In those days, nearly all shoes were repairable, and people would always do that, even if they could afford new shoes. Probably, they were still frugal from the depression. “Cookie” got into all types of repair work and even became a medical shoe expert.
Doctors often called him about children, and others would then call him, due to his training, to design wonderful orthopedic shoes for handicapped people.
Clayton “Cookie” Cook loved his life with the people on Fifth Avenue, and soaking up the ambiance from the exciting business climate of that area. He was well-known and ran his shop with great pride for many decades. After him, his son ran it for another 17 years. However, people would slowly change over to “throw-away” shoes and, sadly, the repair has gone by the boards. At one time though, there were 23 shoe repair shops like “Cookie’s” — Virgil Masse’s in Lyons, Bassler’s, and many more.
They all provided good service for thousands of people…. and many feet were better for it.
Gary Herrity is the Clinton Herald’s historical columnist.
Sources Clayton "Cookie" Cook and city directories from the Clinton County Historical Museum.