The story behind the Quad City Airport ‘shoe shine man’

MOLINE, Illinois-- A sea of holiday travelers look up at departure and arrival times. But not Bobbie Bassett. He looks down.

"There's 100-percent dirty shoes go through here everyday since I've been here," says Bassett.

Bassett shines shoes at the Quad City International Airport in Moline.

Around Thanksgiving people feed their stomachs. But Bobbie feeds footwear of all kinds.

"Any shoe will shine. A five dollar shoe will shine if you take care of it. It you feed them, they'll smile at you and thank you. They can't feed themselves," says Bassett.

He has proof feeding shoes works. Just look at his.

"These shoes I've got on, they only cost $25, and I've had them since I've been here," says Bassett.

He's been here for the past 27 years in the same pair of leather loafers.

"I only got three seconds as they walk by. I gotta get in their head right then," says Bassett.

Once he's got a customer in his chair, he can do what he does best, shine and shoot the breeze. And he never lets a customer go dissatisfied.

"It's the finished product. When its done it looks good, that's it," says one of Bobbie's regulars.

"He seems to be doing an exceptional job, so I appreciate it," says a first timer.

Whether it's through this crowded airport or through life, everyone's just trying to make their way.