'CHINESE' Boots??? I don't think so!!!
"Chinese boots"?... I don't think so !
Recently I felt a need and desire to invest in a pair of black jack boots. You know the kind that is made of black rubber and slips on easily and practically up to your knees. One can wade through mud or cow droppings with them and then simply hose them off and toss them into the storage room, they last for years. I remember a pair of "Lacrosse" boots I had years ago and how so wonderful and convenient they were, one could set them out "free standing" and just slip one's feet into their snugness without any real resistance and then walk about comfortable. When I had finished my chore or errand I could simply place my toe next to the heel of the other boot and slip my feet right out and stepped back into my sneakers.
The place to find the particular item must surely be one of those gigantic building supple and hardware centers, since all the small "mom and pop" stores that used to handle such items seemed to have disappeared. The clerk showed me a pair of boots that were green in color and were contained in a rolled down thick clear plastic bag that was stapled shut at the top. He was unable to get the staples out so he ripped the bag open by placing it under his foot, pulled one out and handed it to me. When I attempted to sit it up on the floor to slip my foot into it, while hanging onto a counter top, the sucker sank into a pile on the floor that was "not unlike" a scared possum that rolls itself into a ball when scared or threatened. I made inquiry to the clerk about the possibility of looking at a firmer pair of black jack boots. "I'm sorry but this is the only type we carry" was the reply and he picked the pile up and approached me with it. I backed up against a stack of sacked bags of cement by the counter and literally fell back sitting down on them, and he, on the spot, started rolling the thing up and around my foot and then up and around my leg. I commenced to kicking around and told him firmly to "take that damned thing off me", which he finally attempted to do but could not. The thing was rolled so tight on my leg that he had to unroll it off again, by now I was fit to be tied. I immediately put my sneaker back on and took a closer look at what this fellow had mounted onto my leg. I turned the thing over and looked at the bottom of the sole and read the term "made in china", and that was all that was on it. I glance at the torn plastic shipping bag where the clerk had flung it and notice a piece of paper inside that contained some particulars of the product. It stated that the thing (boot) was built with a steel shank in the sole for rigidity. Picking the "excuse for a boot" back up once again I looked at the bottom of the sole where the shank would most likely be installed and attempted to bent it, it its intended direction, to see how firm the sole was in that area. I found a steel shank all right, the end of it punched right out of the sole.
I decided to drive farther up the beltway and ask at the other gigantic dominating building material and hardware center. A clerk pulled down the same identical pathetic product to offer me. The only difference I could see was the price, and that was ten dollars more.
Back in my car in the parking lot I sat staring into the abyss, thinking and wondering where on earth I might search to purchase a pair of real black jack boots. It seems that suddenly the only two places in town to shop was one or the other of those two gigantic building material and hardware centers and if they didn't carry what one wanted, one either has to accept a pitiful imitation that was "made in china" or make the trip without boots. It seems that years before when those gigantic stores first opened, their prices were so low that the small "mom and pop" stores could not compete and suffered the consequences. Now, their prices have more than doubled and continue to rise.
Here I am preparing to take an autumn excursion and camping trip down the river on my boat, where I can lay back in my hammock in the evenings basking in the season's beauty of fall colors, and I find myself unable to hit upon a pair of black jack boots to slip on, temporarily, to wade ashore and gather a bit of fire wood.
Suddenly I remembered a little general store back downtown that I had noticed last year when I was there on a Sunday drive. I wondered if it was still in business and possibly carried a pair of good black jack boot. I drove there immediately and as I passed I could see their front door was open to the autumn breeze. Parking my car and jay walking across the street I could see the proprietor neatly tend his sales counter. I remembered as I walked threw the door that this was the sort of business one could walk into, introduce himself and strike up a dialog with a real gentleman or lady. Immediately after introductions were established it was the economy, then weather, then politics, and then back to the economy. He informed me that his store was a family business that his grand father had started after the other depression, and that he hadn't felt very optimistic about his store's future for some time now. I inquired about a pair of black jack boots. He turned and went into the back through a door with a single hanging curtain that he flipped aside with his hand and shortly returned with a pair of genuine "Lacrosse" black jack boots. My eyes bulged as he told me that they were one of only two pair he had left and since the factory no longer shipped and he would no longer be able to replace them that he was saving the other pair to take home. I asked him what the size was and he said eleven. I'll take ‘em, I said. He asked if I wanted to know the price. I said no, whatever it is, it's not enough.
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