"Always had time to shine shoes."
Robert William always knew he wanted to try shoe shining.
"Use to follow my older brother, he shined shoes on square with shoe
"I was just following them around say let me make a shine."
Robert received a shoeshine box for his 7thbirthday and went into
"Shoeshine was a nickel, nickel was a lot of money."
He learned to first clean the shoe by hand.
"This soap here is very important part of shoe shine."
"Some shine guys use a rag, that's fine, I'm old school, I was taught
you learn to feel the leather with your fingers."
"It takes time but you get a good shine."
"Robert says a good shoe shine makes a man look more successful and he's
been contributing to that for over 68 years."
Robert retired from Carrier Air Conditioning, but never stopped shining
"You never know how busy your going to be, maybe 10-15, to 25-30.
Today at 75 years of age, he still shines shoes at the barbershop at
Front and Beckham…the same shop he worked at in 1956.
"If the shop is open I'm here."
A regular shoeshine costs around six dollars. Most customers also leave a
tip. One time it was one hundred dollars.
"I just like making a shoe-boot look good."
"When they walk out of here want everyone to smile."
A craft he hopes to keep on polishing as long as he can.
"You have to be dedicated with what your doing, you got to care."
For CBS 19, I'm J.B Smith
"That's the key I'm happy doing what I'm doing."
and that's my story."