A while back, Mrs. G. dug up this shoe shine box at a thrift store for $2.99.
The "Griffin Shinemaster". Sounds pretty serious, right? Shiniest shoes is town, right?
Years ago, kid brother was a shoe shine kid. He worked mainly in the Financial District of Boston. It's one of the few spots in town full of navy blue suits, white shirts, and black leather shoes during the week. He was pretty damn good at it too.
My brother and I are definitely brothers. We don't really look the same, or share all the same tastes, but you can tell. Sartorially speaking, we couldn't be more different. I'm a peacock, as you know. He'll wear the same pair of jeans everyday until our mother gets him some new ones for Christmas, and he's 31, God love'im. But back when he was shining shoes, whenever we'd see each other he'd have something critical to say about the state of my treads. "You're always so dressed up. You should really take better care of your shoes. Come on down the Financial District some time, I'll do 'em for free." Infuriating, but also pretty damned endearing.
Mrs. G., upon seeing this old box, bought it and suggested I give kid brother a call and get him to do shoe shines at the Affordable Wardrobe booth at the upcoming Top Shelf Flea Market. A great idea, to be sure. Come on down, grab a beer, get your shoes shined and tip the kid well. I'll have my copy of Take Ivy and some other picture books for grown men on hand to flip through while he fixes you up.
p.s. two booths are still available for Top Shelf II. If you have something to sell, or know someone who does, feel free to contact me at email@example.com for details. Records and housewares especially wanted, but all comers are welcome.
Hey Giu-what size shoe do you wear, anyway? I've got a pair of made-in-USA deck shoes (Wolverine era
Quoddys, but Quoddy nonetheless) in an obnoxious orange that would make Tintin green with envy. Unfortunately they're too small for my size 10.5 dogs.
9 1/2 or 10, depending. Drop me an email. Tin Tin is headed to Boston this coming weekend. I'll pay you for overnight shipping, if you really think they'll piss him off.
After reading this post, all I can think about is the scene from "Goodfellas" when Billy Batts (played by the wonderful mobster character actor Frank Vincent) tells Tommy ( Joe Pesci) "Now go get your F**king shine box."
I'm with Sportsman on this one - as soon as I see a shine box, that's what goes through my head.
You should see if the girl at oona's wants to have a space... it's looking good in there, these days.
Great post! That'll be a great day for you two brothers. I'm curious to know if Little Bros.'s shoe-shing skillz come back. Like falling off a log, as we say her in the South.
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