As I made my way there, I found a gentleman in the Charles "Poppy" Sharp(a central figure for later posts) Community Center who then led me to the Puerto Rican Progress center where I got a lead for an individual who might be of interest to me but, even more important to me at the time, he also led me to one of the oldest stores in Camden where I found my first interviewee in Dominic Petulla, certainly Camden's oldest cobbler.
In the midst of what would seem to be insurmountable odds, with decades of economic and social decline characterized by the loss of thousands of jobs and a severe increase in drug use, Gold Star Shoe Repairing is still in business and will continue its run as long as Mr. Petulla is around. A soft spoken son of Italian Immigrants, Mr. Petulla is now 77 years old and although he has not lived in Camden for about 45 years, the love he has for his craft is his motor. Not to mention, to put it in his words, "I'm a native". In our first twenty minute conversation, he provided me with key information about Camden before and after the riots. I'll be sure to visit him again very soon.