My Buddy Burt
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.
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.
Happy trails My Buddy Burt!