Sunday, June 19, 2005


Budge at his birthday party, March, 2004 Posted by Hello

13 Comments:

Blogger Marino said...

I met Budge in 1991 as a waitress at the Comedy Warehouse. I was 19 years old and Budge was one of the first actors to welcome me. Over the years we became rather good friends. I remember long talks at the Giraffe and after I got busted for drinking underage, Budgie would take me to the Big Bamboo. He was like the big brother I never had.
I loved to hear him laugh. We used to love to flash him when he was on stage just to see his reaction. I am not sure how many people knew we did that but it was a game he played with the servers. Late night parties at Darby's, Karaoke, birthdays, dinners, so many years of great memories.
After he left the Warehouse I didn't see him for a while until he surprised me by showing up on my wedding day to give the bride a kiss. I hope he knows how much that meant to me.

The last time I saw Budge was at his home after he got sick. Andi and I came by to do some errands and tidy up a bit not to mention spend a little time. He even called me to say "goodbye" when he heard that I was moving to El Paso last month. i just wish I had known that it was going to be the last one. I can't believe 14 years have gone by, thank you Budgie for being such a big part of my life. Just thinking about you makes me smile. I love you. Ad don't party too hard with the folks upstairs!!!

8:17 PM  
Blogger GregTriggs said...

The following were posted on the funeral home web page.


Budge was a seminal performer and mentor to so many, including me. His incredibly comedic philosophical storytelling took us all on journeys in which we found parts of ourselves in his stories. Whenever I spent time with Budge whether it be in NY, CA or FL he had the ability and graciousness (even in a roomful of people) to not steal the attention or try to impress, but to become an Every man observer until called upon to contribute. Whereupon his wit, wisdom and humor would draw everyone in till all were seeking to bask in his glow. His was a special and unique light. The only other person I met who had that combination of humor and beneficence was ( I kid you not ) when I met the Dali Lama.
Budge you will always be in my heart.
Love, Joe

Joe White
joewhite55@mindspring.com
Jun 25, 2005
New York, NY

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When I first heard Budge would be the new actor at our bird show I had trouble getting past his name. I remember the person describing Budge’s considerable qualifications talking in the background but all I could think of was his name … Budge … Budgie, a small parrot. How odd that a guy named after a small parrot should be working with our bird show. It didn’t take long for me to realize that there was nothing small about Budge. No matter what it was, Budge did it in a big way. In fact, he was so big, so good, and had such a huge heart, that he happily gave the spotlight to the birds and bird trainers who shared his stage. He was beyond ego, beyond having to prove anything, and all about creating the best show possible. He was comfortable being second billing to the birds, even though it was his performance, his influence, that made the show the success that it was, and still is. His altruism, humility, and absurd creative talent made us all better performers and better human beings. “Thank you Budgie, for all you gave to me and everyone around you. I’ll miss you, Pal.”

Steve Martin
SteveMartinNEI@aol.com
Jun 24, 2005
Orlando, FL

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I met Budge when I was cocktailing at "The Comedy Warehouse". He was one of the coolest people I have ever met. He had this way about him that made you feel so comfortable and special. He was so funny and I will alway remember his kindness and humor. My thoughts are with his family. Though, I never met his mother, he talked of her often. She was loved by her son. In every show he did, he always made me laugh. Budge, I hope your "benoi balls are kicking in" and that you are having fun in heaven. You will be missed. Love Always, Norma

Norma Rivera-Doerge
ndoerge407@aol.com
Jun 24, 2005
Kissimmee, FL

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Dear Budge,
I know you are listening because I know how much spirit you have. I feel blessed to have been your brother in law but feel sorry we didn't spend more time together. What a talent you were!! And what a family you have! No wonder you were so crazy! When I did radio a consultant came along and said I was "too country to play country music". You told me to tell him to go to hell! You encouraged me to be me and told me to keep doing what I was doing because it works. I'll never forget that. When me and your sister Gail would have have a bump in the road you were a peacemaker. You were good to your Mom and Dad and they loved you very much. Your'e family is one of a kind. You were and will always be one caring, loving, crazy man who I was very proud to know. You were a charachter with charachter!!! Ill miss ya buddy!!!!! All my love to you Mildred and to you Gail. I'll always love you both.

