New Albany shoe repair shop closes its doors - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New Albany shoe repair shop closes its doors

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- New Albany is losing a long-time business. Badger Shoe Repair closed it's doors on Wednesday, to start a new chapter in the new year.

Ron Badger has had tools in his hand ever since. His father opened a shoe repair shop in New Albany in 1940.

"We lived in the back and he had a shoe shop in the front," said Badger.

The 75-year old grew up around the strong smell of aged leather.

Badger said, "My dad would pull up a chair to the bench put an old shoe on a jack and give me some nails and a hammer and say here you help daddy fix these shoes."

Badger started formally working for his father when he was 13.

"His health was bad so when he hit 65 he said he was either going to sell the business or I was going to have to take it over," said Badger.

That was 40 years ago. We estimated that Badger has repaired nearly half a million shoes since then.

Badger said, "After you do it for awhile you develop some pride and then you want to see how good you can do them."

You can see the wear and tear of this trade. Fingers stained with wax and polish, nails hammered down to nearly nothing.

"I've got some customers who have been coming in here since, they came in with their grandma and grandpa," said Badger.

Badger wanted to keep the business in the family, but financially it wasn't feasible.

"It's gone down, it's gone down cause there's a lot of them we can't fix because the way they're made," said Badger.

He has been working with machinery that dates back to when dad opened the place. Now he's ready to give his business the boot.

Badger said, "We can't believe how many people have come in and told us they are going to miss us."

Ron Badger mastered his craft. Now it's lights out, as he opens the door to retirement.

"I don't think I'm gonna miss it, cause I've been looking forward to it," said Badger.

When asked what he's going to do with all his spare time, Badger said he plans to raise honey bees and do more hunting.

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