Former employee hopes to reopen Flying Possum Leather

Staff photo
Robert Jackson, a former apprentice to Bruce Walker, hopes to reopen Flying Possum Leather on Dickson Street.

Fayetteville lost a legend when Bruce Walker of Flying Possum Leather passed away in a fire at his shop March 7, but it appears as though his legacy will be continued on Dickson Street.

Robert Jackson, a former employee at Flying Possum Leather, has been in talks with Walker’s family about purchasing the shop with hopes of reopening soon.

“This isn’t about me. This is about carrying on what Bruce created here on Dickson Street,” Jackson said. “Bruce built a name brand down here, and I just hate to see that disappear. I think he’d want to see it go on.”

Jackson, who currently lives in Russelville, said that he has had preliminary conversations with the building owners about taking over the lease once the building has been renovated.

“They’ve been really open to the idea,” he said. “I think they want Flying Possum to be here as much as anybody.”

Jackson worked at the shop for three years during the late 80’s/early 90’s, and still remembers what Bruce taught him about working with leather. In particular, he claims he still knows how to make Bruce’s custom sandals.

“Bruce probably forgot more about making custom sandals than I’ve ever known, but I still remember how to make them like he taught me,” he said.

Jackson estimated that renovations of the store will take three months or more, but he hopes to get the store reopened during the warmer months ahead.

“There are still a lot of details that have to be worked out and a lot of work to be done,” he said. “I’d like to get it reopened while there’s still some summer left.”

Final sale postponed until April 30

Walker’s family will hold a final sale of merchandise salvaged from the store fire on April 30 during Fayetteville’s Springfest.

Bruce’s brother Bob Walker told us last Friday that he’d hoped to have the sale this week (March 31 through April 2) at a neighboring business, but the family decided to postpone the sale.

“It just seems too soon, for one thing,” Bob said. “For another, I think Springfest is just a better time to do it.”