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Thinking about shoes and collections

647 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Shehryar
My first year of college was in SoCal. I am from the Midwest. I stayed with my relatives that year. My cousin, who was a senior, had an interesting, to me, shoe collection. It included one pair of Sperry canvas CVO, Sperry two eyelet leather boat shoe and a leather pebble grain shoe in tan. I am not sure if he had a Chuck Taylor basketball shoe in black but he could have. How simple things were back then for him; practical and useful for his climate. Now, as an elder back in the Midwest, I have a shoe collection. I am not sure why I do. Perhaps because I like them and I used to go places and wear them. Humans seem to collect what they like; cameras and lenses, books, linen shirts, blazers, etc. Any thoughts on "overdoing" it by collecting things?
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"If it gives you joy, and it's not hurting someone else, have at it" is my view of collecting.

I'm not a collector myself - at all - in part because I grew up with very avid collector (art, antiques, antiquities) parents. The house was a museum (echoing the Addams family), literally, because my mother tagged everything. Upend a random vase and a little card would tumble out like "Song Dynasty, c. 1100 A.D., celadon" or whatever. I was constantly terrified having rough friends over, for fear they'd scuff a Carolingian chair or break some antique Meissen.

I'm a fairly strict practical minimalist myself (usually whenever I buy something I get rid of something), BUT... that's me and my particular set of preferences. I don't regard my approach as having some kind of moral elevation; mostly, I want to live in a house where my tomboy daughter can break a sofa by leaping on it once too often (this has happened) and it's not a loss to history. Other people with other priorities can enjoy different lifestyles, like that of The Collector.

Well, I admit one exception: ties. My neckties are a biography, in part because I mostly bought them (Hermés guy here) at duty free shops when I globe-trotted in my youth. Ties I haven't worn in 30+ years, but they don't take up any space, so... there's a little hoard of stories there.

(Also my daughter has expressed an interest in using my ties for some kind of fashion look, so she's welcome to them... they'll be happy to be in play again!)

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