Mr. and Mrs. Walker were in their late eighties when Mrs. Walker’s homecare nurse referred her to Social Work Services. Mrs. Walker was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and Mr. Walker was leaving her home alone for short periods of time to run errands. The nurse thought it was a “problem”; because Mrs. Walker was confused at times and it wasn’t safe to leave her home alone.

Mr. Walker was a shoe repairman, a cobbler, by trade. Years earlier, he’d owned and operated a local shoe repair shop, but closed up shop when cultural and economic trends rendered shoe repair all but obsolete. But Mr. Walker was still servicing a shortlist of long-term professional clients. He picked up their shoes at their offices and returned them once repaired. He took pride in his trade and relished the contact with his clients. Mr. Walker enjoyed the business of “saving soles”. Pardon the pun; I wish it were, but it’s not mine. I encourage you to Google,“Saving Soles: a history of shoe repair”; a fascinating history of how a shoe was more than just a shoe.

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