I don’t know that I ever even noticed Jerry McLoughlin at Clover Park High School. We were both seniors, but he transferred in during the year. Years later, I commented to a friend that I rarely saw anyone from Clover Park and my friend said, “Well you see Jerry every Thursday at Rotary.” I just looked at her and said, “What?” I had to look him up in the yearbook. One of my favorite memories of Jerry was one lunch meeting at Rotary. He was wearing a red suit and red and white brogans or wingtips. I loved the shoes like this one from SuitUSA Retail, Inc. If there had been a little more of a heel and were available in 12 6E, I would have run out . . . well, walked out . . . and bought me a pair.
As a high school senior, I usually had money and subscribed to Playboy magazine for the styles. Okay, okay, so I actually purchased the magazine and kept them under the bed where my younger cousin Chuck could find them when he stayed over. But I did buy fashionable clothes like my favorite wool sweater from Seattle Knitting Mills, and a pair of shoes with Cuban heels. Both were advertised in Playboy. The Cuban heels allowed my feet to have an actual arch. I used to say that I was so flat footed that in gym class after taking a shower I sometimes had friends rock me back and forth to break the suction between my feet and the tile floors.
Today finding shoes that fit and feel good are a luxury. Style is secondary or thirdary. My wife Peg and I used to travel to Seattle with our friend Jan for the annual Northwest Folk Life Festival at the Seattle Center. We would park ourselves at a table and be entertained all day long with songs both familiar and new. The groups and singles would change every fifteen minutes or so. People in the audience would come and go. I noted their individual clothing and shoe styles and remarked that it looked like most wearers were entered into an ugly shoe contest. Over the years standing hours behind a camera, I have found the need for comfy shoes no matter what they look like. I haven’t won any contests, but feel like I could still compete.
My shoe advice? Make sure the shot fits . . . and then wear it.
P.S. Look for a future article on socks!