The newly crowned Miss Massachusetts has a real-life prince in the form of an Andover cobbler to thank for her rhinestone-encrusted tiara and pageant sash.
Caroline Lunny says if it wasn’t for David Yaboujian of David’s Shoe Repair on Bartlet Street, she probably wouldn’t be headed to the Miss USA pageant next year.
The Holliston woman was in rehearsals for the Miss Massachusetts pageant last month in Lowell when one of the straps that held her 6-inch heels on her feet suddenly ripped apart, rendering them unwearable.
With just four hours to go before the start of the pageant — and knowing her daughter’s white, beaded pageant gown was expertly tailored to the shoe’s exact towering height — her mother, Kate, leaped into action.
Unfamiliar with the local area, she drove north from Holliston and ended up in downtown Andover.
Here, she dashed into Cristina’s Bridal Shop downtown with the hope she might pick up a replacement pair. But while the bridal shop staff proved friendly, they were unable to help.
“These were size 10, 6-inch heels. They said that kind of shoe had to be custom-ordered. I wasn’t going to be able to find another pair,” Kate Lunny said.
But Cristina’s offered one possible solution in the form of Yaboujian.
The cobbler had just closed his shop that Saturday afternoon, but agreed to wait 30 minutes while Kate Lunny retrieved the shoe from her daughter.
Thirty minutes turned into 90 as Kate Lunny waited to gain access to the pageant arena. All the while, she kept calling Yaboujian every quarter-hour, urging him to “please, please don’t leave.”
Sure enough, he didn’t, sticking around to repair the broken shoe and reenforce the other half of the pair.
Saying he understood the importance of the occasion, Yaboujian wouldn’t take any more than the $20 he would have normally charged for the job.