Saturday, September 23, 2006

The birth of Birkenstock Footprints, Portland, Oregon January 1977. Here are two pictures of a dear friend of mine, Marion Jessica Hanna, taken a few weeks after the opening of her business, in a storefront that had once contained a Magic Shop. September 20 would have been her 59th birthday. She departed this plane sometime on August 25, 1980 and the last time I saw her was in the Summer of 1979. I met Marion when we were both waiting tables at The University Club. In the Autumn of 1976 when I met her she was preparing to open the first store in Portland that would exclusively sell and repair Birkenstock Sandals which prior to this had been sold on racks in health food stores. She planned to offer every style, she made sure the sandals fit , she modified them to last longer and repaired them when they wore out. My first pair I bought from her I wore for 14 years. After Marion died her Mother took over the business in its new location on 11th ave. Marion's business had done very well and when she moved it to the 700 block on 11th where I last saw her it still retained the character and the old thrift shop furniture she had bought and recovered with fabric and applique of her own design. Marions mother kept the shop pretty much as her daughter had designed it and when I visited over the years for a repair it was like visiting an old friend who never changed even though I did. Where once I looked at her as an older and wiser woman as I grew old she grew young. I visited the shop for the last time in the Spring of 2004 to buy my third and probably last pair of birkies she told me she had decided to sell the business. I promised to bring her these pictures before she left but the next time I came back she was gone and every element of Marions old business was gone as well. Posted by Picasa Marion Jes Hanna September 20, 1947-August 25, 1980.


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