Steve Weldon

Steve Weldon
Jun 23, 2005
Tuolumne, CA

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Momma Budge,

I asked Budge not to long ago why he chose to continue to hang on with his illness and not just let go. He said he couldn't do that to his mom. He truly loves you so so much. As do I. My heart and prayers are with you. He is with us.

Cassie Malina
Jun 23, 2005
Orlando, FL

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I miss Budgie so so much. It warms my heart to see so many love him as much as I do. Like Ryan and Jenn, I had the honor of sharing the stage with him at the Flights of Wonder bird show. Not only was he my greatest mentor but my best friend and the only one in my life that truly lived up to my definition of true family. I saw him Friday night... Friday night... and then, in a flash, he was gone. We spoke at least once a week and I tried to see him as often. As Jenn remembered Saturday's at Chili's I remember that Saturday's quickly became "Budge Club". Noone ever tired of his stories, his love, his compassion, his truth. He means so much to me and to his NEI family and he will truly be missed. I'm so grateful to have known him and to have shared a small part of my life with him. I'm so grateful that he shared with me that same beauty and love he shared with all of you. I'm so grateful to have been there with him to share his overwhelming joy when we flew him out to Dallas to see the State Fair bird show and when we flew his mom in for Christmas and when Steve treated him to dinner at Chalet Suzanne. I love you sweet sweet Budgie with all my heart. Please watch over me always and contine to light up my life.

Cassie Malina
CMa924@aol.com
Jun 23, 2005
Orlando, FL

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Budge and I moved in next door to each other on May 1, 1977, in Hollywood. We spent a lot of time together. Incredibly generous in every way imaginable. Indelible memories of Budge: him standing up on a chair at a restaurant on Sunset Boulevard (Gio's, now gone) and singing a heart-rending version of "Danny Boy." Budge opening the show for Rickie Lee at that coffee house on Highland. Budge opening for Rickie Lee a couple years later at the Variety Arts with Jack Nicholson in the crowd. I heard he negotiated a truce between the audience and Rickie Lee on tour in Europe. Budge and Bill Frenzer at the Olio, just broke me up. Took me to see the Franken And Davis show on Pico, and introduced me to Al Franken. I don't know how many Sam Diego shows I saw at the TV studio. Met his dad and liked him too. Budge Jr came home one night and found me crying in the yard because my little dog Rio had been run over and was already buried in the flower bed. He wept for her with me, and then a few years later he came to see my play Putting On The Dog in which one of the characters talks about losing a dog. He was the only person in the audience who knew it was about Rio, and when the play was over I found him weeping alone in the theatre. A character actor I once knew told me, in the dressing room of the same theatre, "Be kind to everybody, because everybody's fighting a battle." Budge lived that rule. He was quite the rascal and a brilliant man. I can't believe I never made it to Florida. Bye, Budge. Miss you real bad...

Frederick Bailey
Jun 23, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

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Dear Mildred and Gail,

Everytime we left one of Budgies performances either in Colorado, Los Angeles or Florida, we would always say that he really needs to be on the big screen so that he would have a bigger platform. Now with his passing, we realize that he was on a huge platform all throughout his life as he taught us all about life with his gentle spirit, wisdom and LAUGHTER. In L.A. he added me as a character into his stand up comedy and introduced me to my SOAP heartthrob after the performance. He was taking us to a great restaurant after the show that made great french fries. As we drove up to the restaurant, we quickly realized that it was a FRENCH RESTAURANT, and of course Budgie was howling. We went to visit him in Florida 4 years ago, and we watched his performance with the birds. Of course I was nominated by Budgie to come and sit on the stage while he directed an OWL to sit on my head and do other things that come natural to birds. I looked at Budge and he again was howling. After this show, he took us to his little trailer that he used between performances and there hung 4 tye-dyed shirts starched and pressed for the performances. He said, "Isn't life great!"That evening we went to a SUSHI BAR at EPCOT CENTER and then off to enjoy the evening. He started to get tired and graciously walked us to the train. The night was murky with a little mist and as he waved goodnight he turned to walk away almost like the end to wonderful movie...a twinkle in his eye, a half smile and that incredible silouetted posture...THANK you Budgie for being such an incredible positive LIFE force within us. We love you!

