A memorial to a beloved Ocean Beach man now appears on the small building where he repaired and polished shoes for decades. William L. Washington “Shoeshine Willie” passed away early this year. The memorial contains two short poems written by Aaron Bryant.
Years ago I remember seeing Shoeshine Willie working in his modest shed next a parking lot and Ocean Beach bus stop. At the time I thought it was unusual for a shoeshiner to be active in a day and age when the profession has all but disappeared. I now wish I had spoken to him.
If you’d like to see this touching memorial, head over to the corner of Newport Avenue and Cable Street. I noticed it during my last walk in OB.
Here’s an article concerning William Washington and what he meant to the community.
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