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This is a picture I took in our backyard of my brother (in the stripes) and his friend Steve. It was always a challenge to hold the camera so my fingers weren’t in front of the lens. At this point I must have been getting better at it, as they only show as two dark spots on the edge of the picture.
When I saw my brother’s shoes in this photo, I remembered his struggle and his work boots, which weren’t cool at that time. All the kids had Red Ball Jets tennis shoes but Eric was born with club feet and had to wear special shoes that he was embarrassed about. I remember when he got the “all clear” and didn’t have to wear the work boots anymore. He got a new pair of tennis shoes, ran down to the street, and jumped and pounded his feet onto the pavement. It was such a big deal to be able to wear regular tennis shoes like all the other boys.
As an adult he started running marathons so I guess the special shoes worked after all.

image by
Lori Bell

Published as part of the “Early Works Project”,
curated by Laura Moya & Laura Valenti Jelen.