Barefootin’ – Manard, Joey and Me

I took out the garbage last night, and being too lazy to look for my shoes, I dragged that can out to the curb barefoot.

And my feet hurt!

The driveway is well worn, and the aggregate tends to be a bit more exposed than in recently laid concrete. I felt like I was walking on rocks!

And you are thinking, What is your point?

I don’t really have one, other than my feet never used to hurt like that. I guess that comes with age? I remember when I was a kid, we never wore shoes in the summer, except when we had to “dress up” to go somewhere. Otherwise, once school let out, our shoes went into the closet and didn’t come out again until school started, assuming they still fit.

Our feet may have been a bit tender after nine months being encased in leather, but they soon toughened. Within a couple of weeks or so, we could run across Sixth Street, which was “paved” with gravel or clamshells, without feeling any pain. Naturally, being shoeless, we did incur a few cuts and bruises along with a few rusty nail punctures, but my dad always had the tetanus shot handy.

Those days are gone. Now I am old and a tenderfoot for life. I doubt I could stand the pain long enough to build up the calluses again.

Me, Manard, Joey 1953Actually, that event reminded me of this picture hanging in my office. It is of me on the left, Manard Lagasse in the center and Joey Giammalva on the right. It was taken in 1953. We were best buddies then. I was 9 years old. Manard and Joey were 7 years old.

Note the “summer uniform,” which was limited to shorts and maybe a tee or hat but no shoes. (Side note: Joey had flat feet, and on wet concrete, he could make realistic-sounding flatulence noises with them.)

Joey’s mom took the pic, and Joey carried it in his wallet for years before he made enlargements for Manard and me.

Both Manard and Joey are deceased now. Good times together! Good memories! Good friends sorely missed! Whenever I see Bubba, Manard’s son who I think looks just like him, I want to grab him and hug him, pretending for just a few moments that “Man” is still with us.

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5 Comments

Filed under Family History, Growing Up, Kenner

5 responses to “Barefootin’ – Manard, Joey and Me

  1. John Trapen

    What an excellent excerpt of a life that we all experienced, but unfortunately will never happen again for our kids and for future generations.

    Well done, Lane.

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  2. Candy Charters

    Oh, my gosh….WONDERFUL story! I just love your reminiscences of your childhood in Kenner, Lane – a Kenner that was long gone by the time my family arrived there in 1969. But I, too, remember going shoeless, even in the northeast Ohio summers of my childhood.

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