The moment I first walked into Reeves & Son Shoe Repair I was immediately transported to my childhood. The heat, the smells, the stacks of odd items, the raw light bulbs, the newspaper clippings, the numerous box fans and the seemingly hundreds of potted plants reminded me of the many summer days I spent with my grandmother Ginnie (or Nanny as we called her) in Georgia…and then I met Doris.
Doris Dixon is the quiet yet firm owner of Reeves & Son. Since her husband’s passing in 1977, she has been tending the shop and repairing shoes with her son. I was first introduced to her shop when I went in with a friend to get his shoes repaired. I had no idea what I was about to experience. Doris, with her soft yet authoritative tone, placed within a shop that looks as though it has been frozen in time, made me emotionally and creatively charged. I immediately set to work on how I could capture this sprit as a filmmaker.
Jump cut almost two years forward in time, after several visits to Doris, and you finally can view the work below. Doris sent me away many times as she said “ let me think about it ” when I asked her if I could come into the shop and shoot. Her distrust of me, balanced with what was clearly her enjoyment of making me squirm, created an awesome challenge. The visuals and sounds of her shop were constantly swirling around in my mind.
Little did Doris know that I had a secret weapon. My friend Tim Hussey had a studio space next door to Doris for a few years and had befriended her over time. With the help of Tim and a few more visits, Doris finally agreed to let me shoot… but only for a few hours.
The film is the first in a series of projects we are creating across multiple subjects. It is meant to offer a glimpse into the life of a wonderful woman and give you an opportunity to experience what I first felt when I walked into Ms. Dixon’s shop.
I hope you enjoy
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