Posts Tagged ‘John ‘Peter Bug’ Matthews’

Peter Bug Way

December 20, 2010

Peter Bug Way

The 400 block of 13th Street SE in the Nation’s Capital became “Peterbug Matthews Way” last Saturday. It’s named after the community leader who founded and runs the Peter Bug Shoe and Leather Repair Academy in a small building on the corner of 13th and E Streets, SE.

John “Peter Bug” Matthews, a fifth-generation Washingtonian, has been training young men as cobblers since 1977. He became known as “Peter Bug” because of an old VW he fixed up and drove years ago. Members of his Academy, some as young as 8 years old, commit to learning a trade, keeping up their grades, and performing public service. Leather repairs and other part-time jobs help them earn money without getting into trouble. Some of the shoes young apprentices learn to fix are donated, and well-repaired shoes are given to families unable to afford new footwear.