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Church of the Birkenstock

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Mick Ranney started selling and repairing Birkenstocks in Lawrence, Kansas, decades ago. The brand's popularity has ebbed and flowed — although its current wave of fashion cred is proving more enduring than any before. Throughout it all, Ranney has stayed a "true believer" in shoes worth fixing.

Real Humans By Gina Kaufmann is written and hosted by Gina Kaufmann. The podcast is produced by Gina Kaufmann and Mackenzie Martin, with help from Trevor Grandin. The column is edited by Gabe Rosenberg.

People don't make cameos in news stories; the human story is the story, with characters affected by news events, not defined by them. As a columnist and podcaster, I want to acknowledge what it feels like to live through this time in Kansas City, one vantage point at a time. Together, these weekly vignettes form a collage of daily life in Kansas City as it changes in some ways, and stubbornly resists change in others. You can follow me on Twitter @GinaKCUR or email me at gina@kcur.org.
Trevor Grandin is an intern for KCUR's Up To Date.