Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Briefly booted, Brooksville shoeshine boy back to work

BROOKSVILLE

The sun was still climbing over the old courthouse as 12-year-old Patrick MacGregor readied his shoeshine brushes.

Patrick was back at work early Monday after Hernando County government officials approved his status as a volunteer with a local charitable organization, overcoming the county's concerns about liability.

And he was pleased.

"I like getting to know all the different kinds of people who stop and talk to me," he said. "I don't get bored."

Patrick had been asked to leave the east entrance to the government center last week because of a county policy requiring anyone doing business there to be covered by general liability insurance.

By then, Patrick was already popular among county employees. He had been shining shoes — $2 a job — for three days to raise money for a mid-July missionary trip to Iowa with Faith Evangelical Free Church in Spring Hill.

"Patrick has a great work ethic," said his father, Slayden MacGregor, the pastor at Faith Evangelical. "I have no fear of him ever not having a job."

John Callea, owner of the Rising Sun Cafe — a restaurant catty-corner from the courthouse — offered on Friday to include Patrick under the liability insurance covering the farmers market that is run by Love Your Neighbor, the restaurant's nonprofit charity.

"I've always believed in win-win situations," said Callea. "Why wouldn't I help out?"

The young shoeshiner gained widespread attention after he was asked to retreat from the bench in front of the government center.

"We had to follow policy," Cristi Charlow, the county's risk management coordinator, said Monday. "We have nothing against anyone trying to better themselves, but we do have policies."

The historic courthouse, on the west side of the government complex, sees less traffic than the government center, but Patrick was able to make $51 on Monday, said Slayden MacGregor.

He went calling on downtown businesses when customers were scarce in front of the courthouse.

"He did a wonderful job," said Mark Browning of Browning Insurance Agency, across the street from the courthouse. "I can see myself in the reflection."

Patrick said he had already amassed enough cash — between shining shoes and working other odd jobs — to meet his goal of putting $350 toward the Iowa trip.

"Now I'm saving for a car," he said.

Alison Barnwell can be reached at (352) 754-6114 or abarnwell@tampabay.com.

Briefly booted, Brooksville shoeshine boy back to work 06/24/13 [Last modified: Monday, June 24, 2013 9:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning shifts search for defense to free agency

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — As much as he tried, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman left the weekend's draft without acquiring another top-four defenseman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101
  2. Half of Florida lawmakers fail or nearly fail review of support for public records

    State Roundup

    WEST PALM BEACH — Half of Florida's legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year's legislative sessions.

    State Senator Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton (left) and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran ranked on opposite sides of the spectrum in an analysis of support for open records. Galvano scored a B-minus and Corcoran scored a D-plus.
[Times file photo]
  3. Yale dean on leave over offensive Yelp reviews leaves post

    Bizarre News

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Yale University dean who was placed on leave over offensive reviews she posted on Yelp has left her position at the Ivy League institution, school officials said Tuesday.

  4. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]