When I was much younger I wore cowboy boots everyday. I seldom wore anything else. Even back in high school.
When my first taste of prosperity came along I bought not just boots, I bought boots made from the most exotic leather I could find. Cost was no object. Ostrich, Kangaroo, Elk Hide, snake of several varieties. But Elephant Ear was what I preferred. They were the most rugged and didn’t need to be polished. They were meant to have a dull finish.
Ostrich was very durable as well. I even had a pair made from the leg of ostriches. They weren’t so durable.
When it would rain us out in the construction world I would go buy a new expensive pair of boots. I’m not sure what the correlation between rain and spending money for boots was. You would think it would have been the opposite. If it was raining, I was already loosing money at every turn, but I guess I knew the rain would stop and I’d need some new boots to go tromping through the mud in.
My closet overran with boots. Buying boots when it rained caused there to be an over supply of boots. Maybe if I had been buying cheap boots, they would have fallen apart faster, but not ones that cost several hundred dollars per pair.
Allen’s Boots had just opened the first store, on South Congress. I became fairly good friends with Stephan Allen Greenberg, the owner. Enough so if he found a new type of leather he would call to let me know he had it in my size and would set a pair aside for me.
I realize none of what I’ve just said makes any sense to most people. I’m not sure but I think that where men have the XY chromosomes and women have XX chromosomes, I was wired with 3 chromosomes. 2 X’s and a Y. I was headed into Imelda Marcos of the Philippines, territory. She had over 3000 pairs of shoes when she and her husband were ripped from power.
Sometime along the way I stopped buying boots. A nice pair of shoes seemed more responsible for me. Several of my boys took up the cowboy style of dress in high school and started borrowing boots and then one day there were no more boots.
A few years ago Madeline and I were invited to a benefit for some organization. It was held at a local ranch with a western theme. I bought a pair of boots to wear to that. I think I bought them a size too small. They really hurt my feet and I pulled them off when I got home and there they set still.
Maybe I’ll have a grandson that wants to dress like a cowboy one day.
Since I originally wrote this something happened that made for a perfect place for those boots to go. My brother Kenny’s house burned last November. They lost just about everything. He has always enjoyed having a nice selection of boots but the fire left him with nothing but a pair of house shoe or sneakers, that were on his feet.
A day or so later I saw those boots sitting there in my closet. Kenny has always had a size smaller foot than me, so that pair of boots found a new home.