Monday, January 21, 2008

Waffle stompers, or hippie slippers.


As Ekovox already knows, before “Newcomers”, the loggers wore cork boots outside, and Romeo Slippers inside, and “never the twain should meet.” (That means, “the boots stopped at the door frame“). It was the same way with the ranchers and farmers, the Milk boots and overshoes stopped at the door frame.

Ahhh… But then came the “Newcomers”. They thought of themselves as the “Modern-Day-Daniel Boones”. They all had long hair, a “Jim Bowie Knife” strapped on one side of their hip, and a “Buckskin Powder Pouch” on the other. It was darn strange smelling “Powder” they had, but they were real concerned about keeping it dry.

Whenever we were in the presence of a lady and had a hat on, we didn’t have to take it off, but it was absolutely certain, and without any doubt, that you had to either tip your hat or touch your finger to the brim to acknowledge that you were in the presence of a “Lady”. To not touch your hat was an insult, and about the same as calling her a whore. But the newcomers were so busy pointing out all the things that we did wrong that they never picked up on that subtlety. Then they would say: “What do you people have against newcomers?” While we were thinking “You just called my wife a whore and you don’t even know it!”

At my Gramma’s door there was a hat rack, and when you came inside, the corks came off, the Romeo’s went on, and the hat went on the rack. It was “Disrespectful to wear your hat in the house”.

Then came the “Newcomers”. They wore their “newcomer get-up” wherever they went, inside, outside, in restaurants, in stores, at parties, wherever they went their costume went. Their hats stayed on top of their heads at all times, it was part of their costume, and they would have felt naked without it. They didn’t know the rules of country etiquette.

We used to cuss a lot when we were outside or with the men folk, the language was referred to as barnyard talk, or woods talk, but it didn’t belong in the house, or around polite women folk. The newcomers talked the same, no matter who they were around, or where they were. They didn’t know how to cuss very good outside, but what little bit that they knew about cussing, you guessed it, they took it right on inside with them.

Now to get around to what Ekovox was referring to when he talked about waffle stompers. He knows how those shoes upset me.

The newcomers showed up with their “Country Shoes”, Waffle Stompers, Vibram Soles, Mud-Grip Hippie Slippers, Manure Spreaders, Mud Trackers. Yep, you guessed it again, those shoes went wherever they went, through the pig pen, through the mud, through the dog poop, and right into your house, or store, with nary a thought of wiping their feet. You see, they were raised on sidewalks, and they didn’t know how to wipe their feet. They didn’t recognize that they were tracking crap into your place. They thought that everything in the country was clean.

I have been able to meet the newcomers half way on most stuff, and some of them have even become great friends, but most of the city habits that they brought with them never changed. So when you see someone track mud into a house or store, I will give nine to one odds that the person was raised in a city. Check it out. You’ll find I’m right!

35 comments:

Ernie Branscomb said...

"Monica... Media Professional said...
Waffle stompers? You mean like the boots? I have my own waffle stomper-boot story, but it's totally not blog-worthy. Maybe a fun comment, though.

January 20, 2008 4:36 PM"


Not blog worty???
Monica, that's just the kind of stuff I like to talk about!
I should thank Ekovox for the idea though.

The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

What if she used them to kick some crumb in the (ouch just thinking about it)?

Does Eggo make the Waffle Stomper boots?

Oh, and Ernie, what comes to mind when you hear the phrase "Willow Creek Fruit"?

-boy

The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

For the Record...those are the kind of boots I would only use when back packing through the Sierra Nevadas.

-boy

Ernie Branscomb said...

Boy, peaches come to mind. But I'm curious if I'm right.

When we were kids we took great pride in waking without making so much as the smallest noise, and we always walked into the wind. A quite upwind stalk will reveal many amimals, even if you only wanted to look at them and watch them do their amimal stuff.

Times have sure changed, I don't think that kids today do any of those kinds of things.

Kym said...

To me, waffle stompers were liberation from the stupid dresses and ugly shoes my mom made me wear. When I got to buy waffle stompers, I was finally dressing like everybody else in my class.

Now the boots seem heavy and unattractive but they will always have a place in my heart as some of the first clothing I got to choose as opposed to what my parents chose.

They came into popularity around our school in the early 70's and the way I remember it everybody from newcomer kids to old family kids wore them.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Kym, you were probably "mud wise" though, or wiped your feet, or took your shoes off at the door. Am I right?

robin shelley said...

I wore waffle stompers in 1970's high school, too, but did have enough sense to stomp 'em off outside a store & to take 'em off before entering the house... or at least wipe my feet & pick the rocks out when Mom wasn't home!
Jim the Sissy might still wear 'em!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Robin, I’ll bet Jim The Sissy doesn’t wear them in his “fancy car”, he checked both my feet before I could get in.

