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Brenda Scott-Manzur
Knoxville, Tennessee

An article about the Knoxville Shoe Program spurs nostalgic memories of a winter 36 years ago.


I believe that I was one of the first of the 150,000 children to receive shoes through the Christmas in September program, and I want to say thank you even if I am thirty-six years late. When I read your article,* it brought back vivid memories of 1960 when I was ten years old. My mother took my brothers and sister and me to “a place” where there were hundreds of boxes of shoes. A man fitted each of us and gave us all a brand new pair of shoes and socks.

Brenda Scott, Age 10

I have to tell you how much pleasure receiving those new shoes brought me. Being the sixth of nine children, it was rare for me to receive anything new. The new shoes were especially wonderful when the snow came and I didn’t have to wear shoes with holes in them. My husband is a member of the Scottish Rite and a Shriner. I hope that by participating with my husband in his Masonic activities, I am making my contribution to children in need. Enclosed is a check made out to the Mercy Fund. I hope that this meager amount will help to keep some little boy or girl’s toes warm this winter.

*Editor’s Note: The December 1996 issue of the Scottish Rite Journal carried an article, “To Be Able to Go to School,” about the Shoe Program of the Knoxville, Tennessee, Scottish Rite Bodies. The above response is a letter written to the author of that article, Ill\ Bobby J. Demott, 33°, about the program’s benefit nearly four decades ago.