The first time I can recall seeing Chuck Taylor's was when I was very young and watching Sha Na Na, which at the time was either a band name, a TV show or both. The next time I would see them would be in a similar fashion in the movie Grease 2, which came out closer to my time than the first one. Then again in the movie The Outsiders. In this format, they were the shoes of the underdogs, a status symbol much like most of James Dean's wardrobe which carries on the tradition today. The shoes were either hi-tops or lo-tops, in either black or white. The 80's brought in all those bright and brassy colors, much of which still exist today, but I've always just stuck with basic black.

Because they were symbols of a particular class and age of people, they are for me a way to retain some of the spirit of that age. The age of youth, no doubt, its recklessness and carefree, often risk taking attitude bordering on civil disobedience, but also a mindset of simplicity. Chucks were and always have been, rather cheap to buy; nowadays you can still buy them for around $25, sometimes even cheaper. They are worn by almost every age group now because of their multifaceted personality. They fit like a slipper, having no support or arch, so older people and homeless people even find them to be most comfy. Prior to and following the onset of Vans and Visions, the skater community often embraces this feature, as well as the rockabilly and punk scene.

Black will always be a color of rebellion, even though it has now threaded into all areas of life. Black Chuck's will always be, for me, a reminder that all of us come from an origin of rebellion, a place in time where we felt the need to be different. It wasn't always a choice we made consciously or even if so, with much effort. And it's not that there was a great need to rebel, since most of us come from humble urban beginnings, for the most part.

I hadn't owned a pair in a few years at least, and yesterday I passed by a Converse factory outlet and just went in and bought them. I already knew how they would fit, how long they would last, and what it would take to not make them look so brand new. So in way, buying a pair of Chucks is like living a segment of your life, one you know you can return to and expect certain things to always happen to you. As you age in that segment of life, like beat up Chucks, it gets more and more comfortable to accept.

O ratty old kicks. O smelly ass shoes
reeking of wool socks & Florida summer.
O white laces browned like a Thanksgiving turkey.
O crease on the capped nose where the stone
wall kicked back. O charred black canvas, color
of an old dog’s paw, hazing mud & dust.
O bottom treads, the skateboard deck bloodied
you like a school bully wanting milk money.
O worn-in holes, gifting the pinprick kiss
of grass blades. O rubber gumball outsoles
that skidded on gym floors, scratched
against griptape, stamped on lime rock,
shuffled through April-colored beach sand,
grazed against the moonlit Bermuda grass
of golf courses in the late breathless night.

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