I f you see Jim, tell him that everybody in Willow Creek knew his old buddy Vernon Still.

robin shelley said...

Funny thing, Ernie... Jimmy the Sissy was just here! Picked up my husband in his fancy car for a day in Gold Beach. And they both wore their waffle stompers!
Jimmy said to tell you he wears them because he can buy them for $19.99 & that he buys a new pair every six months. Swears they're comfortable!
He also wanted me to tell you that the loggers he knew wore black, hard-soled moccasins for slippers.
I'll tell him about Vernon Still.
Am I gettin' in the middle of somethin' here?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yeah, he's right. That's what I wore. Maybe he was talking about me. But I remember most of the timber fallers liked Romeos.

Right now I don't think that there is a saw spinning anywhere in California. How can that be, just a few short years ago....

As far as getting in the middle of something, tell Jim The Sissy to start writing about some of his stories. He's got more than me!

EkoVox said...

Sorry to open up a can of worms.

The Vibram soles were all the rage for wannabe woods guys and girls.

The years I worked for the Piss Firs, some of the Humboldt State forestry students doing summer work would arrive wearing waffle stompers. The crew bosses would have to explain that those are not considered work boots and would offer very little protection for your ankles and feet when out working in the woods. The more serious forestry students would show up after the first paycheck in more appropriate woods boots.

From the Timberland website:

Since the 1990's, Timberland boots have risen in popularity and taken on a new urban image. This image has been created and helped by various hip hop and rap celebrities such as Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, and Missy Elliot. Still, Timberlands will always be functional and useful as trail and hiking wear and the urban jungle is not the first wilderness that comes to mind when we see a pair of Timberlands.

robin shelley said...

I'm back with more messages from Jimmy. He says this is the first time he's ever worn waffle stompers & I told him he must be a "newcomer". He said he is a newcomer... to Oregon. LOL!
Also, he hasn't thought of Vernon Still in many years. Thanks for the reminder.
I'm gonna have to teach that guy to do his own posting...

Carol said...

I have a pair of Redwings that I am still breaking in for hiking.

When I worked for the Y.F.P.P., we had to wear waffle stompers while working in the woods.

EkoVox said...

Boy,....just come out and say it!

"...fruit from Willow Creek."

We know what that is in reference to, and it aint peaches.

Ernie Branscomb said...

You guy’s up north sure are confusing to us plain talkin’ Southforkians.

If the “fruit” isn’t a fruit, and it’s really a person. A fruit to a Southforkian is a person who is a little “different”, either one way, or the other. So, please patronize me and drop me a BIG hint. It can’t be Ekovox, because he lives on this side of the hill now. Unless you Northians have another word for hill. In which case I’m even more confused, which happen easily with me because I’m just now learning “newcomer”.

Okay Carol, I'll bite. What's a Y.F.P.P. I have to admit that I've had a lot of fun guessing, but I'm sure that all of my guesses were wrong. But, it had to be some newcomer thing, because to the best of my knowledge my ancestors didn’t have a Y.F.P.P. and only the newcomers wore waffle stompers, until the poor local people were lured into them. We have been corrupted in so many ways… but, I have to admit that I succumbed readily to my newcomers wife’s city ways. Now I’m sophisticated!

ben said...

I wear the best damn waffle stompers on earth, Asolos. I've got Redwings in the closet that look brand new. Never wear them. As a carpenter I have to take my boots off and put them on many times a day as I go back and forth in a client's house. My boots have to lace and unlace fast. Sometimes I find myself not bothering to tie my boots at all. This seems to be a problem for storekeepers in town who worry that I'll trip and fall. Storekeepers do worry. My Asolos wont stop a nail and don't have a steel toe but they are the most comfortable boots I have ever owned and at my age comfort is everything.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ben, when I did appliance repair, I had to wear shoes with smooth white foam soles, and then I still had to take my shoes off from time to time.

Most shoes that I used to wear only lasted four-six months. The shoes that I have now are Danners and I had them two years and I wear them every day. They are worn out, and I really liked them. I went to get some more and they don't make them anymore. Drat!

Waffle stomppers are starting to look pretty good.

Greg said...

Comfort comes first for me. Around the yard I wear an old pair of Voyager vibram-soled hiking boots. Off work, New Balance basketball shoes (I like the flat soles). At work, usually Eccos these days. I have a beautiful pair of Florsheim Imperial wingtips I hardly ever wear. At one time I lived in the Valley and work straw western hats and Tony Lama lizard tips. Ee-haw, but they started hurting my feet.

