Things are Looking Up in Petaluma

Missing mannequins, tennis shoes on telephone wires, there's a lot going on along the rooflines in town

A group of students of had a money-making idea this week.

Members of the Healthy Occupation Students of America set up a folding table at the Petaluma outlets offering to wrap Christmas presents for three, four and five dollars, depending on the size and complexity of ribbons.

The land office business had all the kids hopping and fees from the fundraiser will help them attend conferences and training during the year. These are future nurses, occupational therapists and EMTs and the gift wrapping triage station certainly helped them learn to stay calm when others were not.

This week's "Case of the Missing Mannequins" has me looking at Petaluma with a different focus. First Carrie Oakie is sawed off her outdoor station at the . (No ransom note yet.) Then I noticed yesterday that the creepy mechanized waving gal at Pinky's is gone too.

The double whammy bracketing the boulevard got me looking up - - and what was the first thing I noticed?

Something straight out of my own childhood -- tennies on the telephone lines.

Now, cops will tell you tennies get tossed up in neighborhoods to signal a dope house. I'm pretty sure that's not what's happening here. When I was growing up, I happened to live on a street blanketed with a web of phone wires, power lines, laundry ropes, you name it.

As your tennis shoes would wear out and fray showing you exactly where your big toe nail was going to break through, you'd begin plotting where you you were going to hang your shoes -- for posterity.  Little kids don't have so many opportunities to make their mark, so throwing your shoes in front the the fire station or behind your grandma's house was a big deal.

Kids practiced their throws. On the day of your fling, a crowd would gather  and you'd be embarrassed if you tossed and missed. They'd laugh at you.

Those memories flooded back to me when I noticed that someone had tossed a pair of high tops over the street light where Western Avenue runs into the Boulevard. On closer inspection, I discovered a message: FIND NATE.

 Great! Add the Nate mystery to the two missing mannequins.

Martha Stewart says three of anything is a collection and because I become easily obsessed, I now have a growing collection of photographs of Petaluma tennis shoes on phone lines. There's a pair at Sixth and "G" another at Mission and Middlefield and a rather strange pair of large sandals above the Pinky's Pizza parking lot on the Boulevard. And I can't stop looking up.

I feed unsalted peanuts in the shell to blue jays and crows at my house and a little bird told me that a lot of the hi-jinks in town this Christmas break might have something to do with kids home from college for the holidaze. Ya think?

Petaluma.Pete December 26, 2010 at 05:01 PM
If this shoe hanger falls, does that make it a missile toe?
Rayne Wolfe December 27, 2010 at 05:24 AM


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