20 July, 2011
THREE GENERATIONS OF CRAWLING BEFORE WE COULD WALK
On a bar room bet, Ernest Hemmingway once wrote a six-word story about "never-worn" baby shoes that were "on sale". While I'm no Hemmingway, I too have a story about baby shoes, but in this case they were well worn -- by my grandfather, by my father and me.
Photographed above are prized old baby shoes worn by three generations of the Wright family. On the left are surprisingly well-preserved genuine leather shoes worn by my grandfather Wesley as a toddler, 1849-'50. In the middle are colorful, red boots worn by my father Kennth, probably for a short period, 1899-1900 as her learned to walk. On the right are bronzed shoes (originally white in color) that were worn by me as I took my first steps in the year 1939 on the same hard wood floor on Sydenham Street in Dresden as my father some 40 years before.
It is interesting to note that my left baby shoe was worn (tilts) more to one side. To this day I wear out the heels on my left shoe in the same manner.
As I hobble along now on two repaired feet and ankles, I give thanks for every step I have taken in life -- and for those three pairs of old baby shoes that helped start it all for us.