Why I woke up thinking of Popham’s Shoe Store this morning remains a mystery. I haven’t bought shoes there since I left my hometown forty years ago. Theirs was the only shoe store in town. During my public-school days in the early seventies, their shoe selection for children seldom changed. I learned to tie laces in a bow by practicing on black velvet saddle shoes with leather detailing around the eyelets. From kindergarten to second grade, I wore the exact same shoe in incremental sizes. In third grade I chose big girl shoes and repurchased that style until fifth grade. The pattern continued until I graduated to adult sizes.
The arrangement satisfied me. I was content. No one at school teased me because, with the exception of a few well-off town kids, we were all in the same boat. I usually had three or four school outfits, and play clothes for at home. Hand-me-downs, let out waistbands (and shirt buttons removed then sewn on further to the right) were the norm not the exception.Continue reading “A Return to Contentment”