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What happened to the Aztec Indians? One day there, the next day not. Some say aliens took them, others claim they were aliens. Still others believe they just vibrated to a higher level of existence. Who knows? It’s possible we’ll learn the truth when we get to the end of the Mayan calendar next year. But more likely it’s a mystery that will remain unsolved for some time.

The mystery of where the hell I have been these last many months is one I will solve for you in this post. Last we spoke, we were talking about boots, different types, different looks, different fits. It all seems so quaint, thinking about it now, because something transformative happened between then and now: I have vibrated to a higher level. Let me explain.

In May of last year, I went to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to visit my parents in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe they’re still hanging in there, but that’s a story for another time. While there, we strolled downtown, like we always do, window-shopping and people-watching. Santa Fe is one of the great shopping towns in the world if you like the kinds of things they sell there – American Indian and Western folk art. I happen to like that stuff. While there, a seed that had been planted in my mind many years earlier suddenly germinated and rapidly grew into an obsession.

Perhaps shooting the shit with you about footwear lo these many moons was precisely the fertilizer that old seed needed. Whatever.

I have always wondered what it would be like to wear custom-made cowboy boots. If you’re a reader of this column, you’ll remember I had a stint in off-the-shelf boots way back in high school. But I’d never had the inclination, nor the resources, to explore the custom cowboy boot world. Well, walking the streets of Santa Fe on that beautiful May morning, the idea would not leave me along, and so, like following a divining rod to water, I led my entire family to the Lucchese Boot Company store on Water Street.

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