My Buddy Burt

Burt at the Mountain Pasture!
Burt at the Mountain Pasture!

A man came up to the "inn" one night and asked for a room. It was a summer night and we were standing on the porch. It was dark and lights weren't turned on. I could see that it was Burt. I asked and he reluctantly said yes. I say this because I saw on every other occasion he denied that he was Burt.

Burt stayed a week or two with his dog Rufus. Burt and I had a meal at Sallie's Mountain View restaurant and I thought it would be nice for the locals to know Burt. I started out, "Have y'all heard of Burt's Bees?" Burt quickly leaned over and said, "Give it a rest!"

In Johnson City, Tennessee we were in a health food store when a young lady asked is Burt was Burt. Burt said, "No, we bearded guys all look alike."

I heard Burt repeat that line several times while we were together.


This is my buddy Burt.

He's the man that's been the King of Bees.

He began a real "by the bootstraps", grassroots, American success story.

Burt at the French Broad Co-op in Asheville, North Carolina.

Burt gave me a "heads up" that he would be in Asheville in 2005.

So, I drove over from my home in the Western Carolina mountains.

The website for Burt's Bees is Burt's Bees Official Site.

From there you can learn more about The Burt's Bees Story.

Burt and I called each other for years. We didn't call often but when we talked we talked for hours. He was on a good phone plan with unlimited call time.

We "caught up".

We talked about politics and the world.

We shared a bit about ourselves.

We talked like folks do.


Burt had two "Golden Deceivers".

He talked about Rufus.

Later he told me all that Pasha was getting into.


He was in a couple wrecks.

Burt was in the army and stationed in Germany at one time.

And...so on.


Burt always called his home- "buildings".

His phone and refrigerator were in one building and his bed was in another.

He listened to classical music on a PBS station as he spoke on the phone.

The Burt's Bees website talks about Burt's original 8' by 8' structure.

Burt said the windows were "bed high" so that he could lie in bed and look at the snow that came up to the windows on the outside.


Above is a small picture of Burt and his two dogs.

The younger dog is Pasha.

The elder dog is Rufus.

Years ago I saw the closeness that Burt had with Rufus.

I can't remember another bond between two different species like theirs.

Rufus was at the age of 15 when his health began to slide.

For months Burt carried Rufus in and out of the house.

He would carry Rufus to the car and wherever Rufus would want to go.

Burt fed Rufus Chinese food every day, pretty much, for the rest of his life..

The Chinese food was all that Rufus would eat.

Rufus died several years ago.

Burt told me that it was the darkest day of his life.


So today, Burt travels, occasionally , for the company he no longer owns.

He travels all across the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and parts unknown.


Burt has lived in a very small town "down east" and most folks there have known Burt, Rufus, and Pasha over many years.

Pasha is a wonderful dog but "rambunctious" may be one of his defining descriptions. Pasha likes to "research" everything.

Pasha likes to eat "exotic things". Pasha gets a lot of intestinal trouble with his "research". Burt is on a first name basis with the vet, I'm sure.

So Pasha is more trouble and runs off to do his "research more often than Burt would like.

One day Pasha has disappeared when Burt has some important BB business to attend to. Burt cannot afford to miss his appointments.

Burt would learn the full story some time later but what happens is this:

Pasha has a crush on a dog of one of Burt's neighbors.

Pasha stays out all night outside the dog's home and sleeps in a snow bank.

The next morning the dog of Pasha's eyes does not come out of the house but the children do. The children walk down the driveway and soon board a bus.

So, Pasha, bored, or dejected, likes his company and gets on the school-bus too.

And- goes to school.

Burt gets a call about Pasha going to school but Burt cannot come for his wonderful, rambunctious dog.

Burt is told that Pasha is just lying around the school yard waiting for the kids it seems.

Burt tells the official about his predicament and asks that Rufus just be put back on the bus.

After some time a driver pulls up into Burt's driveway with Pasha in the front seat.

It's a small town.


Burt at the "Earth Fare" health food store in Asheville, NC..

