Thursday, May 03, 2007


Today one of our Board of Directors was in the office signing checks and our little pain-in-the-butt, Yorkie-Shiatsu, named Bridget attacked his shoes. He was wearing work shoes with laces and Bridget was trying to untie the shoes and he just ignored her. "Oh don't worry about her, my girlfriends little dog eats all of my shoe laces up, whether my feet are in the shoes or not" he ventured. "The problem is replacing the laces as 1st of all they are hard to find and secondly the colors don't seem to match," he finished. It got me to thinking about the problem of replacement laces and I too have that problem. The obvious choice is Wal-Mart or K-Mart and it doesn't usually work out. The problem is that there aren't very many shoe stores around anymore as the "Big Box Stores" have ran them out of business. JC Penny's and Sears come to mind as having shoe store within their stores and they are definitely not a good option. When was the last time you walked into a "pseudo-shoe store" and saw a foot X-Ray machine? The shoe fitting fluoroscope was a common fixture in shoe stores during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. A typical unit, like the Adrian machine shown here, consisted of a vertical wooden cabinet with an opening near the bottom into which the feet were placed. When you looked through one of the three viewing ports on the top of the cabinet (e.g., one for the child being fitted, one for the child's parent, and the third for the shoe salesman or saleswoman), you would see a fluorescent image of the bones of the feet and the outline of the shoes.

You just can't find a good shoe fitting fluoroscope anymore so what else is there? How about a good foot gauge along with someone that really knows how to use it. When my wife Dale and I moved to the State Capital in Pierre, SD, so that I could work for the Division of Criminal Investigation, she found work in a local Shoe Store. She knows how to use a foot gauge because they taught her. In fact she knows a lot about shoes and proper fittings. She even had her feet fluoroscoped when she was a little girl. I always wanted my feet fluoroscoped but my mother would never allow me to have it done. Didn't believe in them I guess.

I have friends out in South Dakota, at the Rushmore Mall in Rapid City, that own a real shoe store and have for years. They do really well with it. I'll bet they would have the replacement laces that I need and in the correct color. Wonder what a round trip flight would cost?

I really don't know much about shoes and I definitely don't have a foot fetish but I thought this was a good subject to write a story about. All I know about feet is that when I was 14 and a counselor at a Boy Scout Camp [Camp Old Broadaxe], I slipped on the side of the pool and ripped all of the toenails off of my foot and boy did that hurt. Said a lot of non-Boy Scout things. and 2 weeks after that I had to be in my Brother Bill's wedding. My Mom had to buy me two pair of shoes because one of the shoes had to be large enough to hold the lambs wool that protected my toes. 2 weeks after that football started. Jeez!


Anonymous said...

...your mom didn't believe in the use of the fluoroscope... no doubt, because it would expose you to x-rays!!! Fluoroscopes are not used today because science has progressed... we understand the dangers of exposure to radiation.

Ted said...

Thanks for the comment and thank goodness for science and Moms....Ted