Ian Harden, a Farrier who takes care of Dressage Horses and Trotters, came across
our webpage by accident while looking for some footwear that "I would have with me
for the rest of my life - footwear that would last regardless of where I wore it, and
would last as long as I take care of it." He flew to Bemidji from his home in Virginia,
about 45 miles from DC, and drove here to be fitted for a pair of our Highland Handmade
Knee-high Pull-on boots. About the drive from Bemidji he said "I would like to say how
much I enjoy being up in this part of the world. I love seeing the turtles (alive), the
almost complete lack of roadkill, and the fact that I can drive for almost two hours and
see a total of five other vehicles. My kind of country!"
Bill Tilton is one of our nearest and dearest friends. We have been making
shoes for him since the beginning of MacRostie Leathers itself! He has climbed
to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in our shoes, walked the Great Wall of China,
rafted the Bio Bio, to name just a few of the fascinating places our shoes have
taken him! Here he is, in his Hard-soled Moccasins, with his daughter, Marissa,
at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa! He says, “They are my all around default
slipper/shoe of all trades. But not for court this time around…” He is one of the
top Civil Attorneys in Minnesota - a “Super Lawyer”! It’s always a pleasure to
hear his tales of adventure and see his pictures! We can almost feel the wind
blowing and hear the surf!
Beau Box, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is having Bud measure his feet after
his two-year quest based solely on a story from a neighbor involving wealthy
duck hunters from Chicago, one of whom had bought a pair of our boots long
time ago. His neighbor had been a duck hunting guide as a kid in Louisiana
and related the tale of a "married couple near Chicago" that made good boots.
He wasn't sure if we were real, thought we were "an urban legend". Beau and
his wife, Lynn, after tracking us down, chartered a flight to Grand Rapids,
MN, got a cabin at Bowen Lodge on Lake Winnie, and drove to our shop for his
personal fitting. We had a delightful time!
Stephen Felker has been proudly wearing our shoes and boots since 1989
when we met him in New York City. Here he is in Scotland with his wife,
Chris, proudly wearing his Town & Country shoes as they trek the
green hills of Scotland. We can almost hear the pipes calling!
Otto Kinnunen ordered a pair of Town & Country Shoes and then came
all the way from his home in Finland to have us take his fitting!
We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed his company very much. He has
come the farthest of all to have his feet measured!
Kathy Turk is wearing her Town & Country Shoes in Carcross Desert,
which is affectionately known as "The Smallest Desert in the World",
near Carcross, Yukon Territory, Canada. It is the remnant of an ancient
ice age. It is located at the southern end of the Klondike Highway
and is studied by botanists from all over the world.
Bud is taking Dr. Ed Kreps' fitting at our shop. He said he is really glad he Googled Gokeys and found us! He flew from New York City to International Falls and rented a car and drove here for his personal fitting.
Jimmie Fadden of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Bud playing Jews Harps in the shoe shop. Jimmie stopped by on his way to a performance at Big Top Chatauqua, Bayfield, Wisconsin. What a good time!
Three of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band relaxing before the show at Big Top Chautauqua,
wearing our shoes in 2004. Jimmy Ibbotson (Ibby), Jimmie Fadden and Bob Carpenter.
Justin Moodie, of London, England, was our first internet order! The boots he ordered are the original London Puddle Stompers. He also ordered a pair of hard-soled moccasins for himself and liked them so much he got a gift pair for his dad, Peter, from Lindsay, Ontario, Canada.
The picture to the left and the one above are of Justin and Peter celebrating the Christmas holiday in Algarve, Portugal. Although we have not met Justin, we have become fast friends through the magic of the internet!
Bud handsewing the toe of a shoe
MacRostie Leathers, early morning, September 13, 2004.
Bud tweaking a pair of shoes with the bunion stretcher. This tool was patented in 1897.
Bud is pulling up a moccasin and tacking it in place, getting it ready to be handsewn. The leather has been soaked in hot water and is stretched around the last.
The bell of the pinchers doubles as a hammer and a fulcrum
Bud replacing a segment of the welt on a pair of Gokey Botte Sauvage Boots made in 1961. Chris Patterson, the gentleman who owns these boots, is ecstatic! Notice how Bud is holding the boot in place with a strap under his foot. Before and After pictures of these boots appear on our "Repair" page.
Elaine handsewing the heels of a pair of Hard-soled Moccasins.
Bud grinding the soles - almost done!
Elaine cutting apart John Horowitz' moccasins for resole - just in time! He is one of our wonderful customers/friends we have made over the years from our many trips to Lincoln Center in New York City! We New York!
Elaine getting started handsewing a moccasin, giving it her awl!
Elaine is handsewing Satbir Bedi's moccasins. He is a very interesting gentleman, world traveller, and certifiable shoe conneisseur who made the trip to our shop to place his order and be fit. Originally from India, we were fascinated by his stories about old shoemakers from Budapest to London to HongKong, etc. We are delighted to be his first American shoemakers!
Dave Murphy, President and Chief Operating Officer of
Red Wing Shoe Company and us at the American Craft Council show in St. Paul.
It was our lucky day when we met Dave! In the shoemaking world, we are a
nano-nano factory. At a time when our suppliers are increasingly going out
of business or moving off shore, he has seen to it that we have what we
need to continue. Most significantly, their tanners, S.B. Foot Tannery in Red Wing,
Minnesota, are making our unique leather. Thank you for taking us under your WING!