The bedroom slippers are usually the second thing I look for in the morning after finding my cleanest dirty shirt from the day before. I wear the slippers when I don't expect to immediately leave the house. They've been worn in the yard, to get the mail, or to pad around until I get dressed for the day but they're ugly, I'll admit that. There are wear spots on the sides and some, well a substantial amount, of fraying, but they fit well and I can think of no reason to give them up.
I'm not one to discard something because of age and the provenance is sketchy. I've no idea how long they have occupied a regular spot beside the bed. The inside perfectly matches the contours of my feet. They are made of a brown felt material that can not tolerate one more ride in the washer.
I have mixed countless batches of morning buttermilk biscuits while standing in them working dough. There are white specks of flour so deeply ingrown that no amount of washing or brushing will dislodge. Yep, they're ugly.
There are some things in my closet I wouldn't miss. A line of white tee shirts can go anytime. They don't fit anymore now that I'm two sizes smaller. I wear white pocket tee shirts with such regularity that they are nearly a uniform for me. Some are fit for working in the garden and not presentable away from this place. They are destined for the rag bag. The oldest hang on me like a night shirt and I'm ready to bid them ado.
Other shirts hang in a bunch. I've rarely worn them and now they don't fit. I never liked them, didn't buy them, and object to them on style. None are my style of shirt.
The old straw cowboy hat is a keeper. I bought it on my first venture into Kansas from a kid working at his parent's store in Coffeyville, Kansas in 1975. There is an imprint of “The Cowboy Shop” on the inner leather band.
Coffeyville claims to be the birthplace of the cowboy boot in the 1880's. Their claim appears to be intemerate. In October of 1892 the famous Dalton Gang tried to rob two banks simultaneously in Coffeyville. It didn't work and that day's shoot out ended the Dalton Gang forever.
A month after buying the hat I met the kid again. He was Andre' Lash, a new faculty member in the music department at Brewton-Parker College where I worked.
The cowboy hat sits on a shelf beside my old guitar, which I no longer play, never played well, and something else I don't plan to give up.
But back to the slippers. So long as they hang together I expect to hang with them.
Andre' enjoys a sterling career as an organist and you can learn more at his website www.andrelash.com.
Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.