The speech pathologist held up a mirror in front of the toddler-aged girl and asked, “Who’s that?”
The blond-headed child, perched on her mother’s lap, did not respond. Her sky-blue eyes never looked up from the smartphone.
The examiner tapped on the mirror again and repeated the question. The trance briefly interrupted, the girl turned the phone around so the animated kitty could see itself in the mirror. “Meow,” it purred. Continue reading “Disconnected from Reality”
Well…it’s where I write about a fun fact on Friday.
Today’s question: Who invented the cowboy boot?
The answer to that question is in dispute, but here’s what I discovered in my research. (Credit to Kansas Historical Society website)
Tradition credits Charles Hyer as one of the first to invent the cowboy boot. Company promotional materials state that a Colorado cowboy stopped by the Hyer shop on his way home from the Kansas City stockyards in 1875, requesting a new pair of boots that were different from his Civil War-style boots. He wanted a boot with a pointed toe that would slide more easily into a stirrup, a high, slanted heel that would hold a stirrup, and a high top with scalloped front and back so he could get in and out of his boots more easily. Charles accepted the challenge. The unknown cowboy was so pleased with Hyer’s work that he returned to Colorado and told others about his new boots.
The brothers employed mostly immigrant craftsmen from Germany, Sweden and Poland during the early years. They made cowboy boots for cattlemen, rodeo performers and movie stars such as Buffalo Bill Cody, Tom Mix, Will Rogers, and Gene Autry. To reach potential customers further west and across the ocean, the company created mail-order catalogues with measuring charts. During World War I, the Hyers made boots for the officers at Fort Leavenworth and at Camp Funston. In 1961, governors from the 49 other states were outfitted with Hyer boots courtesy of Governor John Anderson. They were presented as part of the traditional exchange of gifts between governors during the annual Governor’s Conference.
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I bought my first boots when I was in high school. They were the most uncomfortable shoes I ever owned, but I still wore them. They reflected me–a cowgirl at heart.
Mama and Daddy surprised me with a new pair of cowboy boots on Christmas 1980. The very next day I wore them as I traveled with friends from Mississippi State to see our team play in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX. They might have sneaked over the border into Mexico, too.
Those boots lasted until I graduated from physical therapy school at the University of Florida. Cowboy boots stood out in Gainesville. It’s sort of a flip-flop town. Liberal then and now.
Over the next decade or so, I tried on different personas and left my cowboy boot identity behind. But in 2008, when God called me to begin writing, I went shopping for a new pair of cowboy boots. That’s them in the picture.
They’re beautiful, aren’t they? I get compliments on them everywhere I wear them.
So, it seemed appropriate to name my blog, The Boot.
o = on
o = old
t = truths
’cause that’s what I’ll be blogging and writing about. God’s ways, the old ways, are the best ones to build a life and a family legacy on. Trust me on this.
If you’re a boot person, I hope you’ll join me. If you’re not, but you wish you were, then become a member of the community. There are plenty of “cowgirl wannabes” scattered in the cities and suburbia, where we dream of open plains, rugged men, and horses.