“Lizzie, tie your shoes!” my dad would often tell me when I would slop around with my shoelaces untied and dragging in the dirt. However, I was not Lizzie. Lizzie was my great grandmother’s sister-in-law and the two women lived closely as friends and neighbors. Lizzie never tied her shoes—those high top shoes were just too hard to take off and on if they were laced to the top. Family stories recall that one day when Lizzie went to the small community store (an early ZCMI branch) the manager offered to give Lizzie a packet of tea if every time she came to the store, her shoes were tied. Now to those poor Welsh coal miners who had immigrated to Wales, Utah, a packet of tea was a true treasure. Lizzie tried to keep her shoes laced and tied whenever she went to the store so she could get that cherished tea, but one day she arrived at the store, shoelaces untied and shoe tongue flapping. When the manager questioned her as to why her shoes were not tied, Lizzie replied, “It’s a na wirth it!” Not even for her beloved tea could Lizzie keep her shoes tied.
This is a picture of Lizzie Lamb and Margaret Thomas Price, my great grandmother. Lizzie is the one on the left and yes, if you look closely, Lizzie’s shoes are untied.