Just one week ago, I stood and marveled at the beauty and growth of Lansing's Old Town with one of my favorite people, Robert Busby. That day, we were laughing about a piece in Lansing's City Pulse that featured Robert's art. As the owner of the magical Creole Gallery, I usually saw Robert about once a week and we always shared a smile, a laugh, and a hug.
Today, I learned that Robert has tragically left us.
Robert was a friend, a mentor, and a legend. His light was so bright that I know that even with his passing, it can never be completely extinguished.
In my deep grief, I'm going to share with you the words that the Old Town Commercial Association has shared
Everyone in Old Town and around Lansing knows Robert as the 'Mayor of Old Town.' His Creole Gallery is known as a venue that features the most incredible artists in and intimate settings that are not available elsewhere.
But Robert is known for a great deal more than his gallery. His love for Old Town truly defies comparison. Many years ago, Robert took an amazing risk. He purchased property and dedicated his passion to making Old Town an arts and entertainment area.
At that time, Old Town had a dangerous and well deserved reputation. Robert’s faith, heart, and incredible tenacity paid off. He made Old Town his home, the site of his business, and made his life about creating the lovely place that Old Town is today. Retailers and residents of Old Town are shocked and devastated. Some have been quoted as saying “These things don’t happen in Old Town, because Robert made this a place that we felt safe. We are a family.”
In life, it is very rare to meet so lovely a man. Our hope is that Robert’s dream continues, and that this city comes to appreciate and love Old Town like he has.
You will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.