Dad's Size 14 Shoes, a story



They say when you are old enough you might try to walk in your dads shoes. Try as I may, I will never be able to walk in my dad's size 14 shoes…I am near the age of 50 and my feet just won't grow any further they will probably stay at 10/5 C…

My Dad stood about 6/2 and about 185 pounds. He walked everywhere. We moved into Iowa City from the farm, where he walked 3 miles each day to work and back. He worked at the hospital and also delivered meals to patients, and worked in the kitchen. My Dad also mowed lawns for extra cash, and walked a lot in general.

Now you know why we had to visit our shoemaker quite often. First of all it is hard to find size 14 shoes, and so it was prudent to keep his shoes repaired. Some times the soles would come loose at the toes, and also needed stitching and new heels. He faithfully cleaned, and polished, and oiled them 2-3 times each week When the soles got thin he would cut up pieces of cereal boxes for insoles to keep his feet dry until he could afford to go to the shoe repair shop and have new half soles put on.

So I grew up seeing first hand the value of going to our local shoe repair shop. When I was a paperboy, I had a customer that was a shoe repair shop on my route. I had a friend who was a senior in high school that worked there so I would hang around quite often.

The summer before I became a sophomore, my friend wanted to know if I could take his place to learn how to sew rips on shoes. He worked for a commission of 50% of any rips that he could do. I agreed to the same wage. There were always rips to be done. I got busy! Sometimes I earned 75 dollars cash each week. I thought I was rich.

Alas, the shoemaker found out that I was only 15, so he sent me away after the summer vacation and promised to let me come back when my 16th birthday came in December

That began my shoe repair career.

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