Shining Shoes A Blessing For Tulsa Man
By Rick Wells, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Good first impressions can often make the difference between success and failure, and good grooming can guarantee that successful first impression. One Tulsa man believes grooming begins from the ground up - with a great shoe shine.
"It's just something I like to do: shine shoes," said Ron Wright.
Ron Wright has been shining shoes around Tulsa for about 10 years now, but he learned the why and how of shoe shining years ago.
"I was taught by my grandfather as a kid to always shine your shoes Saturday night for church on Sunday," he said.
Wright says he had no idea then that he'd make a living shining shoes. He had a shoe shine stand at a local car wash for a while. He's worked in barber shops, and now he's carved out a niche for himself downtown at locations like the Thompson Building.
"My motto is - not how many shoes I do a day, but the ones I do do, make sure I do a good job," he said, "then other shoes will come after that."
It's working, according to building manager Mike Vaughn who says folks are bringing in bags of shoes.
"Two, three, five pairs of shoes, and drop them off for him to do," Vaughn said.
Tulsa shoeshine man Ron Wright says that shined shoes may not be as universal as they once were. People dress more casually today, but for him it shows good grooming and pride.
"If I was going to buy a car, and there was a guy who had his shoes shined and one that didn't - I'd go to the guy with shined shoes," he said. "It just tells me he takes pride in what he's doing."
Wright says shining shoes is a great way of meeting new people, keeping up with old friends and helping them be successful.
"I get to be a blessing to the, and they get to be a blessing to me," he said.
Ron Wright is in the Thompson Building on Tuesdays, the Williams Center on Wednesdays and is always looking for opportunities downtown.