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Newtown’s ‘Original’ Shoemaker Retiring November 10 –

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“Anthony’s Shoe Service will probably be closing November 10,” said a notice posted on Anthony Paravalos’s counter.

Addressing all of his “valued customers” Mr Antonios “Anthony” Paravalos’s discover also said, “If you’ve any gadgets that have to be picked up, please accomplish that earlier than the 10 of November. I’ll nonetheless be doing restore work until the ten of November.”

The word continues, “I want to thank all of my prospects and Newtown to your patronage via the years. Thank you from the underside of my coronary heart. Anthony.”

Mr Paravalos has been in business in Newtown since 1992 at forty three South Main Road, and was featured within the Newtown Bee that October, and again a number of years later within the Snapshot characteristic in the Bee, which highlights local individuals.

In keeping with previous Newtown Bee articles, as a younger man Mr Paravalos studied at the Moderno School of Design in Athens. He made sneakers for the Petrides firm there, and from 1960 to 1971 he had his own store on the island of Andros. He moved to Danbury in 1971.

Mr Paravalos realized English by taking night classes at Danbury High school, and for 12 years labored in manufacturing, and was later a supervisor at the Windmill Diner. As his youngsters grew older, he decided to return to the shoe enterprise. He purchased a retiring shoe repairman’s gear and first had his shop in Danbury, however soon moved to Newtown.

“I grew up in this job. I am the unique shoemaker,” he had mentioned to The Bee in 1992.
Pulling out a drawer, he discovered the Snapshot column from The Newtown Bee in 1996. Pointing to his solutions to a few questions there, the article asked about his favorite place: “Every place in town is my favorite. I ferragamo shoes in india feel like I’m free. I love Newtown. Anyplace I am going, I like it.”

His philosophy “I wish to see people, not grouchy, but joyful. Life is short. It’s good to be laughing.”

Many years, Many people
Trying at the shoemaking and repair instruments and equipment squeezed right into a small leather- and polish-scented house, Mr Paravalos mentioned, “I’ve had loads of years on this place.”

Boots in hand, Brandi Shelton approached the counter. Placing her “favorite” tall leather-based boots on the counter, she pointed to worn areas. “I just love these boots,” she said. “I need them to final perpetually.”

In the past, Ms Shelton had a purse stolen, and later present in a swamp. “He mounted it, like new,” she stated.

Debby Pollack has been bringing objects to Mr Paravalos for repair for more than 20 years.
“He’s seen my kids develop up, he’s a lovely person, and an actual Newtown icon. I actually started crying when he instructed me he’s retiring in November,” she stated.

“He does sneakers heels, soles,” and in addition repairs horse blankets and bridles. “I don’t know who else I’m going to get to try this,” she stated. Her daughters have been “in and out of that retailer for 21 years mainly, and my younger daughter had to see him one final time when she learned he was retiring.” She has a pair of shoes there, “and after i pick them up it would most likely be the final time I see him.”

Ms Pollack stated, “He admonishes me when shoes are so worn via.” She brought in a single pair of boots “many, many occasions, and he lastly would tell me — ‘it’s time to place them to rest.’

“He is a pillar of the neighborhood. He has mounted purses for me more than as soon as,” she said.
Dr Diane Wenick has used his services for years, as effectively. “I love that guy,” she stated.

She additionally has been going to Mr Paravalos for more than 20 years.
“He is such a sweetheart and he always has something upbeat to say — and the previous equipment, it’s enthralling, and he talks about Greece.” When she visits, “He exhibits me that he fixes sneakers which can be very expensive; and he does a fantastic job.”

Dr Wenick stated, “He does a nice job and does it the old style method. Whenever you go in you might have to talk a bit bit and have a look at pictures of him … he can be missed.”

The Thoughts And Arms
Lifting a tawny piece of leather wrapped round a picket shoe horn, Mr Paravalos indicated a pair of men’s sneakers that he was making. Behind him had been shelves stuffed with shoes by Prada, Manolo Blahnik, Ferragamo, and Louboutin — costly women’s heels, handbags, men’s shoes, and more.

“People come from Greenwich, Westport, Darien,” all hoping he can repair their footwear, he stated.
Both repairing and handcrafting his own shoe designs, he mentioned, “I’m originally a shoemaker. I started as a younger boy.” As a toddler in Greece, Mr Paravalos was taking part in one summer season when his father had stated, “You know, school is over. Start to work.” He had told his father, “I don’t need money, I wish to be taught something.” He had gone to a shoemaker who was designing, cutting, stretching supplies to make footwear.

“I cherished to see the design. And so, that is my life.” Every summer season he would go and watch the shoemaker, he stated. “I was 10 years previous after i started to be a shoemaker.”

Lifting an outdated, framed black and white photograph, he smiled on the image of several men and one youthful boy —Mr Paravalos — in a shoemaking shop. “Everything was done by hand; no machines 60 years ago.”

He designs his footwear on paper, creates cutouts that quickly translate to a formed piece of leather wrapped around the shoe supports, and ready for soles, heels, and stitching. He mentioned, “Boots, sneakers, any type, make me completely happy.” He has made quite a lot of footwear, from sandals to butcher’s sneakers.

Standing on a shelf was a ebook crammed with vibrant illustrations of sneakers, a new pair on every page. They have been his designs. Slowly turning the pages and searching by means of the images, he slapped the book closed and set it down.

He will miss designing and making sneakers, he said.
Tapping his head, he stated, “A maker could be one hundred years old and nonetheless in the mind is thought to create, on a regular basis.”

He stated, “Tailors and shoemakers are the perfect — you employ thoughts and arms to create.” His mind by no means stops imagining the best way to do it. “Computers destroy the thoughts for designers,” he stated. “Years back, footwear have been completed with the mind and palms,” Mr Paravalos repeated.

Stepping again behind the counter, glancing at the various shoes awaiting pick up, he mentioned, individuals have asked him why he is retiring. “It’s time, it’s time,” he answered.

Reaching for extra photos, he has a collection of before and after images of footwear or boots torn up by household pets. Heels were eaten, or the back of a boot was torn out. “But, I gave them back like new.”

Along one wall where photos and previous news articles hung was another shelf holding polishes, laces, spot remover, water proofing creams, and extra. “A lot of individuals, numerous memories,” he mentioned.

When Mr Paravalos got here to the United States, he lived in Danbury, the place he finally bought the provides from a retiring cobbler. Similarly, Zelda Grimm of Vermont is shopping for Mr Paravalos’s equipment and taking it back to Vermont.

What is going to he do during retirement
“Oh, I have a lot of hobbies. I’ll do one thing,” he stated. Saying he may have so much to do, he won’t stay home if the day is beautiful. However, rainy days might keep him house, he guessed.

He loves his work and loves the individuals. “I want the best to everyone.”
Mr Paravalos’s daughter, Helen Paravalos-Valazquez stated, “He’s has been working so laborious all his life and he has had his shoe restore for over 25 years and has always taken pleasure in his work.” She stated,

“He always does an awesome job on all of his repairs and every part that leaves his retailer.
“He loves Newtown and the folks there that have supported him all these years,” Ms Paravalos-Valazquez continued.