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George Manias was born in the USA in 1931 He returned with his family to Greece (Island of Crete) and grew up there. When World War II broke out he was forced to work in a Nazi labor camp. He returned to the Peoria, IL in 1946, and needed to eat. A barber offered him a spot to shine shoes in a one chair shop. He took it. He worked 7 days a week for over 50 years before his health required him to slow down. He has had Presidents, Congressman, Actors, etc come to his shop to get the "best" shine. He is now 88 years old and has been shining shoes and cleaning hats for 73 years. It is an experience to sit in his shop and chat with him, let alone look at the pictures that pack the walls. He did an awesome job on our cowboy boots, and reminded us to bring our hats to him to be cleaned. A very nice way to spend some time on a sunny afternoon. Nice example of how a willingness to work and determination can pay off. If any pards are passing through Peoria, IL, I highly recommend a visit to George's Shoe Shine and Hatters. Across the street from the courthouse. If you zoom in on the "shop" picture, you can see us sitting there.
Hoping to dude-up some cowboys here before I throw these out on the world wide web! Got a pair of barely worn Lucchese Caiman Crocodile cowboy boots in 14D that, quite frankly, are a tad small for my 14.5D foot. I'd say if you wear a true 14 or 13.5, you'd be fine with these, but I'm pushing the boundaries and my toes don't appreciate it. They retail new for between $500-$600. Sadly, I've only worn them maybe a dozen times, and I'll sell them for $285 shipped in the lower 48. Won't find a better price on a good pair of exotic skin boots. Would also trade towards vintage spurs, 1800s style saddles and revolvers. Keep your powder dry, Wild Ben