Audrey & Brad Serazio Cousins
Jun 23, 2005
Castle Rock, CO

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A few weeks ago, my dad had a massive stroke. The second I told Budge, he said, "Pack a bag and come on over." So I did. He made me laugh and let me cry. We spent the weekend going out to eat and watching TV.
Even watching a documentary on Charles Manson was a hoot with Budge. According to Budge, they were once roomates. He spun tales of their hi-jinks: T-Ping houses and making prank phone calls..
"Oh that Charlie was such a scamp, just a little trouble maker," he said.
Budge-man. I miss you! I'll always save you a place at your booth at Chili's and I promise I will never rent "Prince of Tides!"
Love always,
Annie

Ann Norsworthy
annnorsworthy@yahoo.com
Jun 23, 2005
Orlando, FL

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I send my deepest sympathies to All who knew Budge, because he touched so many lives. I haven't spoken to him in a few years, but every time I think about him a smile comes to my face. I will never forget the face of comedy and the term "turn for the nurse" Budge I miss you. I'm not sure where you are right now, but I'm sure there is much laughter.

Michael Isom
Jun 23, 2005
Orlando, FL

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Ah what a gift we had for a time...
Other than my father, I don't think any man has ever loved me as unconditionally as Budge. He was a mentor, a confidante, a teacher and so much more. He taught me about comedy and about life. His face made me laugh and his poems made me cry. Part of the reason I was able to move to Los Angeles is because Budge told me I had "the stuff". To this day there is no higher compliment. Every so often, when he had had a few...Budge would call me and leave songs on my voicemail, some real, some made up. How I wish I had saved those now.
I remember whenever you would come to visit, Mrs. Threlkeld, Budge would be SO proud. You were truly a Queen to him.
I miss my Budgie more than words can say. I hope he has a "hidey hole" in heaven. I know they are sure laughing a lot up there.

Kelly Holden
Kellyholdenla@aol.com
Jun 22, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

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Budge was Budge. Never gonna meet another like him. I first thought him to be gruff, funny and scary. That Face!!! That funny sometimes frightening FACE. The voice and the quick soo quick wit. However as we all know the cover of a book is decieving. It was after a performance of The EMpty Pot( a childrens show written by Dimitri Toscas,directed by me and performed at The Fringe Festival by some of his Disney friends) that i experienced Budge. After the show everyone had left and he was on the floor because their were no seats left. He was staring at the set and crying a little. I asked him what he thought and he said it was the best show he had ever seen and it was so beatiful. He went on and on. The story is very sweet about one being true to one self and finding strength in honesty. This seem to hit Bugdge at his core. This show was at least 9-10 years ago; yet last year when Dimitri and I went to visit Budge he still chatted about how it moved him and how much he loved it. I think Budge will always be with all of us. Everyone has a great Budge story to share, that was his gift. The fact that after laughing we all would say what a great,sweet man is his legacy. Love to his family and hopefully some comfort knowing how much he was loved and cared for always.

Paul Vogt
Jun 22, 2005
Valley Village CA/Orlando, FL

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My deepest sympathies at the passing of "Little Budge".

