In Memory...

Do you know of a boot or shoe related event that might be of interest? Hear Ye, Hear Ye...
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hidesmith
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Re: In Memory...

#26 Post by hidesmith » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:02 am

I recall a Sturbridge AGM that I attended as a "day camper" - I commuted the two hours from NH, leaving Penny at home with many responsibilities. The ever welcome Panther By-product was present, and I had some with, or just after supper. This made necessary a long wait before heading home. Andy made the offer of his spare bed, should I desire to spend the night and drive home tomorrow. I declined, feeling a bit guilty about leaving Penny at home un-assisted. Spending time with this larger-than-life character and getting to know him better was appealing, but - you'll understand, my wife was more appealing.
Besides, there will be other chances, other years, or trips to CW. I've seen Andy a few times since, and it's been fun, but brief.
I now feel as if I've cheated myself. I had the chance, and let it pass. How could I know that it would never come again? I am selfishly saddened by MY loss, but try to focus on the larger scope of people he touched - his family, friends and co-workers, etc. I wish you all well, and wish you all wonderful, long-lasting memories of Andy.

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Re: In Memory...

#27 Post by frank_jones » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:39 am

All

I have today heard about the death of Thomas Bata aged 93. For those who may not be aware, Thomas Bata was the head of probably the biggest footwear company in the world. At its height, probably in the 1960’s the Bata Shoe Organisation had factories making footwear in 85 countries world-wide. He was very proud of being a “shoemaker” and did in fact start work on the factory floor of the family owned factory in Zlin, in the then Czechoslovakia.

Since 1939 he has lived and ran the company from Toronto, Canada. In 1946 he married Sonja Wettstein, who is famous in her own right as the woman behind the Bata Footwear Museum in Toronto.

Their son, known as “young Tom” in the BSO, now runs the company which still employs 40,000 on over 50 countries, from Lausanne in Switzerland.

Frank Jones
frank.jones@noblefootwear.com

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Re: In Memory...

#28 Post by large_shoemaker_at_large » Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:02 pm

Thank you bringing that to our attention Frank.
Well he sure left a large footprint on the world in more than one way.
I have had the fortune to go to the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Ontario. Canada
Sonja won an award for the building and it is A marvel. The time I spent was to brief but I would go again and hope to see if there is a resource person to quiz.
When I was there the latest exibit was of the footwear moccasins of the various Plains Indian Tribes before the encroachment of the West.
Thank you, what Frank's business acumen and what he returned to the community, speaks of a large man.
Regards
With condolences
Brendan

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Re: In Memory...

#29 Post by das » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:25 am

What sad news. I had met Thomas at the former Bata family home, now a municipal hall in Zlin, Czech Republic, at a reception during one of our shoe conferences there. I had the pleasure of visiting with him again at his home outside Toronto during the grand opening of the Bata Shoe Museum. He struck me as very down-to-earth man for all of his industrial accomplishments, and he had a sparkle in his eye whenever he and I discussed both being "real" shoemakers. Frank's absolutely right--Thomas never forgot his roots as a "real" shoemaker, and was quite proud of that fact.

The origins and history of the Bata firm are fascinating, especially their early film-making. You can probably find Bata films on-line someplace. And if you've never been to the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, you really ought to go.

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Re: In Memory...

#30 Post by dearbone » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:07 am

My condolences to the Bata family,I met Thomas on few occasions,i used to do shoe making demos and talked about shoe making at their Toronto head quarter and as Al said,He was very down to earth and liked and supported the little bespoke shoemaker,i teased him about,how he managed to produce 220,000,000 pairs in one year.

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Re: In Memory...

#31 Post by bjohnsonleather » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:02 pm

One of the other forums I am on had this on today. It is a tribute poem written about his father after he passed away this morning. His father had retired from the forest service and went on to work at Drew's for several years. Apparently one of the last things he did was to repair a damaged pair of packers for his son. http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=5884&hl

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Re: In Memory...

#32 Post by admin » Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:57 pm

Stephen Robert Ratterman, 59, of Louisville, passed away Friday February 13, 2009 at Norton Audubon Hospital. He was retired from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and retired as a captain from the Army Reserves. He was well known and respected for his re-enactment of historical events and his shoemaking skills. He was a valued member of the Crispin Colloquy.

