In 2002, I became the CIC Officer for the USS Hurricane, a Patrol Coastal ship home ported in Coronado, CA. I had worked with the ship and her crew briefly at my previous command while we were deployed in the same operating area. At that time, she was part of the Navy Special Warfare Command, but when I got there she had taken on a new role: Maritime Homeland Security in support of Operation Noble Eagle. Our job was to patrol the west coast of the US and work to prevent terrorists from attacking vital assets like the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in SoCal, and submarines transiting Puget Sound in Washington State.
We deployed twice to Puget Sound that year, with an extra brief “surge” deployment to take part in and protect Fleet Week in Seattle. During one of those deployments, we made a short visit to Esquimalt, BC — an absolutely beautiful place.
I’m not a cowboy. I like cows — medium, please — and I like to ride horses, but that’s as far as it goes. I have friends that are honest-to-goodness cowboys and trick roping wonders, but that’s not me.
So why do I wear boots? Because my dad did.
My dad grew up on a dairy farm, getting up early to milk the cows before school, working the fields during harvest, riding horses and tractors, and doing general farmer/rancher stuff growing up. He wore boots, because that what you do when you do farmer/rancher stuff in the California Central Valley.
I sit (or stand) at a desk and write code. I have no need of boots, but I wear them anyway, because that’s what was modeled for me as I grew up.
I remember the days when I would dig into the shoe shine kit in the closet, grab my dad’s boots, and shine them up. It was fun, and shining my own boots brings back those good memories. I remember putting on those too-big boots and trying to walk around in them, just like my daughter does with my own boots. She’ll often decide to put her own boots on when she sees me wearing mine. I guess it’s a family thing. 🙂
I hope that one day someone will ask Joanna (or she’ll ask herself) “Why do you wear boots?”.
I expect her answer will be “Because my daddy does.”