There was a beach about 5 miles from our house when I was growing up. It had a park, and the sand was pretty dirty. I remember referring to it as "the dirty beach". No good sand, too much brush, and seaweed everywhere. I had no idea that I'd eventually live somewhere where we wouldn't have that. "The dirty beach"? Now we have NO beach!
Anyway...I remember one time going there with my best friend Camie and our older brothers. We were swimming (wading) and I managed to lose one of my pink jellies (shoes). I was so upset. The waves were bigger than I could chase after, and I was really bummed about the missing shoe. There were probably tears involved, and undoubtedly some sort of trauma.
Then it happened. Camie's brother came barreling through the waves...holding the jelly shoe.
He. Was. My. Hero.
And, over the years, that eventually changed. But my love for shoes has never abated. :)