Midweek Shoe News: Mayor Bloomberg’s frugal shoes, the San Diego Chargers, and a 90 year old cobbler

by Shea Gunther

Shoe news, shoe news!

It’s time for shoe news! Here are some of the most interesting shoe-related news stories making the rounds today.

90 year old cobbler thinking about retiring.

• Bob Graham is starting to think about retirement. The 90 year old Racine, Wisconsin man has been practicing the art of shoe repair since 1963, when he opened up his first shop on 16th Street. A lot has changed over the years, Mr. Graham told the Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper that he’s seen business drop and fellow shoe repair shops close up because less people see the value in repairing their shoes (a trend Resole America hopes to reverse).

Graham is a self taught cobbler, having spent a lot of time in shoe repair shops while growing up in the South. While on a trip out to California in 1951, he visited family members living in Racine. Attracted to the plentiful work, he pulled up stakes from his home in Kentucky and headed back to Racine, where he’s been ever since. He opened his first shop in 1963 and moved into his current location in 1989.

We salute Mr. Graham for his hard work and commitment to the craft of shoe repair. The world needs more Mr. Grahams.

Mayor Bloomberg likes his shoes.

• New York City Mayor Bloomberg is one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of around $18 billion. He lives in stately digs in New York City and owns homes around the world. He travels in private jets and helicopters.

Yet, if the news is to be believed, he has spent the last ten years alternating between just two pairs of business shoes. MNN is reporting that the Mayor’s spokesman Stu Loeser told reporters at the NY Post that Bloomberg alternates between his two pair of shoes on a daily basis and has them resoled when they need it. Michael d’Estries at MNN writes:

While evidence of what type of footwear brand Bloomberg prefers has long since worn away, one shoe expert said that one of the pairs appears to be a $328 “Dennehy” penny-loafer.

“A pair of shoes like that could go 18 to 20 years if you put cream on them, shine them up, resole them every eight to nine months, and depending on how much you perspire, use cedar trees on the inside,” he told The Post.

Kudos to you Mr. Bloomberg. If you ever find yourself in need of a new resoler you know where to find us. We’ll kick you our special rate for billionaire mayors.


And finally…

The Chargers buy 1,000 shoes for kids in need.

• The San Diego Chargers have big hearts, both literally and figuratively. The team made 1,000 children very happy recently when they picked up the tab for their new shoes. They even spent time helping the children pick out their shoes from Payless Shoe stores around San Diego. The kids were selected for inclusion in the program by their schools based on need and according to Chargers player Jacquest Cesaire, for some “this is the only shoes they are going to have for the whole year”.

In addition to helping the kids pick out their shoes, the players signed autographs and posed for pictures.

This is a wonderful program, no child should ever have to go without a good pair of shoes.

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