MILTON — To the driver who swooped up Janet Smith's old shoes from the middle of an intersection, she really wants them back.

The Milton woman misses her brown Nike Air high tops — which she bought used five years ago — so much that she wrote a letter to the editor of her local newspaper about them.

The letter, which will appear in Saturday's Santa Rosa Press Gazette, is written, in part, as a eulogy for the "well-worn" much loved shoes she saves for dirty work.

"They've been my good buddies for about five years and I am fond of them," she wrote. "Up until now, the feeling was mutual, although one never really knows.

"If they will take me back, I will promise to be more careful and appreciative."

Smith had just changed out of the shoes April 5 and set them on the back bed of her truck before driving off to pick up her son. She didn't know she'd lost them until she came back through the same intersection and saw them lying there, laces tied together, just as she'd left them.

She parked and was trying to figure out the best way to get them out of the middle of the busy intersection when the the traffic cleared and she discovered they were gone. She thinks a driver slowed long enough to open the door and grab them, but isn't sure.

In her letter, she asks the new owner of the shoes to kindly bring them into the State Farm Insurance office at the corner where she last saw them.

When the Daily News called the office, no one there knew Smith.

"I don't know what she's talking about," said the baffled agent who answered the phone. "If I see a pair of shoes, I guess she'll come by and get them."