The tale of the tap



No idea why this came seeping up from my memory bog, but I suddenly saw myself in my favorite pair of oxblood penny loafers — fifth grade, this was — and begging my mom to buy me a set of metal taps for them. You know, like tap dancers have on their shoes.

This was 1967, maybe the spring of ‘68, back when boys didn’t wear sneakers to school. Sneakers were known as “gym shoes,” and there was nothing terribly cool about them. Converse high-tops were all right. They only came in white or black, though, and you certainly couldn’t nail taps into them without getting your feet butchered.

You’re wondering, I bet, Why did this kid want tap shoes anyway?

The truth is, I hardly knew myself. Just, suddenly, a bunch of the boys got this vision (but it was probably only one boy) of a whole posse strutting…

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