Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shoe Trees

Yates Center, New York

No, I don't have any idea why dozens of shoes are hanging from the trees at this intersection, about half a mile from the south shore of lake Ontario.


Edd Fuller said...

Carl, Welcome back--
The full story of the Yates shoe tree is in the book "New York Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities and other offbeat stuff" by Cindy Perman. If you Google "shoe tree yates" you can get a link to the article on Google Books.

Markus Spring said...

Carl, the only parallel I could come up with is a scene from the movie "Wag the Dog" (highly recommended btw.) where the protagonists throw shoes into trees and over wires to support their case.
But this movie probably was not the model for this kind of shoe display.

Carl Weese said...

Thanks, Edd. Fun stuff.

One similar thing I've seen in city environments--a pair of sneakers with the laces tied together, tossed up to snag on the overhead utility lines.

Scott Kirkpatrick said...

Do you think there is a connection with the practice of making bottle trees? Bottles hung from or stuck on the ends of branches. See the movie "Because of Winn-Dixie" for a recent example, or Weston's Whitman pictures for a famous old one.


Edd Fuller said...

Scott, that is an interesting idea. My wife grew up in Mississippi and she says that bottle trees were very common in the South at that time. As I understand it, evil spirits were supposed to be attracted to the colorful glass bottles and, once inside the bottle, were trapped. Not sure that a spirit, evil or not, would be attracted to a smelly old shoe.

We have a bottle tree in our yard. Of course, someone has to drain the liquid spirits before the bottle can be put on the tree. That is the best part.