AUTHOR: linda TITLE: A Sunset Shoe Repair Story DATE: 8:37:00 PM ----- BODY:
A frantic Friday evening errand destination: the tiny outfit smashed between a dry cleaners and an athletic shoe store on Irving Street, just shy of 7th Ave., with a giant, unlit neon sign shaped like a shoe, reading "Sunset Shoe Repair."

Rain pouring, soaking the ink off a paper bag that held a few items intended for Crossroads all over my fingers and white raincoat.

Wet on the outside and on the inside from the 5-block run uphill, Glen welcomed me in from the dark outside, and exclaimed about the rain, offering me a pink plastic "Have a Nice Day" bag to replace the wilted paper one, while examining the item in question, a pair of Spring 2007 Franco Sarto vinyl boots, with a strange bendy thing happening on the inside of the left heel.

His prognosis: the heel had shattered on the inside, which could be fixed... for $20. He said it as a question, and I answered, no problem, thinking it was merely a quarter of the cost of the shoes. Then he turned the boot over and noted that the bottom of each heel was worn off to the nails, to which I quickly said no problem about replacing those, too.

As he pointed to where I should fill out my name and phone number on the purple order slip, he made a final exclamation about the holes on the bottom of the pointy heels.

"See the hole?" he asked. I nodded.

"I'd be able to fix it if there was something for me to attach material to, but this goes all the way through; I can't fix it."


"Are you sure it's worth keeping these? I can take a black marker to the holes, if you want to try to sell them at Crossroads.'

Faced with fixes adding to almost half the cost of the boots along with a new, unfixable problem, and the rain coming down outside and sure to continue, I decided to go with it.

Glen gleefully proceeded to prepare the boots for sale, turning the heel against a nearby rotating wheel, markering the tips, and buffing the tops with a white towel, till they looked about as new as I'd bought them, seven months ago.

Across the street, Crossroads examined them, sought a second opinion, and priced them at $32 (taking none of the other items), half of which I got as store credit.

Since his door was still open, I stopped in at Sunset Shoe Repair to report the outcome to Glen on my way back. He smiled.

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