Highland Shoe Repair

Highland Shoe Repair
828 W Market Street

(Note: You may not be able to tell from my poor photography, but the mannequins on display in the photo corresponded with the release of the film The Green Hornet.)

It’s difficult to imagine that in in this digital age a shoe repair shop would receive much business in the greater Akron area, but cobbler/philosopher/humorist Bob Ferguson has made it happen in Highland Square since 1993.

Ferguson, who was born in Akron and attended Ellet High, studied to be an editorial cartoonist after leaving the Army. With few prospects he found a job with a chain shoe shop, but found himself dissatisfied with his position and decided to purchase the space next to the Highland Theater.

Always known for his unique outlook on life, Ferguson uses his wit and penchant for commentary on pop culture and current events by arranging decorated mannequins in the front window of his shop. While some of the displays may include his love for the WJW-TV8 characters/personalities Ghoulardi or Big Chuck and Lil’ John, he also drew headlines in 2001 with a scene involving “Lady Justice” severing the bloody head of Osama bin Laden, just one week after September 11th. A resident or two complained, but Ferguson’s statement was allowed to stay, protected by the First Amendment.

Ferguson also grabbed some ink in 2003 when he entered and was accepted into the Red Bull Flutag competition. He competed with thirty-six other finalists who constructed hand-made novelty flying machines that are required to be powered solely by human beings. His swine-based creation, Pigasus, finished in the final third of the competition, but it didn’t diminish the love bestowed upon him by the community. He continues to cobble today, as well as keep his little corner of Highland Square full of character.

[Final Note: A portion of the information in this post came from articles in the Beacon Journal—Katie Byard (9/25/2001), David Giffels (8/3/2003), David Giffels (8/14/2003)]


One Response to “Highland Shoe Repair”

  1. Mike Spagnola Says:

    Not sure if it’s been pointed out since the original article, but the mannequins are dressed as the Green Hornet & Kato, not Green Lantern. 😉

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