Who are you?
I’m a full-time Industrial Designer, focusing on the design and development of a softgoods and hardgoods gear to be used across various activities and industries. I also am the Senior Editor at Carryology, an officer of the Austin Facial Hair Club, a tinkerer, a rambler, a story-teller, a traveler, and a trouble maker.

tintype by project barbatype
tintype by project barbatype

What’s your favorite pair of shoes?
My grandfather’s leather boots, brand and model unknown, circa 1945. Purchased from a small department store in the town of Montrose, PA.

Probably because of the story and sentiment attached to them. My Grandfather purchased these boots shortly after the end of World War II, when he, as a “We won! I’m still alive!” gift to himself. He stopped wearing them a while back, as he now wears shoes suited for leisure and comfort. They have since been gifted to my Dad.

a letter from Taylor’s father – 

“Hi son—I talked to your Grampa today about the boots. As you may remember his mother (my grandmother Elsie) was the mgr. at the dept. store in Montrose where my dad thinks the boot most likely were bought around/ before ’43. There is no LL Bean logo or any other i.d. I can see on the boots to give us the original manufacture. I found this image and along with it the caption said these boots are WW1 combat boots, probably somebody’s embellishment of facts perhaps . However, except for the straps these are almost identical as you will see when you compare the photos I will be sending to you. If you have a photo now, compare it, the similarity is nearly the same except for the straps. I will send some detail shots of the stitching, construction details, rivets, etc. that may be of interest for Joshua and you as reference. It is a good example of something made well can be made to last for generations. So no confusion on this our boots are not WW1 for sure however maybe this boot/style was being made by the same company since ’14. Just a guess. On the subject of the old Montrose Department Store, when I was a little boy 1st, 2nd- 3rd grade I would do chores there for my grandmother. She bought me all my clothes there as well. My first ‘dungarees’ came from the shelves of that store. Wranglers. Stiff as slabs of wood! Downstairs was the shoe dept. I remember there was this X-Ray machine at the stair landing where one would have their feet ‘measured for correct fit’ in those days. Crazy! Fortunately not in use in the early ‘50’s. I think these were called Fluoroscopes. Fortunately I don’t remember having my feet in that. I will always have the memory of that store and that crazy machine and my jobs I did for my grandmother there. I also did work at the printing plant called the Montrose Independent, empty waste cans, and things like that . Just standing by the huge now primitive letterpress presses with the open flame bars that the web of paper would pass under through its travel through the web of rollers . The flames would heat/dry the fresh ink. I guess that is all I can tell you about the boots until I send you the photos. Love, dad”

Where did you get them?
Someday they will eventually be passed down to me (and so on and so on). But for now, they are right where they should be… on display at my parents’ late-1700’s brick farmhouse where I grew up in Hershey, PA.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 3.16.40 PM

Share something that’s happened to you while wearing those shoes.
Well, I haven’t ever worn them and I probably never will since they’re a bit too small for my feet. I’m certain there are plenty of adventures these boots could tell, from when my Grandfather used them and when my Dad wore them for a couple of decades.

What sign are you?
Libra. Boar if you want to be fancy.

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