New Steinhoff Tradition

I wrote about a utility pole near Perkins that has become a shoe magnet. Mother mentioned that she’d like to add a shoe to it. In fact, she mentioned it several times, just in case I didn’t get the hint the first time.

The Tulsa Clan consisting of Brother David, Sis-in-Law Diane and Niece Amy came to Cape to meet up with Brother Mark at Mother’s for Turkey Day.

I had to leave town, but Mark said he’d establish the New Steinhoff Family Tradition of adding shoes to the utility pole (dubbed tree, because it sounds better).

They ended up at the Perkins Shoe Tree

You can tell from this photo that there is some measure of confusion. Bro David is thinking, “Perkins? THIS is Perkins? I thought we were going to a pancake house.”

Amy, a veteran Black Friday shopper is looking around for a mall. “This isn’t a Shoe Tree like they have in Dallas next to Neiman-Marcus.”

Mark prepping the shoes

They should have had a clue that something unusual was going to happen when Mark told them to bring old shoes and then started drilling holes in them.

Red Door Antiques added shoe

Mark, an antique hunter, stopped in at Red Door Antiques in Delta along the way. While chatting with owner Ellie Cook, he let slip the Steinhoff Family mission.

Ellie said she had heard of the Perkins Shoe Tree (pole), but had never seen it. She contributed a shoe to the project.

Madeline DeJournett, chronicler of  all that passes as news in Advance and its environs, said she was going to show up shoe in hand to meet the group, but begged off at the last minute because of family obligations.

Mark said he would leave an empty screw in the pole waiting for her. Do NOT read this as him saying that Madeline has a screw loose.

Collection of shoes

Note the red washers in six of the seven shoes. Mark thought it would be nice if it would be possible to identify the family shoes and which year they were put up.

Red is 2010.

I’m not sure if that is to reflect the Red State shift in the 2010 elections or if red was the paint that was handy.

The shoe without a red washer is Ellie Cook’s.

Legend identifies shoes

Mark decided that there should be a color-coded legend to go with the red washers. Cape represents Mother; St. Louis is Mark; Tulsa was David,  Diane and Amy. Madeline isn’t family, but she’s from Advance, so he was going to make her an honorary Steinhoff for the occasion. (Then she didn’t show. Real family trumps honorary family any day.)

Memorial shoes

Here’s a look at some of the shoes and the legend. We sure hope nobody from Perkins takes offense at us interlopers taking up space on their pole. If it turns out that it’s illegal to tack shoes on utility poles, I want to point out that I was in Florida while all of this was going on.

The culprits

Here are the shoe tackers at the scene: Amy, Mother, Diane and David. Mark, who wanted to avoid being documented at the scene, didn’t take into account his shadow at the bottom of the photo.

Wife Lila is headed back for a visit in December. Mother mentioned that she was going to swing back to check on the shoes on her way to Advance before Christmas, so I bet she could be persuaded to show Lila where to tack a spare shoe.

Thanks to Mark and Amy for the photos

12 Replies to “New Steinhoff Tradition”

  1. Ooooh! I am SO SORRY I was unable to participate in this momentous occasion!! Had I not been in the middle of warming up Thanksgiving leftovers for my family (including a 1-and-4-year-old), I would have been delighted to join the shoe celebration!
    Just how long did your family have to wait for a train to come by, in order to give the shoe pole its proper significance?
    Tomorrow, my daughter (from Memphis), sister (from Springfield), and I (from Advance) will be journeying to Cape to see Harry Potter. Perhaps the four of us can visit the shoe pole and add our contributions! I will look for the loose screw! Thanks for including me in the fun!

    1. Well, it’s up to Mark, but I’d say that having a 1-and-four-year-old in the house would be punishment enough for your infraction. It’s still going to go down in your Permanent Record as Strike One.

      Honorary Steinhoff status is nothing to be trifled with.

      If you’re going to visit the Perkins Shoe Tree, take a Phillips screwdriver with you.

      That’s a heavily-traveled rail line. I imagine they didn’t have to wait long.

  2. There seemed to be an unusual amount of train traffic that day. We did discover some railroad workers up the line a bit farther (3 miles) that were actually welding on the tracks, so that might have caused a backup of traffic that day.

    The good thing about the Perkins Shoe Tree is the lane that is right in front of the pole makes for easy parking. If this catches on there will only be two choices, take a ladder and go higher or move onto the next pole. Maybe we should have thought about something smaller, like bow ties to conserve space…

    I’ll be keeping an eye out for single gloves and mittens in the streets of St. Louis this winter and start adding them to a pole near my own neighborhood, just to see if it sparks a tradition in the 63110 zip code area with other curious folks. Think of it as a modern day, “Kilroy was here” movement.

  3. Ken, your Mom sets a goal & she “gets ‘er done”…I can only imagine what’s in store for her 90th Birthday Season & the ingenuity of your Bro, “the Shadow Knows” how to document the new Steinhoff tradition…my daughter-in-law is from Perkins & ironically her maiden name is Shoemaker! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I read your post on roadside memorials. I remember a stretch of road somewhere in the south that had 19 or 20 crosses in about 30 miles.

      I slowed down, but the locals must not heed the message.

      As far as the Perkins Shoe Tree, I guess we would celebrating, not memorializing. Celebrating that the family could be together and do something crazy.

  4. Ken, I took a picture and did a story on those bikers who on the Advance Winter Loop one year. I was coming out of church and saw them gathered at AmeriMart – so I grabbed my camera and went over. It was quite a good-sized group and a lot of fun! You never know what you’ll see coming through town!

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