The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

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.

Weejuns

Girls, did you wear a penny or a dime in your Weejuns?

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.

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2 responses

  1. BOB KILLEN

    Hi David, I would like to know it you put the Weejuns back on the program?
    Your friend, Bob Killen

    May 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

  2. BOB KILLEN

    Sounds like the 28th street show is going to be a success. I’ve even had friends who are from Sheffield who live in S. Carolina who are going to attend! Looks like you are really getting the word out!

    May 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm

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