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Thoughts from a small-town police chief, Chief Sjolander. Orginally posted on the Kenyon (MN) Police Department Facebook page.

Blue Puma tennis shoes…

I’ve written before about how my childhood had its ups and downs. It wasn’t easy growing up in a small town with the drama that was synonymous with our family name.

With school starting up again very soon, it reminds me of a childhood story, and it involves blue tennis shoes.

When I was a young kid going to school, I always wanted a pair of white leather Nike tennis shoes with the red swoosh on the side. I’ve written about wanting those shoes before, and I don’t know what it was about that particular shoe, but I really felt if I had those, I would have a much easier time fitting in.

I never did get a pair of those shoes…

I remember being at a garage sale with Norma, and my younger siblings. I remember seeing a pair of blue Puma tennis shoes with a white stripe on the side. I looked them over, they were a little big, but in pretty good shape. I asked Norma if we could get the shoes? She told me no. I’m assuming it was because money was always tight for us.

I remember standing there begging for the shoes, but her answer was the same every time.

As I was walking away, a lady came up and handed me the shoes. She told me to keep them.

I remember trying to keep the shoes as clean as possible because I didn’t want them dirty for the start of the new school year.

I learned a lot of life lessons regarding this pair of blue tennis shoes. I learned that the kindness of others, even though it might appear small, can have a lifelong effect on a person. I also learned that while the shoes were not the color or brand I truly wanted, they were better than what I had and sometimes in life, you have to make do with what you’ve got.

Stay safe,