Monday, April 21, 2014


My theme for A to Z this year is a wildly different, but very exciting, HERE'S TO YOU all month long. 26 posts to be precise. The most difficult part was narrowing down the 26. All of you deserve your own post. What you will find here is a post by the featured blogger, with traveling music chosen by me that complements said post, and two links. One will link back to the original post and the other to the main page. This year's A to Z is all about making new friends!

Red Shoe's Chronicles the days of his life. Be warned: sometime Black Shoes grabs control on that blog and it gets ***crazy*** over there. When that happens, I suggest you visit at your own risk. Now, I don't recall when or how I found Shoes, but I am ever so glad I did. He is funny, charming, and a seriously great guy. I vote him Most Likely To Travel Cross Country To Help A Friend In Need. And that is saying something.

and the shoes...

Cue the traveling music:

Momma Said by Red Shoes

When I was a little pair of ~shoes~, my brother had a 1964 Ford Galaxy 500 just like the one pictured above... only his  was a golden/brown color (of course, I am biased towards the color, red).  A BEAUTIFUL car... the damn thing had a 390 cu. in. engine... and was so fast that the from time to time, the car would have to slow down so its paint job could catch up with it.  That is one of the most amazing vehicles from my younger ~shoes~ memories.  My brother was one those "IT" people, whereas I was always on the fringe of any of the cliques of kids in high school. More often than not, I was excluded instead of being included... but that was ok.

But I could go riding with John in that car, and we would get all kinds of attention.  I always imagined that the girls we would meet were talking to US, when in reality, they were talking to him and his nerdy, goofy brother was just there...

Still, when he would say, "~shoes~... let's go riding...", I was always game and ready to go.  Our journeys would take us all over the place around here.  Maybe it would be a late afternoon run over to Rosedale to go see the Mississippi River... or to Merigold...

From time to time, Mom would tell us about things we shouldn't do, and places we shouldn't go... if for no other reason than our own survival.  I suppose Mom did know best... she certainly wouldn't mislead us about things like that.

One of the places in town that was "off-limits" was 'Bob's Drive In.'

Not Bob's Drive In, but...

... it could have been. It had the long awning much like this one... and you could park underneath if it happened to be raining... but if you wanted to be cool, you would park just out from underneath it... you could be 'seen' better that way.

They had the BESTEST chili-cheese burgers, onion rings and cherry cokes...


Sooo... this one Saturday afternoon, my brother finds me and says, "let go for a ride..."

I knew that probably meant we would go to "Bob's," get a couple of those burgers up there, and have a great deal of fun...

The car hop came... took our order... brought us our food... and we were in paradise... and I was sitting on the passenger's side of that cool looking Ford up there...

At some point, my brother started the engine... we weren't finished with our food yet... and I asked, 'where are we going?'

"We are going to back up some so we can watch 
that fight over there..."

That alone shows you what a geek I was... I was so busy eating that I didn't realize that  a fist fight was brewing just a few cars away from us... the kinds of things that Mom wanted us to avoid...

... so we back up a bit... and we have a front row seat... this fellow in blue jeans and a white T-shirt is cussing this guy inside a pick up truck up one side and down the other... waving his arms... yelling... stuff like that.  I couldn't hear what the fellow in the truck was saying, but at some point, the fellow on the outside grabs the door handle... jerks the door open... and reaches in to grab the occupant... and...


... just that sudden, a little red dot suddenly appeared on this fellow's white T-shirt...

Have you ever been a witness to... or involved in anything like this?  In the movies, they tend to portray some of this stuff in slow-motion... and it was... it was moving so slow... maybe to give that fellow as long to live as it could...

After the sound of the shot, this fellow stumbled back and started a turn to his right... and was facing our vehicle...  and there was a little red dot on the front of his shirt... centered right in the middle of that fellow's chest.

... and I said to my brother...

"John... he's dead..."

I was in the ninth grade at the time... I didn't know shit about shit... but I knew this guy was dead.  He stumbled towards us... fell up against the car next to us... spun and staggered out into the gravel parking lot where he collapsed... and bled out what little Life he had left onto the ground.

The bullet must have severed the aorta... or hit one of the major chambers of the heart...  I didn't know that someone could have that much blood in them...  I didn't know that someone could bleed that much...  horror movies don't have the effect on me that this event did...

The next thing I know is that cars are screaming and rushing out of the parking lot... everyone wanting to get the Hell away from there...  We got home... I ran to my Mother and hugged her so tight and was crying... and she was asking John what had happened to me... when we really both lost as to what we had just witnessed...

I better understood then what Mom had tried to save us from... how she was trying to protect us...

I lost a great deal of innocence that day...

Did that piece punch you in the gut like it did me? After you comment here, I strongly encourage you to link over to the original post and read the comments. There is actually a bit MORE to this story...


  1. I'm not familiar with Red. I have been warned though...

  2. I don't know Red but it sounds as though he could have grown up in Minneapolis. Some familiar names, as Rosedale was a shopping mall in a suburb of same name. Mississippi river ran through the area. Merigold was a big ballroom dance place somewhere off 24the and Nicollet. My girlfriend lost her purse there once and she started a novena to Saint Anthony to find her purse. Ha (I don't remember if it ever worked)
    Speaking of dance, how are the lessons coming?

    1. He's a great guy. The real deal. I sometimes call him Captain Harrr. Care to know why?

  3. What a scary story. I keep telling my children that moms know things and they should always listen.

  4. That was a pretty gripping story. I must have been holding my breath through those last few paragraphs, because I started seeing spots - HA! Thanks for featuring Red.

  5. Wow! And yes mother's knows best! Great post today!!!!

  6. The world is red in fang and claw. Innocence is no shield and sometimes a magnet for the predators. Innocence always dies an ugly death. I am glad that Red turned grew into a man that will travel cross-country to help a friend. :-)

  7. Robin...

    I am SO honored... Thank you SO much...

