Shining shoes is — at least locally — a trade of yesteryear. And that’s exactly why Fleming is doing it.
“It’s an honest day’s work,” he said, standing beside a tray of polish and rags. “I’m doing what my father told me to do. He said, ‘When things get tough … get to work.’ So I pulled out this old box.”
Times got tough for Fleming, a chef, when he and his wife relocated from Philadelphia, so he remembered his father’s words.
“It’s one thing I know how to do,” said the 42-year-old Fleming, of York City. “When
it’s time for the rent, I can’t say, ‘I didn’t have a job.'”
Believe it or not, I’m thrilled to hear this. I hate the fact that you can’t get a decent shine anywhere you go anymore. Never mind that I wasn’t alive when you *could* get a shoe shine on every block, I still lament the death of the shoe shine stand. I think I’m going to have to make a coffee and a shine at the market a weekly habit.