Father's Day Shoppers Seek Perfect Thought

Greeting cards, sports paraphernalia, candy and, for some lucky dads, a dozen chocolate-chip cookies were the hot ticket items for local folks who did their last-minute Father's Day shopping Saturday.

Today's the day to show the big guy he means the most--a sentiment poked fun at by some but not lost on most sons, daughters, wives and others who flocked to county stores.

Ventura resident Vickie Spencer, 29, giggled with her brother, 23-year-old Greg Gerth, as they read cards at Connie's Hallmark at Telephone Road Plaza in Ventura. Buying for her father-in-law, Spencer opted for humor over sentiment.

Oxnard resident Patty Salinas blushed when asked why she was at Connie's at 3 p.m. the day before the holiday. An employee of Jen's Hallmark in Oxnard, Salinas said she hadn't had time to buy a card earlier.

The 37-year-old pregnant mother of two bought tear-jerker missives for her father and father-in-law.

"You gotta show your father you appreciate him," said Matt Morris, a 19-year-old Ventura resident at Connie's. Morris selected a simple card for his father, who was vacationing in Las Vegas.

Tony Petralia, manager of Connie's Hallmark, said the store's stock of more than 1,000 designs had dwindled Saturday to about 150. "There've been a lot of wives in," he said. "The husband section has been picked over."

At the Buenaventura Mall, Santa Paula resident Christion Blaskey bought a T-shirt showing race-car driver Jeff Gordon for her 10-year-old daughter, Ashlea, to give.

And across the county at Rose Cottage in Westlake Village, owner Linda Kovach said the hot-selling items were fudge, English toffee, truffles and decorative mouse pads for computer users.

"Our store is very feminine, but chocolates are good for anyone," Kovach said.

Kovach said the bulk of the buyers were women shopping for husbands. Most of her Father's Day sales were made Thursday and Friday, but a few shoppers came through Saturday, she said.

But at Connie's, Petralia had a different take on the situation.

"For Mother's Day, they always come early," he said. "For Father's Day, it's the eleventh hour."

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