Our friends in California have great style when it comes to birthday gifts. For my wife's birthday this week they sent a copy of an old Rand McNally reader, Sally's Lost Shoe and Other Stories. They have a nose for turning up the most unusual and unique gifts.
It helps to know that my wife's name is Sally.
The plot of the story is that the little girl has lost her shoe and can't go to church. Mamma and Daddy Bumsey (yes, "Bumsey") tell four-year-old Sally, "If you can't find your white shoe, wear your brown ones." Unfortunately her only (!!) other pair of shoes is a shabby brown pair, and they're unacceptable to wear to church with her new red dress.
Click here for full size image.
A digression. This book was published in 1945, and almost certainly written during WWII, so coming out of the Depression into a time of wartime shortages it wasn't uncommon for a child in even a middle-class household to have only one or two pairs of shoes. It seems ridiculous in our modern America of conspicuous over-consumption, but those were the times. Children reading this story in 1945 wouldn't find that unusual at all, but today's kids might say, "Why don't her parents run her over to Wal-Mart and buy her a new pair?" For one thing, the story takes place on Sunday morning and in those days no store would have been open on Sunday morning. Also, stores that sold shoes were shoestores. Like the ones I went to, Poll Parrot, or Buster Brown shoes. We could stand at the fluoroscope, some sort of x-ray machine, stick our feet in the box and look at our foot bones! No wonder my feet hurt so much nowadays.
But, I digress on my digression. Sally's story is rather simple. Her little floppy-eared dog, Jiggsey, has taken the shoe. He's being very cool. While Mamma and Daddy Bumsey (good god, what a name) and big brother Dick search for the shoe, Jiggsey just stands around doing nothing. Of course this tells Dick, who is apparently a six-year-old Sherlock Holmes, and probably grows up to be a New York City detective, that the dog had something to do with the shoe's disappearance. Dick goes to Jiggsey's doghouse, and sure enough, there is the shoe. Not a very complicated story, just kind of cute for a young kid to grasp.
If I were looking for Sally's shoes I might have a different idea of what I'm looking for. Here are some shoes I think would cause a buzz in church:
How about these high heel sneakers? "Put on your high heel sneakers, 'cause we're going out tonight..." as the old song goes. You always wondered what they looked like:
Here's a pair that Lucy Ricardo would have worn!
If she wanted to keep Ricky home more often she might have worn these along with this cute little outfit.
Finally, if Sally wanted to bring the devil into church, she might have worn these:
Yikes! I'd call these Book of Revelations shoes. They'd make it easy to "kick against the pricks."
Ciao for now, El Postino