A snaking hose from a compact vacuum drooped from Emily Shafer’s shoulder as she moved its filtered nozzle inside a pair of worn, dirt-smudged running shoes.
“They’re just kind of gritty,” Shafer said above the soft, steady noise of the vacuum. “There’s plant debris; there’s sand. We’re just trying to get some of that off.”
This was not an ordinary cleaning job, and these were not ordinary shoes.
Like the other running gear lined up before Shafer, the shoes had been placed on Boylston Street and Copley Square nearly a year ago at a makeshift memorial for the Boston Marathon bombing victims.