You know what they say: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. And for Father’s Day, we’ve sussed out a handful of Long Island dads who proudly prove the point. Dads and their little doppelgangers are cute, but there’s more to it. Kids, both girls and boys, swell with pride when they’re turned out, even directionally, like their No. 1 man. Of course, celebrating pops goes way deeper than the clothes.
“I like wearing the same clothes as Daddy because I love my daddy, says 4-year-old Seth Kerpen of Port Washington.
Have a look at some local dads and their broods who get into the dress-alike act.
IN THE JEANS
“Father’s Day is a big day for me. I get to do nothing, and they get to take care of me,” says David Haghani, 49, of Great Neck, who has two children, Jonah, 12, and Remy, 9. In truth, though, every day is Father’s Day for Haghani, the co-owner of two women’s boutiques in Manhasset — Loop and Gallery Couture — who says that after working all day, “I can’t wait to get home to just be there with them.”
Natch, fashion has always played a big role for the boutique owner, and the kids have clearly followed suit. He sees himself in his children in different ways. “My daughter looks very much like me and her sense of humor is a lot like mine. Believe it or not, I’m a funny guy.”
As for his son, “He looks more like his mom, Dalya, although he has my eyes. And we both have pretty big sneaker collections.” Some of those sneakers are meant for Jonah’s basketball games, which Haghani relishes. “I just love watching him play basketball. I never, ever miss a game, and I’m mesmerized by him.” There is, however, one personal trait he sincerely wishes his kids don’t inherit. “I hope they don’t get my hair.”
A MOVING EXPERIENCE
It’s only the second Father’s Day for Francisco (aka Frankie) Hernandez, 28, the president of In N Out Movers in Central Islip. He says his daughter Jaelyn, 18-months, is “very attached to the shirt with the company logo on it. When we try to take it off, she doesn’t want to.”
Hernandez, who also lives in Central Islip, says, “I can’t describe the way seeing her after a hard day of moving feels, after lifting, sweating and working so much. I see her smiling and running toward me, and it makes me forget everything.” Hernandez can see himself in his little girl. “She has my curly hair, the same skin tone and big brown eyes. I’m so proud of her. When I wake up in the morning and I see her face, it gives me energy and keeps me going.”
A SLICE OF LIFE
Mo Cassara, 45, of Point Lookout is celebrating a Father’s Day with his girl, 3-month-old Elle, and with his almost 3-year-old son, Christian. Being a dad has been “life-changing," according to Cassara, the former head coach of the Hofstra men’s basketball team, a TV college basketball analyst for CBS Sports and ESPN, and owner of two restaurants, Mo’Nelisa and The Point Ale House, both in Point Lookout.
“I used to worry about winning basketball games and running around with the restaurants, and now life is about being with the family and being a good parent.” Cassara says Christian “likes to tell everybody he’s doing ‘big boy hair’” -- that would be like his dad’s -- “and we do a little game where I have to catch him and then do his hair.”
But while people think Christian, who is known in the community as 'mini Mo,’ is a spitting image of his dad, Elle is already even more so a mini-me. “I definitely see it and try to downplay it,” Cassara says. “I hope they both grow out of it and become as smart and as good-looking as their mother.” She being News12's anchorwoman Elisa DiStefano.
THE ORANGE SQUAD
Dave Kerpen, 43, of Port Washington has a signature color: Orange.
“I’ve been wearing orange for nine years,” says the co-founder and chairman of Likeable, a content marketing studio in New York. “Orange is the most positive, persuasive color. It makes people happier and helps me get what we want.”
His son, Seth, 4, is onboard the orange train while daughters Charlotte, 16, and Kate, 12, avoid orange clothes at all costs. Kerpen owns 59 pairs of orange shoes and wears them every day. “I spend all day every Friday with Seth and he always asks, ‘What shoes are you wearing, Dad?’ He’ll often wear the closest match to mine.” (Orange Crocs are a fave, says Kerpen.) “He’s picked up on the fact that I wear orange all the time, and I think he enjoys being connected to me in that way.”
As for Seth, the appeal of orange is pretty simple. “I like wearing the same clothes as Daddy because I love my Daddy!”