It seems that whenever I get a chance to visit with people that follow me on social media, they bring up “The Boots Story”. It never ceases to amaze me just how much enjoyment so many people received from a story I shared about my old boots and how I acquired them.
So let me tell you…
I was living out West, taking some classes and getting my life together. Dutch was just a pup, about 6 months old. I was a farm hand for a family dairy in the area and I was flat broke. I walked in to the sport shop to buy a pheasant stamp and stare at guns that I couldn’t afford… the old man behind the counter asked how my pup was doing and told me stories about his old bird dog sleeping on the floor next to him. He wished me luck and as I turned to walk out he stopped me and pointed to my boots.
“Son, you can’t go out in those, I can see right through them.
If you’re gonna bird hunt out here, you need good boots!”
A little embarrassed, I thanked him and told him they were
on my Christmas list, a little over a month away. But that wasn’t good enough. He brought me over to the boot rack, pulled a
set down and made me try them on. I couldn’t even enjoy them while staring at the price tag. I thanked him and assured
him that soon enough I’d be back for the boots. But he shook his head and said he didn’t feel right. “I’ll sell them to you at my cost, its cheaper than a tank of gas in your truck. I don’t feel right knowing you’re out there without decent boots on your feet.” What could I say to that? I agreed and checked every pocket for cash, paid the old man and thanked him graciously. Again I went to leave and again he stopped me. He came around the corner with a pair of good
wool socks, stuffed them in the boots and said “Merry Christmas”. I damn near shed a tear. Packing my truck tonight I oiled the boots and thought about the old man and the gift he gave me. I keep a record of my hunts and how much ground I’ve covered so I looked back and added it up. He didn’t just give me boots, he gave me just shy of 3000 miles of memories…and counting.
Thanks for reading,
Joel D. Thorstad