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Posts Tagged ‘junior high’

Shoes

Yes, I do have other things to do, like work, but wowee, I just came across the Virtual Shoe Museum.

The weirdest ones are clearly not made to be worn, but my faves are the ones that are weird AND made to be worn, like these pink boots, and these lace-to-the-knee sandals.

The folk shoes are pretty amazing. These remind me of a childhood friend, L. She had the misfortune of being a conventional child with a highly unconventional mother. All L wanted was to be like everyone else. All L wanted was to be like everyone else.

Among other things, her mother made all the shoes for the family, using a kit for making Murray Space Shoes. Instead of leather, she used rubberized terrycloth, dyed in various colors. I remember red, green, and even plaid pairs.

I don’t know what her father did for a living.  Did he wear the homemade ones to work?

L’s mother also foraged for wild food. She was the first person I knew who actually used Stalking the Wild Asparagus, by Euell Gibbons. She was just born too soon to be a hippie. She would have been very happy out on the farm in Oregon where I lived in 1972.

Elementary school was bad for L, but things got worse when we hit junior high. She cut off her waist-length strawberry blond braids and bleached her hair white-blond. She refused to wear the shoes, of course, and started smoking and running around with kids her mother hated. We stopped being friends around this time. I wasn’t sufficiently conventional or cool, and then we moved away.

(Their family took me on vacation a couple of times. The last time I went, L told me, “I wanted to invite K, but my mother thinks she’s a bad influence. She made me invite you because she thinks you’re a nice girl.” Fun trip. Can I go home now?)

Much later, I heard that L’s mother had died. Maybe she and L worked out their differences. I’m sure L’s mother kept wearing homemade shoes until the very end. I wonder what L wears.

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