Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Class Act: Wurl Plays Klade

Eli Wurl recreating history for Toma-Walk patrons

I wondered how he’d do it. Last weekend, Eli Wurl had a challenging job. He needed to portray me as a shoe shine boy 67 years ago without benefit of my original equipment. He did well.

As you can see (scroll down a bit to the July 11 post, “The Geezer Goes Historic”), Eli’s chair lacked the altitude of mine. But his attitude was just fine, as he indicates in the photo above of his portrayal during Toma-Walk activities. Pete Wurl, Eli’s dad, kindly sent the photo and observed that the young actor “really enjoyed” his experience. True to reality, Eli advertised “Shoe Shine 15 Cents, The Other Shoe Free” just as I did.

Eli greeted walkers in front of a “Main Street” building in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, constructed by my grandfather in 1911. That’s where my stand was, although I was positioned on the west side of the building entrance, not the east. Actually, Eli picked the better of the two locations. My stand was in the way when people wanted to use the door to the second floor stairway.

The building originally housed grandpa’s tailor shop and mens apparel store. At the time I worked in front of it, my father operated the tailor shop in the rear of the building and the main section housed Central Drug Store.

Several ladies who took a look at the photo of Eli as me commented on what a handsome lad the young actor is. They seemed to imply I came up a little short in the comparison.

Oh well, that probably is something historic figures played by the likes of Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Eli Wurl just have to put up with.

11 comments:

Kay Dennison said...

Awwwwwwwww wayyyyyyyyyyyy cool!

Tom Sightings said...

I am soooo impressed. You're a part of history! Is that your original tagline, or did you borrow it from somewhere? Either way, it's great ... I'm sure it brought you almost as much business as those two women.

PiedType said...

At first glance the picture looks like it was taken way back when. Wonderful portrayal! What fun this must be for you!

Dick Klade said...

Tom, try as I may I can't recall who came up with the tag line. But it got a lot of laughs, as well as a customer or two. Some wags suggested they only wanted the free one shined.

Ken Martell said...

I think that kick-back attitude is exactly how I would picture you, Dick. But I'll bet when the business was good you would put on the 'hustle' too !!!

schmidleysscribblins.wordpress.com said...

How swell to have someone replicate your boyhood efforts and he's such a cute kid. I bet you were too. Dianne

Kay said...

Well yes... he is darn cute. But you, Dick are handsome and distinguished looking.

Dave Tippets said...

Are you sure he had the historically correct attitude of the original?

Dick Klade said...

I was fully confident a big-tipping customer would be along any minute. And if one didn't, I took off with the portable box to find one.

Terri McGuire said...

Aah... fame and fortune... the very best stories are personal histories.

Randall said...

This is cool!