If you don’t already know Billy Moss, you might want to stop by Canton Shoe Repair at 101 W. Main St. in downtown Canton and say hello. But don’t wait too long—his shop might not be open after Sept. 21. That’s the date by which Mr. Moss must make a tough decision: Retire or move the location of his shop.
Mr. Moss learned earlier this summer that his landlord sold the building. On the day he received the news, photographer Jerry King happened to stop by. King tells the stories of Cherokee residents through photos and prose that he shares on Facebook. The photographer was surprised by the response to his post about Mr. Moss (see the photo, right, and post, below). The post was shared 338 times, has 591 reactions and 242 comments at press time. Views of the post are just a few hundred shy of 60,000. Many people posted that they would be sad to see Mr. Moss retire.
“I’m sitting on the fence and not sure which way I’m going to go,” Mr. Moss said.
Judging by the number of purses, shoes and cowboy boots in his shop, there are quite a few Cherokee County residents who would miss the cobbler and his craft.
Jerry King’s Facebook post:
‘Sort of like family … I don’t count the customers like customers. They are like family to me.’ He said during our brief talk.
The 84-year-young owner of Canton Shoe Repair, Billy Moss, has obviously mastered the cobbler craft. He’s been helping soles for over half a century. The machines occupying his shop would look at home in a historical museum, but still purposefully serve the hands of their master craftsman.
To the dismay of many, Canton Shoe Repair will be closing its doors within the next few months. The building housing his shop has been sold. Sometimes the end comes in an envelope saying you have sixty days to vacate.