I bought 'em in the fall of '92. Shortly after I hired on at the post office. I was young, a few months shy of twenty. I had money to burn and good times to have.
The ten inch tops were the same shade of red as you'll find on the Texas Flag.
The lower portion was the same shade as harvest ready wheat.
They were made by the Anderson Bean boot company.They were double stitched with a rounded tow and a low heel. They were the perfect pair of cowboy boots.
Now I'm no cowboy. I've never owned a horse. I couldn't rope a three legged goat much less a wild steer, and I got no desire to be bucked off of anything.
But I am a Texan, a westerner and I don't do fancy dress shoes and pressed slacks. Boots, jeans, a button down shirt. That is my idea of dressing up and that pair with the red tops were the best ones I ever had.
They were on my feet that chilly January night back in '93 when I first met my wife. They served me well as we two-stepped our way around the rodeo arena that night. Yes, I met my wife at the after dance of a bull riding event.
They were on my feet the day I said I Do. I wore starched black Wranglers and a Tuxedo top at my wedding.
They scooted around many a dance floor, took in many a good concert, and had more than a few drops of beer spilled on them.
They were the footwear I reached for when I had to attend a wedding, funeral, or writer's conference.
They were on my feet the night I danced the Hokey Pokey with Kensington editor Hilary Sares. Hilary is my favorite New Yorker, but I haven't totally forgiven her for making me put my right foot in and shake it all about. In public, before God and everybody. The next time she came to town me and my boots took her to a true Texas dive called the Golden Light Cantina since I knew damn good and well they wouldn't play the Hokey Pokey.
Those boots were what I wore to a week long writing workshop in Arizona where I met what have become great writing pals, Alex Keto and Cicily Janus.
They carried me to the graves of a few friends and both my grandpas. They danced at friend's weddings, and they had seen their share of Texas dirt.
I had 'em resoled half a dozen times, but for better than 16 years they carried on through the good times and the bad. The one thing they couldn't survive was fire.
Earlier this week one of my best friends from high school lost her dad. He succumbed tohis battle with cancer. The funeral in later this morning. I hadn't thought of my old boots until I knew I would be attending a funeral. Truth is I didn't wear often anymore. Only when I had to. The left one had been a might tight ever since I broke my ankle playing roller hockey. But despite that they were always there waiting in the closet when I needed them.
Last night I went out and found me a new pair. They are made by the same company, but quite a bit different. Styles have changed. I have changed, but I can only hope this new pair of boots serves me as well int eh coming years. and here's hoping they see lots more weddings, dances, and beer sloshes than they do funeral and tears.
Aren't they purty?