Harold Dorsey

by Michael Cooper


When I first encountered Harold Dorsey, he wasn’t shining shoes at all. He was sitting high up in the chair usually reserved for his clients, reading a book on photography.

“You’d be surprised how much I’ve learned during my breaks over the years,” he chuckled with his weathered voice. Dorsey, 67, has been shining shoes at the court house for 16 years now, and is working his way through the last three months of his time there.

“Yeah, one of my favorite things about this job,” he told me, “is just watching and listening to the people. I experience these people, from all walks of life.”

As we casually took our time during the shoot, I could feel what he was saying. Passing by and interacting with Harold, who appears to be a favorite around the court house, were people who represented a microcosm of Tulsa in a beautiful way.

True Tulsa is a weekly project that highlights the people and places that make our city great.

Note: This article was originally published November 19, 2010