When the Highwayman story first broke it created alot of interest that hasn’t subsided muchover the last twenty-two years.
The very first public Highwayman event was held at the Safety Harbor Museum more than twenty-two years ago. The museum director had called me and asked if I would be interested in participating in a Highwayman event at their facility. I suggested we call it a Highwayman Symposium which we did. It was well attended by both the artists and the public. Mary Ann Carroll, the only female Highwayman of record sang a hymn.
I MC’d the event and before things got started Robert Butler asked if he could speak for a few minutes at the end of the program. Of course I said “Sure.” When Robert took the podium he waxed poetic about art, philosophy and anything else that came to his mind in the next twenty minutes and received a standing ovation. Seated next to me in the crowd was a matronly looking lady who seemed very enthused about Robert’s presentation. I spoke to her and asked if she understood what Robert had said. She replied “No, but wasn’t it wonderful.”
That was the Robert Butler I knew. I can’t say that I understood him either, even after many years of our relationship. After he passed on I realized what a friend he had been and what a legacy he had created and given to us.