Tuesday, March 16, 2010
This is Ron. He’s probably one of the nicest people I know. But he’ll put a mean shine on your shoes if you let him.
Ron’s been visiting the Tulsa Business Journal offices, as well as others in the Thompson Building, at Fifth Street and Boston Avenue downtown, weekly for about a year and a half.
Every Tuesday or Thursday, we could count on him wandering our halls, poking his head into our offices and asking, “Got any shoes today?”
“Need your shoes done today?”
We’d hand over our shoes, along with a $5 bill, and Ron would make himself comfortable, chatting us up while he shined our shoes.
And man did they shine.
A couple of months ago, the good folks at Schnake Turnbo Frank | PR, who occupy our building’s 15th floor, talked the building owner into letting Ron set up shop in our lobby so he could shine even more shoes and make even more money.
They also helped him get some gigs in other downtown buildings.
Every Tuesday, from about 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ron shines shoes in the Thompson Building. Our building’s owners pay him so the shine is free, but he does accept tips (although he’ll sometimes tell you it’s not necessary). On Wednesdays, Ron is in the Williams tower (across the way from Stems), Second Street and Cincinnati Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Thursdays he’s on the 38th floor of First Place Tower (15 E. Fifth St.) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The other two buildings don’t pay him, so it’ll cost you $5 a pair for a shine. That's cheap, especially considering the good work he does.
And he’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face, which is just a bonus.
Go see Ron. Your feet will thank you.
This post comes to you thanks to Holly Wall, senior editor at Tulsa Business Journal and Urban Tulsa Weekly arts writer. Her work also appears in Art Focus Oklahoma, Intermission and Mia Magazine. She lives in Tulsa. Also, she loves Sno Cones.