Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One Last Successful Shoe Patrol Mission! (Summer Visitation, 2010)

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

For weeks, Peter Teachout was saying to me, "We've got make ONE LAST SHOE PATROL. WE'VE JUST GOTTA!"

Peter is going off to military training, but the elite "shoe patrol unit" has been near and dear to his heart ever since Peter single-handedly organized our volunteer efforts to go around and take shoes off power lines, standing on the roof of his truck and using two long boards like chopsticks to gingerly untangle laces then--at a key moment when the laces are untangled--boost one of the shoes over the line, so they both fall down.

So I was all, like, yeah, let's do that...

So it was the night of Peter's big going-away-but-hopefully-coming-back party, when a bunch of us went shoe-patrolling. All sorts of different people were involved at different points: Jordan Super Citizen Megan Goodmundson, Megan's brother Alex who was visiting from out of state, my own son Alex, Peter's son "little Peter," and even Jeff Skrenes (the Hawthorne Hawkman) joined us for a while. We managed to take down eight pairs of shoes, but there's always "the one that got away" which is the one you really remember.

Actually, it wasn't just ONE but two pairs on a power line near the Emerson Avenue Market, in a "decency dead zone" where loitering and drug dealing appears to happen all the time, but nobody is right there constantly calling it in. A domestic disturbance started to spill out on the lawn in front of us and, really, it was time to go.

Readers might be wondering where did all those captured shoes end up? Well, that's another tale for another blog post. But I should go out of my way to give special mention to my son, Alex, who put himself in the spotter position and was unwavering in his task of watching for shoes out the window of Peter's truck, then drawing the shoes to our attention. These were shoes we would have missed.

The only downside of the evening came on Penn Ave. N., when we drove by a hooker who was really strutting her stuff. (This particular hooker has been known to flash her breasts at cars, including--at least once--a car with a small child) I leaned out the truck window with a video camera and used a few choice words on this hooker as we sped past, forgetting for a moment that Peter is, um, RELIGIOUS and this was stuff I really shouldn't say in front of Peter's kid, even though (I would like to point out) the word "WHORE" is definitely in the Bible, see the Book of Revelations.

But I apologized, and Peter forgave me.

Hurry back, Peter, and be safe in your travels.


The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

My favorite part of the evening was as we were starting out. I made the point that the shoe patrol was actually called the ELITE shoe patrol unit, and little Pete asked what "elite" meant.

"It means you're special, or the best."

"That just sounds like you're bragging," he shot back.

Smart kid.

NoMi Passenger said...

My favorite part of the evening was when we had to make an emergency get-a-way when the thug domestic issue heated up and the lady thug started chasing her man thug around the yard and down the street while slinging an open bottle of soda pop at him. The f-enheimers were flying and the show patrol kids did not know what to do, so round 'em up and put 'em in the truck out of harms way.


Or perhaps it was when the dude walking down the street yells out "Y'all act like you never seen shoes on a power wire before" - as if it is SUPPOSED to be there. And what WE were doing was abnormal.

Or perhaps the dozens of folks that asked "Why are you doing that" and when told "because it's like trash in the sky" they just shrug, as if "whatever"!

It was fun revitalization work and others should get their own shoe patrol going!

Anonymous said...

Xcel will come out and remove shoes as well... provided someone calls them.

Johnny Northside! said...

To NoMi Passenger--

I missed the part where she threw the pop. Darn.

Also, to the last commenter, sorry but if we had any kind of luck calling Xcel we wouldn't have to do this.

Your Eyedea said...

True that John. I called them about three times about some shoes on Lowry.. I never saw them take them down, But I saw two guys from STS do it while the others were mowing an empty lot... granted this way two years ago... But still ....

Anonymous said...

Why do people throw shoes in the lines? Whose shoes are they?

Anonymous said...

I think think shoes should be left on the lines. You guys only take those shoes off of the lines that YOU want to take off. Maybe others want them there. I bet you have your own shoes on some lines somewhere and think that is okay.

Anonymous said...

You guys are idiots. Let the professionals to their work and call Xcel.

You should be ashamed that you brought kids along and then brag about it too!

M. Clinton said...

(Doing a Troll Parody)

I think think shoes should be left on the lines. You guys only take those shoes off of the lines that YOU want to taken off. Maybe others want them there. I bet you have your own shoes on some lines somewhere and think that is okay.

Anon 1:03 said...

I've actually had luck calling xcel, but don't get me wrong...
I like your way much better.

There is nothing like having the satisfaction of making a statement like the one you are making by removing the shoes.

I get that feeling vicariously from reading this post.

I get it directly when I tell some people to "Fuck Off."

Anonymous said...

I left my Tennis shoes to dry on the line and now they're gone.... i could,nt remember which line they were on.I searched around up and down sold my drugs with a frown. This is stupid.

Johnny Northside! said...

I found your shoes upon the line/
Now your nasty shoes are mine/
If you sell drugs upon my street/
Some surly cops you'll surely meet