The Start of the Sketchy Adventures – Famous Footwear/Brown Shoe Company #29


I have a pretty sketchy life.

Let me explain: I don’t purposely go out seeking said sketchiness, or making lots of bad life decisions, sketchiness just sort of happens to find me. From random people on the street wanting to add their two cents to a conversation I’m having, to listening to my GPS and letting it talk me into a wrong turn (or two) while driving, to people just wanting to tell me secrets about their lives while I’m out cake hunting, it’s pretty much unavoidable. (See Of Course I Have a Plan Part3 – Cherokee Street #8 for further evidence of the sketchy things that just seem to happen in my life.)

Fortunately most of this sketchiness makes for generally pretty good stories; unfortunately when this stuff happens, there’s usually someone else with me who isn’t used to the sketchiness, and they are unwittingly along for the ride.

In the instance of this cake, the one on the receiving end of the sketchiness was Mr. Miles James. And truth be told, based on the way the evening started out, I should have taken it as an omen from the universe that cake hunting was not to go well that evening.

"Why are things always so sketchy, Mom?"

“Why are things always so sketchy, Mom?”

So, to set the scene, it was a typical early Spring evening, and after I had finished working for the day, I decided to gather up Miles James, hop in the car and see some cakes before the sun went down (remember those days when the sun was out past 4:30? *Sigh*).

The first stop on our list was Famous Footwear/ the Brown Shoe Company. And as we headed to the car, I was filled with a great sense of purpose and direction – I had four cakes on the list to see that evening, and By George, we were going to see them all. Oh how naïve I was!

On the way to the car, we crossed paths with one of my neighbors who also has a dog – a little white one that I had seen before with his owner, but never gotten to officially meet. So, with a heart full of joy at my upcoming cake-venture, we approached the dog and his owner, thinking it would be a brief sniffing of tails, a few circles around our legs, and then we would be on our way. Again, the naivety!

At first it did start out calmly, with Miles and the dog sniffing each other, and Miles’ eyes bulging out in their typical fashion when he gets excited. But then, things took a turn for the worse! The other dog started growling under his breath a little, and I took this as a sign that it was time for us to go. But just as I started to tug Miles toward the car, the dog lunged at Miles and chomped him right in the butt!!

As any dog owner would do, I sprang it action and put myself between Miles and this vicious, five pound beast with sharp little teeth to make sure the dog didn’t try to bite again. During all of this, by the way, the dog’s owner was seemingly unenthused by the whole thing. And so as she just stood there sighing, and I realized she was going to be no help, I pushed the little dog away from Miles, and in one motion, scooped him up into my arms and started running for the car.

Once we were both safely in the backseat, and my breathing had returned to normal, I looked down to see that Miles was completely fine – no bite marks or broken skin. In fact, he was looking at me like he was quite sad that I had just taken him away from a new friend he wanted to play with, as if that new friend hadn’t just tried to take a chunk out of his behind!!

Cake #29 at Famous Footwear/the Brown Shoe Company

Cake #29 at Famous Footwear/the Brown Shoe Company


So with what I thought was all of the day’s sketchiness out of the way, I got behind the wheel of the car and drove us to the Brown Shoe Company in Clayton.

The sun was still out when we got to the cake, and as a nice break in the sketchy, Miles and I had our first, if a bit brief, interaction with other cake hunters. It’s weird to say this now, but at the time, in the early days of cake hunting, it felt like a pretty solitary activity. This was before I found other blogs (check out Share the STL250 Love for some great ones) and forums where people were tracking their adventures, and for a while I kind of felt like maybe I was the only one actually looking for the cakes. So when I saw a mom and her kids posing with the cake, I was overjoyed to find out I wasn’t alone in my cake-quest. (As a side note, I will admit that she did add to the sketchiness of the day by first being friendly with me then when I asked what other cakes they had seen, she gathered her kids and ran away like I had just sprouted an extra head. See what I mean about attracting the sketchy?)

Anyway, back to the cake location, besides being a St. Louis institution since the 1870s and a global seller of pretty kickin’ shoes (I’ve been known to frequent a Famous Footwear or two in my day), outside the Famous Footwear/Brown Shoe Company headquarters in Clayton is a massive, glittering, beautiful spectacle of a sculpture. I present to you, the shoe made of shoes:

2014-03-18 18.28.17This sculpture is beyond legit and although I tried in earnest, Miles was not open to sitting inside for what I thought then and still think now would have been an excellent photo op.

And as if I wasn’t already a supporter of the company, after I posted a picture I had taken of the cake on Instagram (IG: whatssowrongwithbeinghippie #shamelessplug), they responded thanking me for stopping by: 2014-04-03 17.53.10




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