Some retailers may not believe he exists.

.

Burt is like a rock star.


Burt is very gracious to sign all that's in front of him.


People of all ages want to check this nice guy out.


Burt is a great spokesman and example of a successful entrepreneur!


Roger Derrough, the former owner of Earth Fare talks with Burt.


I haven't heard from Burt lately and I worry about him.

His phone number is no longer in use.

Occasionally a winter storm will take out all the info on his answering machine.

Perhaps he's had to become more secluded.

That's why I've written this hub.

If he get's near a computer (which he never does) he might be able to contact me.

Otherwise -

Happy trails My Buddy Burt!


Burt's Bees Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), Honey Bees Dying

Burts Bees Story

More by this Author


Comments 51 comments

richtwf profile image

richtwf 5 years ago

A beautiful story and a wonderful friend you have Micky. My dad loves honey and he can't get enough of it and always wanting the best stuff he can get his hands on!

God bless you Brother and peace to you!

P.S. I do hope BB's fine and well, perhaps he's away on his hols.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA

Mic - A great story and I'll keep your friend Burt in my prayers that he is safe and well, as I hope you are too. God Bless...


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

Mic' Burts got taste! his choice in hats is great. Right here on the back post of my rocking chair hangs it's twin. It's been with me since 1974, it just fits so well and stays on to 80mph on the old hog I break out and ride on the great summer nights. It's "the" hat for sure. I hope you hear from Burt, I got a couple contacts in Johnson City so if you want I'll inquire with them. Great article of a familiar dude, sorta like Deja Vu, Peace 50


SomewayOuttaHere profile image

SomewayOuttaHere 5 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

...excellent...i've bought Burt's Bees products so many times....good to learn some background on him....i'll look at my next purchase so differently...hope you manage to connect again.....luv the way Pasha got a ride home from school....ha ha ha! ...luv small towns just for that reason! Thanks!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

God bless you all. Yo 50 Caliber! Burt likes that RR hat. I've worn a couple in my day too. Burt is definitely not in Tennessee. He really lives in Maine. God bless you all!


justom profile image

justom 5 years ago from 41042

Great story brother, that's what friends are all about. We don't have to talk everyday to have each other in our hearts. If Burt's in Maine I know he's fine 'cause that's the place I'd like to live and die. I too had one of those hats, long since gone though. As always a tune runs through my tiny little mind. "When it comes down to dealin' friends....it never ends". Peace and Love brother man! Tom and Justin


lilibees profile image

lilibees 5 years ago

Beautiful story thank you for sharing!


vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 5 years ago from New York State

I hope you hear from your old friend Micky, I'm familure with his products even up here in NY. This is a great story of an old friend. God Bless Brother Man


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

What a wonderful picturesque story you laid out here for us to enjoy Micky. I hope Burt is alright and just hiding out a spell. How sweet it is to have a honey bee man for a friend. I love honey and it's the nectar of life and does so many wonderful things for our minds, body and soul. peace to you my friend. Great write..


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Burt sounds like a true renaisance man,thanks for sharing,Micky;)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

What an interesting man and it not an accident that he met this woman that took turned his honey into a thriving business. I do hope burt is happy and healthy these days. I love reading your stories. Their always so personal and fun to read. It makes it easy to read the way you split up your text and pictures. Beautiful hub Mickey:)


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 5 years ago from Los Angeles

We can all use some good friends to sweeten our lives. You got Burt and we got you, Micky dear. Have a very Merry Christmas and a healty and prosperous New Year


aware profile image

aware 5 years ago from West Palm Beach Florida.

this is very well put together.i agree 100% with Twin above. interesting , fun and easy to read.

great job

ray


ghomefitness profile image

ghomefitness 5 years ago from Chicago,IL

It is cool to know the history behind on of the products in my house. He sounds like a great guy, I hope you get to see him again.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

Mickey, I loved your story about your friend Burt and I think many of us are concerned about the missing bees. I use the Burt's Bees products too and they are wonderful. Great job of this hub, rated up.


pintails7886 profile image

pintails7886 5 years ago from Memphis TN

great story uncle Micky. Like always your work tends to strike my emotions like no other. I have a lab also, and have had several throughout my life and they are very much part of the family and it is a tragedy when one passes on and in deed is a dark day, some people may not be able to understand but it is exactly like loosing a family member.

