Banjo Buzz was working the ticket counter at the movie pub a couple of blocks from my friend’s apartment in downtown Colorado Springs the first time I saw him. This was back fall of 2000. He was a tall guy with glasses, long blond curly hair wearing a fuchsia blouse and a long colorful skirt.  Needless to say the guy stood out.

          We bought our tickets and a beer from him just like you would buy your tickets and a beer from anyone else selling tickets and beer at a movie pub and we went into the movie and found a seat. As soon as we sat down we both looked at each other and laughed like junior high kids would at something out of the ordinary. A week later I flew home, packed up my stuff and moved to Colorado Springs to live.          

          In the same neighborhood there was a cool coffee shop that had one of the best open mics in town every Tuesday night. I played it when I was there for a visit and became a regular when I moved to Colorado Springs. It was at this open mic weeks later that I saw Banjo Buzz for the second time and when I gave him the nickname ‘Banjo’ Buzz. He was there performing with his banjo.

           I was just beginning to perform in public at the time and this open mic could be intimidating because of all the talent they had there. It was so popular that if you didn’t get there early and get on the list you wouldn’t get to play. They showed no favoritism. It was first come first serve and sometimes there would be twenty-five performers ranging from folks who had never been on stage before to musicians who had toured with some of the biggest acts in the country.

          Banjo Buzz was dressed in jeans and flannel shirt like any other guy when he took the stage. He told a story about learning how to play the banjo in college and played a few songs. He seemed to be pretty nervous. After his performance I walked over to the table he was sitting at, introduced myself and complimented his performance. It was the first time we spoke to one another.

           I did not see Banjo Buzz that often but from that night on whenever we saw each other in public we would speak. He was always dressed in women’s clothes.

           A while later I got very sick with the flu. My friend who I was living with was at work and there was no food in the house. I drug myself out of bed and drove to this popular bookstore and eatery called Poor Richard’s. They had a large selection of homemade soups that were delicious.

           The place was always busy but with my mind set on hot soup I was willing to brave the long line. While trudging through the line, feeling like I was going to faint, that seemed a mile long I heard someone call my name and saw Banjo Buzz sitting at a table reading a paper and drinking a cup of coffee. We exchanged hellos and I told him I was sick as a dog and grabbing some soup to take home with me. He asked me what my favorite soup was.

           Banjo Buzz got up from his table, walked back to the kitchen and returned with a brown bag containing my favorite soup and hands it to me while I am still standing there in line and says enjoy my friend and I hope you feel better. I could not believe that this person I barely knew would do such a kind thing for me.

          I think I only saw Banjo Buzz one more time before I left Colorado Springs to move back to Georgia. To this day I still count his simple act of buying me soup when I was sick as one of the most benevolent gestures I have ever been the recipient of.

           Was Banjo Buzz gay? Was he transgender? Was he a cross-dresser or just someone who enjoyed wearing women’s clothing? I do not know the answer to any of those questions and I do not care. What I do know is that one human being showed some kindness to another human being who was suffering and that is all that mattered.

          So thank you Banjo Buzz for the soup and the lesson. You are a righteous soul in my book friend and btw…fuchsia is still one of my favorite colors.

Comments

Chase Brown April 24, 2016 @10:51 pm
Nice
Kim Fondren April 10, 2016 @05:22 pm
good story. Fuchsia is one of Alice's favorite colors too.
David Tennyson April 10, 2016 @05:22 pm
Love you Bubba Hall. You're a good man....

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