Sun Lakes Writers’ Group

If the Shoe Fits

George Stahl

There are many unexplained phenomena in this world—UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Chupacabra just to name a few.

Beyond these, another stands out as just as mysterious and often elusive. The seemingly endless collection of women’s shoes that can fit into even the smallest of closets. Unlike most of the legends we all hear about every so often, these shoe myths are not isolated to any certain region of the country or world. They have been seen everywhere. This far surpasses the mystery of a large, human-like ape roaming the vast wilderness virtually undetected. Tucked away in their hiding places, they are better camouflaged than a prehistoric dinosaur swimming beneath the waves of a Scottish mountain lake.

When they are selected to accentuate the day’s outfit, or shine with evening wear, the shoes stand out and are seen by more than just the one or the few who witness the multicolored lights running along the cigar shaped object hovering over the Lakes or the parks in the night sky.

There are those that appear to be made up of several different materials and styles of shoe. More so than a multi-species, angry, snarling mid sized creature appearing as if out of nowhere to ravage goats and other small barnyard animals, these are the Frankensteins of footwear. My wife’s shoes on the other hand seem to have a place to be when they are not on her feet. I’m not sure where that is though. Every once in a while, I will see one or five pairs spread out on the closet floor, but the others are hiding somewhere. I know they are there for two reasons. She always tells me when she’s purchased another pair, and then quickly they go to join the others. I don’t see them again until we are getting ready to go out or to work and she has them on.

Another reason I know they are around is that … I had an encounter. I remember once, I was looking for a shirt to wear and suddenly, behind my clothes there was an entire cluster of her shoes! I thought I had found the nest. But it was only about eight or nine pairs, not the whole colony. The Queen pair was not there. Had I had the time or the desire, I probably could have found them, but at the time, I had neither.

Maybe, someday, I’ll get up the nerve or the curiosity to go on a shoe safari … uhm … no, I don’t think so. Might be better to leave them settled and undisturbed.

Meanwhile, I will be content with my five pairs of shoes, and I see no harm in letting my wife indulge in her passion to keep adding to her shoe supply. So far, her bi-pedal covering population has not forced me further out of the closet. I can live well without a shoe sighting. Besides, who would believe me? I mean, besides just about every man.

By the way, I’ve seen a UFO, I have smelled a Bigfoot, and have spotted a cluster of women’s shoes. In each case, though, I haven’t gotten any proof. Not a photo, not a hair, or a shoelace.

That doesn’t mean these things do not exist.

Fix It

Dick Nelsen

I think the first time I was aware of the term “Fix It” was during World War II. My dad had a ’36 Ford and since you couldn’t buy new cars; when something broke xyou had no choice but to fix it. I think a lot of friction tape was used to repair hoses and to hold loose parts of the car from falling off. I recall that the tires had more patches than tread. It seemed one of the tires was always being fixed at Don’s Sinclair station a block from our house in Des Moines.

Later I recalled in every small shopping area, they didn’t call them “Strip Malls” then, there was a small appliance repair shop. A place you could take a toaster that wouldn’t toast or pop up, usually burnt toast. Of course, when our Philco radio in the living room stopped working my dad would look behind and determine which tube was black on top. That indicated it was burnt out and if we were lucky, the radio shop would have a replacement. If not we might miss watching the radio and listening to The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, or Inner Sanctum. Our closest radio store was in the Uptown Shopping Center at 42nd and University. I could walk it if my dad wasn’t home to drive our old blue Ford.

Here in Arizona the big “Fix It” stores were the Television Repair Shops. When something went wrong with my black and white Television, I just carried down to the closest TV Doctor. The closest to our house was just east of Thomas Mall at about 46th street. I went there because they knew me by my last time, I was there enough. It got a lot tougher when I had to wrestle the big color TV into the car.

Another “Fix It” shop that was common back in Iowa was the shoe shop. Our neighborhood shoe repair shop in Des Moines was kind of neat. It had a smell of leather, polish, and of course, the big sewing machines were incredible to watch. The shoe man, who didn’t speak English very well, always had fingers that looked like he had dipped them into black shoe polish. The way my brother and I wore out our Health Spot shoes we were there often. After all, they had to double as play shoes, school shoes, and Sunday school shoes.

Times have changed. TV sets last longer, what with transistors rather than tubes, but TV repair shops are few and far between. If you have a videotape recorder or DVD Player and it breaks, forget it. They are expendable, disposable commodities; just buy a new one it’s cheaper than trying to get it fixed.

Do you know where your closest shoe repair shop is located? Have a problem with your toaster? Throw it away, it is a lot cheaper to buy a new one, and besides where do you take it to get it fixed? You still need to get cars fixed once in a while, but not at your local gas station.

Computers can crash, however, more than likely they just become outdated. Built in obsolescence so don’t bother getting them fixed, replace it. Appliances are subject to built in self destruction, which means they need to be replaced periodically. It is too expensive to get them fixed, so if you can afford the gas, go ahead and buy a new one. I wonder if there is a “Fix It” shop for worn out writers. Oh, well, skip that but don’t forget one important point, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix It.”

The Mirror

Tom Marschal

There it hangs right on the wall

A lonely mirror that sees it all

So don’t be shy just take a look

At the pages from your life’s book

I’m lookin’ as deep as I can see

Is something lookin’ back at me

There’s nothin’ there in that reflected place

Nothin’ but my own smilin’ face

So who’s the man lookin’ back at me?

He’s not young but he used to be

So don’t be weak just take a peek

It’s just a mirror for you to see

I leaned up for a closer look

And saw the things the decades took

The eyes still blue the beard now gray

But I’m still here for another day

What would I see if I took a chance?

I gave that mirror another glance

There’s a dad with work undone

So very proud of his three sons

There a soldier once young and brave

Though some he knew went to their grave

Felt real bad when he came home

For he had left them there alone

So there it hangs right on the wall

That lonely mirror has seen it all

I turned to leave but looked back to see

And there’s that mirror starin’ back at me