the boys, though sometimes the boys would read the stories.

Melanie Angeles-Dizon, Showroom Manager

My favorite memories with my dad...
When my twin sister and I were 9 years old, my father would wake us up at 5 a.m. every Saturday morning. We would hop on his motorcycle to Time Beach in Davao City, Philippines. He called it “Our Island.” It’s only accessible during low tide; hence, the early morning hour.

FathersDay_GrowingUpWithDad_FunTimesatBeach

Melanie Angeles-Dizon (at back) lies on a beach in the Philippines with her identical twin sister.

And more fun times...
Other weekends, we went with him to the country club to swim. When he passed by the pool area, we would go with him to finish the rest of his golf game. At the clubhouse, we ate cheeseburgers and chocolate milkshakes. He told us that we were his lucky charms, because every time we came with him, he’d win the game. I don’t know if that was true or if it was just his way of being affectionate!

 


 

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