Cliff Pequet – Cordwainer……..What is a Cordwainer?
Our work has taken us to many places this year. Some very exotic and some not so much. Today I was again reminded that regardless of how exotic the place is if you take a chance to slow down and meet new people you will never be disappointed in the people who call where you are home. Todays amazing find was Cliff Pequet. After grabbing a cup of coffee in Shipsewana Indiana we wandered down to a back street because we had time to kill. Our walk landed us in an antique store owned by Cliff. After asking if he had any vintage photography equipment and recieving the answer, NO, he asked why I ask. Well I told him I collect old cameras. He said well I do have some old photos though and he pulled out a photo of the shop from the 1800’s. He said they have been trying to recreate this photo for some time now but just couldn’t find anyone who could get it done. After examining the photo which had very strong descending lines it was obvious that a very wide lens was used. It just so happened that we had a 14mm prime and a full frame sensor in the car. I asked if we could take a shot at it and he gladly said yes! Well we succeeded in the photo and then spent another hour just talking to Cliff about his passion and legacy. Cliff is a Cordwainer. Well if anyone reading this is like me they have no idea what that is. A Cordwainer according to wikipedia is A cordwainer (or cordovan) is a shoemaker/cobbler who makes fine soft leather shoes and other luxury footwear articles. The word is derived from “cordwain”, or “cordovan”, the leather produced in Córdoba, Spain. The term cordwainer was used as early as 1100 in England.[1
To us poorly educated Cliff makes shoes. While at one time this was an incredibly important guy in society anymore Cliff is a piece of history long forgotten in more ways than his career path. Cliff rides a horse to work everyday and raises oxen in addition to making handmade shoes. Cliff seems to hold onto the past with resolve but not to a fault. He gladly picked up an IPhone to help in dating some arrowheads Scott had found. Cliff is an amazing person that I am grateful to have accidentally come across. I mean I am now armed with the knowledge that if you are looking for an oxen it actually matters what side of the yoke it pulls on! If you buy two right side oxen you will not go far 🙂
Seek out new people, their stories will amaze!