Behind the Slide – Rondell Stevenson, Texas

“When you’re havin’ fun it’s not really work. I’ve been doin’ this for 31 years, so it’s not really work—it’s just fun.” 

That’s what well known shoe-shiner, tack maintainer and all-around good guy, Rondell Stevenson said about his job. He learned the tricks of the trade back in 1988 when a friend of his needed some extra hands. That day-job never ended, and Rondell is thankful for that fact every day.

“I like meeting people and traveling and just doing a good job. That’s the main thing: you have to do a good job at whatever you do.” 

Even just breezing past Rondell in the concourse of the Jim Norick Coliseum at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, he’ll notice the state of your shoes—good or bad. 

“You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their boots if they aren’t properly maintained.” 

Although most people know they should be conditioning and polishing their leather, very few actually do it. Rondell compared it to changing the oil on a car. Not only does Rondell work at NRHA events, he can be found at conventions, shows for other species, and even weddings. 

“Wherever they need me, whoever needs service, I am there. And I know just about everybody. It’s important to have a personal relationship with your customers.”