MAE JULIAN

YE OLDE SHOE STORE

 

Dear Waynedale Friends,

Boy! ‑Have times changed! ‑Now, I’m not saying everything should be like they were in the old days (the 50’s) but what has happened to sales people? ‑Back when I was a kid, the sales people treated kids with courtesy unless they were misbehaving, in which case, they got kicked out, and their parents were called.

The shoe store in Waynedale, there on Lower Huntington Road, must have been one of a kind! Or, perhaps, sales people were just better back then. For instance, I would go in there with my paper route money to buy shoes, and be treated royally, not that I would have known what royally meant, except in retrospect. I would be greeted with smiles and questions about how I was doing, and Mr. and Mrs. Lewis would inquire about my grades, and my mother’s health or whatever other small talk was needed. Then. Mr. Lewis would have me take off my right shoe and he would sit on a seat in front of me that had a slanted part for me to place my foot on. He would measure my foot and remark on how I was growing, just like he could remember. He would find a selection of shoes, and, using a shoehorn, would slide the right shoe onto my right foot. It was always the right foot. Then he would walk me around and he would have me stand up on the x-ray machine and have me stick my foot in. Then we both looked thought different portholes to view my skeletal foot. “Wiggle those toes” he’d laugh, and I’d wiggle. Mr. Lewis knew exactly how shoes should fit and make sure I had room to grow. (back then we only got shoes once or twice a year). Then I’d be led back to my seat, and he would feel the shoe on my foot and press in on the toe and have me stand up and sit down, to make sure they were perfect. After this ritual, he would have me walk back and forth across the store and his beaming wife would look on approvingly at this growing child. When it was decided that I had the right fit, he would say, ” Well, now there! ‑Those should last you awhile!”. ‑And I would dig out my money and pay him and he would always give me the choice as to whether I wanted to wear my new shoes out of the store, or if I would rather carry them in the box. Of course, I always wore the new ones, and carried the old ones out in the box! ‑Memories stick in your head as to how things “ought” to be.

Yesterday, I took my 12 year old grandson to buy him a pair of running shoes. I decided if he was going to run around the track that many times in competition, he couldn’t be running in those cloddy black shoestringless things that all the boys wear. No, MY grandson would be wearing the best running shoes I could find. I first took him to a place called DICK’S. ‑I took him there because Rick Pitino advertises it. Rick Pitino, the ultimate basketball coach, who wears Armani suits. Clay was in for some high class treatment! ‑Well, first of all, there was no shoe salesman, and when I finally found him laughing in the back room with his girlfriend. I said, ‑Ah-Hem! ‑‑He looked at me and said…..” ya need somethin’?” ‑He moseyed out and looked at Clay and said, ” What size ya’ wear?” ‑Clay told him he wore a 12. I thought, how old is that kid anyway? What a dip! ‑He stayed gone a long time and I had to retrieve him from his romantic interlude AGAIN from the back room. “Oh yeah” he said, and walked out with a box of shoes and handed them to Clay and left again. I was insulted and I DO intend to bring this to Rick Pitino’s attention! ‑We left and went to a new store in the mall called Galleons. Very uppity, supposedly. Clay said the shoes would cost a lot here. ‑That was not an issue. I wanted the BEST running shoes that would carry my grandson handsomely around that track. WELL! ‑Again I get a dippy kid! ‑(Aren’t there any salesMEN anymore?) ‑He wasn’t sure which were the track shoes, the running shoes, or the basketball shoes. Clay walked up and picked a pair off the wall and said, “these are track shoes”. ‑I said to Mr. Skinny Ding-Dong, ” Is there someone here who can help us with track shoes who knows what they are?” ‑He disappeared and I saw him in conference with some guy. Mr. Skinny Ding-Dong comes back and says they have three types in Clay’s size, went in the back room and brought out 3 boxes of shoes and disappeared. We had to lace the shoes, try them on, have Clay sprint and make a decision, with no advice from this now-absent salesboy.

Yes, the shoes were expensive, and they were well made. Even I, the non-shoe person could ascertain that much. We went up to the counter and bought the shoes and never saw the salesboy again.

Now I ask you! ‑‑Have times really changed this much? ‑I have to think that if I had been in Waynedale, that things would have gone much differently. However, I don’t know if Mr. Lewis is still around. He would have been appalled too! ‑I have heard that when you long for the good old days you’re getting old. I don’t know if I’m old, I’d just like to have a shoe salesman do his job!

 

The Grandmother of a future Olympian,

Mae

The Waynedale News Staff
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