I’m continually interested in the things I see along the roadside as I travel throughout the U.S. Outside of trash, the most common item is footwear and it is rarely a pair, just one lonely shoe and often they come to rest in very unlikely places. With that in mind, I wonder what was the owner doing when he/she and the shoe parted company? How did only one shoe get lost? How long did it take for the owner to realize the shoe was gone? Why don’t the owners of lost shoes post photos on light posts and in store windows offering a reward for the return of the shoe like pet owners do?
It’s 6:30 AM and I’m leaving Bisbee, AZ on my way to Tucson. The sunlight is making its way over the mountains and I have the highway to myself. I can tell it’s going to be a great day. Then I spot it. I’ve seen lots of discarded baseball and trucker caps, a few hard hats, and even a beret, but until today, I had never seen a cowboy hat on the shoulder. But there it is. Sitting upright and in surprisingly good shape. Hoping the owner’s name might be inside, I lift it to check, but the only tag says 7 1/8. I put the hat back down, get back in the car, and continue my journey thinking about one of my favorite bumper stickers, “I ain’t no cowboy. I just found the hat.”