Bernson's Corner: Barefoot Man
Lonnie Bottles is a man who hangs ten, all the time.
"My motto-- First day of May, throw the shoes away," rhymed Bottles.
He is barefoot 24/7.
"I just -- you know, don't think nothin' of it. It's just -- a pair of shoes on me would be a disaster," said Lonnie.
Mr. Bottles has gone without footwear since he was seven or eight years old. Oh, there have been exceptions...like the time he worked in a factory.
"You had to wear steel toes. But soon's I get out of that gate, take them shoes off, throw 'em in the truck and I'd be down the road," said Lonnie.
Mr. Bottles thinks nothing of running a chain saw barefooted...
"I done cut and split wood, chopped wood, long as you don't get the axe close to your toes or nothin', you're all right."
The weed-whacking is also done shoeless. Oh, he does own a pair. He thinks the moccasins might be 11s.
"I go to Walmart, I gotta put 'em on...If I got to go to a funeral or something, I do try and put 'em on...My wife sorta gets a little upset, because sometimes I go to bed with dirty feet. But I don't know if I could even get 'em clean any more!"
Mr. Bottles takes care of all the chores on his six acres of land in Milltown Indiana. He even built this little cabin with his bare hands and bare feet. He didn't use a blueprint.
"Everything just fell into place. I done a lot of prayin'," said Lonnie.
He is a happy man, Lonnie Bottles is. He's happy to show a visitor how to get his soles in touch with nature, even on gravel.
Lonnie almost forget to tell us about these little hazards that grow around the rocks on his place. Ground cactus.
As autumn weather approaches, you might expect Lonnie to start looking for his moccasins, right?
"Whenever it starts snowin', I'll put 'em on as long as it's 40 or somethin' like that, it's not real bad," said Lonnie.
Lonnie Bottles doesn't care what other people think of his naked feet. This represents what to him matters most: Freedom. And who's to say you can't walk through the American Dream barefoot?
"It's the best pair of shoes the Lord gave me!" exclaimed Lonnie.