Recently, Beverly Reiter, program vice-president for our branch, gave me a great tip about buying American-made shoes at Hershey’s Shoes in Garden City on Ford Road. She specifically recommended a brand of handcrafted women’s shoes named SAS, which it turns out is the name of a corporation in San Antonio, Texas. SAS stands for San Antonio Shoes. According to their website their: “passion for shoemaking started with Terry Armstrong and Lew Hayden. By the 1970’s shoemaking was leaving the United States and many of those who remained were cutting corners to compete with less expensive imports. Neither Terry nor Lew wanted to compromise on quality, so in 1976 they quit their jobs in the shoe industry and started SAS. They crafted every shoe by hand, with attention to detail and the best materials available. We wanted our shoes to be so comfortable that you didn’t want to take them off! Soon friends told friends about their ‘really, really, really comfortable new shoes’; and before long SAS became a national brand without any national advertising. The shoes..are the result of 30 years of hard work, dedication, and belief…. Every day we work to make sure the SAS name continues to stand for superb craftsmanship and extraordinary comfort.” It is a reassuring tale of success in the face of all of the obstacles thrown at American manufacturing by the global economy.
That brought to mind a thought-provoking essay written by L. Marie Bernier who is part of the Wednesday-morning creative writing class which meets at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.
Marie’s essay, entitled, “The Economy in 2012” will change your perception of the myriad objects which we buy to fill our dwellings:
According to the Republicans, our lousy economy is all the fault of the Democrats. Of course, the Democrats think the Republicans are to blame.
Spain has almost fifty percent unemployment among young-adult males. Things are nearly as bad or worse in Greece, Italy and Egypt. Even ever-mighty Germany is having some serious economic problems. My friends in Great Britain write they have been made redundant. I understand that means they have lost their jobs. I don’t know whom they are blaming. Probably a Prime Minister, a King or somebody.
Maybe, just maybe, we all need to share the blame. The blueberries in my kitchen came from Canada. The strawberries are from Mexico. I don’t know where the bananas came from. The television, coffee-maker and the blood pressure machine came from China. The microwave was manufactured in Korea. My kitchen towels came from India.
In my dining room the good china came from England, but the stoneware and two trays were made in Japan. There are some fancy baskets for rolls and stuff. I don’t know where they were made, but I brought them home from Jamaica.
The wall phone in the kitchen came from Mexico, but the phone in the bedroom was shipped from Singapore. I don’t know where my cell phone came from, but the phone in my computer room was made in Mexico, and the answering machine was made in China. I did not have the energy to flip my computer and printer over; so I don’t know who made them.
In my bedroom the television is a Magnavox, and I don’t know where it came from, but the remote control was made in the Philippines. However, the double A batteries were made in the good-ole USA!
The bedroom-ceiling fan came from China. The alarm clock was also made in China. One camera was made in China, but another camera states: “assembled in USA” from foreign parts. They didn’t say which foreign parts.
The television in the living room says Toshiba, and another box says Comcast. I’m pretty sure Comcast didn’t make the TV, or did they? I think the Lazy Boy chairs in the living room were made in Monroe–or assembled there–or maybe not.
The hand lotion in the bathroom came from Mexico, but the face cream came from Canada. The bath towels were shipped from China, but Irish Spring and Dove soap were made in the good-ole USA. Good for them–and me.
I just checked six pairs of the shoes in my closet. They were made in Mexico, Italy, China and Cambodia. My orthopedic sandals, called Wolkys, made for walking, supposedly from Belgium, on closer examination, seem to have been made in Mexico.
My So-Slimming slacks were made in Cambodia, before they landed in Chico’s. The silver jacket and vest were made in Vietnam. The long dress, for special occasions, came from Indonesia. The jazzy polka-dot slacks from Chico’s and the snazzy maxi-skirt from Victoria’s Secret were both made in Vietnam. The posh, new, faux-fur jacket, that looks just like someone’s shaggy-old dog, came from China.
Oh, yes, and in my garage, there is a Rav4 made by Toyota.
Now, why do you suppose the economy is so bad?
Marie’s compendium makes me reconsider the line: geography is destiny! Meanwhile I think I should go buy a new pair of shoes…at Hershey’s in Garden City.