Posted tagged ‘tie shoes’

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

October 17, 2014

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.