The Sage Connection

Those shoes


Tell us what you're gonna do tonight, mama.
There must be someplace you can go
In the middle of the tall drinks and the drama,
There must be someone you know.
God knows, you're lookin' good enough
But you're so smooth and the world's so rough.
You might have somethin' to lose.
Oh, no, pretty mama, what you gonna
Do in those shoes? 
– “Those Shoes” by the Eagles

If you are of a certain age and the female persuasion, chances are pretty good there was a time in your life when three-inch heels were a must.

They went beautifully with fishnet or seamed stockings and ankle bracelets. Toe rings were added if you wore open-toe or sandal-style shoes.

You probably also know all the words to the song above.

Shoes play a large part in our lives. Those in the military can see their reflection in their shoes when they have finished polishing them.

The younger set is happy to pay hundreds of dollars for sneakers that advertise athletes.  A trip to DSW is my daughter’s favorite destination. She needs a closet just for her shoes and yet usually wears the same ones daily.

And then we have to have our sports shoes for boating, boots for fishing and hiking, walking, running and track shoes, and of course our golfing and bowling shoes.

And don’t even get me started on the bedroom slipper styles…mules with huge balls of fluff on top – what were we thinking?

We were thinking glamor. We were thinking sexy. We were thinking how much fun it was to be a woman.

Fast forward a few decades and the picture changes. Fallen arches and sensible shoes have become our lot. So now we are the ones with arch supports, flat shoes with gripping soles, and swollen ankles.

Well, the fun has not stopped for everyone. A friend of mine in Bisbee Arizona is fast becoming a well-known artist.  She has her own gallery, Belleza, in downtown Bisbee, a small but influential art colony.

She originally hails from Tacoma and attended St. Martin’s University followed by Gonzaga Law School. Her first career was that of a successful civil attorney.

Lou Anne Sterbick-Nelson is never seen without her heels. Sleek and as glamorous today as she was in her 20’s she is married to the love of her life, Dennis Nelson. She waters her garden in her heels, paints incredible pictures in her heels, and shares her love of life with everyone she meets.

Now in her 70’s, Lou Anne is an inspiration to us all. Her hair is as blonde and perfectly but casually groomed as ever and I have long suspected she wakes up in the morning with lipstick on. 

Every year she travels to Mexico to gather more inspiration for her paintings and to meet new interesting people. She often travels to Europe on her own.

She founded a shelter for women reuniting with their children under court-ordered supervision. I was honored to sit on her board.

Every year she and hubby Dennis celebrate their anniversary at Burger King, where they celebrated their first one.

She encourages everyone she meets to be the best they can be by example and support. She is the epitome of human kindness.

 But would she be as inspirational and fascinating in flat shoes?

I think so…but then she is one of a kind…and she knows what she’s gonna do in those shoes.

Kathleen Anderson writes this column each week from her home in Olympia.  Contact her at or post your comment below.


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  • Contented

    Thank you my love

    Thursday, May 5 Report this

  • andersonwrit

    My pleasure.

    Thursday, May 5 Report this