Brenda S. Brown
How many of you ladies ever owned a pair of flats?  Those plain, flat-heeled shoes made popular by the teenagers of the rock and roll generation. Polished for church, beaten and batter for school, either way they were considered cute and comfortable by female fashion icons.  You could not master the bop, enjoy the stroll, or accomplish the shag wearing any other kind of footwear.

Some of these gems however, came with regulations; we were not allowed to wear our white flats after Labor Day or before Easter Sunday, these jewels are strictly for spring and summer fashion, but the black models were allowed any time of the year. I am not sure what old wife made up that silly fashion rule but many still adhere to it today.

When I attended elementary school in my hometown of Richland, I thought that the more mature girls, those enrolled on the senior side of the school building, and wore flats, were destined to be featured in the next edition of Seventeen Magazine; they were the individuals who set the fashion in our world.  We youngsters were wearing dark models or black and white oxfords; they had heavy buckles or adorned with shoestrings, and I was convinced they were hideous.

I thought I would never get old enough to wear flats and those trendy straight skirts; our full skirts and clunky shoes made us look frumpy.  How could a girl ever become popular while wearing such repulsive clothing? When we graduated to junior high school, that is what it was called in those days, momma decided that I was old enough to begin choosing some of my garments and flats was at the top of my wish list.   For some unexplained reason I promised to adequately care for my special footwear, but secretly I fully intended to be one of those females who dragged their shoe heels and created those disgusting noises on those old wooden floors at school.

My momma believed that promises made were to be kept, no matter the circumstances, and not only that, she had the memory of an elephant.  She agreed that I could buy a pair of white flats, but the purchase came with some stipulations; although I was allowed to wear the white flats to school, I was not going to let them get to the worn and tattered stage.

Momma insisted that I keep my shoes polished at all times, and daddy gave me polishing lessons.  Each weekend I applied several layers of polish, let it dry, and then used a soft cloth to enhance the color.  Although the styles have changed over the years, I still adore this fashion item of my youth.


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