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Bobby Socks and Penny Loafers

Bobby socks and penny loafers.

Those were staples back in the day, at least for girls. Don’t know what boys wore in the way of shoes. In west Texas probably boots or the high-top tennis shoes.

I don’t remember ever looking at their footwear. They could have been bare-footed for all I know.

I recently saw a picture of girl friends coming to school on a spring day in the 1950s, heads covered in scarfs in an attempt to not have the wind ruin your hair do, light sweaters over full skirts and blouses with a pixie collar.

You do remember those days, don’t you? 

We stood outside until the school doors opened, most of us being dropped off as parents headed to work or walking from our homes.  I use the term ‘most of us’ meaning the city kids. We did not have cars, and the majority of our classmates came by buses. 

The girls wore large earrings, and had a load of books in our arms. This was prior to backpacks, and before I thought about a book bag. I just lugged my 3-ring binder and homework books back and forth in my arms.

What brought all this to my mind, aside from the picture taken 65 years ago, was my love of bobby socks. I still wear socks that come up my ankles to about where those white socks when rolled down would hit me. 

I wore those socks in the winter with almost every pair of shoes in my wardrobe, which consisted of loafers, tennis shoes, high heels for Sundays (no socks with these but I did wear hose), and in the summer maybe a pair of sandals. Of course, I had house shoes, the kind that had fur around the top and beads on the toe area, making them appear to be Indian moccasins.

Rules about student’s dress was loosely enforced. Girls were to wear dresses except on Fridays. They could wear slacks or jeans on what we called ‘Beat Day’.

That name designated football game day, and ‘beat tags’ were sold to booster the coffers of the Student Council.

“What were beat tags?” you ask. They were 4”x4” pieces of cardboard with a slogan printed on it such as “Bite the Bulldogs” or “Claw the Mules”, depending on the school mascot of the rival team. We were the Wildcats, so the words were a play on what a wildcat could do to the opposing squad.

The tags had a string attached so you wore it around your neck and asked everyone you saw in the hallways to sign it. A card filled with signatures front and back was cherished.

I have none of those cards tucked away in books, but I always make sure I have a pair or two of bobby socks. No loafers these days, and no head scarfs, but socks and tennis shoes remain part of my daily attire. 

They help keep memories alive.

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2 thoughts on “Bobby Socks and Penny Loafers

  1. Bobby socks with extra tops from old socks rolled in to make a bigger ball around the ankle – penny loafers some places, but where I was for a couple of years in high school it was all about white bucks – is that what they were called? A white suede shoe. Another must was the biggest, fullest crinolines that could be found for under our full or gathered skirts.

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