“The uniform makes for brotherhood, since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country.”

Yesterday was a lazy day. I watered the newly planted flowers and took a shower. That’s it for the day except for the two naps I had. My mother would have said I must have needed the sleep. Today, however, will be different. It is the dreaded laundry day. It’s not the doing but the carrying I hate, the lugging of all that laundry up two flights of stairs. I do it in shifts: one flight, a pause then the other flight. Sometimes the pause lasts a day. The laundry sits on the rocking chair glaring at me.

The day is cloudy and a bit dark. I felt chilly so I shut the windows. It is only 67˚ and won’t get much higher. What happened to the dog days of August?

I remember late summer and school shopping with my mother. The first stop was always the shoe store. My mother had to drag the four of us though only my brother and I needed new shoes. My sisters were still young and didn’t go to school yet. At the store, they’d measure our feet with that silver slide and then have us put each foot, one at a time, into the x-ray machine. I always thought it was so neat seeing the x-ray of the bones in my feet. My mother bought sturdy shoes for us hoping they’d last a while. The next stop was for new uniform clothes. I needed white blouses, a blue wool skirt and a blue cowboy looking tie. My brother needed white shirts and a blue tie. The Children’s Corner, a clothing store up town, carried the uniforms. Uptown was sort of close so we’d walk. My mother bought me a few blouses but only a single skirt. She’d also buy a couple of long-sleeve shirts for my brother. From there we’d head to my favorite stop, Woolworth’s, for school supplies. I got to pick out my pencil case, lunch box and school bag. We’d buy crayons, always Crayola, glue and pads of paper, the ones with the Indian chief on the front. I was so excited with all the purchases and was thrilled to carry the bag home.

When I was working at the high school, I used to call my mother this time of year and asked her when she was taking me school shopping. My mother would laugh, and that was her only response. I hoped for more, shoes at least.

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4 Comments on ““The uniform makes for brotherhood, since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country.””

  1. Bob Says:

    I always wondered how much radiation we baby boomers were exposed to with those x-ray machines in shoe stores. I wonder how many of the salesman developed cancer from using them six days a week? I think my mother bought me Buster Brown brand shoes until we moved to Dallas where kids could wear ‘tennis’ shoes. In NYC we called them ‘sneakers’. The Buster Brown oxfords wore like iron.

    In those days in the NY public school system the boys had to wear slacks, leather shoes and collared shirts. On Fridays it was assembly day and we wore blue slacks, white shirts and a red tie. In Dallas we could wear blue jeans which in NYC we called dungarees. A name that still sounds funny.

    Partly cloudy skies today with cool temperatures. The radar looks like the rain from TS Harvey is moving out of the Houston area.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I can’t think it was all that much radiation. None of us ended yup with ill effects though maybe the salesmen did. My mother also bought us Buster Brown shoes. They were well made and lasted a long while. I got to pick which pair I wanted. We also and still do call them sneakers.

      The public schools never had uniforms when I was a kid, but they did have a dress code. Girls wore dresses; boys wore collared shirts. No sneakers for anyone and no jeans for boys.

      It is still cold right now. It will go down to the 50’s tonight.

      • Bob Says:

        If memory serves me correctly the Buster Brown shoes didn’t wear out we just outgrow them. The tennis shies only lasted a year. I wore them daily and by August they were falling apart. I liked the low top Keds the best. Black canvass with white rubber soles.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        I think you’re right about the Buster Brown shoes.

        We wore Converse. My brother always wore black high tops as did all the boys around. I wore low top white Converse.


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