Jon Crispin's Notebook

Walk-Over Bucks

Posted in Clothing, History, People, Shoes, Work by joncrispin on 15/07/2011


I think Pieper was the first person I knew that wore Walk-Over Bucks.  They were part of the uniform of a small group of us in Ithaca in the 70’s.  Bucks, blue jeans, oxford shirt, and sometimes a tie if you were working or otherwise trying to fit in with people who cared about those things.  I must have owned at least five pairs over the years.  I have a basic wardrobe rule of thumb that you can wear pretty much anything below the belt as long as you have on a clean oxford shirt and a tie, hence the blue jean/bucks combo.  This particular pair was the last I was able to find.  I bought them in the early 90’s at Mathew’s Shoes (long since out of business) in downtown Amherst, and I think that Walk-Over had already ceased to be by that time.  I wasn’t able to find another pair anywhere and assumed that the company was done for.  /  In yesterday’s Times I saw an article about how this type of shoe is making a comeback and was shocked to see a pair of Walk-Overs in a photograph.  Someone has resurrected the brand and they are making them again.  They are now $225.00 but still probably worth the money.  I break this pair out once in a while and I think it is time to take them to the local cobbler to be resoled.

We Won! (fourth place)

Posted in Animals, Family, Rivers, Water by joncrispin on 04/06/2011

Last Saturday at the Amherst Farmer’s Market Cris bought a raffle ticket for the 4th Annual Fort River Celebration Day Rubber Ducky Derby. It was in support of the Hitchcock Center and the Rushing Rivers Institute.   Hey, $5.00; goes to a good cause.  On our way to the event today she couldn’t find the stub from the form, but she thought our number was 426.  When we got to Goff park, we checked the list and we were actually #258 which is a favorite number of ours.  I was kind of impatient for the off,  and as usual making rude comments to Cris.  The organizers were telling all the kids to make lots of noise during the race so once the ducks hit the water, I started yelling 258  258 258 258…….Cris got as far away from me as she could.

We hadn’t seen our entry before the race and from a distance they all looked the same anyway.  Once the winners were collected and brought to the shore, the organizers (with great fanfare) announced the winners.  #251 came in first,  then second and third were announced.  The prizes were things we didn’t care much about, but 4th prize was a free canoe or kayak rental from Adventure Outfitters.  Then they read the number and it was……258!  We yelled like we had just won the lottery and as we were the only winners present, got a huge round of cheers.

So here’s the winner.  They gave it to us to bring home.  Some of the paint has worn off, so I am guessing this isn’t its first race.  I like the Islands motif.  We went to the ABC after and each had a Guinness to celebrate.


Posted in Automobiles, Friends, People by joncrispin on 25/08/2010

One thing I really like about living near a small town is getting to know the people that you see on a regular basis.  Ren’s Mobil is in the center of Amherst and Tom has been pumping gas there for a long time.  When I first met him he was a student at UMASS; now in addition to working at Ren’s, he plays bass in the band Outer Stylie (Psychedelic/Rock/Soul).  It is always great to see him, talk about music, and get some gas.  He is consistently cheerful and totally cool.


Posted in Flowers, Landscape, People, Plants by joncrispin on 14/07/2010

No matter where I live, there is one spot which I am always surprised to see.  It is as if it doesn’t belong to its surroundings, so in my mind I block it out.  In Ithaca there was a stretch of road that gave me the feeling of being somewhere else, and there was a street in Springfield, OH that had the same affect on me.  /  Peter and I were walking in downtown Amherst yesterday and as I looked to my left down an alley, I saw this graveyard.  It is literally in the very center of town, but is situated in such a way that it is not visible unless you are really looking for it.  Emily Dickinson is buried here, so there are almost always vague looking people wandering around paying their respects.

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