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For a KCI shoe shiner, the new terminal marks the end of an era

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) — A familiar face from Kansas City’s future former terminal won’t make the switch when the new airport opens next week.

Rick Evans has set up his shoe shine stand near the gates of the Delta for more than a decade. He started working when he was fired from a job in sales. He’s always liked the way a pair of freshly polished shoes seems to complement an elegant ensemble.

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

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

“I could almost cry talking about it,” she said. “We were all so close there.”

For now, he’s set up shop down the street in the Ambassador’s office building. It houses several businesses and organizations and is close enough to a few hotels adjacent to the airport to keep it busy.

“There’s so much energy here,” Evans said. “They are renovating. There are several activities. Lots of hotels.”

On Wednesday some passengers noticed the absence of the shoe shiner. Deion Stevenson said he had occasionally used Evans’ services in the past to freshen up his Oxfords.

“Mine aren’t too bad right now but, if it were here, I’d probably have a good laugh,” she said.

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

“We needed a new terminal,” he said. “We are a world class city.”

Plus, she’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 it.”

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