A few days ago, a package arrived, a package that was Richie-driven.
In the Koerner household, there are all sorts of interesting stories. They almost become iconic, after a while. My sometimes odd personality has added much to them.
One of my goofier stories is the story of my cowboy boots, otherwise really known as ‘Harness boots’ and often used by motorcycle riders. That is kind of funny since, frankly, I am the antithesis of a motorcycle rider.
Anyway, years ago I remember going to the Deerfield Commons, the central shopping center of Deerfield. We were looking for shoes for the boys and while doing so, the shoe salesman, known to us for years as ‘Shoedog’ because of his interesting license plate, paid attention to my wandering eyes, slightly off-focus of the task at hand, ‘shoeing the kids.’
‘Shoedog’ noticed that I was looking at the boots; I had always wanted cowboy boots for some reason unbeknownst to me. In any case, they were not the usual pointy-toe cowboy boots from the west, but the square-toed variety. They were a steel black-gray with black harness straps. As I have determined, these were popular as Civil War boots and the boots from this company, Frye, a most interesting American company that has been producing leather goods since 1863.
So ‘Shoedog’ offers them to me for a ridiculously low price, which was good since there were three boys and a wife to be ‘shoed’ besides me, and our income was not all that large. If I remember correctly, we were on our way to Cleveland to visit my mom and so we ended up taking them with us as we were on our way there and were not heading back to the house before leaving.
I did not wear them all that often and Richie is convinced that I walked weirdly in them; but they were great boots. It took me a while to break them in and it was not an easy thing to get them off. I really remember enjoying them a lot when we were in Yellowstone and horseback riding on one of the family trips.
The boots were size ten and the two older boys, in adulthood were able to wear them as well. I lent them out on rare occasions and remember lending them to Tony when he and CC were talking about a visit to Gettysburg and taking a horse-guided tour. He needed to try them out or just borrow them, I am not sure of the situation now. I do remember that he returned them.
Anyway, a few years ago I decided I wanted to wear them and realized that I couldn’t find them. I have literally torn up the house trying to locate them without any luck whatsoever. They have thus become one of those mysterious things that almost seem to never have existed, being somehow swallowed up into the house somewhere. Somewhat akin to the socks that disappear without explanation after being washed. Everyone seems to think they are going to show up, but so far they have not, but I am wondering if the appearance of a newer pair might hasten the return.
Iconic, to say the least, because the infamous boots brought out in me one of my facets, of being a ‘martyr.’ Something learned from my mom, something that is even annoying to me at times, but there are just times where I just give in to eating the least successful cookies first, to giving the best portion of the food to someone else, to giving in to just not being number one. I was annoyed about the boots, but after much time and thought, I liked them but I was not ready to pay the some $300 or so that it would almost require to replace something I did not use all that often.
I have been pretty silent about my boots of late, but being me, every so often something slips out and it did in front of Richie several weeks ago. I do not recall how the subject came up, but the inner conflict of ‘Should I buy them or shouldn’t I, do I want them or don’t I, do I need them or don’t I,’ that has been going on for so long came up again. The whole situation is a combination of the ‘martyr’ thing along with a lack of total realization that the ‘financially tight’ days of my earlier teaching career are over.
Richie decided to take the bull by the horns and went ahead, located a pair of a rich, cordovan brown-tooled leather Frye harness boots, and ordered them forthwith. They serve as my slightly early birthday present from everyone. I guess my reaction to this whole story had finally gotten to everyone and my lack of realization that I could easily take care of the situation myself, but was hampered by my personality, got in the way.
Shortly thereafter, a box arrived addressed to ‘Richard Martyr Koerner’ with my new pair of boots. They fit great, I can easily get them on and off without an issue, and I did not even have to break them in, for some reason they fit even better than the original pair. Thus ends the story of my boots, or maybe not, because I am convinced that the old ones may well show up in some strange nook or cranny of our house.
Thank you, my fine family, and Richie, the spear-head of it all, for something that I really like and plan to enjoy. Now I need to find some horses and the idea of a horseback tour of Gettysburg sounds all so cool.