Detective turns to shining shoes in retirement

Detective becomes shoe shiner in retirement

Some people take time in their golden years to go fishing, travel, or spend time with the grandkids.

One man made more of a quirky career move in retirement.

Scott McSwain has a toolbox of brushes and cans of wax.

Scott spends his days making shoes look spiffy.

He found his luster for it decades ago.

"One day, I was told I looked well, but he said, 'Look at your shoes. Your shoes were dirty,' and it brought my attention to that and hurt my feelings, and then I began paying attention to my shoes and learning how to shine them and developed a passion for it,"  he said.

For years, that passion just simmered on Scott's own soles.

About a year ago, Gentry Salon Barber shop owner Brian Ochoa had a shoe shine chair for sale.

Scott popped in and bought it. A month ago, he came back into the high-end place with a proposal.

"I said, 'Oh, you actually bought it to work it and do it. I thought you just bought it for your man cave or something,'" Brian explained. He said, "No, I've been doing shines. Would you take me on?"

Scott honed his technique by working charity events and searching out folks who had a history of rubbing cloth on leather.

"You have to study and you have to watch the people that have been doing it for years, and you watch and learn. It's a trade," Scott said.  "Everyone has a different technique, but it's one of those things you don't want to share the recipe with because there's a success to it."

Chances are nobody else will follow this guy's recipe.

"I've been a law enforcement officer for 34 years and I've enjoyed it," Scott said.

A detective turned shoe shiner.

Scott retired this summer.

"I think it's perfect, you know, with the whole 'Blue Lives Matter,' I'm very excited to have him. I couldn't be happier, Brian said.

Scott's humble about the whole situation, but you know he took some ribbing from his brothers in blue.

"They were a little surprised that that was the direction I was going," Scott said. "They're enthusiastic about it. As a matter of fact, we've done a lot of their shoes and duty boots."

But there is a positive aspect to all of this -- Scott gets to see his handiwork every time a customer leaves the shop.

"When you see that person walking around and looking at their shoes and see how well they look, that's really rewarding, because when your shoes look good, you feel good," Scott said.

A shoe shine will run you $7, and Scott says if you're not in rough weather, it will last you about a week.

You can pop in for a shine -- the shop is on Cotton Avenue -- or drop your shoes off.

Scott says he can also do women's shoes.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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