ROTHENBURGER- They don’t make things like they used to, and it’s on purpose

Fixing a toaster at the Repair Cafe. (Image: Transition Kamloops)

EVERY TIME I THROW another pair of old socks into the rag bin, I think about my mom. She would have darned those socks and made them good to go for another year.

That’s not how it works these days. We don’t fix things anymore; we throw them away.

Back then, we wore our shoes until the soles had holes — then we took them into the local shoe repair.

“Half soles or full soles?” was always the question.

“Half,” was always the answer. They were cheaper. I was a little embarrassed about wearing shoes with half soles — I felt they somehow made me less worthy.

Nowadays, we throw away perfectly good shoes — good except for some frayed stitching or those worn soles — and go out and buy new ones, just like we do for everything else.

What brings this to mind is the upcoming Kamloops Repair Café sponsored again by Transition Kamloops. “Don’t toss it, bring it to the repair café!” the notice says (it’s at Sahali Mall on May 28 from 10 to 3).


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9652 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on ROTHENBURGER- They don’t make things like they used to, and it’s on purpose

  1. Marcus Lowe // May 14, 2022 at 7:26 PM // Reply

    One word, CAPITALISM, the delusion of Democracy, now driving the end of the zero sum game, and an opportunity to understand that GIVING, HELPING, AND KINDNESS is the way forward…

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