BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN ARTIST AT WORK — Champ’s Shoe Repair owner Arles Lopez is hard at work fixing a pair of boots at his Downtown DeLand shop at 104 S. Woodland Blvd. Lopez has owned the shop since 1999, when he purchased the store from former owner Gary Rowe. While Lopez could retire, he said he loves his work too much to simply put down his tools and walk away. Below are some of the tools of his trade.

Editor, The Beacon:

I quite enjoyed the story about Champ’s Shoe Repair by the owner, Arles Lopez.

His life story and ultimate discovery of our charming DeLand resonated with me.

My late husband Bob and I felt the same way when we first drove through town in late 1992 looking for a new place to live.

Mr. Lopez was a godsend last year when I lost a heel on a favorite (old) pair of pumps that were still in excellent shape.

I was thrilled they could be saved, and the workmanship was excellent!

We need to keep a shoe-repair shop Downtown, and I hope that when the time comes to retire, Mr. Lopez finds just the right person to take over a long legacy of fine craftsmanship.

Lorraine Sullivan

DeLeon Springs

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