It’s funny how these shoes are “standard issue”. Except for the boots, the outside casing of this uniform and my Army haircut, there’s nothing standard about me. I didn’t grow up with “Good morning, Cono” smiles or quiet and calm conversations around the supper table. Maybe, we just learned not to speak our mind. Especially since one or two of the minds around the kitchen table might not like our notions. If somebody were to peek in the window at suppertime, they’d have seen four mouths that moved due to chewing, not from that risky pastime called “talking”. In fact, if we tried to catch each word that came out of our mouths, especially at suppertime, there wouldn’t be enough to fill a soup bowl. And if we were counting on words for our nourishment, well then, we would have starved plumb to death.
I grew up believing that conversation cost money and since those were hard times, Mother and Dad tried to save every penny they could. So if Dad were to tell me, “Son, please leave the pie in front’a Ike’s plate,” it would have cost fifty cents and we could have put that half dollar towards new shoes for Delma.