Sam’s Shoe Service

Short documentary by Cindy Neal about Sam's Shoe Service shop on West Roscoe St. in Chicago.

00:00Copy video clip URL Videographer Cindy Neal walks down Roscoe Street to a shoe repair shop. She enters and immediately begins recording footage of Sam working on shoes.

01:30Copy video clip URL A customer comes in. Continue footage of Sam at work. He is stitching the sole of a shoe. He hammers nails into the sole and then polishes and buffs the shoe. He repeats this process on a second shoe.

07:10Copy video clip URL He says this work is left over from Saturday. “They all came in at once.” He continues the process on two leather boots.

12:00Copy video clip URL The mailman enters and delivers letters. Sam stops work and Cindy interviews him. He says he’s had this shop for 14-years. He has owned his own business since 1949. He says private ownership has its ups and downs. If business is good  everything is all right. If business is not functioning it can be like working in a factory. At age 66, he says, what else can he do?

17:25Copy video clip URL He says he used to work in a factory, then he got into the shoe repair business. At first he was sorry he did. A radio news program in the background talks about presidential hopefuls Jimmy Carter and George Wallace. Video goes black but the audio continues.

18:07Copy video clip URL He says there are no young people getting into this business. “When the old people go I don’t know what will happen.”

18:58Copy video clip URL Sam says he had no other plans, being a cobbler was it for him. He says he knows a couple of friends trying to sell their shop but no one wants to buy it.

19:44Copy video clip URL On the topic of unemployment Sam says you have to have a trade. If not it’s hard to get a decent job.

20:29Copy video clip URL END



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