Blue, black and brown.

My father was color blind. I did not think much about it when I was a child. I thought everyone’s dad had their socks pinned together and labeled with their color: blue, black, brown.

When I was an adult my dad told me this story. He worked for a company in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, but often had business in Philadelphia. It was on one of these occasions when he was rushing to an early meeting that he discovered he had inadvertently put on one blue shoe and one black shoe. (His socks matched, though, thanks to Mom and her pins & labels.) He stopped at a shoe store, but it was still early and they were not yet open.

He banged on the door. It would not do to show up at this important business meeting with mismatched shoes. Finally, a clerk came to the front, tapping his watch, then pointing to the closed sign and shaking his head. My father pointed down to his shoes.

The clerk looked down and smiled. He let my dad in and sold him a pair of shoes.

Why this story today? It’s National Two Different Color Shoes Day.

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