Recent Photographs: all photographs © 1969-2020 by Carl Weese
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.
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.
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.
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.scott
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.
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