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Kalkaska Shoe Tree, One Family's Touchstone

If you were listening to the WOOD Radio morning show today, you may have heard us talking about the Kalkaska Shoe Tree. 

It is a tree covered with shoes.  Not just shoes, but slippers, fishing waders and thanks to my son Braden, a pair of hockey skates.  Over the years our family has passed and talked about that tree as we made our way to Traverse City, Shanty Creek, Boyne Highlands or the many other golf resort destinations up north.  Eventually, it became a stopping off point when one of the kids outgrew their shoes. 

Rather than throw them away, we saved them for one of our trips.  The kids were usually too little to get any distance throwing the shoes, so I was always happy to help out.  There is a pair of my little girls first grade shoes way up there.  I'm rather proud of that throw.

My favorite however, is the shrine to my son Braden's hockey skates.  It was his idea to add them to the tree.  So, after receiving a new pair of skates for Christmas, he had a hockey game in Kalkaska -- the Kalkaska Gong Show as we remember it.  Not the team's best effort.  More guys in the penalty box than on the bench.  One of those games.

Afterward, we drove to the shoe tree and the big guy let his old skates fly.  We'll be driving past the tree today on our way to Traverse City.  I hope they are still there.

 

 

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