Martha Benevelli grew up in the back of a boot shop in Rosenberg, Texas.
Her father opened the Cabina Boot Shop in the 1950s. He created cowboy boots by hand, and Benevelli spent her days playing with leather scraps and colorful thread while her father sewed together cowboy boots.
“At one point I remember my dad made a pair of boots that went to the White House. He was always very proud of that fact, it always brought a smile to his face when he talked about it,” Benevelli says.
Her father made boots for each of his daughters. Benevelli got a pair of black-and-white boots she remembers loving and enjoying very much. Her father eventually sold his shop and at some point there were no more of his boots left in the Benevelli’s family.
Years later, Cabina met a lady from church who owned a pair of his handmade boots. He convinced her to let him buy them, and he took them home, where they stood on a shelf for the remainder of his life.
“When he died in 1997, one of those boots went to me and the other one went to my oldest sister. And that’s how I ended up having a half a pair of boots,” Benevelli says.
Benevelli says she’s very proud of that single boot, but wishes she still had the black-and-white boots her father made her as a little girl.
“I also wish boot makers were required to sign their boots because I suspect that there are other Cabina??? boots walking around that I just don’t know about because they’re not signed,” she says.
Written by Dani Matias.