Meet the Detroit Shoe Doctor

Detroit is filled with longtime characters who give the city its grit and flavor. Among them is Mr. James Reynolds, aka The Shoe Doctor. He set up shop at One Campus Martius over 15 years ago. He's been making friends and watching Detroit develop and grow. 

Reynolds learned how to shine shoes when he was a young man. He used to watch an elderly man in the barbershop shine shoes. Then one day, as Reynolds was watching, the man said, "you're always watching me. Now I'm going to teach you to shine shoes." 

Reynolds, aka the Shoe Doctor, has been using those shoe shine lessons ever since.

"Detroit is a great city. I hate that it went down, but it is coming back," said Reynolds. "I'm excited about it, a lot of activity downtown, new things." 

The one thing keeping Reynolds shining away at shoes is the people. He says that people from around the world come through the building and you establish camaraderie with people through conversation. 

"A man is judged by his shoes. When a woman looks at a man from his feet to the top of his head, the first thing she notices is his shoes," said Reynolds. "If he takes good care of his shoes, he'll take care of you." 

 Reynolds points out that people nowadays don't take an interest in shoe shining like the old days. He says that it is an electronic society, not a shoe society. However, people always come back to get their shoes shined. 

"I'm a doctor, I doctor your shoes," said Reynolds. "I bless your soles -- on your shoes, that is."