"My dad has been wearing Bean boots for at least as long as I've been alive. The same pair. Worn-in, broken-down, mud-encrusted. The leather has wrinkled and aged. The heel logo has long since worn off. Even the laces have split dramatically.
If I had to guess, I'd say I've given them more thought than he has. To him, they are just boots. He puts them on when it's wet. He put's them on when it's cold, when it's muddy, or when it snows (conditions which, for anyone not familiar with Buffalo NY, reflect about 8 months of the year!) But they are his boots. The wear and tear reflect his labors. They're the first and only shoes he puts on before he steps outdoors.
My mom, a loyal patron of the L.L. Bean catalog, bought him a fresh pair of identical boots a few years ago. This pair rests untouched and pristine in the back of the closet.
Naturally, I've grown to admire the Bean boot. It has been, after all, a consistent component of the man I look up to the most. And while I may not be following my father's academic and professional footsteps, you can bet I'll be wearing the same shoes."
"Broken-in and battered."
"Like father, like son."
[Note: Head here for the project's backstory. Also, If you are reading this and I requested a submission from you or if you would just like to participate please feel free to submit (contact via email). Your participation, as always, is still much anticipated and appreciated.]