Saved it. I'm sure he won't mind.
Thanks Drew - those are some good 2 cents.Saved it. I'm sure he won't mind.
August 1978. I'm sixteen. A brand new Ford Thunderbird pulls up to my driveway. The passenger door opens and I'm told to slide into the back. I kick aside an empty bottle of Evan Williams bourbon and take my seat. Lynyrd Skynyrd's "That Smell" plays from an 8-track. "Hey, let me see the bottom of your shoes." I comply. A head nods in seemingly reluctant approval.
Sperry Original Authentic Top-Sider, the correct boat shoe since the 1930's and a prep cliché for more than 27 years. J. Crew will even wash and pre-distress a pair for a mere $14.50 over the regular price.
I guess I passed the sole test *. Hal, the driver of the new T-Bird (his uncle owned a dealership), had picked me up on the first day of school. The school district in this Alabama town did not operate buses, so you had to find your own way to school. Our neighborhood car pool consisted of Hal, Rusty, Chas (son of Charley, the infamous football coach), David and me. I was the odd man out, a new kid in school and "from New York" (thus already somewhat suspect). Had I been wearing Sebagos or the cheap Parisian store brand, I fear I would have been labeled both a pretender and a damn Yankee. Nobody wore Sebagos. Nobody. I still won't consider it.
The year I spent in Alabama opened my eyes to a different style of dress than that to which I was familiar in (way) upstate New York. More chinos, Ralph Lauren Polo polo shirts were prominent, an abundance of madras, brighter colors all-around, Weejuns worn sockless, etc. The pretty girls. The girls I remember the most. Sundresses, khaki skirts, pearls, add-a-bead necklaces, pink stripe oxford cloth button-downs, penny loafers. All the bright colors. The girls in New York were hippies and any similarities to the girls in Alabama began and ended at their Dr. Scholl's wood sandals.
If I'd had more gumption back then, I'd have asked my neighbor Elizabeth to share a ride to school. She was just right in every way that mattered and drove a green VW bug. Future debutante. Future Junior Leaguer. Wore Top-Siders.
* The Top-Sider sole is siped with narrowly-spaced cut grooves. Docksides and their knock-offs at the time had widely-spaced molded grooves.
My 2 cents...
Do you want to be topside or do you want to be on the dock? I wear Top-Siders.