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Week of november 6 - 13, 2002

Curley Randle not only shines, but repairs
shoes at Mighty Fine Shoe Repair

New patrons of Mighty Fine Shoe Repair, 1400 South Victory, are finding out what older customers have known for a long time - repairing shoes are a lot cheaper than replacing them. Long time shoe repairman Curley Randle not only repairs both men and women shoes and boots, but he offers extra services such as dying, shining, waxing and glazing.
But, he doesn’t do this all by himself. He has in his employ, his daughter Alanea Larkin, and Ernest “Cigar” Wilbert who has been shining shoes for 30 years. The shop relocated six months ago, from South Lane and Wheatley, a location it had been in for five years.
At a young age Randle who was born in 1944, became interested in the trade known as “shoe shining.” In the 50s and 60s, this was very popular and he would go to the parlor in his neighbor hood just to watch the men shining shoes. After graduating from Booker T. High School, Randle sought to learn more so he could master his trade. Although over the years, he learned by watching the “masters” he went to Barbara Jordan Community College in 1989, where they were offering classing in this trade. “My instructor was Mark Reagan. He did a very good job in encouraging me and teaching me how to repair shoes,” said Randle.
Randle started shining shoes with his brother at different car dealerships in Houston. They would go and set up inside the lobby everyday and ask the salesmen if they wanted their shoes shined. They reasoned that since they were on their feet everyday, they needed to make sure that their shoes were in good condition to sell cars. After working there for sometime they asked permission to shine the shoes of customers waiting on their cars. Randle began to move his business to different places in downtown Houston, shining the shoes of businessmen and women who either worked there or was just passing through.
He still does this at Duke Energy, the 3DI building, and US Home. In addition, many people throughout Houston choose to drop their shoes off to be repaired. Mayor Lee Brown, recently had a pair of his shoes brought in to to be fixed.
Randle continued, “I want to offer a good service and a fair price. I want my service to be a repeat service and create a certain ambiance. I want my business to be to the place that when you think of shoe repair, you’ll think of Mighty Fine Shoe Repair,” said Randle who is the father of two children, Alanea Larkin and Kirkland Randle. Mighty Fine Shoe Repair is opened Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is also open on Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call 281/ 448-9255 for more information.

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