My Grammy worked at Stride Rite for 25 years in Dadeland. She started when my mom was 14 and retired when I was 14. We would go every year before school started and Grammy would size our feet and we would get new shoes. I am sure we went other times too, but I specifically remember always going when it was time for school to start. I remember when there used to be a big tall thing you could climb at the back of the store, before the renovation. I don't think I got a pair of shoes anywhere but that Stride Rite until I was maybe 12 years old. It was just what we did. When Grammy stopped working there, the owners had a big retirement party for her. They gave her a plaque that said "An elephant never forgets, and we'll always remember you." She loved elephants.
So it was only fitting that when it was time to get Tootsie's first pair of shoes, I went to Stride Rite. I tried doing it other ways. I looked at Target. And online. I even sized him using the online E-fit at striderite.com. And he was a double wide. Like a trailer. Where would I find double wide shoes? So I went to Stride Rite and got the kid a pair of white sneakers. They are so ugly they are cute. But he looks adorable in them! And I felt my Grammy was smiling down at us in that store on Sunday.