“I did NOT have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.”

We are still in that warm cycle of weather. I have my front door and a couple of windows opened. It rained all Tuesday night and most of yesterday. Lots of leaves fell in the wind so the lawns and sides of the streets are multi-colored. Today is sunny and a bit breezy. The streets are drying.

Getting a new pair of shoes was a big deal. Usually I’d get two new pairs a year: one for back to school and one for Easter. My school shoes were always sturdy and practical while my Easter shoes were dressy, sometimes patent leather. After Easter, they’d morph into church and special occasion shoes. I never wore my school shoes anywhere but to school because they were expected to last the whole year. In late August my mother would herd us all to the shoe store. Until it was my turn, I’d wander the store looking at the shoes on the racks. If I found a pair I liked, I’d bring one shoe to my mother who would decide whether or not I could try that pair on. Back then, most of the shoes were tie shoes and sturdy didn’t usually mean fashionable, but I was young enough not to care about fashion. My mother stretched her budget and bought expensive shoes for us because they were more likely to last. I remember Buster Brown and his dog Tige and the picture of them on the inside heel of the shoe. I never did question the long hair and the funny cap. That was just Buster Brown.

I loved looking at my feet in the x-ray machine and having the shoe salesman measure them with that silver slide. He’d sit on the odd-looking stool which was close to the floor and close to feet. It had a front part where you put your foot to be measured and where the man would put the shoes on your feet when it came to trying on the new pair.

I walked up and down the length of the store to decide if the shoes felt good on my feet. I’d also stop at the foot mirror to see how they looked. If they passed both tests, my mother would buy them for me. I was thrilled to carry my new shoes home. They made me feel proud somehow.

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12 Comments on ““I did NOT have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    It’s been pouring down in most of the country and lots of places have been flooded, not here though. Today the rain finally stopped and tomorrow will be cloudy but hopefully rain free. Sunday will be rainy all day long, a good reason to do absolutely nothing 🙂

    I can’t remember much of shoe shopping. I guess I got a pair of sandals and a pair of clogges each summer and a pair of sturdy winter shoes and perhaps rubber boots too since it rains a lot where I grew up. We didn’t have those x-ray things I’m afraid, they had found out that they perhaps weren’t that great since they were radio active 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I would not have known who Buster Brown was if I just reacently had read an article about the first comics in the papers 🙂 It was very popular in its days.

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      It was a downpour more off Cape than on. Streets were flooded, and it was slippery because of the wet leaves.

      I was the last generation with radioactive feet. They found out too late for my feet. It was actually cool to be looking at the bones in your feet. I remember sticking one foot then the other in the x-ray box.

      Buster Brown was also the sponsor of one of my favorite Saturday programs with Andy Devine. I always thought his dog was ugly, and he was strange looking. They still sell Buster Brown shoes.

      Have a great day!

  2. Hedley Says:

    Yesterday, The Queen visited the art installation called “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” at the Tower of London. It will be my turn next week.

    If you haven’t seen the poppies, simply search poppies tower of London. Some 880,000 ceramic poppies are being placed in the moat of the Tower to remember the British war dead of the First World War. On the Armistice, the display will be removed and individual poppies offered to the public in support of charity. They told me that they have sold over 600,000.

    I am on the clock. The Detroit Lions leave on Monday for London and I am a couple of days behind them. We are all going to Wembley

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Following in the footsteps of the Queen-quite impressive- but following in the footsteps of the Tigers-mind boggling!

      I saw the poppies when they were first placed. They looked amazing and beautiful. I always buy a poppy when I see them for sale though mine are never ceramic.

      I will check out that game know that!!

      • Hedley Says:

        Kat, don’t forget its Barry Manilow night this evening on QVC. The great man will be on at 6.00 pm EST. selling his fab new album of duets with dead people. BARRY !!!

      • katry Says:

        Sadly I will have to miss it. Tonight is Race night and my friends and have a long standing tradition on Race night. We get together for appetizers and games, watch the Race and have desert while we watch. We take turns so tonight I am the appetizer person. I am serving marinated Chinese chicken wings, a corn con queso blanco dip with tortilla chips and some Irish cheddar with a side of pepper relish on flat bread crackers.

      • Hedley Says:

        Couldn’t you put Barry on while you are waiting for AR ?

      • katry Says:

        I go to my friends’ house to watch TAR.

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Coincidentally enough, I just got a new pair of shoes in the mail this morning. I am breaking them in even as I type. Shoes, hats and pocketbooks were the only things I enjoyed shopping for as a kid. Shoes are still a favorite thing of mine though I don’t buy any really stylish ones anymore. I can’t walk in heels now so I mostly stick to sneakers and Croc flip flops.
    Some years ago I walked into a shoe store chain and spied the most beautiful pair of shoes I had seen in a long time. They were T-strap with 4 inch heels, not stiletto but not stack. Something in between. It was the color that got me. It was a dark red but it looked like Japanese red lacquer that had had many layers of lacquer put over it. There was lots of depth to it. I gave momentary thought to buying them just so I could put them on the coffee table and admire them. No way I could wear them with my screwed up knee. I left the store. I went back a few days later and they were gone. I was relieved and sad. 🙂
    There was only one shoe store in my town that had the x-ray machine but my mother never took us there to shop. It was probably too pricey. I got the Buster Brown shoes. Socks, too, I think. That shop also did the Boy and Girl Scout uniforms and accessories. I remember getting my Brownie Beanie, dress and scarf and my GS pin, sash and badges in there.

    It’s a lovely day up here. Blue sky with clouds. I have the fan on in the living room. Mid October, you say? 🙂

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I don’t walk in heels any more and hated it when I had to wear them to work. Now I wear Merrill shoes for my kick-a-rounds and Chaco sandals. Those are my two go-to-it footwear.

      I love red anything, and I know exactly what the color of those shoes was. I love Japanese red lacquer. I get being relieved and sad, but I figure you really were meant to admire from afar.

      I used to get my girl scout stuff at Jordan Marsh in Malden. They had a small section for scout uniforms and small equipment.

      Lovely day here too. It is still really warm. I just opened the window in this room.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  4. flyboybob Says:

    My memories of the Buster Brown shoe store are exactly the same as yours. Independent shoe stores are rare today. I’m amazed that our entire generation didn’t get foot cancer from all those exposures to X-ray in shoe stores. 🙂 Now I buy my shoes on the Internet. They are cheaper and I don’t have to drive to the store.

    • katry Says:

      I bought my Chako sandals on line but bought my shoes in Puritan Clothing. I can afford their shoes but not their clothes. They sell top of the line clothes and some shirts are $100.00.

      I love slippers from L.L.Bean and buy those on line and wear them every day.

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