When I was a kid, I loved Carrow’s. That’s a fast food chain of rather obscure origins. There are a few in Portland, but the chain isn’t as pervasive as Denny’s. The one I liked to go to was (and still is) on 82nd Avenue. But it wasn’t for the food. At the time, part of the official uniform for waitress was black boots.

As you can imagine, I would sit there for hours watching the waitresses go by, each in her own individual pair of black boots.

Every once in a while, downtown Portland creates what I like to call a Carrow’s day. Black boots are everywhere. Wednesday, May 27th was just such a day.

I got off early and decided to make a run through downtown. On the street, I was greeted by a friend of mine, an Asian woman, whom I had also run into the night before. I took this opportunity to compliment her on the boots I’d seen her in then. “Oh, yes,” she said, "my wicked boots.”

I went to the MAX line at Broadway, and as I was standing there at 5:45, a young thin blond women walked by with her boyfriend. She was wearing a big sports watch (careful readers of this column will recall that I also have a fetish for women in men’s sports watches). I was almost tempted to follow her, but if I had I wouldn’t have seen the short Asian woman who got on the train with me. She was wearing tight semi-leather boots, the kind you buy at Marshall’s and they looked delicious on her shapely legs. As the train rattled through downtown, I was able to stare at her boots, just a few feet away, unencumbered as the light of the setting sun played among their wrinkles and folds.

I got off and went to my favorite bar. And as I walked in whom should I see but Ana Thompson, the flower lady of Pioneer Courthouse Square whom I wrote about several months ago. She was booted and so were two of her female friends. But even more erotic was that my favorite waitress in my favorite bar was also wearing boots, along with a short skirt. After a few beers, I told her, “I hope this isn’t rude but you look so sexy “

“It’s the boots, isn’t it,” she said, rearing her leg behind her and grabbing her right boot by the heel.

I said, “Please wear them every day.”

She demurred. “After just one night they’re hell on my feet.”

So I’m sitting there reading a magazine, and whom should I see in it but local icon Marne Lucas. She’s this year’s official poster girl for Chicago’s underground film festival, and the photo, taken by Steve Diet Goedde, shows the tall, photogenic Marne in an alley, holding a camera – and wearing cute little gloves, a latex bikini, stockings, and stunning mid-knee boots. It was an image for me to keep and cherish, to park over my desk and serve as inspiration (for many things). I had only seen Lucas in boots once before, in this same bar. They were great boots, and being a tall girl, she looked quite good in them. She’d make a perfect dominatrix, but on this particular evening she was disappointingly playing a subservient role, waiting on her crowd of friends. Ah well, you can’t have everything. It was still a perfect Carrow’s day.

Jimmy Doyle is a former New York cop now living in Portland.



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