Friday, November 21, 2014

Save My Sole: The Big Shoe Shoe Repair

Did you hear about the big fire at the old cobbler's shop?  One hundred soles were lost.  I'll bet some heel started it!  Thank goodness that in 1947, an entrepreneur of unmatched brilliance, Mr. Deschwanden by name, decided to hang the shingle of his shoe repair business on Bakersfield's bustling Chester Avenue.

The Big Shoe Shoe Repair - Bakersfield, CA

For as much roadside excitement as we enjoy in California by way of googie coffee shops and fanciful playgrounds, we suffer from a distinct lack of thematic architecture (or maybe I just want more).  With the exception of the occasional giant tamale/orange/donut and muffler man, most of our novelty structures are naught but history.  So where do the last remaining muffler men go when they've worn down the heels on their big, crepe-soled shoes?  They go to The Big Shoe Shoe Repair, of course!!!

It was at this moment that I was despairing over my choice of footwear - if only I had the
foresight to have donned my white bucks.  You know how I love to team with the theme!

My casual shoes notwithstanding, I'm glad that the original architect of this wood-framed shoe decided to go with a classic style.  I'm not so sure that a sneaker would have gained as much traction in this - or any - community.  I mean, who wants to visit an athlete's foot?!?!!

Before we visited the Big Shoe, I thought I had big feet.  Finding out that a
fifty-foot length of rope makes up the shoelace certainly put me in my place.
I rather enjoyed the rarity of feeling dainty...

Naturally, we would never go all the way to visit a giant shoe without taking a peek inside.  Tongue-tied, the proprietor and patrons weren't that keen on having us snap their photo, so we backed out of the tiny shop.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but the interior of the "big" shoe was exceptionally small.  To further our disillusionment, it also seems that the nursery rhyme is all a lie, nary an old woman nor her passel of ill-behaved children in sight.  We were waiting for the other shoe to drop but based on the proportions of this shoe, we thought better of it.  The nice thing was that it smelled as fresh as a daisy - a leather, adhesive, and shoe-polish daisy.

Do you have any thematic architecture in your neighborhood?  If you were a well-heeled old woman, would you live in a shoe?  If we lived in Bakersfield, it probably goes without saying that all of our shoe repair business would go to The Big Shoe because that's how all mama's children wanna rock!

"All Mama's Children" - Carl Perkins

We're not sure where our next adventure will be; all we know is that it will have some pretty big shoes to fill (a pretty big shoe to fill?)!!!

The Big Shoe Shoe Repair
931 Chester Ave
Bakersfield, CA


Mr. Tiny


  1. beautiful! i really want to visit that inn shaped like a beagle! but it is in Idaho! The closest thing to us is the wigwam village in Cave City. Not that I'm complaining about that!

    1. You know that Cave City is on the top of my list!!! The list just keeps growing with all of the cool stuff there is to see. I wish I could just adventure full time!