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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Stock Show Blog: Healing the sick, leather that is

Texas Tech Grad: 1st Pro Shine

Texas Tech agricultural communications graduate Beth Hughes, giving the Tech hand signal, takes a Stock Show & Rodeo moment to have her boots shined for the first time ever by someone other than herself. Veteran shiner Wardell Longmiles works on the Lubbock woman’s boots. Hughes said she’s looking for a career start, maybe at a horse or livestock trade journal. Her father sells livestock and horse feeds on the Texas South Plains.

‘I Heal the Sick,’ Worn Leather, That Is

Now 81 and adept with a cellphone, Wardell Longmiles says he started shining shoes and boots in 1947, but later took a long break for other occupations, including dock longshoreman, restaurant waiter and bartender. At age 13, the Calvert, Texas native shined footwear at a sidewalk stand. Longmiles came to Fort Worth in 1948, attended school, including I.M. Terrell High. In addition to the Stock Show & Rodeo, his shining gigs included a country club in the race-segregation times. “I heal the sick,” Longmiles said, citing his skills with rejuvenating scuffed and worn shoes, boots and other leather goods.

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