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In My Shoes

by Eva Pasco


In My ShoesI’ve tap danced into the notion that one could cross the threshold from the Fifties into the Sixties by walking its miles in our shoes.  Carl Perkins had an obsession with “Blue Suede Shoes” (1955)—Well, you can do anything/But lay off my blue suede shoes. Dodie Stevens sings about her guy named Dooley, who’s not too good lookin’, though she’s wild about his crazy clothes accessorized with a polka dot vest and big Panama hat with a purple hat band in “Pink Shoe Laces” (1959)--He wears tan shoes with pink shoelaces…ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh.  Jerry Jeff Walker wrote and recorded “Mr. Bojangles” (1968), a song about an alcoholic, tap dancing drifter-- I knew a man, Bojangles, and he danced for you in worn out shoes. With silver hair, a ragged shirt and baggy pants, the old soft shoe.  George Harrison wrote “Old Brown Shoe,” a guitar solo released on the B-side of “The Ballad of John and Yoko” in 1969-- Now I'm steppin' out this old brown shoe /Baby I'm in love with you. However, Nancy Sinatra’s stance in her boots kicked attitude when she recorded “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” in 1966, giving her fella a piece of her mind for messin’ where he shouldn’t be a messin’-- Well, these boots are made for walkin', and that's just what they'll do/ One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.  


As a youngster in the Sixties, stepping out into the world in my shoes, I have a fond recollection of having worn and worn out a few pairs of brown and white saddle Oxfords. Since I wore them to school, my mother frequently applied white shoe polish to the leather to keep them groomed. Wearing sneakers to school wasn’t considered quite kosher at the time, though most of us kids were allowed to wear our canvas Keds during the late spring season before school let out. I have a special fondness for my Sunday best patent leather pumps with squashed heels, reveling in the echo that resounded on linoleum. In junior high I remember stepping out in penny loafers, making sure the  Lincoln heads were straight on either my oxblood or black pair. These bore the brunt of many scuff marks. 


Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale, and Diana Rigg playing sexy Emma Peel in “The Avengers” ventured forth in sleek black leather boots which started off at ankle height and moved up to knee-high by 1966. Kinky Boots, better known as Go-Go Boots-- not only a mantra, but a classification. I owned a white pair which paired well with my skirts and mohair sweaters.  Yet, the best to come for stepping out into the world in my shoes, was the fashion trend of colorful stockings which knocked the socks off garters and nylons with the potential to score runs.  Textured, colored, knee high, or full length—Women's lib!   


No matter how we’ve crossed the threshold from one generation to the next through all the miles we’ve walked in our shoes, Joe South sums it best at the end of the Sixties era in “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” (1969)—Yeah, before you abuse, criticize, and accuse/Walk a mile in my shoes.


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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco



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