Go in Peace...

hydeandheddle

Re: In Memory...

#33 Post by hydeandheddle » Tue May 05, 2009 3:32 pm

It has fallen to me at the request of his daughter Antoinette to inform the Colloquy that our Friend Ed Shirley has passed away. He was a dear friend and something of a mentor to me. I miss him. He was a good one.

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Re: In Memory...

#34 Post by paul » Wed May 06, 2009 5:01 am

I'm so sorry to hear this.

Ed and I shared shoe repair as our background, and I always respected his approach to refining those skills.

I so hoped to meet him someday.

My sincere condolances and heartfelt prayers go out to his friends and family.

Paul

chuck_deats

Re: In Memory...

#35 Post by chuck_deats » Wed May 06, 2009 6:07 am

Please express my condolances to family and friends. I always enjoyed Ed's comments on this forum. We will miss him.

Chuck

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Re: In Memory...

#36 Post by dearbone » Wed May 06, 2009 6:37 am

My sincere condolences to Ed's friends and family, we will remember him here through his kind and supportive words.

Nasser

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Re: In Memory...

#37 Post by admin » Wed May 06, 2009 7:02 am

On behalf of the whole forum, I would like to express our sincere condolences to his family. All of us will miss him and his contributions to our Trade.

Emmett

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Re: In Memory...

#38 Post by johnl » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:58 pm

Courtney and everyone
Glen Leasure died a couple of months ago, after he returned from Africa.

He was the first person I ever made shoe with, and possibly one of the best human beings that I have ever had the pleasure to meet.
John Lewis

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Re: In Memory...

#39 Post by courtney » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:14 am

John, I did not know him, But I am sorry to hear that. It's cool that he got to share what he loved to do.

Courtney

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Re: In Memory...

#40 Post by 1947redhed » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:29 am

Glen lives on in the video library of HCC. He was a presenter at the AGM about 4 years ago detailing his stitch down comfortable shoes and the techniques he used with castings socks to develop the last for his customers.

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Re: In Memory...

#41 Post by piper » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:17 am

That is such terrible news. I had been secretly hoping to take his class someday. I read an online blog about a frugal living couple who took his class and they seemed to enjoy it. It sounds like he had a full and interesting life.

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Re: In Memory...

#42 Post by dw » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:50 am

This probably doesn't mean much to most people here...and technically, it could even be thought of as being a bit "off topic"...but I am exercising one of the few perqs that come with this job...

Major (ret) Dick Winters, company and battalion commander of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, died recently at age 92.

Winters was one of the real heroes of WWII. On D-Day he led a thrown together squad against an emplacement, at Brecourt Manor, of three German 88's which had been zeroed in on Utah beach. In the attack, the men took out the artillery as well as several machine guns and defeated roughly 50 Germans in the emplacements. His tactics are still taught at West point as an example of small unit maneuvering against a larger force.

He was 2nd battalion XO at Bastogne when the 101st stood off more than a dozen German divisions of tanks, artillery, and German parachute infantry. And Battalion commander when Easy company took Berchtesgaren.

I didn't know him but I admired him and I'm sad to hear of his going.

Tight Stitches
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Re: In Memory...

#43 Post by jask » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:04 pm

An amazing and humble man.
I recall reading that when he was asked if he was a hero, his reply was "No, but I served in a company of heroes"

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Re: In Memory...

#44 Post by dw » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:46 pm

You're right in every respect about Winters, although if I'm not mistaken it was Mike Ranny who made the comment about "serving in a company of heroes" in response to a question from his grandson. According to historian Stephen Ambrose, Winters liked to tell that story after Ranny related it to him it in a letter. If only to deflect attention away from himself.

If I remember correctly Ranny was one of the original Toccoa men, and a sergeant who got busted down to private for supporting Winters when Captain Sobel brought court-marshal charges against him.

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(Message edited by dw on January 11, 2011)

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Re: In Memory...

