Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Sole Man




Meet Andrew, the ultimate Sole Man.  I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Goodyear Shoe Hospital on 3rd Avenue North in downtown Birmingham.   Just when you think nobody gives a lick about customer service anymore , you find a place like this.  The owner and the shop mascot, Momma ( you will meet them another day) are just delightful.  Throw in Andrew,  their employee of  25 years,  and you have a place that you might just want to visit even if your shoes don't need repair!  My photography buddy, Doug and I knew immediately that we had hit , as Andrew told us, "The Mother Lode" for photographers!   Oh yes, this was just what we were looking for.  A back room filled with amazing machinery,  sewing machines, and a ton of shoe memorabilia.   It was a a treasure trove .   We filled our memory cards and then when we thought we were done,  Momma the cat,  performed a "dog trick" just for our enjoyment!  Where is Dave Letterman when you need him???   An afternoon well spent.

NEWS!! Our friend Angela at Nice Daily Photo has added a new blog to the CDP network.

26 comments:

Blognote said...

Ohhh....I like this photo with your comments, Virginia!!

Tash said...

Great portrait, esp in B&W. I like the sole man. You may like to visit Palm Axis (http://www.palmaxis.com/search?updated-max=2008-07-19T08%3A29%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=5) when you have a chance for an interesting blog with a lot of SOLE too.

Olivier said...

une belle rencontre, qui donne une beau portrait b&w. Avec en cadeau "soul man", j'adore

a beautiful meeting, which gives a beautiful portrait b&w. With a gift "soul man" I love

Eki Akhwan said...

It looks, sounds, and feels like the good, old days. (The choice of monochrome, the subject, and the story really fit together.) It's good to hear that you still have a place like this in your city, or in America.

Thanks for sharing, V.

ilhamks said...

nice journey. i like it so much. you have a beautiful sight on this world :)

Bill said...

Great story and portrait of Andrew in his work environment. Andrew must be a very proud person. Having the same job for 25 years, a service everyone needs and not many know how to do and a great talent. Not many people can have a job that long especially in today's corporate world. I'll be sure to visit Andrew with my next shoe repair needs.

BD

Virginia said...

BBD,
Don't forget your camera when you take those shoes!

Harry Makertia said...

The story and the photo fit together! Love it very much. Not far from our house, we have this service too. It's a bit traditional though, but I love it since we always have a full attention :).

Snapper said...

Hello Virginia and congratulations on another beautiful portrait. And of course, I enjoyed the commentary as well. Cheers!

Marie Reed said...

Your header is blooming! I am rocking out to your tune and enjoying your lovely post!

GiuCe said...

nice post, it's a beautiful portrait too!

babooshka said...

Good customer service.An endangered species. Shake this fine man's hand for me. He's a dying breed. Very dsre I say soulful portrait, perfect with the song to jig around to.

Valbonne wonderful. I am in Nice in my heart.

alice said...

A beautiful portrait. And it's always a pleasure to read your texts. I'm learning every day!

angela said...

Bless you for the publicity, Virginia.
IThe play on words made me smile..nicely apt title.
So nice to read about real people going about their lives, doing the best they can.

Virginia said...

Merci beaucoup to all of my French friends. I am sure trying to read all of this in English is a challenge and then when I throw in southern phrases it's really confusing. I am trying to decipher the comments in French on your blogs to help me learn. I have a trusty French/English dictionary right by my side at all times.

PJ said...

Virginia, that is a real portrait. I can see this man's character all the way from here. Très bien.

D.C. Confidential said...

Excellent photo! Is this part of your 100 Strangers series? I really need to get crackin' on that!

Kate said...

Your enthusiasm for your wonderful photo find is obvious in your comments. The portrait captures the subject very well. Casual but also serene.

USelaine said...

A stellar post, Virginia. I look forward to more in this series, especially based on your great commentary. I wish we had one of these places, with that much expertise, in my towm.

Eki Akhwan said...

Hi V,
Thanks a lot for sending me that link. I like the review of the book. It's inspirational. I especially like this:

"What I love about being a photographer is that it heightens your senses. You are always looking, seeing more than most folks who are hurrying by. It also builds a bridge for that connection with people. You reach out. Many of the relationships I have built in Paris, started with a photograph. I introduce myself with my camera."

Would love to read the book myself if I can get one here or in Jakarta later. Or may be I could get it from Amazon.

Laurie said...

GORGEOUS candid portrait, Virginia! I'm so jealous of your access to the setting -- I'd love to shoot all that cool stuff and those great people.

I really like this a lot.

Pentaxjunkie said...

Virginia, your photography is getting better and better by the day.

Love you your work.

James

Knoxville Girl said...

Wonderful portrait and story. I'm looking forward to more from the shoe hospital.

Jutilda said...

OMG!! I immediately thought that you had captured the soul of the city before I even read the homophone title. This is incredible and you certainly found the heart of this man, not to mention the setting. I'm so glad I found you through Laurie's blog. I'm so thrilled to get to know Birmingham through your eyes and lens.

Lynette said...

Superb, absolutely superb. This is what photo blogging is all about, learning about the city that you love and sharing it with others.

D said...

This is a great portrait and a great story! Can't wait to see the rest.