Monday, December 05, 2005

Who's that tall man with the shiny loafers?

Who's that tall man with the shiny loafers?

George Moon thought he recognized the tall, gray-haired man who walked into his Palo Alto shop last weekend and asked for a shoeshine.

``I asked, `Are you a senator?' `Yes I am,' he said.''

Moon's customer was none other than former presidential candidate John Kerry, who told locals he was in town to attend the Nov. 26 Stanford-Notre Dame football game with a pal who has a son who plays for Stanford.

After enjoying a solo lunch at the Palo Alto Creamery Downtown -- where he scarfed a chili dog with no bun, according to night manager Steve Welsh -- Kerry stopped into Moon's California Shoe & Luggage Repair to get a little TLC for his brown loafers, which Moon dubbed ``medium quality.''

``I said I'd like to repair them for him, because he's a leader of our nation, you know?'' said Moon, who said he voted for Kerry during last year's presidential race. ``He said, `No, OK, just a shine for me.' ''

Still, Moon broke out the private stock for his famous guest. ``I have a special shoeshine from Canada -- I save the cream only for good customers. I used that one, then a little spray shine.'' Moon even put a bit of glue in the toe area for a quick repair, he dutifully reports.

Kerry stuck around to chat with Moon, who called the Massachusetts Democrat ``very nice, natural.'' Then Moon rang him up for a tad over 20 bucks, including the price of three pairs of shoelaces Kerry selected.

``I charge everybody the same thing, you know,'' Moon said. ``We are equal opportunity.''


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