A Memorial to Shoeshine Willie of Ocean Beach

by on September 13, 2022 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

From Cool San Diego

A memorial to a beloved Ocean Beach man now appears on the small building where he repaired and polished shoes for decades. William L. Washington “Shoeshine Willie” passed away early this year. The memorial contains two short poems written by Aaron Bryant.

Years ago I remember seeing Shoeshine Willie working in his modest shed next a parking lot and Ocean Beach bus stop. At the time I thought it was unusual for a shoeshiner to be active in a day and age when the profession has all but disappeared. I now wish I had spoken to him.

If you’d like to see this touching memorial, head over to the corner of Newport Avenue and Cable Street. I noticed it during my last walk in OB.

Photo by Kevin Hastings

Here’s an article concerning William Washington and what he meant to the community.

Editordude: Here’s another post on Willie when he closed his shop.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Judi September 13, 2022 at 12:04 pm

I remember when Wilkie was set up inside the Elms Department Store in the 60’s. He was always so gracious!


Kathleen Blavatt September 14, 2022 at 9:33 am

If you want to hear a conversation with Willie and Dean Hollenbech see http://www.O.B. Walkabout-Talkabout at obhistory.org
It is great to hear these to OB icons talk together for the first time.


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