#45 Post by das » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:47 am

I just learned that on 6 Feb. 2010 we lost Bill Klingbeil (84), of Klingbeil Shoe Labs, New York. Bill was an HCC charter-member since 1984, helped keep us "kids" in line, and generously donated time and money to establish the guild. He was the source of our first official piece of guild property: an IBM "Selectric" typewriter, to replace the 1936 Royal manual typewriter I banged-out the first 'Crispin Couriers' on.

Bill was always a gracious host, and enjoyed showing off his last-turning and shoemaking facilities in Jamaica, Queens. His son Don and daughter Janice continue to run the family business. Bill, though mostly retired for the past decade, was still a font of wisdom and ever eager to find, share sources, or send boxes of weird and wonderful stuff members needed. He set up a little shrine to the HCC in his office, with newsletters pinned up on the wall, and photos I'd send him of our various meetings, etc. He taught me how to take foam impressions and cast feet in plaster for orthotics.

For those of you who knew Bill, I'm sure you'll miss him like I will. For those of you who didn't, you really missed a wonderful shoe-man of the old school.

Al Saguto, HCC Scribe

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Re: In Memory...

#46 Post by dw » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:44 am

I never met the man, but I have a size stick that I believe he had made custom. It is stamped with his name.

It is the nicest stick I own except for an antique made of boxwood and ivory that is near-as-nevermind identical with regards to shape and function.

Every time one of these fellers passes, a big chunk of what we value goes with them.

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(Message edited by dw on June 18, 2011)

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Re: In Memory...

#47 Post by dearbone » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:09 am

Al,

My condolences about the lost of your friend Bill Klingbeil. DW, put it beautifully, "Every time one of these fellers passes, a big chunk of what we value goes with them".Whenever i hear of a death or a misfortune happened to a friend-in the trade, I can't help it feeling some lost even if i never met them and today is no different.

Nasser Vies
Shoemaker.

tomo

Re: In Memory...

#48 Post by tomo » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:21 pm

DW,
Was he the chap that made the ice skating boots?
It is always sad but he willingly passed on information and was always prepared to help you, so to that end he'll always be around and a part of the CC.
T.

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Re: In Memory...

#49 Post by das » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:39 am

Tom,

Yup, here's their website: http://www.klingbeilskatingboots.com/

Bill started making custom shoes in NYC during the inter-war period, mostly special shoes for victims of the polio epidemic. After service in the U.S. Navy during WWII, he returned to the trade hammer and tongs and expanded his plant.

Klingbeil Shoe Labs, Inc. occupies three multi-story buildings located at a four corner intersection in Jamaica, Queens--Bill and his wife lived in apartments above the main building. The main building had a complete last-making shop in the cellar, several lathes, bench-vices for model-making, etc. On the ground floor and second story they made the custom skate boots. Across the street they had another building, a complete Goodyear welted shoe plant occupied the ground floor, where they had been making custom shoes for GIs, back when the Veterans' Administration paid for such niceties for vets as one pair of "good" all-leather welted shoes a year. That building was mothballed by the time I visited. The third building was storage and a boneyard of sewing and shoe machines packed in rows so close you had to squeeze in between. It was heaven for a "kid" on the look-out to get started Image

I don't think Bill ever "did the Internet", or CC, but he loved the HCC newsletters and kept them all pinned up on the wall to show visitors. He and his wife visited my Colonial Williamsburg Shoe Shop, took many snap-shots, and those too wound up in his "shrine". A phone call for any weird machine part, shuttle or bobbin, or other obscure do-dad usually netted a box by mail in 3 days. I merely asked Bill where to find nylon tapers once, and a few days later I had a 25 lb. box full of them on the doorstep in assorted lengths, colors, gauges and finishes!

DW mentioned the Klingbeil size sticks yesterday, Bill had a run of those made in maple and brass, for measuring skaters in the field, but cautioned me, "they're all screwy--be careful". Apparently the number scale or increments was off by a bit, so I he gave them away like lollipops.

tomo

Re: In Memory...

#50 Post by tomo » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:07 am

Thanks Al,
I remember seeing a picture of him on the internet and it surprised me how many skating boots he (they) made, his gentlemanly demeanor -which you attested too, and his integrity.
One thing I've noticed Al is the older I get, the fewer old guys there are around. Image

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