Just to let you know being a Carolina boy myself i have heard of bert's bees though I have never met the man, and honestly didn't know he was a real man as your hub says. Though I have met Maurice from Maurice's BBQ his sauce is found in most stores in the south east and possibly other places, any Carolinian knows who I am talking about.

I do hope you cross paths with your friend again. I don't suppose his web site has contact information, or maybe a list of when he may be doing more public appearances? Just a suggestion. And yes us bearded folk do all look alike, like wild bears lol.


Brynda 5 years ago

I wish I had been there during those store visits! Who knows why I wasn't?? Roger's name is Derrough. Saw him in Earthfare recently. He sold a couple years ago. Loved this hub!! Hope Burt finds you. He's missing out!


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! I've got to mail the link to my Mom, SHE LOVES ALL OF THAT STUFF! I use it too! How cool!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

This was fascinating. Thanks Micky.(love the story of Pasha and the school bus).. l hope you find Burt alive and well soon. Take care. xx


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

Thank you all so much! Thank you for loving Burt!

Brynda, thank you for the correct spelling for Roger's last name. It's been a while since I've seen Roger's name spelled. I knew I was flubbing it as I wrote it.I remember Roger selling Earthfare. I have many photos and some videos of Roger. Roger cycles a lot. He got in really great shape after selling.

God bless you all!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Fascinating story, Micky, thank you. Delighted to hear there really IS a Burt. What a remarkable tale.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Hello today my dear Micky Dee, I look so forward to your awesome hubs. This is a truely endearing hub, love touches us in so many ways, friends come and go along their way, but leave a very powerful influence on our heart and soul. I love you too my dear boyfriend...you are a prince...rate up, love & peace darski


2uesday profile image

2uesday 5 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

This is 'heart warming' to read people like Burt deserve to do well in life, he has obviously made his way by doing something he cares about. I think you have put this together in a fascinating way and the pictures as always help to bring something extra to the page. Would you be allowed the tag - Who is Burt? and who is Burt of Burts Bees as I think people might search for questions like that on search engines and find this interesting. Keep the HubPages rolling as you have lots of avid readers now, well deserved. Voted this up and useful.


cybersupe 5 years ago

Hi Micky Dee,

Burt sounds like a guy I would like to meet. Let's hope that all is well with Burt and you and he can re-establish a contact. Merry Christmas Micky and May God Bless.

Joe


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Man, that Rufus was a lucky dog. It's so hard to lose a friend like that.

I hope Burt is OK. And Pasha too.

You take care, Micky


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

MickeyDee: How nice to meet your friend Burt and learn a little about him as well as you as a friend.

God Bless MickeyDee and his friend Burt.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

Thanks for sharing your friend with us. I hope you'll soon see him again. I've saved your picture in my album "My best friends." Only best wishes from me to you.


GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

GojiJuiceGoodness 5 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

Great to hear your story! We love Burt's Bee's products. :) I hope you get in touch with Burt soon. Also, why doesn't Burt own the company anymore? Did it get passed down to his kids or was it sold?


Doug Turner Jr. 5 years ago

This is awesome. I never knew Burt was a real fellow --never doubted it, just never thought about it. Thanks to him, my hair maintains that casually messy appearance all the live-long day. He's a great man. Here's to BURT!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

You know this story reminds of day's past when someone who wanted to work hard could accomplish their dreams.I'd heard about the bees disappearing.I watched the video.Rufus was a lucky dog,him riding the school bus was funny.It's great to have good friends.Burt sounds like a good one.I hope he's ok.Love your stories.

