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Leather-Bound Friendships

April 13, 2022
Turning Point
April 26, 2022

I've been wearing cowboy boots since my early teens when, finally, I made enough money on my paper route to buy my first pair of kangaroo-skin, black, Acme, proud-struttin', clip-toe boots. They were a poor choice at the time since they scuffed way too easily but they had those inarguably-cool riding heels and now I actually had me a pair of for-real cowboy boots. Over the ensuing decades I have collected several pair. I think the count in my closet at this time is about two dozen. My favorite and most comfy pair are Lucchese's. So, it wouldn't surprise anyone who knows me that, when strolling through the Fort Worth Stockyards and coming across a Lucchese store, I was drawn to the front door like an eight-penny nail to a rare-earth magnet. Those of you who've followed me for a while know that when I am moved by an adventure at a business I encounter, or by exceptional people I meet, I write poetry about the experience. Then, a week or so later I found myself killing time in a pub in Kansas City which is where this rhyme was finished over a brew. The unexpected, serendipitous even, heart-warming episode that followed my passage through the Lucchese portal is documented below.

Leather-Bound Friendships

Some things I never get used to
Like God's always-better surprises
Makes a man ponder why he
Don't always do as the Lord advises

So I was roaming round the stockyards
One day in old historic Fort Worth
Not really havin' a peak experience
Touristy places don't do much to feed my mirth

But I did want to see the Chisholm's path
Maybe grab some inspiration
So I endured the flip-flop crowds
A'strollin through Stockyard Station

Next I was down Mule Alley
My boots maneuvering brick pavers
Gawking and camera-ing like a tourist
At the Old West's architectural flavors

Admiring the style of the grand Hotel Drover
I noticed the Lucchese custom boot store
Well it was a moral imperative to enter
And over my favorite-brand boots pore

See, I fancy tradition and heritage
And prefer an outfit of quality with roots
Since 1883 here in America, Lucchese
Has been buildin' refined cowboy boots

I was met halfway through the door
By a grin that could'a been an old friend
But Kinney greets everyone that way
As I would clearly learn by day’s end

A'fore long Kristie showed up
A young lady out to spread joy
She manages the busy Lucchese boot place
But took some time to visit with this ol' boy

Turns out she's from Montana too
We'd once lived a few miles apart
We shared our stories and such
Tellin' it all trustin' and from the heart

So Kinney had run a pipeline crew
Worked the oil business for years
And Kristie had such a life story
She twice brought me near tears

Such a wealth of boot knowledge 'tween 'em
Lucchese boots might be European Goat
Their enthusiasm was ridin' for the brand
Remindin' me of the ol’ Cowboy quote

The selection of leathers was extensive
Toe choices, snip, clip or French
Pick your heel and shaft height
There's no limit on their bootmaker's bench

My favorite hide that I touched
Kristie described as Florence Baby Buffalo
They import it special from Italy
To soft wrap your foot, heel to toe

It's no wonder these two work for Lucchese
Considering their traditions-passions
Kinney and Kristie both respect heritage
Personally and in boot fashions

Kinney spoke of various celebrities
That typically Lucchese choose
Saying there are some that'll never get fitted
Since Lucchese don't make no tennis shoes!

That made me laugh out loud
And Kristie's story made me near cry
Staying non-dallied on the emotional scale
Assures me a healthy, mental high

I told them I had just come in to breathe
The Lucchese fragrance makes one linger
Hard to remember leather's soothing smell
Comes from some old snot-slinger

I made two new friends in the stockyards
And learned about leather and boot parts
I've no doubt we'll meet again since
We three opened-up, sharin' stories from our hearts

by Rik Goodell

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