I took a day trip yesterday and on the train leaving the city one of my friends was telling me about some work she had recently had done on an old leather bag. The craftsman who had repaired it had done a good job mending the vintage item, now strong enough for many more years of use but with the patina and old scuffs that give such items character and make them worth restoring in the first place. It was an interesting conversation about the longterm value of Well Made Things. I noted that just the day before, on Friday, I had received a phone call from the cobbler that my Red Wing boots were ready to pick up. I wore these things hard throughout the pandemic, in large part because shops were closed for so long that I could not get to a store to buy any other walking shoes. Made in Minnesota, these boots are as tough as they look and took the beating well. Still, the heels and soles inevitably gave out, as they should after years of service. The need for the boots became less immediate when I finally bought two pairs of hiking shoes in June. The boots then sat around all summer until I dropped them off last week in preparation for the cooler weather. Today I ventured out in the light rain to pick then up. Here are the results.