LOUIS JACKSON (9/30/07)

Louis Jackson is my good friend and has been dear to me in many ways. He will watch me on the Television and ask me my opinion on many topics. He can talk to me and ask me any question and I will give him a qualified comment - I cannot say I do that with too many people.

I have to make a special attempt to visit Louis Jackson - a man of character, who owns his own home and has been in San Francisco for over 60 years. He is over 80 years old but I will not dare ask him his age, I like to think of him when I first met him over 25 years ago.

In days gone by when I visited Louis Jackson, I would greet him " how you feeling" and then proceed to climb the steps and sit my ass down. Perched high I could see the traffic on Mason Street and all sorts of characters that is San Francisco.

Louis Jackson would then proceed to set my feet in position and ready me for the best shoe shine in San Francisco. I least that is what I think of this master shoe shine who has met some of the best dignitaries in San Francisco and worked on their shoes.

He has been at the present location on Mason Street by Market Street and Golden Gate for over 25 years and before that was up the street by the Hilton Hotel for 45 years.

I like my shoes well polished and shinning and at times people think that I perform on my shoes pretty well. The man who has worked on my shoes is Louis Jackson. He is up way there in years, still has a twinkle in his eyes, has a unique chuckle, will utter words that takes a keen ear to first hear and then figure out the sentence, and is as sharp as one can be at his age.

The old timers will come by and greet Mr. Louis Jackson " how you doing Jackson" and out will come a blurt "fine". Mr. Jackson loves that tooth pick in his mouth - it is a kind of cigar that he loves playing with while he shines shoes or even when he makes light conversation.

His keen eye catches every action on his street and every one knows him and what is more respects him. He has seen and witnessed the history of San Francisco change and he has managed to keep up with the ups and downs all these many years.

Mr. Louis Jackson shoe shine extraordinaire is one of the last vestiges of San Francisco. Some others are there and I know them well enough to say that Mr. Louis Jackson is the best of the best in the West. I am talking shoe shinning a craft that is dying out but let us say hooray for Mr. Louis Jackson.

"Hey buddy" I said, "I have my camera with me and would like to take a few pictures and will write some for my webs site." Make sure you show me that" Mr. Louis Jackson retorted. "I will" - I said.

photos


top - back