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Faded Pictures from a Life: The Shoe Salesman

The Shoe Salesman


In returning to Aberdeen from the resort my new responsibilities made it evident that my grocery store job was not going to provide sufficient income. I quickly landed a job at a shoe store called Bur-Mars as a shoe salesman. The store was located in a mall with the inflated name of Super City. It was the first enclosed shopping mall in South Dakota. My experience of working with customers in my past job was good preparation for the new job and learning to sell came easily to me. Commission on sales was a good incentive.

My work ethic paid off again and in time I was made assistant manager. I sold, stocked, cleaned, made pop artsy hand-drawn signs for the windows and displays, and secretly sketched interesting customers from a spy hole in the back room. Well, I guess that last one was not formally part of the job. I was working about 40 hours a week. I also started doing some of the buying of next season’s shoes. As time went on I was doing most of the buying as it seemed my choices often outsold the manager’s. The manager and I occasionally went to Minneapolis for conventions where shoe companies would rent hotel rooms, set them up as salesrooms, and the buyers would go from room to room. There was something creepy about it.

The Shoe Salesman, acrylic on shuen paper, 12″x9″, 2021, Mark W McGinnis

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