An Interview with the Craddock-Terry's Buster Brown, Reprinted From the April 2013 Downtown FocusEditor's Note: Last night, a Wirehaired Fox Terrier, Sky, won the Westminster Kennel Club's Dog Show. We have our own famous Fox Terrier right here in Downtown, he lives at the Craddock-Terry Hotel. We're reprinting this 2013 interview with Buster here, which originally appeared in our "Focus On: Green Space" issue of the Downtown Focus.
If you want to know where some great green space is in Downtown Lynchburg, then the best person to ask is not a person at all, it's the Craddock-Terry's canine employee, Buster Brown. A Wirehaired Fox Terrier, the modest Buster sat down with us a few days ago to tell us about working at an award winning historic hotel, keeping up with friends in Downtown Lynchburg, where to find the best spots in Downtown for a nice soak in the sun and keeping his staff on their paws.
So, Buster, tell us a little about yourself... where are you from and what attracted you to hotel life?
I was born in Minnesota. I was flown on a plane to Raleigh when I was about 10 weeks old - boy was that interesting - and the hotel team picked me up. I didn't know them yet but I was sure happy to see them. Momma K, (Kimberly Christner, President of Cornerstone Hospitality) thought that I had exactly the right temperament for the hospitality business, so I guess I was born to be in the business. See, I'm hypo-allergenic, I don't shed and well, I'm pretty handsome . . . wouldn't you say? Plus, my breed has won the Best in Show at the National Dog Show for the last 2 years.
It must be fun living in a hotel. Tell us a little about your guests and your work.
I really enjoy all of my guests. They smell a lot different so I really get to know a lot about the world as a result. I can tell who has dogs, cats and sometimes even birds. Some of them are from other countries so I get to learn about things I may never see. And the kids - I really love when they come and play with me. Sometimes my staff even lets me take our guests for a walk and I show them all the great Downtown Lynchburg shops, sights and restaurants. I love posing for pictures, playing in the lobby, running down the hallways, and especially running out to greet the guests when they arrive. I try really hard to make everyone feel welcome. And, you know, the hotel business is 24/7 so we're always working. Even when I'm sleeping, if I hear a guest say my name I jump right up and go out and greet them. Being the Official Hotel Greeter - my work is never done.
I stay at the hotel, right at the front desk. I have a couple places that I've asked my staff to prepare for me. I have a bed directly behind the front desk and then another one in the office. Most of the time, I stay in the bed out front so I can meet everyone when they arrive. I love to lie in the lobby in the warmth of the sun.
I have a staff of about 20 people who help me out. I often volunteer to take the staff for walks and they really love on me a lot for that. Even when it's raining, I make sure they have a really big umbrella before we go out so we can both stay dry. I'm always so excited when the shifts change every day so I can see all my staff. I try to make them enjoy coming to work by happily greeting them with kisses and a wagging tail. You know, when you have a staff, you have to treat them nice so they will take care of our guests. And, I try not to bark, especially at night when our guests are sleeping.
The Craddock -Terry is a very historic place, having been the site of a large shoe factory. Do you have a favorite part of the hotel that you would like to share?
I think it's pretty neat that all the rooms are a little different. And, I love the brick and the stacked granite walls. Plus, that staircase - have you seen it? I love running up and down that old staircase and peeking through the rails at the top at the guests coming up. One thing that's been really hard is that there are historic shoes everywhere! Can you imagine? I have so many shoes all over the hotel and I'm not allowed to chew on any of them. That has been a real challenge. The staff and I have had several conversations about it over the years and I have agreed that it's in everyone's best interest if I just play with my own toys.
Spring is a special time here in Lynchburg. Tell us about your favorite green spaces and parks here in Downtown. What can we do to make them even better for dogs and humans?
Well, my yard is probably the best. I have a couple of places that are nice and green. The staff at the hotel takes pretty good care of it and I love to roll around out there and lay in the sun. I see a lot of my friends there and I don't mind sharing the grass. My staff has put up a Doggie Station so the staff of other canines can clean up after their walks. I just love to walk around downtown. I like all of the smells and to roll around in the grass, sniff the light poles and fire hydrants - I can even tell you which ones are the best! I also love to go for walks on the trail and to look through the bridge at the James River.
There could be more recycling bins, trash bins and a few more doggie stations in the grassy areas. Maybe if there were more stations and bins, downtown would be even cleaner than it already is. Plus, when my friends and I find trash, food and gum on the ground, it's really hard for us not to want to check it out and that usually makes me get a belly ache! I'd also like to see some of the shop owners put out watering stations - that way I can stop and rest, get a little drink while the person I'm walking takes a look around.
Lots of new dogs and humans are living in Downtown Lynchburg now. Do you have any special friends who live in Downtown?
I'm so lucky - I have so many friends, including humans. I love taking walks and saying hi to all my friends at the City Market, Suntrust, and McCraw's . Sometimes when I'm walking down the street people I don't even know come up and know my name and where I live. It's pretty cool. I make friends everywhere I go. I love the festivals we have downtown, it's so exciting because there are so many people. In winter I have a winter coat with the hotel logo and during the summer I have a handsome T-shirt so people will come by the hotel and visit with me. Sometimes we even have people from out of town to stop by just to say Hi to me because they heard I was so handsome.