Friday, December 9, 2011

Santas Boots

Somebody said  'a boot is a boot'. I disagree - boots have personality.I know that mine have over the years.

For instance, when I was in elementary school I lived a mile out of town and it was quite a walk back and forth to school. No school bus for that school. Our usual winter apparel was blue jeans and plaid shirts and heavy coats, scarves\, gloves (or mittens) and stocking caps. On my feet were high-top boots with a pocket on the side of one to hold  a knife. These were heavy, not well lined, so we would wear one or two hesvy socks. The knife in the boot pocket almost needed to be a Barlow unless wanted to be out of the Junior Macho group.I re member rubbing neatsfoot oil into my hightops so that they would (supposedly) be waterproof. It didn't always work. And the hightops almost always had leather-strip laces that almost never broke.

I used to hate galoshes - they kept the snow off your feet unless you had to go through big drifts or deep puddles of water. They were floppy and closed with clasps. Galoshes went on over shoes or boots and were clumsy and awkward. I'm not talking about British Wellingtons - could have waded in a creek with them. They were more practical as far as I was concerned -  I hated galoshes when snow or water would come over the top and go down the boot insides and soak my feet and socks.

Then there were boon-dockers. Correction: there have been, are, and will always be boondockers When I was in the Air Force these were the issue work shoe and they were heavy and would make a  sound when you walked. In basic training the Drill Sergeant would be after us continually to put a glossy shine not only on our black low quarter shoes but on the boondockers as well. Problem was, with the boondockers the rough side of the leather was on the outside and that made it almost impossible to get a really good shine on the boondockers. The Drill Sergeant took sadistic pleasure in reminding us that our boots were almost never as shiny as they should be.

I also had to wear steel-toed boots or work shoes when I worked in  a machine shop. I was glad for these boots - the protective covers over my toes worked a number of times to save toes when I dropped steel bars on my feet. I put steel toed boots and safety glasses as two of the most important things I had to wear.

Then there are the red boots in the photo. I call them my 'Santa Boots' because they look like the kind of footwear that might have been appropriate at the north pole. They are Hush Puppies and I love them dearly. They became mine when Joyce and I left Florids after 17 years of warm weather living to move the the north land of Michigan. My church friends decided to provide us a roast before we left and in the process gave us all kinds of things they had hung onto when they migrated to sunny Florida. Most of these gifts were gag gifts and there was a lot of laughter during the presentation. One of the men gave me a beat-up pair of boondockers that looked as thought they had come from the Spanish-American War. But the tops and soles were great and all it took was a few licks of Boondocker Polish and new laces and they felt almost new. They lasted a good ten years before going to Goodwill industries, Not to be junked, but to go a few more years on someone elses redneck feet. The boots in the picture were a gift from a retired New York judge who thought he'd never need them in Florida. I polished them up - wore them a while - put new zippers and new soles on them - and they are among my favorites even today.  I don't think that Judge Lee ever thought that they would last like they have but there are doing just fine - thank you - and I may be buried with my Santa boots on when the time comes for me to take my final journey way up north..

Like Nancy Sinatra sang, 'These boots were made for walking' and they bring back good memories..

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