Around Our Town...People
07/01/2005 - "Casper's always been good to me," says Louis Siek, a resident for 65 years and owner/operator of Louis Shoe Repair and Merchandising, Inc.
Louis came to Casper to attend the NYA school, training in the machine shop. His plan was to work for Boeing, however Boeing wasn't hiring machinists at the time.
Some good did come out of it, though, as he met his wife, Carmella, when she came to play piano at the school. "She captured me," he says with a grin. Apparently so...the couple enjoyed 56 happy years of marriage together!
Louis was 20 years old and his wife 18 when they eloped to Montana and began their life's journey together. "I had $25 to my name,'' he remembers The couple had no vehicle for the first eight years of their marriage. "We walked a lot...and took the bus. We always left 15 minutes early," he explains.
Louis served in the 115th Cavalry. "They still had horses back then," he recalls. He was discharged when a horse fell on him and injured his leg. He also was inducted and left with the National Guard in '39 and was discharged the week before the bombing at Pearl Harbor.
He took shoe repair training in 1941 at the Natrona Shoe Shop, where he worked
for one year receiving no compensation. He has run Louis Shoe Repair and Merchandising, Inc. for 40 years.
"There's a lot that's happened since I've been here," he reminisces. "Saturday was a big day because we could go to the movies at Rex Theatre for 25 cents,
and that included popcorn! It was all parallel parking. Everybody used to sit on the bumpers of their cars and visit. We've seen lots of booms and busts but we always seemed to survive."
Louis and Carmella raised their four children here. Their son, Michael, has worked at the shop with him for 40 years. Daughter, Diana, also helps out at the shop. Another son, Daniel, owns Siek Surveying Service, and daughter, Nancy,
works for ESE. There are six grandchildren. "It's a great place to raise a family," Diana says.
"Kids go off to college but they always come back," Louis echoes her sentiments. We agree, Diana, Casper is a great place to raise a family!