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Entry from November 15, 2011
“Once you get Florida sand in your shoes, you never want to leave”

"Once you get Florida sand in your shoes, you never want to leave” (or “you will always return/come back") is a popular Florida saying that has spread to anyplace with sand. The saying has been cited in print since at least 1908; a song titled “Florida Sand in Your Shoes” was copyrighted in 1921.


Google Books
Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Convention
of the American Railway Bridge and Building Association

Held in Washington, D.C., October 20, 21 and 22, 1908
Concord, NH: Rumford Printing Co.
1908
Pg. 12:
... and I feel that all of you will take advantage of your opportunities and get some of the Florida sand in your shoes, when I predict that many of you will again visit our beautiful sunny southland.

Google Books
McAllister’s Grove
By Marion Hill
New York, NY: D. Appleton and Company
1917
Pg. 76:
“I love Florida!”
“Really?” asked the state’s champion, smiling slightly. The smile, chasing away the lines of habitual discontent, made her face suddenly charming. “Folks say if you git — get — sand in your shoes you’ll stay here for the rest of your days.”

Google Books
Catalog of Copyright Entries: Musical compositions, Part 3
Washington, DC: Library of Congress. Copyright Office
1922
Pg. 1380:
FLORIDA SAND IN YOUR SHOES; words by M. Winter, music by Harry Tillman [of US] [22082 © 1 c. Oct. 17, 1921; E 522220; Madeline Winter, Detroit.

Google Books
Girl Crazy
By Guy Bolton and John McGowan
New York, NY: Dramatic Publishing
1930
Pg. 29:
DANNY. They say if you get Arizona sand in your shoes, you’ll never want to leave.
LOUIE. I notice you don’t get none in yours.
DANNY. I’m careful.

20 July 1933, Massillon (OH) Evening Independent, “Vacation Escapade” by Arthur Shumway, pg. 10, col. 2:
“I know what they say,” she interrupted. “They say that once you get the Florida sand in your shoes you’ll always go back—just like the lotus eaters.”

Google Books
One Small Candle
By Cecil Roberts
New York, NY: The Macmillan Company
1942
Pg. 124:
“You know what they say — once you get Florida sand in your shoes you always return!”

Google Books
April 1958, The Rotarian, pg. 44, col. 1:
Once you get a bit of Florida sand in your shoes, according to a State tradition, you’ll want to return.

10 May 1964, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Florida’s Fine Beaches Provide Endless Variety,” pg. 8F:
Tourists planning to visit Florida this summer and enjoy the state’s outstanding beaches are warned not to get sand in their shoes. The old saying is that “if you ever get Florida sand in your shoes, you will never want to leave.”

Google NewsArchive
8 April 1967, Montreal (Quebec) Gazette, “Florida Sand Stays In Shoes,” pg. 16, col. 4:
“IF YOU ever get Florida sand in your shoes, you I will never want to leave”, goes the old saying.

14 October 1984, Miami (FL) Herald, “Haulover’s sandy shoes join the county’s Baynanza festival,” pg. 5MB:
An advertisement to attract tourists to Florida claimed: “Once you come to Miami Beach and get sand in your shoes, you’ll never want to leave.”

18 July 1985, Mobile (AL) Register, “Breakfast with Louise Gerald,” Balwin People, pg. 1, col. 3:
“I guess it’s true what they say about once you get sand in your shoes, you never want to leave,” she said.

Google Books
All the Centurions:
A New York City cop remembers his years on the street, 1961-1981

By Bob Leuci
New York, NY: Morrow
2004
Pg. 9:
He asked me where I had been assigned, and when I told him the 100th in Rockaway Beach, he nodded. “You’ll get sand in your shoes, get comfortable, and never want to leave that place.”

Google Books
Everything Family Guide to Coastal Florida:
St. Augustine, Miami, the Keys, Panama City--and all the hot spots in between!

By Bob Brooke
Avon, MA: F+W Publications, Inc.
2007
Pg. VIII:
Floridians say, “Once you get Florida sand in your shoes, you’ll always return.”

Google Books
Rio Grande Sand in Your Shoes:
A memoir

By Isabel H. Ziegler and Norman Ziegler
Santa Fe, NM: Sunstone Press
2011
Pg. 23:
Arthur also said to me, “Now, Isabel, the old saying goes, once you get a little bit of the Rio Grande sand in your shoes, you will never want to leave New Mexico.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Florida (Sunshine State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, November 15, 2011 • Permalink