Here’s another in my Colorful Characters series. And of course, by “colorful character”, I mean “barefoot”.
This one comes to us via a Chicago newspaper called “The Day Book”, in a story from February, 1914.
Patrick Doherty lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and what made him notable for mention in the newspaper was
BAREFOOT IN ZERO WEATHER
Here’s the story:
Grand Rapids, Mich.—No such molly-coddle trimmings as socks and shoes for Patrick Doherty. He prefers health—and after experimenting for a half century in socklessness, gives evidence that the great peril to civilization are socks and shoes.
Every morning for 45 years he has taken a morning walk around the block in his bare feet. Two feet of snow and a thermometer registering ten below zero do not stop him—in fact, they add to the pleasure of his matutinal jaunt.
Doherty served in the Civil War in the Ninth Massachusetts. He came out a physical wreck. He hit upon the shoeless cure and has kept it up. At the age of 73 he turns a handspring every morning, takes a cold plunge and finishes up with his bare-foot jaunt. He has not had a cold or been sick a day since he adopted this mode of life.
[Programming note: I will be appearing on The PEDOL Hour on Freedomizer Radio tomorrow, Sunday, at 3:00 EDT/Noon PDT. We'll be talking about the Statehouse, but I imagine other barefoot-related topics will come up. Tune in and have a listen.]