Block 495: October 21, 2014


People on Instagram and Facebook are getting excited that I’m approaching 500. “What will you do to celebrate 500?”

Make number 501?

Date: October 21, 2014

Crane: 495

Days Spent on Project: 610

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Well, when I worked on Come Fly Away as it lumbered towards its Broadway opening, I was designated “The Shoe Guy,” aka The Shoe Bitch.


Shoes are most definitely one of the hardest aspects to realize when you’re dealing with a large musical with a lot of intense dancing. You gotta get the designs in. You gotta choose good leather. You gotta find the right vendors who can make what you want and how you want it and deliver the product on time. You need a foot tracing. You need a shoe fitting when the shoes are (almost) done. You need to adjust the shoe. You need to finish the shoe.

And then the dancer can decide they don’t like this three figure, custom item and decide not to wear it.

So you’re back to square one.

I learned a lot when I did Come Fly Away. I really did, and I’m really glad that I had that opportunity to learn so much and work with vendors that I would like to work with again (for the most part).

So, today, I’ll thank the first of the vendors I worked with on custom footwear for Come Fly Away: Arno at JC Theatricals.

Walking into JC’s was always like walking into a musem- the shelves stacked to the high high ceilings of old shoe lasts with names written on yellowed masking tape and all the piles of old leather and machine parts everywhere. It always smelled vaguely like Barge (the glue) and oil and leather and onions. Arno was always brusk in his business, and I learned over the years to write everything down in order of importance and still talk through everything.

And then I learned how to hope for the best.

JC Theatricals, in the past year, has gone out of business. It was an institution, so it’s departure is somewhat sad. (Their entry room was lined with all the original photos from the original cast of Chorus Line on Broadway… Sigh). Arno was a great guy, though. He knew a lot about shoes. A lot about feet and the people that came attached to them.

Music I listened to while sewing: No music again today! What’s up with that?

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Maybe I should buy a plane ticket back to New York City to celebrate my 500th Crane? And buy a ticket to the Sleep No More Halloween Party?

I am slightly bummed that they didn’t call me to ask about working this year’s party. Not that I could have done it, but jeez… I would have dropped everything and bought a plane ticket without thinking if the call had come.


That would be silly, wouldn’t it?

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