Since I got my first pair of Vans back in September, I’ve been buying more sneakers. I just bought¬†my first pair of Converse and this passage from Dandelion Wine¬†popped into my head.

“Dad!” He blurted it out. “Back there in that window, those Cream-Sponge Para Litefoot Shoes …”

His father didn’t even turn. “Suppose you tell me why you need a new pair of sneakers. Can you do that?”

“Well . . .”

It was because they felt the way it feels every summer when you take off your shoes for the first time and run in the grass. They felt like it feels sticking your feet out of the hot covers in wintertime to let the cold wind from the open window blow on them suddenly and you let them stay out a long time until you pull them back in under the covers again to feel them, like packed snow. The tennis shoes felt like it always feels the first time every year wading in the slow waters of the creek and seeing your feet below, half an inch further downstream, with refraction, than the real part of you above water.

“Dad,” said Douglas, “it’s hard to explain.”