Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What About Those Trees

At one time I thought that a shoe tree was a device shaped like a foot that is placed inside a shoe to preserve its shape and thereby extend the life of the shoe. Higher quality shoe trees could be made of cedar which helps control odor and absorb moisture. Oh but how wrong I was!

Now understand, I have never claimed to be an upscale prim and properly raised child. I have what I call down home hillbilly roots and some of the stories I may tell can prove that. However, even I had not participated in the following adventures of the shoe trees.

The first time I noticed one of these trees was while driving home to Baker to visit family. Of course I had to take a picture and made my youngest daughter, Kelli stand under it. I did not have time to find that photo which was while she was still in high school. However, since then I have taken quite a few photos, some of which are here and some are from other people who have taken photos. I used to think this was a unique problem phenomenon in Oregon but I have come to understand that the "shoe tree" is something that happens to be everywhere. At least most places that people wear shoes.

I have to admit it fascinates me to look at each of these trees and try to imagine who would want to throw their shoes up in a tree. I have seen for years the shoes tossed up on power lines and just assumed it was a prank of kids. Now I wonder. It is great to see all of the different types of shoes from sneakers, boots, sandals, high heels and even in one case just the sole of a shoe was all that was left.

These photos were all taken in Eastern and Northeastern Oregon. The drive through parts of this country is quite boring with nothing sometimes to look at but sagebrush hills. I've got to enjoy some form of entertainment don't I? Look at that hot pair of orange and green shoes. Those are the Beaver and the Duck colors...how sweet to honor the two opposing Oregon teams.

Here is how to ruin a perfectly good picture of the hills. Lovely view.


Emma, my oldest granddaughter had her first experience with a shoe tree last summer. I told her not to get her nose too close...let dogs do the sniffing.



Even Kelli decided she needed a photo using her camera phone. I thought I was beginning to get used to the shoe tree thing. BUT...........



Now what I want to know is WHY? Why would someone begin a gum tree? Kelli was visiting her brother, Brian, in Baltimore, MD over spring break and brought back this photo. This somehow seems more gross to me than stinky shoes. I guess there is something to be said for this......or no, there is not.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

In Los Angeles - shoes on utility lines mark gang boundaries, Bet you could have lived the rest of your life not knowing that huh?
I enjoy your blog thanks!
Rooth

noble pig said...

Okay this is hilarious! I wish there were a wine tree and we coulf go take sips!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Amazing! These photos are prime candidates for "Odd Shot Monday" found on katneyskaboodle.blogspot. Folks with more than slightly warped senses of humor started both, and they just took off. The gum tree is fantastic, gross or not! I'm glad Kelli got the photo.

Jill said...

And I thought the shoe tree was clever--I LOVE the gum tree! I would start one on the tree in front of my house, but I'm afraid Byron and his buddy Jacob would steal the gum off and chew it :)

Mental P Mama said...

I'm with Noble...let's go find a wine tree! Seriously, though, I have never seen anything like these.

Tipper said...

Why would you throw your shoes in a tree????? I can not believe it. I think if that was in the South-someone would take them all down and have a yard sale..HaHa. I've seen gum trees before but never the shoes.

"JEANNELLE" said...

Veddy interesting. I have never in my life seen or heard of these "shoe trees" that are in your photos. Truly something new under the sun for me!

Country Girl said...

I have seen shoes on telephone wires, but never anything like this! This is wild.

Oh, and that tree is gross!At first, I thought it was bottle caps, but gum? Yuk! The stuff people do . . .

Twinville said...

Poor trees! Have you ever read Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree"? This SO reminded me and my kids of that book.

That gum tree is just plain nasty!
And the shoe tree is weird. But I'm diggin those day-glo orange and green sneakers!

Would it be considered stealing to remove a pair of shoes from a shoe tree?

carrie & troy keiser said...

OK weird! Yeah, never heard or seen either of these before your pictures.Um thanks for enlightening me!