Wearing boots was the thing in the 30s, 40s

Growing up in the Rochelle area during the depression of the 30s, the only shoes I had were tennis shoes. Six months out of the year, I went barefooted. I could get tennis shoes at J.C. Penney’s in Brady for 69′ a pair. In the 40s I wanted some shop-made boots. In Brady there were four different places to get them. Brown Bros. made boots. The Underwood Bros. made boots, but sometimes they were in jail, and they made them there. H.P.C. Evers made boots and J.B. Leddy had a boot and saddle shop on the northside of the square. I liked to go in the boot shops and sit on the saddles and admire the boots. My first pair of new boots, I bought from Miss Ellas at Gainer’s Store. They were Justin’s. When we were about 12 years old, we all wore brogans. Most of the time we had our shoes half-soled. Baird Henderson in Rochelle would do this for about 50′. Mother bought all of my clothes until I was 15. She always bought everything too big, saying I would grow into them. It’s hard to walk in a pair of size 10 shoes when you only need size 7. A lot of the older men in our community wore their pants down in their boots. One time Beanie Neal was walking home. A car ran over him and knocked him down. Someone said it didn’t hurt Beanie, just knocked him out of his boots.

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