What inspired you to become a bootmaker?
I attended TSTI …… Texas State Technical Institute in Amarillo, Texas starting in 1978. I completed the boot/shoe repair and saddle making and opened my own shop in Lovington, NM in May of 1980. After a couple of years making and repairing saddles I realized I hated all saddle work. I heard about a bootmaker in Hobbs, NM that might take a “serious” apprentice. I started going to A. W. (Bud) Pate’s shop at night after I closed my shop and he worked with me until midnight or 1am in the morning. Then I would go home and catch a few hours sleep and start all over the next day. After about 6 months Bud saw I was “serious” and he told me that he wanted to sell me the whole shop and that he would continue my apprenticeship and he would “piece work” for me. I will always be grateful for him making me this deal so that a “kid” could survive. Continue reading