Deep mourning for a pair of shoes…

Sometime during a life you find a pair of shoes that become so much a part of you, that when they die you go through a phase of mourning. I’ve always liked good footwear. I’ve owned shoes that have cost hundreds of dollars. Back when I was something of an eighteen year old dandy (1960), I spent £36 on a pair of handmade Italian winkle pickers that mauled my feet in ways that I’m probably still paying for. Then my weekly wage as a junior teller in the ANZ Bank was £16 a week. That’s makes them an extravagance the equivalent of a $1000 in today’s money. Yeh, I like good shoes…

About five years ago, in Big W, I came across a sale of black Converse skate shoes. They had been knocked down from $75 to $20. Obviously not cool enough for the skating crowd, I kind of liked their style, so I bought two pair. They turned out to be the most comfortable shoes I’d ever owned. They took whatever I threw at them and when given a lick of Kiwi Parade Ground polish would come up slick enough to make a pair of Levis and a good jacket pass for formal wear in most of the situations in which I work.

They travelled with me through Malaysia, Borneo, New Guinea and the Australian outback. When travelling, I rotated them so that there was always a smart pair when the other had been marched through the mire. Last year, one pair passed away. Then this year after travelling nearly 20,000 kilometres through the Australian outback, the last pair turned up its heels, so to speak. I reverently placed them in the box in which their replacement had arrived as though it was a coffin and brought them home with a resolve to do a photographic homage to my faithful footwear. I miss them still…

RIP Converse skate shoes and the mark they left in the red dust of the Kimberley...© Rob Walls 2011


Filed under Australia, Australian, Digital photography, Photography, Rob Walls

4 responses to “Deep mourning for a pair of shoes…

  1. What no bright red Hi-Tops? 🙂

  2. Irene walls

    Sad, ha ha ha.
    Hope you find new shoes Rob.

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