Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-03-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THE AMAZON TRAIL There is no place like home
by Lee Lynch
2018-09-26

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


I was recently contemplating my shoes, which, along with clothes and boxes of books, are the only closeted things in our home.

That morning I'd noticed my sweetheart had attached a magnet depicting Dorothy's ruby shoes to our back door. Now, I'm as big a fan of The Wizard of Oz as the next gay person, but those shoes were never particularly significant to me. Which might be because, as a little kid, I read and reread the 1903 edition of The Wizard of Oz handed down to me from my considerably older brother and, perhaps, from my father before him. The inscription from Grandma and Grandpa Lynch is: "To read on train to North Dakota. March, 1939."

Of course, the shoes were not ruby-colored, as pointed out by the witty and erudite Kajmeister ( kajmeister.com ), in her blog "The Page Turns," which she posted not long after the magnet went up. Kajmeister wrote: "L. Frank Baum, author of all the Oz books, originally put the witch and Dorothy into silver, not ruby, shoes. The color was changed to ruby so that the new color process used in MGM could show the shoes off better against the yellow brick road."

I checked the book. The color plates are in orange, blue and yellow, no reds. The road, by the way, is definitely yellow and the artist, W.W. Denslow, outlined bricks on one of the color pages. Baum describes the shoes as silver and pointed and "tinkling merrily on the hard, yellow roadbed."

All that ruby slipper focus led to my footwear contemplations. Aside from tap shoes, the first pair I remember caring about were in a Medford, Massachusetts store front and made of faux alligator leather. Why I longed for them I have no idea, and I never got them. They were probably too expensive for my family.

This was back in the unimaginable 1950s. Since then, I have spent my life in footwear more likely to be worn by the scarecrow. I wasn't exactly a demure little girl and went through white sneakers before I could outgrow demure shoes. I used a lot of white liquid polish to cover scuffs and stains on my white sneaks, which were made of cotton. The stain also worked on white leather shoes, but the Mary Jane style didn't suit me at all.

My mother always said loafers were bad for my feet, and they were because I've had plantar fasciitis since the days we shopped at the Buster Brown shoe store on Main Street in Flushing, New York. But I loved my loafers, especially the ones that were dyed to the shade of a vanilla milkshake. These were the shoes of my coming out time. Nothing made me feel spiffier around town with my girlfriend Suzy than my vanilla loafers.

Except white sneakers, blue jeans and a plain white sweatshirt, sleeves pushed up.

Except white bucks with crepe soles, blue jeans, a button-down shirt and a golf jacket, collar up.

Then came the '60s. At college by then, I forswore shoes. Campus lesbian poet, it was practically expected. There's a photo of the barefoot student that was me in that yearbook, striding across campus like Dorothy, very much "a little girl … who had been suddenly whisked away from her own country and set down in the midst of a strange land."

I found my "hippie sandals" at an upscale sidewalk sale in Boston. It was also the psychedelic era and sandals, among the liberal arts majors, were de rigueur. Thin-soled, leather thongs with straps, they were the next best thing to barefoot when you had to go into a store or pizza parlor.

Were any of these the silver shoes that would take me home? Not yet. Not for a long while.

My generation of women got tired of doing the behind-the-scenes work for the revolution. We paradoxically experienced patriarchal oppression within the counterculture and got mad. No more Ms. Nice Girl, I bought shitkickers. In the 1970s, Army-Navy Surplus stores carried the jump boots of Paratroopers and the Airborne Forces. I felt pretty powerful lacing them up my calf and knowing the rigid toe cap could endanger male chauvinist pigs.

Next came the ankle-high Timberlands which I bought to wear in chilly Connecticut. The tread didn't cut it on the ice and they did me no good whatsoever in deep snow so I made the sixties journey a little late ( in the eighties ), went to California and bought my first Red Wing boots. Soon those Red Wings carried me west for good to the lesbian mountains, women's land, and tall rubber mud boots.

Not that I left my Birkkies behind. Arizonas, Bostons, I re-soled them until they weren't fit to wear, then replaced them year after year. I guess they were my middle-age shoes, though I still wear the Arizona knock-offs recommended by my podiatrist. By the time one gets to Medicare age, and the plantar fasciitis rages, and everything in Trumplandia costs double what it used to, the real thing isn't as important as it once was.

Now that I can no longer run, the doc has put me in running shoes. Most of my waking hours are spent in Asics. Men's for the wide toe box. Neon green to honor the late young writer Sandra Moran, who ran in lively-colored shoes. My sweetheart and I even have waterproof Gore-Tex Asics, for our Northwest rains and for walking our coastal beaches.

It seems like I never needed silver or ruby shoes to get home.

Copyright Lee Lynch 2018

September 2018


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2019 Queer Black activists confront Lightfoot (UPDATE) 2019-03-23 - A press release from an organization called #StopLightfoot sconfronted Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot at a March 23 event at the iconic Black ...


Gay News

Study find young adults with lesbian parents more likely to report same-sex attraction 2019-03-21 - In the latest findings from the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, a new analysis finds that the 25-year-old children of lesbian parents ...


Gay News

Anti-gay fliers criticizing Lightfoot distributed near churches 2019-03-18 - Fliers decrying lesbian mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot appeared at a number of churches with predominantly Black congregations the morning of Feb. 17. The ...


Gay News

Homophobic attack targets Lori Lightfoot in Chicago mayoral race 2019-03-17 - Washington, DC — Homophobic fliers targeting openly lesbian Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot were distributed on cars in key neighborhoods of the city ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Filmmaker Barbara Hammer dies at 79 2019-03-17 - Pioneering experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer—whose works involved a distinctive lesbian perspective—has died of ovarian cancer, ARTNews reported. She was 79. Hammer's breakthrough film, ...


Gay News

Women In Comedy to host "A Love Letter to Myself, A Chicago Variety Show" 2019-03-13 - Chicago, Illinois — On Monday March 25, Women in Comedy hosts "A Love Letter to Myself" from 6 to 9 p.m. at Revolution ...


Gay News

VIEWS Uplifting Black LGBTQ workers all year round 2019-03-13 - Black History Month may have ended, but at the National LGBTQ Workers Center, we center Black queer and transgender ( trans ) people ...


Gay News

UIC honors scholar Phoenix Matthews 2019-03-13 - Shortly before they accepted the University of Illinois at Chicago ( UIC ) College of Nursing 2018 Distinguished Researcher Award, scholar/researcher Phoenix Matthews ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart hosts Black Lesbian Archives stop 2019-03-12 - Kru Maekdo is a 26-year-old creative director, archivist, and artist. She is the owner of Maekdo Productions, a multimedia production and event programming ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2019 Lightfoot questions Preckwinkle's comment about lesbianism 2019-03-11 - During a March 7 debate between mayoral candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, Preckwinkle lauded Lightfoot's openness about her sexuality when moderator Carol ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.