There was a time, in Johnson Bottom, when playing baseball was part of one's life. I had dreamed of having a pair of baseball spikes for some time, but could never come up with a pair.

One day, while sitting on the back porch, I came up with a great idea. I went to the trash pile and found an old pair of shoes that fit me and I headed home to complete my idea.

I had recently tore up a "powder box" and saved the #4 box nails that they were put together with, so I got them and a hammer. My idea was to make a pair of baseball spikes.

I drove three nails in each shoe heal, from the inside. The tongues on the shoes were rather long, but not long enough for me to put the five nails in the toe of the shoes. I wasn't discouraged though, I put the five nails in the toe down as far as I could and that was near the ball of my foot.

I did all the nailing and noticed that the nails came out of the sole of the shoes too far. I got a pair of pliers and cut them off so as to have about a half inch exposed. I figured this would give me enough traction to improve my speed on the basepath.

After creating something, the next thing is to try it out. So, I put the shoes on, while sitting on the steps of the porch, about 4 or 5 steps up. Now for the road test. In one move, I raised up and jumped onto the ground for my maiden voyage with my new baseball spikes.

Oh! Whew! Ouch! and all those kind of words. Like Howard Hughes with his wooden air plane, I only made that one voyage.

I still have the prints of the nail heads on the bottoms of my feet. I hadn't thought far enough ahead to realize that the nails would come back up.



Prior to school starting, when I was either a junior or sophomore, Mother got me a new 'pair' of shoes, in Willamson, at the "Poor Man's Paradise."

I polished those shoes every day until I had a 'spit' shine on them. Soon, a day came, when the students met in the gym for assembly. They were having some of the student talent on the program that day and someone I knew got up to sing. To my horror, Kathleen was on the stage singing "I'm My Own Grandpa." I hung my head so no one would associate me with the singer, and while looking down at my feet, I recognized the new shoes I had were a 'shoe of a kind." One had stitching around the toes and the other didn't. For the remainder of the year, I tried to sit in a manner where only one shoe was exposed at a time.



Virginia ordered me two pairs of shoes from Sears, one pair was black and the other was brown, but were the same make ( just alike except the colors)

When I was 'Plant Manager' with the Phone company, a time came when we were cutting, the Man Hospital, from manual to dial service.

The evening of the cutover, I laid out my suit, shoes and etc, so I could dress in a few minutes. The cutover was scheduled for midnight and the service foreman was going to pick me up at ten o'clock. I told Virginia that I would sleep on the couch so I wouldn't wake her up when I left and returned.

Time came, I got ready and went to the Mann Hospital. I was introduced to the higher echelon of the hospital and I noticed they looked at me in a strange way. I thought that they were marveling at my job status in light of my young age.

After the cutover, I went home, undressed and slept the remainder of the night on the couch. The next morning when I awakened, I picked up my suit and took it and placed it in the closet. I returned to get my shoes. Oh! Me!, there was a black one and a brown one.



Different time, same black and brown shoes...

I was a Weblo scout leader at this time. We were having our meeting at the Chief Logan State Park that day. With the scouts around me, I was sitting on a picnic table with my feet on the seat of the table. While going over the lesson for the day, I noticed one of the smaller boys holding up his hand. I inquired of him his question. He responded, "Mr. McCoy, do you know you have one black and one brown shoe on?" Never being at a loss for words, I responded, "I sure do, and you win the prize for being the one who was paying more attention than the others, and the prize is a quarter."

When I got home, I settled the black and brown shoe problem. I took each pair and tied the shoelaces together. Now when I picked up a shoe, it's mate came with it.

William McCoy©
April 19, 2006
Used With Permission
All Rights Reserved



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