For a KCI shoeshine man, new terminal brings the end of an era

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 8:23 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - One familiar face from Kansas City’s soon-to-be former terminal won’t make the transition to the new airport opening next week.

Rick Evans has set up his shoeshine stand near the Delta gates for more than a decade. He picked up the trade when he was laid off from a job in sales. He’s always enjoyed the way a freshly shined pair of shoes seems to complete a sharp outfit.

“There’s just something about taking something and shining it up,” Evans said. “You can be proud of that.”

However, Evans no longer works out of the KCI terminal. He moved his chair and supplies out last week. His business was not selected for the new terminal.

“I could almost tear up talking about it,” he said. “We were all so close there.”

For now, he has set up shop down the road at the Ambassador office building. It houses several businesses and organizations, and is close enough to a few airport-adjacent hotels to keep him busy.

“There’s so much energy here,” Evans said. “They’re renovating. There’s different businesses. Lots of hotels.”

ALSO READ: KCI travelers keen to see new terminal

Some passengers noticed the shoeshiner’s absence on Wednesday. Deion Stevenson said he occasionally had used Evans’ services in the past to freshen up his oxfords.

“Mine aren’t too bad right now but, if he were here, I’d probably get a quick shine,” he said.

Evans isn’t bitter about the change so far. He said is optimistic about his new location and sees the value in the new terminal.

“We needed a new terminal,” he said. “We’re a world-class city.”

Plus, he’ll always enjoy helping people look their best from head to toe.

“It really ties the whole outfit together,” Evans said. " You can be proud of that.”

ALSO READ: More than 600 future flyers test new KCI terminal