‘Shoe-shine boy flew with the generals


By Ieva Tomsons

RETIRED Toodyay chiropractor Bob Mattin (82) grew up in Pipestone Minnesota, a small town named after the soft red jasper-like rock the Sioux Indians use to carve peace pipes from for the tourist trade.

His childhood reads like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – shooting pheasants as they flew from the surrounding cornfields, fishing on frozen lakes and shocking worms out of the ground with a handmade generator built by his father.

It was the 1940s and times were tough. Bob and his older siblings worked various jobs; he shovelled snow, raked leaves and had a paper round.

By the time he was 10 he could drive a car, shoot a gun and had started a shoe-shining business in the local barber’s shop.

He still has the shoe-shine stool he used (right).