One of my friends tells me that my favorite shoes are a style favored by lesbians. He says that all I need to complete the picture is a tall tumbler of vodka and grapefruit juice with salt around the rim. According to memory, 1995 was the year he attended the ladies Nabisco Dinah Shore golf tournament in Rancho Mirage, California where the fairways during that four day event were crowded with lesbians wearing my shoes and toasting each other with big salty dog vodka cocktails. I had a big laugh hearing that and told everyone I saw for the next few weeks that my Palm Street Fisherman sandals were all the rage among golfing lesbians.
Rockport has been making shoes since 1972 and a few years later came up with a sandal they called the Palm Street Fisherman sandal. The first Rockport shoe I bought was the Palm Street Fisherman, enough to convince me that I had found a totally comfortable and durable shoe. Most of my shoes since have been Rockport. Hard to remember when exactly it was I bought the Palm Street sandals, but I’m certain it was no later than 1990 and possibly even earlier. Twenty-five years and those sandals are still pounding the roads, still babying my feet. The style I bought way-back-when is slightly different from the one available now. Originally, they were designed with buckles but the buckle has since been replaced by a more convenient Velcro strap.
Last week the right sandal suddenly began feeling loose, though not to the extent it was falling off my foot. The buckle strap had broken free of the leather side-piece it was stitched to. Right off I could see it was the kind of break easily repaired—that is, if you could find one of those rare people who were at one time called a cobbler. Being a Net savvy kind of guy, I googled ’shoe repair’ and came up with a fair number of hits for my area. Only problem was, none of them turned out to be shoe repair specialists. One of the stores I called suggested trying a motorcycle-leather goods store a few miles down the road. My response was, “Huh? That store is all Hell’s Angels and Harley Davidson!” The lady encouraged me to give them a try.
This sign is a bit deceiving. Maybe once it was a saddle shop.
These days it’s a motorcycle shop.
So I took my broken Rockport sandal there and met a cool, laid back motorcycle mama who looked at the sandal and said, “Sure. Give me a few minutes. You can wait or come back in a while if you’d rather.” I took the dawg for a walk and returned about thirty minutes later. Perfect fix, perfect price: $4.00. At first she said five, but when it turned out I had only four singles apart from a twenty, she said, “Let’s make it easy. $4.00 is fine.”
Sometimes you get the feeling that everybody is trying to take advantage of you and then suddenly up pops one who surprises you.
I came home from the repair shop and mixed myself a big salty dog vodka cocktail.