The other day while putting on my shoes, I suffered one of life’s little setbacks. My shoehorn went, “crack”. It just snapped. When it broke, it did not simply break into two pieces. While obviously broken, the two pieces were strangely held together by a piece of plastic almost skin-like material. It was like a hinge break. This was a museum quality faux turtle shell Florsheim shoehorn given to me by Antonio Giovanni Di Vito.
Needless to say, this hinge break left me a bit unhinged. The way I figure it, a shoehorn, which is a 15th-Century invention, should last longer than this one had lasted.
Steaming at what is obviously poor shoehorn performance, I fired off an email to my friend who had given me the shoehorn. The email had to travel 3000 miles to reach him, but it did not take long.
My friend’s name is Antonio Giovanni Di Vito and he is the CEO of Shoe Horns R US, International. With a name like Antonio Giovanni Di Vito, it was probably somewhat suicidal of me to send a scathing email, but I was ticked and I had forgotten Tony is a connected guy all the way back to Comune di Bella, just 571.1 kilometers from Sicily which is located in the lower central part of the Italian boot.
I told Tony while I was not angry with him, I was bitterly disappointed his gift had not held up as long as I would have expected.
Tony, wanting to make it right with me, pointed out that while the longevity of his gift obviously disappointed me, there were a few mitigating circumstances I should consider.
Tony reminded me that he had given me the FREE shoehorn 57 years ago during our high school years back in 1961 when he worked a part-time job in a Puyallup shoe store.
Tony found it interesting that it took a broken shoehorn to motivate me to contact him since we had absolutely no other contact in any form, including Christmas cards, since graduating from high school in 1962.
I have big feet, which obviously put a strain on the design and materials of the Florsheim shoehorn.
He would be very pleased to send me another museum quality replacement shoehorn which was made in America.
I said, alright if you are going to send a replacement, I will calm down. I moved my lawn chair out to the street in front of my mailbox and waited 3 days for Tony’s package.
In a few days, the replacement shoehorn arrived. What a beauty. This is no plastic shoehorn. It is made out of solid steel and has a shiny chrome finish. It is a genuine Allen-Edmonds shoehorn.
Tony personally chose this shoehorn from his exclusive private internationally acclaimed shoehorn collection. Tony originally acquired the shoehorn in the early 1970s while leading 25 shoehorn aficionados on an official cross-country Shoehorn Collector Association tour.
This specimen was located in upper Eastern Seaboard in Portland, Maine. The $2.00 price tag is still affixed to the back of the shoehorn. The shoehorn is worth $12.80 in today’s dollars. Absolutely a top cabin shoehorn meant for only the most discriminating shoehorn user.
It has to be the most comfortable shoehorn I have ever used. It is a double-ender shoehorn too. Depending on the size of your heel, you can use one end for a normal heel or the opposite end for a tiny heel. (Note: Ms. Hammond, you almost got me again, but I looked at the word heal in the previous sentence and decided to do a Mary Hammond check. Presto – heel.)
You can use this shoehorn as a soup spoon.
You can scrape out an avocado with this shoehorn.
The shoehorn has such a fine shiny finish I can use it to send an SOS signal should I become lost in the mountains.
The other day around 4:00a in the morning, when I caught a thief coming out of my chicken coop, I was able to beat him half to death with my new shoehorn.
Obviously, an Allen-Edwards shoehorn is a handy item with many uses beyond the obvious shoe installation feature.
I have to say thank you to Antonio Giovanni Di Vito. I appreciate that when Tony gives a buddy a gift, it comes with a lifetime guarantee.
In my 74th year, I can safely predict, this shoehorn will last for the rest of my life.
Some of you, with inquisitive minds, may wonder what I did with the broken shoehorn. I shipped if off to a high school pal of Tony’s and mine who owns Larry King’s International Fixit Center where Mr. King’s motto, posted over the door reads, “If you can break it anywhere in the world, we can fix it right here at King’s International Fixit Center.”
If you have read this far, you are certainly within your right to decide if this has been a fun or boring article, but you cannot deny this is probably the first shoehorn story you have ever read and probably the last shoehorn story you will ever read.
The exception to my shoehorn story prognostication might occur should I write a shoehorn sequel, but I ask you, how much more can I say about shoehorns?