BUTTE — Stevie Faulkner has walked the streets of Uptown Butte, giving his famous shoeshines for decades, so the Uptown Café decided to honor the Butte legend.
“I wish some of the young people had your work ethic. You were the hardest working person I knew,” said a customer who greeted Stevie at the Uptown Café Tuesday.
“Yeah, I know,” said Faulkner.
Longtime friend Pat Connors said, “Oh yeah, he’s a legend, a living legend, you know, since he was at the M&M he’d come in and shine shoes for all of us, he’d been a great pal all these years.”
It’s not as easy for Stevie to get around these days, so he’s had to retire the shine box.
“I used to shine shoes all the time, I used to shine shoes two times a week, Tuesdays and Thursday,” said Faulkner.
He once offered then-candidate Barack Obama a shoe shine when he stopped at the M&M in Butte.
“He said how much you charge, I says 75 cents, he said I can’t afford it, it’s too expensive,” said Faulkner.
Uptown Café co-owner Angela Stevens said, “He has got the best smile, the best personality and he is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever seen in my life, and every time you talk about Stevie somebody’s got a story for you.”
Like the time Stevie was hit by a car while walking along Harrison Avenue many years ago.
“The car come swinging around real fast and he got, he broke my hip in three places,” Faulkner recalled.
Spaghetti is Stevie’s favorite food, so the Uptown is donating proceeds from that lunch to the Butte Emergency Food Bank.
“It’s very heartwarming, it shows that our town is so amazing, and we can remember someone like Stevie and all come together. It makes you want to cry,” said Faulkner’s caretaker and friend Dannette Butler.
Though it’s not easy, Stevie plans to walk the streets of his beloved town now and then.