For those of you who don’t know Butch, he was an icon in and outside of Boston, MA for at least the past twenty years, spending most of him time on the streets. Sadly, Mr. Butch passed away early yesterday following an accident while riding his new red Vespa. Last time I saw Butch he was sitting on his new ride on Harvard Ave. enjoying an afternoon PBR Tall Boy. He told me he had just bought the Vespa a few weeks earlier after working the streets for seven months. I remember a local friend passing by and reminding Butch not to drive his red beauty unless he had not been drinking. Most of my close friends know that I was always a fan of Mr. Butch (Mayor of Allston).
Although he may have never known my name I shared a few moments with him which I’ll never forget.
One night while walking home from a long night of partying I stumbled upon Butch in an ATM lobby in Allston, MA. It was frigid outside. I didn’t really need money, afterall it was close to 4:30am, but something made me want to just step inside and say hello. I did and Butch said Hello back. He was sitting against the wall with his guitar at his side. I kindly asked him if he would play a little something for me. His eyes appeared to light up and was quick to play a few tunes. We had both obviously had a few too many drinks but I stood there as he sat against the ATM lobby wall. After about 5 minutes it seemed as though he was slowing down and so I thanked him, wished him a goodnight and headed home.
Another afternoon while walking down Harvard Ave with my camera around my neck I approached Butch. His attention span always seemed short but today he said hello from a distance. As I got closer I said hello back. He asked me how I was doing. I told him I had just been shooting photographs and asked him if he would mind if I took a photograph of him. He hesitated and quietly asked if I could spare a quarter. I did not have any change on me, but I offered to give him a couple of dollars if he allowed me to snap a few photographs. He quickly agreed. I asked him if he wanted to go somewhere with a bit better light. He did not really care. I saw from where I stood beautiful sunlight hitting the wall of a back alley way. He crossed the street with me. I made small talk for the block that we walked. As I signaled to him to stand against the lit wall I asked him what he thought of the spot. He was quick to tell me he didn’t really like it. I laughed and went to take a photograph. I snapped 4 photographs until he said, alright alright, thats enough. I was quick to agree and handed him two dollars. He thanked me and we went our separate ways.
I know that he will be missed by many and I’m thankful for all the smiles and laughs he shared with me on a daily basis. R.I.P. Mr. Butch
“You got to be articulate every day and keep going on strong and straight and use your heart and all your might and all your weight and all your power. Do what you can, make it last for many hour, ’cause once you’re dead, you’re done, you don’t come back” – Mr. Butch