Don is a sweetheart and he can’t refuse the devil a lie. He constantly accepts small and large repair requests, as well as pleas by old friends for just one more pair … all the while struggling with some pretty serious health issues. His wife Virginia, who does the stitching for his boots, is often not able to work either. After the initial fittings and selection of leathers, gorgeous cream with black, it took us about six months to pay for both pairs, after which Don got to work. First Barry’s black with cream boots, then my cream with black twin pair. For the next year and a half, give or take, we visited with Don in his work shop every time we drove to town, roughly once a week, cajoling, encouraging, admonishing, laughing, crying, you name it, we tried it!
We did despair on occasion. We did wonder, if Don might live long enough to see the job through, but it was all worth it. In addition to sturdy and beautiful handmade gems, we had the privilege to become friends with one of the last craftsman of the ‘Old West’. A man, who retired once, but couldn’t stand ‘getting fat doing nothing’. A man with a never ending supply of stories about rodeo riders and country singers. A legend himself. And these are his creations. Thanks, Don and Gini!!
PS to all you 21st Century politically correct people out there. I am aware of conservation (snakeskin boots) and animal cruelty (rodeos). The former was 30 years ago and I love our neighborhood rodeos!