By Ashley Lodato

OK, so I know you’ve been hoping for an update on the Home Tour Flip Flop Saga and guess what? You’re in luck. Because another tiny piece of the summer footwear mystery has been brought to light.

To refresh the memories of those who aren’t following this ongoing drama as closely as others, a brief recap is this: At the Home Tour in August, Mel Cooke was serving as a host at one of the homes, where he slipped off his flip flops, as is customary in many Methow Valley homes. At the end of his volunteer posting, Mel noticed that his shoes were missing, so he left the house wearing a pair of flip flops that were similar to his, assuming that the rightful owner of those sandals was now wearing Mel’s shoes.

Fast forward a month. Dr. John O’Keefe, the dentist in Twisp, heard about the flip flop switch and knew that he played at least a minor role in the drama. Because when John left this same house, he noticed that his flip flops were missing, so he slipped on the next best thing — a pair similar to his.

Somehow Mel and John connected and through the process of deductive reasoning concluded that Mel had John’s flip flops but John did not have Mel’s flip flops. Still, John and Mel agreed to meet and swap because John was particularly attached to his old ratty flip flops with the delaminated soles.

John is now happily reunited with his original shoes, and Mel remains sad but hopeful that the missing link — this third party in the Olukai Flip Flop Caper — will come forward and restore order to the Methow Valley men’s footwear world.

With the end of flip flop season (sniff!) comes the beginning of baked good season, kicked off by the Winthrop Library’s bake sale and book sale at the ski and outdoor gear swap at the Winthrop Barn on Saturday, Nov. 18. If you’re willing to donate baked goods to the sale, please call the library at 996-2685. All proceeds benefit Friends of the Library activities.

I’ve heard many comments about last week’s column, all of them sympathetic so far. But in talking to some of my fellow Methow Valley residents, I’ve been reminded again of what white privilege looks like. White privilege is me harboring the illusion that events like the racial epithet tossed out at the grocery store are isolated incidents. Au contraire, “That kind of thing has happened to me my whole life,” say friends and neighbors who are not of white European descent. White privilege is the luxury of being indignant at hearing about such experiences. And white privilege is me having this column, a weekly venue to tell you about things silly and serious, and believing that it might make a small difference.

Still, I hope you’ll keep telling me your stories and allowing me to share them.


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