Sex and Shoes. Chicago in the 1950’s and 1960’s

Sex and Shoes. Chicago in the 1950’s and 1960’s

In the second half of the 20th century there were mainly men who sold women’s shoes. It wasn’t to be for many years before women began selling them. A lot of young men sold ladies shoes as they were finishing college or high school.  I was among that group of young men while I started my journey through life.

As a matter of fact, I worked in my Father-in-law’s shoe store. For those who may remember it was called Albert’s Shoes, located at 36 W. Randolph St on the corner of Dearborn St.  It was just above what used to the Kopper Kettle restaurant where McDonalds second floor seating is now located. And that’s where my story of sex and shoes took place.

Pop-in-law hired a shoe salesman named Al S. (last name is not important) and he was a lover boy. He always made sure he had cigarettes and matches in his pocket in those years the customer smoked and salesman did the same.  Offering the lady a cigarette was first and foremost. Either she accepted or said I have my own.

Al always offered to light her cigarette, and then the ice was broken and his appeal to the customer became part of his charm.  Oh, the women in those years dressed beautifully to shop and purchase a pair of shoes. They were elegant. Al would always at least make a date with one of his customers.  We knew because at 6:30pm when the store was closing the lady was waiting for him. The next day he openly talked about his “conquests”.  He was told what he did after hours was his business and not to bring his adventures into the work place.

One find day a lady came into the store very well dressed. This was the Kennedy era so she wore a Jackie Kennedy pill box hat.  At that time the store was slow so my father-in-law personally attended to her wish to purchase a one or more pairs of shoes.

After quite a while of running back and forth into the stock room she settled for six pairs of shoes, a good sale. For your information credit cards were not as popular as today nor did many customers pay with a check. So for all practical purposes it was a cash business. The lady asked if she could go to the back room to get her money.  That was not an unusual request as many customers had their own hiding place for their money.  It usually took several minutes and she would return with her cash.  Get ready.

This lady was in there at least five minutes or more so I went to the back of the store where she was removing her clothes. I tell you the truth.  “Lady, what in world are you doing”? And she replied “tell him to come back and I’ll take care of him”.

That was a first for me. So I went to the front and told my father-in-law what happened and without saying a word, went to the back room and exchanged some unflattering terms and she scooted out of the store.   Now this part I never knew. He said if she’d asked before he waited on her he would have said “you’re in the wrong store”. But he was angry because she worked him until she selected six pair of shoes. That was a no no. An experience I’ll never forget.

Now as for me one day a different well dressed lady came into the store while we very busy. And it was my turn to wait on her.  I proceeded with the usual greeting of polite conversation and explained that we were a discount store and we always didn’t have what you want but you must be flexible due to our lower prices. And, then it happened.

I felt something between my legs and I looked down and saw her toes playing on my you know what. A lady doesn’t do that. I remained calm and she asked me if I liked it. It was at that point I excused myself and told my father-in-law what was happening and asked what should I do.  In that instant he walked to the lady sitting comfortably in her chair, handed her shoe to her and calmly said leave the store and don’t return.

With a huff and a puff, believe it or not, she was insulted claiming she meant no harm. You can’t tell that to a 21 year boy without much life experience who was scared by her. It took a while for me to figure out what she wanted or what I thought she wanted.

These are some of my early life experiences with sex and shoes.  Another time I’ll tell you  about the stripper with her “Daddy”. That was Chicago Then but somewhere in our great land someone is still looking for that free pair.

Memories light up the corners of my mind.  I hope yours too.

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