Jeanne Bluth of St. George shares a memorable experience from her youth: Growing up during WWII and using rationing stamps for items such as sugar and shoes put a lot of pressure on my dear old dad. “Jeanne girl,” he would say, “we need to do something about those shoes you are wearing.” As he looked at my shoes, dusty and worn looking, he would shake his head. The sole on one shoe was loose and flapping as I moved about. To me, it wasn’t the least bit annoying. In fact, I had a kick to my steps like a little dance so it would make a flap flap sound in rhythm. I was fine with the soles coming off my shoe, at least for a while.
When the sole on my other shoe started to come loose, it was kind of difficult to run without falling. My knees were constantly bruised, cut and scabbed over. Then I had a bright idea. Gum! Sticky bubble gum would hold the soles to the bottom of my shoes! Was it worth the sacrifice of giving up my coveted bubble gum to fix my shoes? Perhaps, after all the sweetness was chewed out of the gum I could use it for shoe putty. Finally, out of desperation, I put my pink bubble gum under the flap, and the soles of my shoes were secured-just like new. So, I thought anyway. It did not last.
I came home from school one day and there was a bigger than usual shoebox from Christensen’s department store. New shoes! When I opened the box, there inside the box, was a pair of “boy” high top boots, brown no less. “Someone at Christensen’s gave you the wrong shoes,” I told my dad. “No, these are the shoes I bought for you, try them on.” My father was trying to be kind. “But daddy, these are for guys. See the hooks for the laces at the top, girl shoes would not have these!" "Oh, I see what you mean,” he lamented. “Well, I can fix that.” He took out his pocket knife, cut the hooks off the boy boots, leaving only the eyelet holes. “Now see they are girl shoes.” Jeanne wore her “boy shoes” all year and discovered that she could run faster than anyone else and the soles never did come loose.
NEXT TIME: Family Challenges.