Tuesday, September 14, 2010

High Top Chuck Taylors

As out of it as I have been these last 30 years or so, even I have taken notice of the Phoenix like rise from the fashion ashes of Converse's bedrock product, Chuck Taylor sneakers.   Millions of hip young folk are once again wearing the sneakers I wore probably at the same age.

I lived in Chucks for 10 years or so.  To say I know them well would be an understatement.  Unfortunately what is being foisted upon the public today are not Chucks in the pure form God meant them to be. The only decent Chuck is Black or White and high top.  Anything else is, well, not a real Chuck. I know some people think low tops are cool. But Chuck Taylor wore high tops. That's good enough for me. And he didn't cotten no red, blue, or yellow ones neither.

In Oxon Hill, Maryland in 1964 or 65, John Hanson Jr High was controlled by the "Blocks". Dudes with greased back hair, Ban Lon Shirts, and Big Mac Pants w/skinny or no belts. And what did these teen towers of Tough Guy fashion wear on their feet? That's right. High Top Chuck Taylors. They knew Hip like they were born to it.

Moving over from Virginia, I fancied the "Click" look. Button down shirts w/fruit loops, khakis or peg-legged Levis, wool sox to match the shirt and Weejuns on my feet. Needless to say, I was not immediately accepted by the Blocks in Maryland. After some rough re-education sessions, I conceded to some of their demands. I bought some high top Chucks and a Ban Lon or two. But I could never bring myself to put on those damn Big Macs or let a dollop of grease touch my hair. They dropped the hair and pant demands when I made the basket ball team and was suspended a couple of times for unruliness. Since I was a jock, and a troublemaker to boot, I was ok in a token sort of way.

The chicks who hung with the Blocks were bad ass also.  Big hair on top and quite often low top Chucks on the ground.  The real nasty ones wore high tops.   I took a shapely Block chick to my very first dance ever.  Besides the trauma of dealing with a female so close in proximty to my burgeoning libido, I had to deal with the Big Hair , and a Chucks attitude more macho than mine.   We had a great time once she took over control.

I often think about that year at John Hansen.  Another transient stop among the many I made as the son of a military man.  Maybe it was my age.  Maybe it was the circumstances.  But that year changed me.  I emerged from the experience with a chip on my shoulder I have been trying to whittle down ever since. 

Keep it 'tween the ditches...........................


The Blog Fodder said...

Being born into a presbyterian-strict family, in a Catholic community, I was never allowed to be a teenager in the normal sense. I started university in 1965, which is when I was a "teenager" in the sense of learning to be my own person. My uniform in Agriculture was cowboy boots and jeans.

The Blog Fodder said...

Here is a line to start a story with.

Anonymous said...

"The only decent Chuck is Black or White and high top."

Dad! What about the bright pink Chucks I rocked for a few years growing up which I believe you may had given me? Hmmmmmmm? :)

Love you!

Anonymous said...

I guess their redeeming quality was that they were actually high tops.

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