January 27, 2012

2011 was like two different eras at our home again last year. By that I mean we started in January with a high school senior in the house — still with a curfew, “May I please use the car?”, 11:00 calls with his whereabouts, and all those “last grasps of control” things. By December, he’d become a University of Wisconsin “junior active” at a fraternity… providing no idea about where he was during most of Winter Break, when he’d be home or if our car had been stolen from the garage. Even though it was our third trip through this transition, it was still a bit hard to get used to. A few blocks away, our friends were going through the exact same thing with our son’s best golfing buddy, only their son went half a continent away to the University of Oregon (but joined the same fraternity) for his next four years.

It was a lucky coincidence, then, that both boys – er, sorry, men – found their schools’ football teams in the Rose Bowl. My friend and his son decided to go to the game and offered to let our son join them (frats, it seems, are good places to get an extra ticket for dad at regular cost). I travel all year long, so I stayed back to watch the game from the best seats (the couch at home).

Jim Kass, our always can-do and fun-loving head of production at Allen Edmonds and a Wisconsin alum, knows both of these guys and was eager to make the trip even more entertaining. He had been finishing development of our Spring 2012 “Neumoks” – the first “unconstructed” wing tips ever brought to market. They have a normal, butyl-soaked leather sole, but the upper of the shoe is made with soft leathers and no lining or other “stiffening” materials. As a result they’re especially light and comfortably form to your foot like a moccasin, despite their dressy look (in normal colors).

So Jim made the shoes in the picture for the guys. Note their team emblems on the sides. What you can’t see in the picture is the Rose Bowl logo embroidered on the opposite side, or the “Stomp on the Badgers” or “Stomp on the Ducks” that Jim had laser-engraved on the soles of their respective shoes. They were quite the conversation piece in Pasadena. Unfortunately for Badger fans, they brought last minute luck to the other team (the Duck shoes were just a little faster). Wait ‘til next year!

Paul D. Grangaard
President & CEO

Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation