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By Esther Starobin

I love to look at the boots that are so stylish these days. There are so many different types but they all remind me of the little boots that are tucked away in a safe place in my home. My boots are brown and lace up the front. It is obvious that they have been worn a lot and patched again and again.

The boots traveled with me from Germany as I left my home and parents when I was just two years old to start a new life in England. I was part of the Kindertransport that rescued Jewish children and sent them to live in England. I suppose I wore them on the train, the ship, and then another train as I traveled to a new family. In Thorpe I must have worn those boots for a long time. My foster father, who worked in a shoe factory, repaired them many times, as is evident when I look at them. Like all children, I outgrew the boots and cared nothing more about them.

Many, many years later, in 1964, Alan Harrison, my foster brother, came to the United States as a Fulbright exchange teacher. He brought me a gift from my foster mother of these boots, which she had kept safe all these years.

I find it strange to think that these ordinary boots can represent such caring and love to me. My parents bought the shoes for me in Germany. My foster father repaired them for me in England. My foster mother saved them for me and sent them to me in the United States when I was an adult and could appreciate the significance of a little pair of brown boots.

©2008, Esther Starobin. The text, images, and audio and video clips on this website are available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined in the United States copyright laws.

Tags:   esther starobinechoes of memory, volume 5


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