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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

1945 WWII. A middle age bootmaker somewhere close to the front lines in a workshop. The workshop is tiny, but practical – a table for clicking, a small chair and a small table to work on the officer’s boots. The masters name Szabo Geza, he is a good and relatively famous bookmaker in his town neighborhood. Just a the highest peek of his carrier he has been called to pay his duty in the army – making and fixing boots for the officers. In that day a couple visits him, running away from a starting bomb attack, searching for a shelter. During these bombings the normal process is hiding under a strong table – as there is place only for two under the table, Geza offer this to the couple, trust in his luck. That wasn’t his lucky day. A bomb hit close, so the building collapsed. The couple survived he hasn’t.

Weeks later a package arrived home with his wooden luggage, with his tools inside. Some old stuff, needles, a hammer head, some threads and pegs, nails. That is how much left from a talented craftsman. I heard a story from my beloved grandmother. Geza was her brother.

Now that luggage is in my workshop, just aside my table, with all belonging it has arrived back, 67 years ago, reminding me, that I have to put something into my luggage, before my time will come. That should be the craft I learned – making shoes.

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