Love and Peace


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Oh, Micky, you're so fine, you blow my mind. Hey Micky! A standing ovation for your tribute to your buddy, Burt. Extremely engaging read about a very interesting subject. You captured Burt as I can see from his kind, sad eyes...I relate to the love he had for Rufus. I had a Golden that I will always miss. Beautiful, heartfelt, engaging read about a very loveable character. You are the bee's knees, MickyDee!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Wonderful story and tribute Micky. Thanks for sharing.

Have a joyous holiday and stay warm...it sure has turned frigid here, hasn't it?


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

Thank you all so much! Thank you for loving My Buddy Burt! I rode maybe my last ride before the "op". It never got above freezing today Denise. I rode 49.99 miles but it sure felt like 50! God bless everybody!


tim-tim profile image

tim-tim 5 years ago from Normal, Illinois

That is such an awesome story! Micky Dee, who would know a famous person like Burt but you! I used Burt's stuff too. It started out that my sister, Fanny, went into the store and got see lip balm. That's how I learned about the products.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Good morning, my uncle. Thanks for share about your friend. I believe he is a very kind person, until you have an idea to write about him. I really enjoy all Burt's picture. I hope your day always beautiful. Have a great day and God bless you.

Your nephew, Prasetio


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

God bless tim-tim. The hand salve and lip balm were his first products.

God bless Nephew Prasetio!


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

Hey! Now how cool is this story? Those natural products have been making wonderful stocking stuffers for my family for a long time now. I love this, I love guys like Burt. Thanks for sharing this. I hope Burt is well, I know you must think of him often.


mquee profile image

mquee 5 years ago from Columbia, SC

As usual you share a very touching and discriptive story. Mickey, it is obvious you hold your friends dear. I guess this is a trait of our generation. Thanks for sharing a great story.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

I've never used any of those products but will now look for them. Nice knowing the background. Thanks for enlightening us Micky. Rated up as usual.


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 5 years ago from Barefoot Island

Such a great story about Burt and his bees. I hope he is well and just hiding out. We really need to save the honey bees. Hope people get them free seeds and plant them. Every bit helps and counts big time. Great job MD, love you :D hugs :D


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

That Burt is an exciting sort...no wonder that he ended up in the lip balm business. I'll keep an eye out for him Mick...he shouldn't be hard to spot but then again all those bearded guys do look alike! LOL! WB


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

A tender story, Micky Dee. I especially enjoyed reading about Rufus and Pasha. Isn't it amazing how close we can feel to people we seldom see?


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

BobbiRant, mquee, Peggy W, Sa`ge, God bless!

Wayne Brown- weall look alike.

mysterylady- I feel close to you folks for sure and never "see" you. God bless you!


Big Brother profile image

Big Brother 5 years ago from Earth

My friend in Greece is full of honey with all kind of colors and parfume... Thanks for the Hub. Your friend Burt has excellent job...


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

Yo Big Bro! That sounds like a hub - Bub! Keep that "sickle" up! God bless!


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

I fell in love with Burts Bees (love the products and use many of them) years ago and do hope they enjoy the same loving nature that brought it to be in years to come. I do hope you hear from Burt soon and learn that he is okay. Do let us know!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

Yo Katie dear! Thank you for loving Burt. He's a nice guy!


TINA V profile image

TINA V 5 years ago

This is a beautiful hub. The story of Burt and his business partner, Roxanne should serve as an inspiration to all of us especially to those who are starting their own business. I hope you’ll hear from him soon.

Pasha is a funny dog, but it’s sad to know that Rufus died. Anyway, the photos looks great. The videos are informative. I enjoyed reading this hub.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

Thank you Tina! Rufus was pretty old. It's still a shame that Burt's companion is gone. God bless you!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

I really love this Hub, my brotherman! Bees are really wonderful creatures - I used to keep bees many yers ago now when I still had some land of my own! Love honey and honey products. I'm sure I would have loved Burt's products.

Hope you and Burt connect again - he sounds like one hell of a guy.

Thanks for sharing his (and your) story

Love and peace

Tony


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

God bless Burt and Tonymac! Both of you guys are great friends! Love and peace Tony!

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