Cruz Ferreras writes:
The end of an era. Are you hearing that often lately? I am. A bit too many ends of eras.
Yesterday was a rainy day. My husband realized that his rubber rain boots have a puncture that lets water in the foot-bed. He said he thought he needed new boots. I said he should take them to Mr. Mondello first, because he would most likely find a way to plug the leak with melted rubber and extend the life of the boots for at least one more Autumn. And for just a few bucks.
Today a friend texted me news that due to Covid-19 Mr. Mondello took an early retirement at 93! A proud veteran, Mr. M. was always eager to share his background with customers at his cobbler shop. He has an unassuming sense of humor and the solid presence that 90 plus years of a productive life gives a person regardless of physical strength or frailty. Mr. M. looked like a solid man behind the counter. After a little chat he would ask for a very brief description of what was wrong with your shoes:
I need to stretch them.
I need the soles re-glued.
I need more holes on the straps.
I need rain boots plugged…no Mr. Mondello’s shop. No check. No apprentice to take over the shop, I bet. That’s too bad. One more win for the vortex of throw away culture we get swept into.
I wish Mr. Mondello the best and healthiest of retirement. He has earned it. A town needs a cobbler. We had as good as they come.
Cruz Ferreras thanks and best wishes in retirement for Mr. Mondello September 2020
Message and all photographs this post by Cruz Ferreras. The photographs were taken in July 2018.