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“S” is for Special and Shoes

Last week I was getting Ainsley ready to go back to school for her 10th year; this was complete with a haircut, a trip to the mall and rounded out with a trip to visit our favorite shoe guy “Mr. Ed” at Shoe Train. Somehow I realized that last year in the midst of all of my craziness we didn’t get to see Mr. Ed so Ainsley had been wearing the same sneakers for two years. Good thing she hasn’t grown any.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Ed since Rebeka was a child, which is about 20years now, since I believe we bought her first pair of “real” shoes when she was one. Mr. Ed is known by all in the community as a special man with an exceptional and loving staff.

Before we left home I called to confirm that Ed was in and was warned that there was a list of people who had been there in line since before the store opened waiting patiently for his assistance. We arrived at Shoe Train at 11:00 am with smiles on our faces knowing when we were finished Ainsley would have some new shoes for the school year. We were prepared to wait our turn knowing it might take an hour or two. Ed Jurgrau see’s up to 100 children and their parents a day during this back-to-school season, as his clients come from as far as up to 100 miles!

Ed opened Shoe Train in 1979 and has been servicing the community since. Shoe Train is not only known for their wonderful and knowledgeable staff for the regular customer, they also specialize in servicing the special needs community. What people love about everyone at Shoe Train is they take the time to fit your children properly, and they have a large selection of styles in widths and sizes to please all children even the pickiest of teenagers. Over the years he has taken Ainsley’s shoes and molded them to fit her orthotics and now he specializes in making Cascade orthotics, which is a wonderful extension of his business.

As we waited we saw several families big and small and I was a little surprised and horrified to see a woman behind me who brought in a bag of shoes she had obviously purchased at Nordstrom’s and asked Ed to make sure the shoes “fit” each child. Ed just complied with a huge smile. That is just the kind of guy Ed is! He genuinely cares about the children and the community.

Over the years our family has grown close with Ed and I’m proud I can call him my friend. He has always been a huge advocate for our family’s causes as well as the communities. Ed has donated 1000’s of pairs of shoes to various organizations. In 2004 when Rebeka was competing in a pageant in Las Vegas Ed has told me he was going to be there at the same time for a shoe convention and low and behold he showed up to support Rebeka with a hometown smile!

Bill who has been working with Ed for years, also works with the Frederick Key’s Baseball team, and over the years he also spent a great deal of time helping our family with special projects. We were so glad to see Bill at the Frederick Key’s game when Exceptional Parent Magazine honored our family with the Maxwell J Schliffer Community Service Award.

So we waited three hours, until 2:15 pm, for Ed to fit Ainsley with her shoes but as usual it was well worth the wait for this special man!

About shelley

Shelley Kramm is the founder and editor of I'm Still Standing and The DC Ladies. Learn more about her and her inspirational family here and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and on

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  1. I miss the "Little Red Shoehouse" I grew up with. It had the same owner for over 50 years and felt like visiting family. Getting back to school shoes at Target just doesn't match visiting a locally owned shoe store!


  2. Thank you for sharing about this amazing person! What a joy to be able to purchase from someone who truly cares about the customer.

  3. I know how hard it is to find shoes to fit orthotics. A good shoe person is invaluable!

  4. What a special man he must be! You are so blessed to have someone like him in your lives. That was a heartwarming story and I really enjoyed hearing about Ed :) He reminds me so much of my Grandpa. He ha such kind eyes.
    Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you are doing well too! Have a great week :)

  5. Shelley that is absolutely wonderful!! How fantastic to have such a loving man who cares so much about the children and offers such as wonderful service and business. Such a great tribute and story. We are short so many people like that in our world. Absolutely lovely!!


  6. Wow! That is awesome. What a terrific company. Ed sounds like a great man.

  7. What a charming and heartfelt story. The world needs more stores like Shoe Train. And as we all know, a good foundation in needed to build upon. Good luck in school this year!

    Carol Shwanda

  8. We don't have any family stores like this around. I remember going to stores like that with my mom when I was a kid. Things just aren't the same anymore. You are lucky that you have a place to take her like that.

  9. I love when you find someplace where not only can you purchase something but you actually walk away feeling satisfied with not only your purchase but the entire experience! I take my son back to the same shoe shop every time he grows because I like the shoes and the owners! It's a lot more personal to enter a smaller shop than a chain store. Good luck with the upcoming school year!

  10. Frederick Keys??? You must live right near me … why haven't I heard about this shoe train … write me at my email, please.

    Thank you. TTFN ~ Marydon

  11. Wow, three hours is a long time. I wish we had places like that around us. It really gives you a sense of community. I miss that.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I really appreciate the fact that even though you were away, you will still feature my blog.

    You are doing a great job here. I have to say, you are one of the best writers I have come across since I started reading blogs.


  12. What a lovely story – it's full of a sense of family/community that is all too rare these days :)

  13. Wow, now he is what we need more of, caring and kind people! :-)

  14. Great story. Wouldn't it be lovely if all stores were run like this—by people who really care and are passionate about what they do? The fact that folks are willing to wait in line for this kind of service is testament to the need for more places like this.

    Hope Ainsley has a great school year.

  15. beautiful post.

  16. That is such a touching story. I got teary eyed just reading it! What a wonderful man! Thanks for sharing. I'm so glad your beautiful daughter was able to get her shoes, and by such a great company.

  17. What a great guy–well worth waiting three hours for!

  18. What a sweet, sweet post. I hope he knows what a blessing he is to so many families.

  19. What a wonderful, wonderful way to start my day! We definitely need to have more "Ed's" in this world. You are very, very blessed.

    Have a wonderful day :)

    Your SITS-ta,

  20. It's a beautiful story. We moved two years ago and what I miss most are the people like Ed who knew my girls since they were babies. We also had a favorite local shoe store:-) Your blog is lovely and I look forward to reading more about you in days to come.

  21. wow! what a very, very inspiring story! i wish we could have more people like him on earth.. :)

  22. WOW that is just AMAZING! How nice it is to have someone so special like that. Hope you have a great weekend

    p.s I stopped by from SITS

  23. My son takes up to 3 sizes of shoes a year. He's 5. When does it stop?

  24. That was a wonderful post!