    Yes, one never knows in which direction I will go when I start writing...

    I vote him Most Likely To Travel Cross Country To Help A Friend In Need. And that is saying something.

    I tend to do some things on impulse... and some are rather thought out. One of my favorite places to visit is Monument Valley, in northeastern Arizona... (true, parts of it are in southeastern Utah...)

    I had a friend that always wanted to to on one of my trips... but his health wouldn't allow for it... I had told him that when he got to where he could travel, he and I would make that trip.

    Scooter died in early March... and one of his requests was for me to take his ashes out there and scatter them... so, come the 2nd week of May, he and I will take that trip that I had promised him...

    Shades of 'Lonesome Dove'... no?

    Thank you, dear... for this honor...


  8. Parents can't always shield their children from the world's unpleasantries, but sometimes that's where life's greatest lessons occur. Glad to meet Red! :)

  9. I'm familiar with Red. He's a great guy, and not just because we share the same love of shoes (I have those same red converses and they're my favorite pair of shoes) or my love of cherry red Ford muscle cars (mine is a Mustang). He's also a pretty cool guy and has a great way with words. Awesome to see him on here.

  10. What a story! I was relating to a lot of it up to the fight scene and then that was out of my realm of experience. What a horrible thing to witness! Great story telling. Thanks for this introduction to Red.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  11. Oh, my. Gulp. And heading over.

  12. oh my.....I'm heading over there now also.....yikes

  13. That story really picked up towards the end. It's a great story -- the entire tone of the story is one that belies the idea that someone actually died.

    On a down note, I am leery of any blog, or story, or other art that has a framing device. It's SO tough to pull that off and not have it annoy me. It's one of the reasons I didn't like "How I Met Your Mother," as I found that framing device hard to bear, too. So the beginning of this one, with the references to shoes and the shoes telling the story, very nearly made me quit reading. It was only your recommendation that made me finish it.

    I'm in no way the expert on whether such things work. I'm just saying that for me, the use of shoes as the narrator really took away from the story.

  14. Whoa! That's not something you'd ever expect to happen. I think it would've totally freaked me out!

  15. I guess Mom did know what she was talking about. I bet she never would have guessed their innocence would have been taken away in a vivid and graphic way.

  16. I'd say watching somebody die would rob one of innocence. Red dot appearing on a white t shirt would certainly get my attention and ratchet up not only fear but the need to get the hell out of dodge.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  17. Wow, yeah, it did! I didn't see that coming at all.

  18. WOW! I wasn't expecting that either. Crazy! I'll definitely head over and check out his blog. Thanks for introducing Shoes to us!

    Oh, and big thanks for finding me via Alex's blog! It's good to be back in the blog world :) Cheers!


  19. Yikes. Wow. I'm heading over to Shoes now.

  20. I see Red Shoes all over the place and mean to stop by his blog.

    What a horrible thing to go through as a person, let alone as a child. I'm so sorry.

  21. ROBIN ~
    I remember reading this blog bit right after Shoes posted it. It was quite a story and I KNOW I left a comment on it for him but can't recall what I wrote. (I'm going to click the link to it now and go see what I said on his post after reading it last year.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  22. Geez.... That was a great post... but I sure wish someone could set up a blog post that explains why people have to be like that... why life has to end that way. BTW, I did read the comments. I'll bet that hamburger wasn't in the best of shape when he got it home.

  23. Wow that was like a story from The outsiders. I have to jump over and check out this blog.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

  24. Hi human, Robin,

    That story brings on so many emotional levels. For Shoes to have witnessed such a horrendous situation most certainly was a life changer. Puts things into another angle. Yes, my human and I have the pleasure of interacting with this kind gentleman.

    Thank you for featuring him, dear human, Robin.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the friendly host of the Alphabark Challenge! :)

  25. Sheesh. Now you see the value of listening to your mom. . .that would be a scary thing to watch.

  26. Robin...this is buried in the comments of the original post... I don't know why I never sat down and discussed this with my brother, but one day after having written this account, I did just that... and what I learned follows:

    I realized that I had never really sat down with my brother and discussed this event... I did so today at lunch. He started in on his story... and I let him tell it through... and then I started asking questions. The one that I really wanted to know was:

    #1 How did you know that there was a fight brewing?

    He said that he saw the pick up pull in, and the car in which the other fellow was riding, came in right behind him... and that fellow got out and approached the pick up.

    Our stories meshed up with the event starting at the door of the pick up truck... his recollection ends at the fellow turning after having been shot... and John described the fellow's face exactly as I had...

    Since he was driving, he turned his attention to starting the vehicle and getting us out of there... while I watched the collapse and bleeding...

    He said to me, "you know... it's funny... I remember when we got home you were still holding your hamburger...'

    In doing the math, I figured out that I was 14...



  27. Whoa.... That was some story.

    Talk about LIFE hitting you in the face!

    That had to be terrifying!

  28. Hi, Shoes. Hi, Robin. OMG, what a horrible thing to witness and to happen.

  29. Aww, one of my favorite bloggers for sure :)
    Mommas always know, always.

  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  31. How horrid to even witness such a thing at any age, much less a child. :(

  32. WOW on that story! I can't imagine something like that when I was young and impressionable but It sounds like my town yesterday.

  33. What a horrifying, life-altering moment (especially for the guy who was killed). Yikes.
    But I do love that red car, and the shoes.


  34. Everyone ~ Thanks for reading and submitting such excellent comments. If you haven't checked out Shoes yet, make sure you go over there and do it!

  35. Shoes is one of my all-time favorites. I hope to get to meet him this summer.


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