Lubbock Legacy

Lusk Legacy

After Willie Lusk died, his wife, Mildred, who was a librarian at Coronado High School, was not sure what to do with the boot shop. While she had managed payroll and other administrative chores, she felt that she could not continue the business. 

A Texas Tech University faculty member in business administration, Charles Wade, purchased the shop in 1977. Binion continued to place orders with the now Wade-owned shop. Lusk also took orders at the Horseshoe casino, where Binion launched his new and successful project, the World Series of Poker.

Because much of the Lusk shop’s success was based largely on a customer list developed from personal relationships, Wade initially found it difficult to get new customers. But in the 1980s the movie Urban Cowboy and the television series Dallas brought cowboy gear back into popularity.

Wade sold the Lusk shop to James Leddy of Abilene, around 1986. Leddy had an established boot business in Abilene. While Leddy was aware of Lusk and his reputation they never met. He was interested in purchasing the old Lusk shop to expand and add to his customer list. Lusk had many clients from the world of film and television, whereas Leddy’s served numerous country music stars including Mel Tillis, Buck Owns, and George Jones.

The Next Generation

While not directly connected to Willie Lusk, bookmaker Brad Glenn continues to make Lubbock a destination for high-quality custom boots.

Glenn is building a reputation for creating vibrantly colored boots from various leathers. All his boots contain handwritten Bible verses. The selected verses are a result of his struggles with drugs and alcohol and his eventual rehabilitation—words of encouragement, empathy, and strength from the Bible. He says his faith helped him turn his life around and the verses are his way of sharing his story with clients. Each boot contains the same verse:

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105)

Glenn  adds another verse he selects specifically for the client. If the client does not want the personally selected verse, Glenn says they get it anyway.

Glenn learned to make boots from a man who worked on the ranch where Glenn worked as a cowboy. The day Glenn quit the ranch a friend told him of a boot shop for sale. Glenn used his last ranch paycheck to buy the store.

Glenn says he is in awe of Willie Lusk and being mentioned in the same sentence with Lusk is a great honor. Glenn was named to a 2020 Texas Monthly list of Top 25 bootmakers.