In Dad's Shoes
Jim Dodson’s column “Ode to Nettleton Shoes” (June 24) took me on a journey down memory lane.
I grew up in Connecticut, where my father took the train daily to New York City. I was always excited to see him and the other commuters dash for the train in the mornings wearing elegant suits, fedoras and topcoats in winter.
They all looked so handsome, and different from when they were at home, so there was some mystery attached to this working attire.
And, Nettleton shoes! Dad had black ones and brown ones. I remember a small seam on the front that came out of the sole to a seam which ran around the front of the shoe. Dad was very finicky about shoes. He had difficult feet (which I inherited), so good shoes were paramount to comfort. He took great care of his shoes — he polished them daily, and has passed that on to the rest of us as well.
He had shoe trees, shoe horns (which I use to put on gym shoes), and a shoe polishing box with a foot on the top where you placed your foot to better polish. He also had them polished at Grand Central Station by a professional shoe shine man.
When he did not have a shoe horn, he would use his handkerchief to aid slipping into the shoe. His shoes lasted for years. The day I got married at age 21, he wore formal attire and told me how he had married my mother in the shoes he was wearing that day.
Thanks for invoking happy memories of my father’s Nettleton shoes.
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