This article was written by Tegan O’Donnell who is a Senior in the Journalism class and is a member of the Chronicle Team.
When Roger Grow saw a Chronicle article about the Shoe Community at U32, he was disappointed to not be included in a topic so relevant to his everyday life. The Chronicle team decided it was necessary to highlight the chorus teacher and his shoe journey.
Roger’s Converse collection began when he was a teacher at Chelsea and bought a $10 pair at Lennys. When he worked at Crossett Brook Middle School, he bought a bright green pair to match the school colors.
He never had Converse in high school, but wore the trending Nikes and Adidas. “They were quirky,” he said referring to converse. “They were kind of individual when I started wearing them 30 years ago.”
Roger’s pink day
When his first pair got old and worn out, Roger bought another. For a while he only had one pair at a time, until he realized that they would last longer if he had more than one pair to rotate though. That was the start of the collection.
Roger has a pair of Converse for every occasion. He has his concert Converse, his lawn mowing Converse, and his special winter Converse to substitute wearing winter boots. He custom built a pair for the winter time using leather and suede. Roger admits that he owns other pairs of shoes, but it’s rare to see him in anything other than Converse.
Roger’s friends and family compare him to Imelda Marcos, the former Philippines First Lady. Her husband, the president, was convicted of a crime, and when Imelda’s room was searched during the investigation, 3,000 pairs of shoes were discovered. Roger doesn’t own 3,000 pairs of shoes, but he does own 35 pairs of Converse.
Roger’s Converse shoe rack
“It’s kinda like ‘what color do I want to be today,’” he said, “and that becomes my favorite pair.”