This is what Tchaikowwsky says in one of his letters: "Since I began to compose I have made it my object to be, in my craft, what the most illustrious masters were in theirs; that is to say, I wanted to be, like them, an artisan, just as a shoemaker is .... (They) composed their immortal works exactly as a shoemaker makes shoes; that is to say, day in, day out, and for the most part to order."

Igor Stravinsky
From: An Autobiography (Simon & Schuster, 1936)

1954 | Shoe Business
Photograph: Kees Pot

I got the job because Dad had procured for the top boss his position at the Continental Shoemakers branch. (This was still before the poker game and the decline and fall of “Big Daddy.”) Of course the bosses were anxious to find an excuse to get me out. They put me to the most tedious and arduous jobs. I had to dust off hundreds of shoes in the sample rooms every morning; then I had to spend several hours typing out factory orders.

Digits, nothing but digits! About four in the afternoon, I was dispatched to the establishment of our main client, J. C. Penney, with great packing cases of shoes for their acceptance or rejection. The cases “were so heavy that it was a strain to lift them: I could carry them only half a block before having to set them down to catch my breath.

Tennessee Williams
From: “Memoirs.” (Doubleday Books, 1975)

1963 | Who's minding the store?
Jerry Lewis | best shoe salesman in the history of celluloid shoe salesmen
Source: La Madraza

“Concentrate on shoe stores. Did you girls ever use a restroom in a shoe store?"

"I asked once," Aileen said, "but they said it was for employees only."

"You know why they said that? It's because the rest rooms in shoe stores are the dirtiest johns in the entire United States. Shoe salesmen, wearing suits and ties, think they're too good to clean up their john, so they let it go to hell. You can get two hours' work, or six bucks, for every shoe-shop john you clean. They're filthy."

Charles Willeford. 
From: “New Hope For The Dead” (St. Martin's Press, 1985)

1972/2007 | Hank Willis Thomas

“What do you do?” Michael asks Sam.

“I’m a shoe salesman.”

“That doesn’t sound like much fun.”

“You didn’t ask me what I did for fun. You asked me what my job was.”

“What do you do for fun?” Michael asks.

“Listen to Tammy Wynette records,” Sam says.”


“How come you wanted to be a shoe salesman?” Michael asks him in the car.

“Are you out of your mind?” Sam says. “I didn’t want to be a shoe salesman.”

Ann Beattie
From: Fancy Flights (1974, part of “The New Yorker Stories” - Scribner, 2010)

1951 | Naturalizer | ad detail
Source: LIFE magazine

"There was a generation of [75-year-old] women in my area ... who had [a] toe cut off to fit into the tight tight pumps," said Clooney. "So every time you'd see those women coming in, you'd be like [points to the other side of the room] 'You take that lady. I am not going near that."

George Clooney
Source: moviefone (2012 - Not available anymore)

Max Cavalera, Walt Whitman, Donald e. Westlake, Ginger Baker.

Shakespeare, John Fante, James Crumley, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Adams ...

1941 | The Devil & Miss Jones
Young Female Terror At play
Source: LIFE magazine


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