Neighborhood comes together to support local business in Houston's East End

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A staple in the East End for decades, Manny Simon's Men's Wear on Harrisburg has always been known for its shoes, especially Converse.

"This store has been here forever and you walk into it, it's like 1928," said Jesse Rodriguez, "Magnolia Grown" local artist. "This was the first store to sell Converse in Houston. My dad bought his Chuck's Converse here. I bought my Converse here."

However, that family tradition will soon come to an end. Owner, Harry Simon, received a letter from Converse stating it was "terminating" its account with his store.

"To be honest with you it was the biggest shock of my life," said Simon. "My pride was hurt more than anything."

After 60 years and so many sales he said he couldn't believe it came down to this.

"It's very disappointing that they feel that way," said Simon. "And Converse means a lot to the East End of town. It's for the kids who can't afford Air Jordans."

Its those kids who are now adults that rallied together to help Simon. On Saturday, the store was flooded with customers who found out about the contract termination and all who wanted to help in some way.

"We all bought a new pair of Converse (that day)," said Richard Rodriguez, with Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority. "We advocate that all the people that care do the same."

Simon is taken aback by all the support, and truth be told, he still has some hope.

"I'm hoping they will change their mind," said Simon

Those leading an effort to help Simon's are holding a "Back to School" shopping rally on Aug. 12 at noon.

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