HOUSTON - Legendary Houston boot maker Rocky Carroll has died at age 79.
He outfitted the last seven Presidents, movie stars, and country singers from his small Oak Forest shop.
“He’s done a very good product and made boots all over the world,” said son Michael Carroll.
Michael opened the shop for us and showed us some of those famous boots. They include a pair for both Presidents Bush, Elizabeth Taylor, and singer Kenny Chesney.
“Taylor’s boots has 18 carat gold and diamonds on them,” said Carroll. He says his dad died Wednesday while sitting in a recliner in the center of his shop.
“I saw him that morning and asked him what was wrong,” said Carroll. “He said “son, I’m just tired.” “He was done, he went to sleep and did not wake up.”
The family doesn’t know of any health issues beyond injuries Carroll received years ago when armed robbery suspects struck him with their SUV.
He shot two of them and later spoke with KHOU 11 News from his hospital bed.
“Former President Bush called me from Maine and said when I get to Houston I’ll come by and see you,” Carroll told us at the time.
Pay Lemley has owned Heights Cleaners next door to Carroll’s shop since the 1970s.
“Even though he was crippled, he worked you know?” said Lemley. “Sat in the chair day in and day out and waited on customers.”
Carroll’s customers were famous and not so famous. His son says his father valued all of them equally and died in the place he loved the most.
“Passed away in the place he loved, yeah,” said Carroll. “Doing what he loved.”
The exterior of the shop includes campaign signs of some of the politicians who wear Carroll boots. Congressman Ted Poe even tweeted a photo of himself wearing a pair in Carroll’s memory.
Funeral arrangements for Rocky Carroll are pending.
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