Real men like shoes. Hats, too.

Carol said...

Ernie, the Y.F.P.P. stands for Youth Fire Prevention Plan and was run by the state of California. It was similar to C.C.C. (California Conservation Corps), except it was a day work program for 18-22 year olds rather than the C.C.C. that provides room and board. We cleared fire breaks in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The program ended after the passage of Proposition 13, because the funding was cut. It was hard work clearing brush and trees all day, but I did get access to some beautiful areas of the mountains, including the Lockheed Martin property near Big Basin.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Our fire dept. has supplied us with Danner boots through the Boot Leg. They are National Fire protection Association aproved for wildland fire fighting. The soles are waffle stomper, the leather is silicone tanned. the strange part is that steel toes are banned in firefighting. Go figgur!

The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

OK Ernie, this whole "Fruit" thing was started over at Tara'a blog, Lost Coast Musings, when I spoke about fruit from Willow Creek. I am not 100% sure, but I believe Eko was under the impression I was talking about him, or maybe his blog story about (Willa Crik?)

Me loves me some peaches!!

-boy

Ernie Branscomb said...

Years ago we called crazy people "fruits", short for fruitcakes. Like "he's a real fruitcake". Don't ask me why.

robin shelley said...

Could the steel toes be banned in firefighting because steel gets HOT?

robin shelley said...

Or were you being facetious...?
0;

Ernie Branscomb said...

Robin
Nope, I was being clueless. I figure if the boot got hot enough to heat the steel enough to burn you, that you would be in trouble anyway.

I always had trouble trying to make sense out of Government regs!

OSHA goes nuts trying to make firefighting safe. Right now we cannot enter an abandoned building fire, unless there is a KNOWN victim. I fully expect that someday we will not be allowed to enter a burning building period. The victim would just be called a casualty. I don’t have very many years left, so I probably won’t have to deal with that.

Jimmy was a Redway fireman back in the good old days… now we are firefighters, in respect to those of us that wear skirts.

Having women in the fire department hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. It’s been kinda’ like being married, we just do what the women tell us to do. Everything seems to work out just fine.

EkoVox said...

"...fruit from Willow Creek"

Geez, a joke that gets spread from blog to blog until no one remembers the origin.

Beware folks, when posting self depricating remarks, remember no one can see your facial expressions.

Yes, the term "fruit" as in "fruitcake" as Ernie explained.

Sometimes, I'm so full of "beans" with my "corny" humor. Luckily I drive a "cherry" car and my Ladyfriend is such a "peach". I won't comment on her "melons", that would just be crude. I mean, you can call me a "nut", but I'm really the "apple" of my mama's eye.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Eko, if you put all of that together you end up with a fine fruitcake!

I think that I'm beginning to get it.

robin shelley said...

Ernie,
Do you know Lance Whitely?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yes, not well, but he used to be the Fire Chief of Laytonville. I've swapped fire department stories with him on occasion. He seens to be a very likable fellow.

robin shelley said...

Very likable fellow! Was the L'ville Chief for many years. BUT... he had a very hard time adjusting to women "firefighters"... I thought if you knew him you would get a chuckle out of remembering what an adjustment it was for him. Good thing he's likable, is all I can say!
(No, I wasn't a firefighter.)

Ernie Branscomb said...

Robin, I'm not saying having women in the fire department is good or bad, but everyone who's been through it will have to agree that it is different.

Some must think that it is okay, most every woman that has joined the fire department has ended up marrying a firefighter.

The women that we have had in our department have been outstanding. The problem that most firefighters have, is they think of the average woman fighting fire. But, that is not the case. The women firefighters that I know, have been anything but average.


This is our woman firefighter. Click on photo's for enlargements. She's as tough as she is sweet and pretty.

Anonymous said...

Great understanding Ernie. Agree with you 100%. The lack of manners goes to the heart of todays (I know what's best for you) mentality of the newbee's. robin posted about sissy and jimmy going to Gold Bluffs to play. I'll bet most of the newbee's think it's just great banning all the working folks from earning a living at Gold Bluffs so they can play in peace. Most of these folks came here for our life style of the past and have ended up turning us into a place much like what they moved from. I guess it's a good thing my run is almost over. I don't like the new Humboldt. Anyway I really like what you say.

Ernie Branscomb said...

The newcomers have brought a lot of changes. Some good some bad.
Thanks for your comment, I look forward to many more.

robin shelley said...

Not that it matters, but it was Jim the Sissy & he went to Gold Beach...

Anonymous said...

Sorry robin. It does matter but doesn't alter the point. I do know nice newbee's. A dairyman and a welder come to mind. I know many more that are,well, just city slickers in pretend overalls.