Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bon Ton Hatters and Shoe Repair

On Birmingham's 1st Avenue North there resides an operative business that has been there and been run by the same family since its inception in 1907. Having been run by Jimmy Callis for the last thirty years, Bon Ton Hatters was founded by Jimmy's grandfather Constantine, and Jimmy was preceded by his father, also Jimmy, in the business' operation. When I asked Jimmy about his business, he said, "It's pretty self explanatory. We block and repair hats, and we repair and shine shoes. That's pretty much all we have time for."

Jimmy Callis tending the Front Counter at Bon Ton Hatters
Bon Ton's Shoe Shiner sitting on his boot-shaped chair
Roy Williams of The Birmingham News conducted a brief-but-interesting interview with Jimmy Callis in 2010; the transcript can be found at al.com, here.

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