I recently found it necessary to purchase a pair of boots.  Construction site rules.  So I bought a pair of boots.  When I got on site, the boots were new enough that they captured the attention of one of our vendors who happens to be a good friend.  He said that I should scuff the boots up so that they didn’t look so new.  I said, that reminds me of a story…

When I was 19, I went from working at Baskin Robbins to Hanning’s, a roofing company in Lancaster, OH. My sister’s ex-boyfriend had worked there over previous summers and said it was hard, but rewarding work.  So I applied and got a job.  They said, “Wear old jeans and boots.”  I didn’t have boots, so I went out and bought a pair.  The boots glowed with newness and I thought that I would look like a punk kid if I had new boots on. I went into the yard and scuffed them up on rocks and grass to make it look like I had worn them for a while.

I showed up for work in my old jeans and seasoned boots. The foreman took one look at my boots and said, “Did you rub grass on your boots?”  I said, “No.”  He said, “It looks like you took a pair of new boots and rubbed grass on them.”  I said no again, but I might as well have told him yes.

22 years later I finish telling our vendor that a pair of boots is more about what is on the inside of them and a lot less about what is on the outside of them. 

He didn’t believe it for a second.

Not that it means anything, here are those boot at the end of my first summer as a roofer.

And here they are in 2006 when I finally retired them.

Here’s to my new boots. They’ve gone though a lot in their first month. Everything except grass stains.


The Girl said...

Oh, old work boots. Few things in life are more beautiful.

BloggerFather said...

Everyone had Doc Martins in our high school, but somehow no one had new Doc Martins.

We stepped on each other's feet and drove over our shoes. Whatever it took. Being a teenager in my town wasn't easy.

Karee said...

Love the story and the boots.

Anonymous said...

Been there! New boots on the job site was like new sneakers on the playground - a race between your peers to destroy them, and your pride.

Jack Alexander said...

Boots for roofing? I don't see any suction cups to hold you in place. I'd think slipping and falling might hurt a guy's ass.