Sunday, November 27, 2005

His shoes were so dry.

Celebrity worship coupled with a local angle is a surefire recipe for fun reading. Such is the case with this story (not online) by Luke Stangel in today's Palo Alto Daily News.
George Moon has seen his share of famous feet.

For more than 15 years, he has shined shoes worn by big name Stanford professors and Silicon Valley CEOs who know his shop is the only place in downtown Palo Alto to get a good shine. But even Moon was surprised yesterday when former presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry popped in and aked for a quick shine of his brown loafers.

"His shoes were so dry," Moon said. "It's probably because he's so busy."

Without announcement, Kerry quietly spent two hours in Palo Alto yesterday, enough time to grab a burger at the Palo Alto Creamery on Emerson Street and get his shoes shined at Moon's shop next door.

Around noon, Kerry sat down at a small corner table at the Creamery and ordered a $6.75 hamburger and spent the next hour or so in conversation with a man who waiters said is a regular customer.

Kerry's server said she managed to stay composed, but one of her co-workers "looked like she won a million dollars" when they both recognized the Massachusetts senator.

"When he left, they clapped for him," said the server, Danielle, 20, who declined to give her last name. "The entire restaurant was cheering."

Kerry then walked next door to Moon's California Shoe & Luggage Repair Co. and bought two pairs of black shoelaces and one pair of brown shoelaces for $3.95 each and asked for an $8 shine.

Moon said he deepened the brown in Kerry's loafers to make the senator look younger. Kerry asked several questions of Moon, including how long he had lived in the United States (31 years), what he did before moving here (veterinarian) and if business was good (it's good).

Moon asked Kerry when the war in Iraq would be over and the senator reportedly replied that he didn't know.

The pair took four photos outside of Moon's shop and the senator was whisked away in a black limosine.

Kerry was in Palo Alto to attend the Stanford vs. Notre Dame football game at the university's stadium.

The game is the last one for the stadium before it is torn down for downsizing and renovations.

Senator Kerry's busy schedule obscures the fact that he's available for an hour of casual chat with strangers at a greasy spoon--not to mention the local veterinarian/shoe shiner. For his part, the local bootblack seems to have it all over the senator when it comes to answers to questions. The senator, a Vietnam War veteran, fired off three quick bursts into a rice patty and received a sharp reply for each one. Whereas a single question to Kerry left him stumped. Next time anyone mentions voter fraud and Diebold electronic voter machines counter with the observation that dark brown shoe polish might have had a role to play too.


Blogger Walter E. Wallis said...

Two more businesses off my list.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Smoking Jay said...

W.E.W., not so fast. They "clapped" and were "cheering" when he left. If it were my shop, I would have disinfected too.

Wait….perhaps you are right and the joy was sincere and approving of the man and his “great accomplishments”. Oh well, just dreaming of a world that sees people for what they really are. In this case, a pure hypocrite with darker shoes and a herd of clapping sheep.

2:01 PM  

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