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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Thursday, December 10, 2009


As I tied up the laces on my winter boots the first time this year, I thought again about the galoshes “we;” people of my age or older, used to wear when we were kids. Everyone wore them then; boys, girls, men and women. Women had fancier ones, sometimes with fur around the top and often designed to fit the heel of a certain kind of lady’s shoe, but they were galoshes none-the-less.

I don’t suppose anyone under the age of forty will have any idea what I am talking about, so I am really showing my age here. For you younger folk, galoshes, sometimes called “overshoes”, were a type of loose rubber boot you wore over your street shoes. They were usually brown rubber, lined with a fuzzy thin lining, and had some kind of strap or buckle around the top to keep the snow from going down inside your boot.

In many ways, galoshes were great. They weren’t elegant, but they were cheap and everyone’s galoshes were more or less the same. They would all wind up in a row around the cloakroom, or in a pile around the stove as the students tried to get the wet ones warm and dry. (Yes, I really am old enough to remember the stove in the middle of a one-room schoolhouse!) In fact, we would often have to write our names inside the cuffs to be able to tell one person’s from another. If you had new galoshes, and you went home with somebody else’s old ones, that was not a good thing! Your mother would not be pleased, and to tell the truth, neither would you. After all, new ones were shiny and smelled much better than old ones!

The amazing thing about galoshes was that they worked. Even when you had to wade through deep snow drifts in below zero weather, as long as you kept the snow out and your shoes and socks dry, your feet were nice and warm. In Bruce County, then as now, there were lots of deep snow drifts, and having warm dry feet was important.

Of course, as winter wore on towards spring, galoshes lost some of their luster. Sometimes they would spring a leak and need a patch. The overshoes that were so light and nice at the start of the winter seemed so heavy and bothersome in the mud of March or April, and we couldn’t wait to lose them for the summer.

Eventually, galoshes gave way to boots. It started with lady’s fashions, then went to girls, and finally to men’s and boys. Now, unless you live in a snow-belt area, even winter boots may be passé, at least for high school students. But as I tie on my winter boots for the first time this winter, I remember the joy of coming in from the snow, kicking off my galoshes and having warm dry feet. It was not better or worse than now; it was just the way it was!

Anyone else besides me have memories of galoshes?


  1. Carman, did you ever have to put a piece of wax paper (maybe from a bread wrapper) at the back of your shoe to help your heel slip into a tight pair of galoshes? Could be you really needed a newer, bigger pair, but that was it for this year, so the tight heel had to be dealt with?

  2. Yes! I had forgotten that ingenious method of making do with last year's size. Often they were too small, but they were going to have to do, and the waxed paper made that possible! Interesting memories.


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