April 12, 2021:

We tried to learn to go barefoot.

There was no philosophical sophistication behind it. It was simply "cool", and for my own part I like the feeling of earth and grass on bare skin.

Not so much hot hard sidewalk and burning asphalt street. You had to toughen up, build callouses. Not everyone had the stick-to-it-ness.

The girls were better than the boys. They were more mature, of course. They were going for that "nature girl" 1960s wannabe-hippie vibe. Flowing hair, loose dresses, bare feet. They knew the older boys liked it.

I tried it in summer, repeatedly. For me, it was Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, drawn on the covers of the kids' editions my mother bought at Borders. Two novels per volume, pastel-colored — the Companion Library — thank you Google. Tom and Huck in straw hats, fishin' poles, trousers rolled up to the knee, barefoot. That's the life.

Later at Johnston many students went barefoot. Post-hippie vibe, 1970s Huge open grass quad outside East Hall — why not? University students accused them and their exposed toes of spreading disease. That's how much hostility there was. And how narrow certain entitled right-wing sons and daughters of privilege truly can be.

I gave it up, because it was too limited. You couldn't get down into the canyon without good shoes. Or run with a basketball on the blacktop at Marston. Or enter most stores.

I'd love to own that Companion Library again.