I happened to see a picture of a mismatched pair of Keds that belonged to Barbara Bush awhile ago (not on the Internet, unfortunately, but you can read about the exhibit they were part of at the New York Times – the entire exhibit is actually really neat). This, of course, aroused my curiosity to find the story behind these shoes for you all.
You can find the story of these shoes in her memoirs, Barbara Bush: A Memoir (available through Google Books):
…George gave me the most unusual present. I had mentioned in passing that although there were hundreds of different kinds of athletic shoes, it was really hard to buy Keds, the old-fashioned sneaker. The next time I’m going to say diamonds, for on my birthday George dragged in a bag of twenty-four different styles, colors, and patterns of Keds. He had written the company president and asked him to send what he had. So, just to tease George, I divided them into three lots for Camp David, Kennebunkport, and the White House, but did not match up the pairs. So I now wear the purple with the black or the pink with the orange, and so on. I love watching the children’s faces as they poke their mothers and point. (pg. 300).