Monday, June 25, 2007

Ella Shoe

Great, smile, huh? This is Trinity, a little girl who used to live next door.

The following story was sent to me by a Daddy's Girl:

“It was a winter in 1975. We were probably riding in the Oldsmobile that, unbeknownst to me, dad will end up driving for the next twenty years. We’re on our way to visit a close friend of my dad’s, Miss Ella Shoe. Although I’ve never met her, I know she has a huge house; she is always inviting people to come over for a visit. My dad and I have taken her up on numerous invitations; even though I was barely five years old, the trip to Ella’s is a familiar event for me.

After a stop at a coffee shop for beignets and café au lait, Daddy and I head over to Miss Shoe’s house herself. It was the coolest house I’d ever seen in my short life. It was round and had curved concrete ramps that lead to the many doors to her house. Daddy holds my hand as we walk up the ramp, hand our tickets to her doorman, and enter the house.

The place smelled like popcorn, roasted peanuts, and chewed-up bubble-gum. Everyone is dressed in purple and gold, and I see other little girls my age dressed like cheerleaders, complete with purple-and-gold pom-poms. Even Daddy is wearing a gold jacket.

I feel a little overwhelmed by all of the people but safe with my Daddy, who, I imagined then, was taller than everyone else. He buys a program, we enter Portal M to find our seats — Section M19, Row L — and then the real fun begins.

Perhaps I’m too easily amused, but I was fascinated by the bright colors, the constant activity, the noise and the buoyant spirit of Ella Shoe’s house. It was like a circus, complete with a friendly two-legged tiger that once shook Daddy’s hand.

The energy of the place always multiplied when the Shoe children burst out onto the court far below. I never thought it strange that Ella’s children were of several races; the only colors I saw were the purple, gold, and white of the uniforms. Ella’s kids wear those colors and they were who we cheered for.

After the game (we always stayed until the end), I would be tired, Daddy would pick me up and carry me back outside. I never knew if we won or lost; I really didn’t watch the game. Daddy may have watched it, but I looked through borrowed binoculars for my aunt and uncle. Daddy didn’t care that I wasn’t that interested in the game back then, he was just glad I always wanted to go with him to see a game at LSU.”

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