My 64 yr old brother in law died suddenly on January 30, 2012. He was a psychologist, a musician from Cleveland (James Gang) and an obsessed Converse ‘wearer’.
After his death, my sister and I discovered that he had ordered over 1500 pair of Converse tennis shoes over a 20 year period. We are currently cataloging/documenting each pair. We have yet to decide what we will do with all of these beautiful Converse tennis shoes, each with their very own personality.
As a photographer, I am capturing the essence of these Converse…and my brother in law…through the lens’ eye, recording the eclectic nature of both…a quality that is able to capture individuality, embrace diversity and somehow allow the ‘wearer’ to feel like a rebel. (A Rebel Without a Pause, as my bil would say)
The following is a true story about my brother law, as told by a friend and colleague, that highlights what my brother in law and Converse seem to represent:
Question Authority…and look cool at the same time!
…When ‘John’ worked one or two evenings per week at the counseling agency as a Psychologist in 1982, he was going through his fashion phase featuring nice sport coats with jeans and Converse. Our clinical director, ‘Tom’, who was technically ‘John’s’ boss, was a nice guy who nevertheless suffered from a “nerd inferiority complex”, so once in a while he tried to act like a “tough guy” with his employees, mostly to impress the women.
‘Tom’ believed in a professional attire, and he announced around the lunch table one day (to the women) that he was going to “straighten out” ‘John’.
Now, it’s important to the story that you know the lunch table was situated in view of the agency’s front door.
Apparently, ‘Tom’ did talk to ‘John’ about his attire, because one day, again at the lunch table, he proudly announced in macho tones that he had “reminded ‘John’ about professional appearance” and the issue was settled!
The hilarious thing, though, is while ‘Tom’ was saying this, the rest of us
(me and three women) we’re looking over ‘Tom’s’ shoulder, watching ‘John’ stroll through the front door, wearing his jeans and Converse…
‘John’s’ affection for and wearing of Converse represented who he was as a human and also showed the world who he was… just by wearing Converse tennis shoes; dynamic, beautiful, weird, fun, comfortable, eclectic, organic, unique, authentic and timeless….
I want to honoring my brother in law by also showing the world who I am…by capturing the spirit of ‘John’ and Converse through film.
Sister in Law
What a wonderfully inspiring story of one man’s quest to express his individualism. May we all be so bold! Thank you for sharing that Kay. Please let us know when those photos are made available online.
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