There’s a human “thread” that connects countless people across Leon County, and his name is Eddie Randolph. Eddie’s 89 years here have given him the chance to mend people’s clothing and their lives.
His thread began in 1943, working as a tomato farmer. In 1952, he entered the service to fight in the Korean War. He fondly recalls the time his captain bestowed on him the power of the phone, an unmistakable sign of trust among the troops. That moment marked the beginning of a life in which Eddie Randolph decided to favorably impact the lives of others.
After the war, Eddie returned to Leon County and attended Lincoln Vocational School. The skills he learned there enabled him to spend more than 15 years altering football jerseys for Florida State University and uniforms for FAMU’s celebrated marching band. His skills led him to open Randolph’s Alterations, which is now entering its 43rd year of business.
Eddie tells the story of an attorney who purchased a store for him to allow his shop to grow, and another time someone replaced the cold concrete floors of his shop with carpet – free of charge. People could tell, Eddie explains, that “I was always working hard for myself and helping others any chance that I could” – a value he carried from his childhood, where “everyone used to help everybody.” This dedication to others is why, when Hurricane Kate battered Tallahassee in 1985, Eddie offered to wash the clothes of Motel 6 guests for three months.
This approach has continued to drive Randolph’s Alterations from its founding, giving Eddie the chance to pay it forward. Drawing customers from as far away as Cairo, Perry, and Monticello, Eddie Randolph hasn’t let age keep him from mending their lives in the ways they need. When asked why he still heads over to 4th Avenue every day to work in his shop, he answers with a smile:
“Because helping others goes a longer way than money.”