I took by cowboy boots to be resoled yesterday.
They were long overdue.
Twenty-five years ago there were two shoe repair shops open downtown. I always went to the one for shoe repairs, which wasn't hugely uncommon as cowboy boots, good boots, and men's dress shoes can be resoled. As I used to walk to work quite a bit I often found I'd worn soles and heels out and needed them replaced.
I haven't walked to work routinely for a long time and don't live where I easily can, but still wear boots and shoes that can be resoled. But it's tough to find a cobbler now. The downtown stores closed and for awhile I couldn't find anyone at all. A friend recommended somebody to me when I needed repairs to my Olathe cowboy boots, but the repairs weren't really satisfactory to me. Fortunately, the store where I bought the boots years ago recommended another fellow to me who is located in a small adjoining town. He has a cobbler's shop in his garage and is doing it in his retirement. He does really nice work.
But what an odd development. At one time cobblers shops were really common. There were even two hear when I started practicing law. Now the fellow who is repairing my boots is doing it as a job he enjoys doing in his retirement. I'm glad he does, and it actually does look like a fun craft. But the whole experience is quite an evolution in local necessary trades.