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Shine On

There was a time in America when people didn't wear flip-flops mostly everywhere. Shoe shiners once crowded city street corners; now they're relegated to airports and hotels. The golden age of shoe shiners, from the Depression to disco, is documented in Shine, an exhibition of black and white photographs and vintage shoe shine boxes. Plenty of famous faces started as shoe shiners: James Brown was the godfather of sole before he was the Godfather of Soul. The city of Augusta, Georgia even named the street where he sang and shined for customers "James Brown Boulevard." Note that most of these photos were taken in New York City during the Depression, when a 5¢ shine might have been a luxury. Self-worth, of course, is priceless. See Shine through November 14 at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery, 1202 Dragon St., #103. Visit for more information.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Starts: Sept. 12. Continues through Nov. 14, 2009


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