Polish...shoe polish, that is. (is that cheating?) when I was a kid, our weekends revolved around 'sleeping contests', dad-made brunches, some sort of outdoor activity (archery, 'survival training', going to gymnastics meets, working around the house), watching Tarzan in my parents big bed, and pizza for Sunday dinner. when they were full, we would roll up the pennies my dad saved in the two matching banks he kept for my brother and me. and then there was the shoe polishing. my dad loved a nice, high shine on his shoes - he loved shoes - it may have had something to do with the poverty of his childhood. but he was mad for 'cowboy' boots, and wore them often, even though he had problems with his feet, and they pained him. often I helped him remove them at the end of the day by straddling his leg and cupping the heel of his boot in my hands, while he put his other foot on my butt and pushed. the memory makes me smile... : )
anyway - when Pops died, some of the things of his I kept were his shoe polishing gear. the smell of it takes me back to the carefree weekends of my youth, with my arm buried in a tall, leather boot, buffing, buffing, buffing. when I hold those old, wooden brushes in my hand, it's like I'm holding his memory, and I feel safe, content, at peace. these totems live on my closet shelf, in a plastic shoebox, and until recently, hadn't been out in a long while. sometime during the last decade, I noticed that a friend of mine had a cool old shoe polishing box, and I thought, 'oh, I want one of those...' and that was as far as it went. well, as you may have already guessed, a recent trip to the thrift store yielded me my desire, and I picked up a cute little Kiwi Shoe Groomer for just a few bucks. it's not much of anything but a wooden box with a rubber strip on top, but Kiwi was my dad's brand, so home it came to get all cleaned up and put to use.
here's the treasure trove of brushes, polishes, and conditioners that may be as old as me, and a bar of saddle soap that's probably my elder, but still works great.
I don't happen to have any leather shoes just now, so I demonstrated this never-before-seen skill to my little one on his penny loafers. he didn't get it at first, but once he saw how shiny they got, he kind of got into it
see how nice? I can tell you with a great deal of certainty that Pops would have told me to buff them some more, but really, where's this kid going that he needs such mirror shine? recess?
shoe polish. that's what I've got for you this week, kids. did you ever shine your own shoes? did your parents? I remember when there used to be a bottle of 'white stuff' in the kit to spot clean my Buster Brown Mary Jane's of those scuff marks I used to get on them from swinging my feet all the time. man, I hated those shoes! I was much happier in my Chucks, Zipps, or what we called shit-kickers (which I think most people simply call work boots, but the tan ones, with the cushioned ankle). I may have to procure some more leather shoes, just so I can polish them with regularity!