David Johnson got me to thinking…
with the event he and Ian Sanford are putting together for downtown Sheffield. The event is called Back to the Sixties on Saturday Night. It will be held Saturday, May 28, 2011 on Montgomery Avenue 6:00pm – 10:00pm. Included in the performer lineup for the event are the Weejuns. Weejuns I asked? What are weejuns? Perhaps they are ‘Long Tall Texans’ with a penny in their shoe.
Photos of Norwegian farmers wearing loafers to perform work inspired the re-introduction of them here in the United States. That was back in the 1930s. In the 1950s they were again popular, very popular.
The shoes featured no buttons or shoestrings, had a low heel, and fit below the ankle. Loafers suddenly became quite popular, and were manufactured by both Spaulding and the Bass Company. Bass retained the Norwegian name for loafers, calling them Weejuns. One can still purchase Bass Weejuns today, though technically they only differ from other loafers in name.
The shoe had a mouth opening which soon was used to hold an ornamentation – perhaps a penny and thus penny loafers became a style. Penny loafers often held a dime instead of a penny. If a girl’s date got out of line she could call home on a pay phone. We called the dime or dollar mad money.
Never having been a material girl, it is just now that I realize that you were not cool unless your penny loafers were Weejuns. By that statement I’m not confessing that anyone was or was not cool in high school, I just did not care if the brand name of my penny loafers was Weejuns.