Bob, thoroughly enjoyed reliving our last great bridge adventure, and I do believe you can rightly claim to be the only one to have done it wearing baby ducks; or at least the only one who lived to tell the tale. My guess is I was wearing Keds, but the details escape me this late in life. It seems you’ve opened a Pandora’s shoebox in my head, though, for I’ve been obessively scouring the web for a glimpse of that legendary shoe and I, too, have come up empty. Could they have been a purely local phenom, and gotten lost in the closet of history? Say it ain’t so, Joe.
For what it’s worth, I’ve brought out a pair of shoes that might be more like what you’re looking for; they’re very comfortable, and they seem to resemble those cordovan beauties you mentioned. Try ’em on, walk around, see how you like ’em. For what it’s worth more, I have a bit of cordovan trivia for you, then I’m moving on to more esoteric ducklore.
Genuine Shell Cordovan, the most non-porous leather known, is distinguished by its lustrous waxy finish, superior durability and suppleness, readily conforming to the shape of the wearer’s foot. It is a soft, fine-grained, colored leather produced mainly from the shell of a horse butt, and is known for taking on a rich lustre that improves with wear and polishing. The name derives from Córdoba, Spain, where the leather was first produced.
The shell of a horse butt? Who knew horse butts came in a shell? Be that as it may, it’s a damn good thing the word wasn’t out on Elm Street, or the shine would have been off those puppies right quick. We thought they were ducks.
Now let’s delve deeper into duck history: let’s examine the legendary D.A. haircut, the haircut that launched a thousand greaser movies and tv shows and set the terms for teenage manhood for years to come. The haircut that became a worldwide symbol of teenage resistance, that enabled us to break loose from those deadly men’s haircuts of the fifties and, for all we know, led to the Beatles’ moptops and on into hippie longhair legend. We do know that from the fifties on, the greaser was the hero and the jock became the nerd. It was a simple formula: the bad boys got the girls. We surfed on that wave, baby, and we rode it all the way to shore.
The initals, of course, stand for duck’s ass, which is what this cut resembles more than anything else on earth. How someone could have invented it, I don’t know, but I do know that there had to be a Catholic school somewhere in his past. During my own tenure as a Catholic schoolboy, I learned, among other things, that nothing drove the nuns nuts more than a D.A. haircut, including pegged pants. Your hair had to be long and well-oiled, and it took great effort and care to keep it all in place for an entire day, requiring many trips to the boy’s room. Some were Brylcreem men, others wore Vitalis, but I was down with Dixie Peach Pomade. Way down.
I’ll never forget the day when Sister Clotilda (her real assumed name; boy, did we have fun with that one) was walking up and down the aisles during a test and as she came up behind me she must have been driven into a sexual frenzy and, losing all control, grabbed me by the duck’s ass, yanked me out of my seat and dragged me to the front of the classroom, berating me passionately all the while for my degenerate ways. I didn’t really mind her grabbin’ at me that way, but what really pissed me off was, man, she really messed up my freakin’ D.A.! I forgive her, though, because I’m now old enough to understand what a powerful effect it must have had on her; after all, look what Travolta’s D.A. did to Olivia Newton-John. Of course, I would have preferred Olivia, but hey. Grease is the word.