Fathers,  children toughen the bonds

Hard times can bring re-evaluation

Joe Jarvis pushes his youngest son Jacob, 2, in a swing at Lincoln Park Saturday. He thinks it is more difficult to be a father in these economic times

Joe Jarvis says that during the few recent occasions when he has ponied up for a trip to the movies, he and his boys have sat in mostly empty theaters.

He’s into low-budget fun these days.

“We’re spending a lot more time at parks than we used to,” said Jarvis, 44, a third-generation Grand Junction resident who ventured out Saturday to Lincoln Park with his sons, Jacob, 2, and Brock, 4.

A soon-to-be single father, Jarvis recently sold his outdoors sporting goods business as part of a divorce. Business hadn’t been that good to begin with before the personal turmoil, and the family had already been making due with less, he said.

“Toys were really the first thing to go,” Jarvis said of adjusted spending priorities. “And we really don’t go out to eat that much.”

Several local fathers out for fun before their big day said they’ve felt the pinch of a tighter economy and adjusted accordingly.

Kim Orr, 53, of Grand Junction, said he knows Jarvis’ woes.

Orr is a “semiretired” father of three whose children have grown up and moved out. Orr said fatherhood during another sluggish economy in the 1970s changed the way he interacted with his kids.

“Couldn’t really afford to go out, so we started going camping and fishing,” said Orr, before slipping a wide grin. “And they were some of the best times of my life.”

Today’s downturn is about to change life for the Orrs. He said tighter budgets are about to force his daughter to move back home.

He’s pondering working again.

“I’m glad I’m not trying to raise kids right now,” he said.

Although Darin Guerrie said the economic pinch hasn’t been felt in monetary ways, the father of two girls says he’s still affected. An airline pilot, Guerrie said he’s watched 10 of his colleagues get laid off over the past year.

“Just a lot more stress,” said Guerrie, 41, a Grand Junction resident who ventured out Saturday with daughters, Mariah, 5, and Olivia, 4.

Vincent Quintana, 53, of Clifton, said his carpentry skills have kept him busy despite the downturn.

“What recession?” Quintana asked, sitting next to daughters Sydnee, 7 and Sebastian, 9.
Larry Manchester, 40, of Grand Junction, says economic worries remain for his family.

But so what.

“The actions you take show you’re a good dad,” said Manchester, a father of three.

“As things tighten up, you have to show them how to be responsible.”


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