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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Rubio: A Portland gem

I saw in the Merc blog the other day that Mr. Rubio of Rubio Shoe Repair in downtown Portland will be packing it in pretty soon. Back in the day when I was a full-time practicing lawyer, he put new heels and soles on many a pair of my shiny attorney shoes. He rebuilt a pair of Frye boots that I had at the time, and he even repaired a special leather wallet of mine that I didn't want to part with.

In those days he was working close to the courthouse. Now he's over on Ash, down by the Saturday Market, I guess. With his highly waxed and curly mustache, he always had a pleasant word or two as I sought his help to try to squeeze an extra year or two out of the shoes I bought at Nordstrom. He seemed like the quintessential small business owner -- hard-working, real as could be, and managing to get by. Now there's the kind of guy I wouldn't mind seeing a few of my tax dollars going to support.

There's a certain satisfaction that comes with being good at what you do for a living. I'll bet you Mr. Rubio feels it. Maybe I ought to find something in the closet for him to fix, just one more time before he retires, for old time's sake.

Comments (4)

I always remember the wondrful smells in that shop. The combinations of the leaher, the waxes and polishes, the dyes.

The sounds of the titching machines, and the small hammers on the anvils, too, were amazing.

Sad to see him close.

"shiny attorney shoes"

A note to those shiny attorneys wearing those shiny shoes: a career in the law, wearing dress shoes every day, will leave you with a pair of Morton's neuromas, a pair of bunions, and maybe a workers' comp claim. Wear shoes that fit your feet! Hint: very few of them are shiny.

Heh. Frye boots. Heh heh heh.

Hey, gimme a break, I'm from Newark.

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