i’m so tired of people talkin’ about their level of “education” in reference to how infallible they are. the fact is, if you truly believe that scholastic knowledge has anything to do with the mistakes you do/don’t make, then you’re dumber than i tell people you are. werd.
if you’re a “sneakerhead” and you’re reading this, then this seed needs no explanation. for you people on the outside looking in, it’s the idea/moment that is planted in us, that sprouts into tree that firmly roots itself into the very foundation of our being. a tree with seemingly infinite branches sometimes. it’s the reason that when someone think’s they’re one of us just because they have a few pairs of air 1’s, we shake our heads as if to say, “you just don’t get it”.
around the time when i was in Jr. high, i started really noticing sneakers. i’d had sneakers that i liked a lot before, but i was really developing an appreciation for them. design. materials. colors. innovation. most noticeably the Air Max ’95’s & 96’s, ½ cents, Zoom Flight 95’s, and Diamond Turfs. and J’s go without saying. these were the kicks that I remember were really poppin around that time. i was raised by a single mother, who couldn’t afford to spend the kinda money that some of the other kids’ parents could on something as trivial as sneakers, so i was comfortable just admiring from afar. i felt like most of them weren’t really my style anyway (as a matter of fact, to this day the only pair of shoes i’ve ever owned from the aforementioned list are the Air 95’s), and if i ever decided i liked any of them enough to buy them, i could do it when i got a job and made my own money. i had no idea exactly how naïve this line of thinking was. one day, not too long from that time, i would finally find out. the sad thing is, i don’t even remember what particular pair of sneakers it was that actually sparked it. i just remember it was a pair of skate shoes, possibly DC’s. mostly what i remember about it, is the scenario.
it was around my late teen years. i’m not sure exactly what age, i just remember it was at a time when i was skating daily, and old enough to work & support my habit. Any skateboarder knows, when you find a pair of shoes to skate in that feel good, look good, and skate well; you tend to stick with ‘em. unfortunately, if you skate regularly, this just ensures that your favorite pair of skate shoes will get worn out that much more quickly. Not to worry though, you can just head down to your local skate shop and cop another pair, right? right!?… wrong. and this is how it started for me. i headed to the skate shop , confident i was gonna cop. walk right in, and don’t even bother to look at the shoe display because i already know i need a pair of “insert color insert brand & model in a insert size”. had i stopped to peep the shoe wall, i would’ve seen that they were no longer being displayed. the guy at the shop goes in the back to check, only to return with the news that they’re sold out. “oh, okay. well’ when will you be getting more in?”. he doesn’t know. i should check back next week after they’ve gotten their new shipments. so i checked back, and caught a case of déjà vu. Same answer as last week, but because i was cool with the guys that worked at the skate shop, they called the buyer to ask him to put in a “special order” for me, and they’d let me know when they arrived (shout out to Beetle). when i finally got the phone call from the shop with the status update, it would birth an awareness in me, that has shaped a substantial part of my existence to this very day. 5 words. spoken so matter-of-factly and heart-breaking, like a girl that you’ve secretly been crushing on telling you, “you’re such a good friend”. 5 words, like five fingers balled into a fist, gut-punching you, knocking all the air from your lungs. “they (pow) don’t (pow) make (pow) them (pow) anymore (pow)”. at that moment, those 5 words would change my life forever. i had probably heard that combination of words at some point in my life previous to this, but this was the time that mattered. this was the seed. “they don’t make ‘em anymore”? why don’t they make ‘em anymore? why wouldn’t they want to make ‘em anymore? well, they made them before, so somebody somewhwere must still have a pair…right? fortunately or unfortunately, i would get the answer to these questions.