Observations of a shoe shine man

January 6, 2009 He's also pretty good at giving advice. Just ask his customers.

Some said Jacobsen should write a book. So he did.

"I've been shining shoes for 12 years, making a living. If you wonder why I haven't tried to get a better paying more prestigious job, the reason is quite simple: I like what I'm doing."

Those are the words of Christian Bjorn Jacobsen who plies his trade at the McGrath Lexus car dealership.

"He's in a profession where it seems like it's beneath him but it's not because of things with people, his relationships," said Jeffrey Grace, shine customer.

You might wonder how new cars and shoes shines are related. Jacobsen has found a connection.

"I've had a lot of regulars who you have a chance to see, who come in on a regular basis, get a shoe shine while they're waiting. It really cuts down on their time," said Jacobsen.

Jacobsen has written and published a book about his life entitled, "Ideas that will make us all shine: the observations of a shoe shine man."

"Over the years many people have told me you should write a book and you see when people share ideas with me. My idea was to inspire other people, make them feel better. That's just my personality," said Jacobsen. Jacobsen's book can now be found in the library of Oak Park River Forest High where he graduated and where other graduates include Ernest Hemingway.

"We have a long history of great writers at Oak Park. Hemingway went here. Two or three other Pulitizer winners so adding it to the collection just makes a more diverse collection. And hopefully inspire others students to do some writing as well," said Don Vogel, library director, Oak Park River Forest High.

"The superintendant gave me an opportunity that most people wouldn't get when he approved my book. I can just tell you I was elated," said Jacobsen.

To learn more about the book, visit www.lulu.com/content/1897312 .

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