The other day, I was listening to the Al Franken Show on Air America Radio, when a name leaped out of my speakers. Mr. Franken was paying tribute to his friend and colleague, Budge Threlkeld. Now, all these years after graduating from what was then the University of Southern Colorado (1976), I'd lost touch with the community; this name brought back a number of memories. My first thoughts (after Oh, no, you're kidding), were of condolence for Mrs. Threlkeld, and for my classmate Gail. And I recalled quite a few pleasant memories of Budge's father, Budge, a terrific professor, great director, and a funny and wonderful human being.

I never really knew the younger Budge (although I heard quite a bit about him), as he was long gone from SCSC by the time I arrived. But his contributions to the world of the arts and entertainment are truly impressive. Mr. Franken waxed eloquent about his friend, who obviously made a deep and positive impression on him.

May your son, and brother, rest in peace. And again my condolences to you both and to the rest of your family.


David Payne


PS: I don't know if you already have a copy of Al Franken's on-air tribute, but if you would like one, please let me know and I'll be happy to send one to you. Be well.

David Payne
david_g_payne@yahoo.com
Jun 22, 2005
Stroudsburg, PA United States

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Ann, Joe, and all the Norsworthy family in central Florida are deeply saddened to learn of Budge's passing. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the entire Threlkeld family.

Ann Norsworthy & family
joenorsworthy@gmail.com
Jun 21, 2005
Orlando, FL

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My prayers are with your family. I became friends with Budge several years ago when I started at Flights of Wonder. He always had the right story paired with great advice when I needed it, whether it was job, acting, life, or love related. In that time he became a brother to me. I'm gonna miss my "pal," and I'm extremely greatful for having such a friend in my life.

Ryan VanZant
ryanvz@hotmail.com
Jun 21, 2005
Orlando, FL

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My deepest sympathy goes out to Budge's two favorite gals, Mildred and Gail. He spoke endlessly of his love for you two.
Budge is one of the top 5 favorite people in my life. He was my spirit guide to Comedy. He's the reason "Wings of Desire" (german version) is still my #1 film. I believe he is sitting on the building tops, with wings, listening to us all, and loving us all. Not that different from how he was in body. "You drive me crazy", Budge.... You can look up my skirt ANYTIME! Love to everyone and everything Budgie!!
Love, love, Mo "Mosey" Collins

Mo Collins
Jun 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

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to mildred and gail,

budgie was my first love. he never knew that, i think. when i first met him i was lost in his charm. the eyes. the eyes and the walk. and the way he moved his head when he was thinking. i was 16 and he directed me, then played opposite me, in "hello out there." a brief kiss in the show made me feel that i could accomplish anything. i wonder, when such a surging energy is spent in this dimension, where does it go? does it become the sunrise? or the massive waves that thunder against coasts no man has ever seen? does it become the sound of waterfalls in hidden forests? i don't know. i only know that when he looked at the 16 year old me, summer sang in me. "parting is all we know of heaven, and all we need of hell."
how blessed we are to have known him.

kathy pusatory
kpusatory@netzero.com
Jun 21, 2005
pueblo, CO

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Budge,

The pipes, the pipes are playing. I can't believe I'll never speak to you again. Your companions now are Dionysius and the great god Pan. I'm sure they're laughing 'til the tears stream down their faces.

Joe Clark
Jun 20, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

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Budge was truly one of a kind. I will never be able to watch our show again without thinking of him as Guano Joe. He taught me a lot about being onstage. I will miss having Saturday Afternoon Club and hearing Budge's stories.
To the Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Words cannot express how much NEI will miss Budge.
Jennifer

Jennifer Jakubcin
Jun 20, 2005
Orlando, FL

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Budge's Boulder Family joins his Pueblo,Orlando and LA Families in celebrating the life of our beloved Brother. "Benny Boulder" was a true leader and shining star of our tribe, though he would never cop to it. Loving Budgie changed all our lives for the better and always will. Each one of us carries his spirit in our hearts.

Sylvia Angell
Jun 20, 2005
Wheat Ridge, CO

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Funny, handsome, kind, smart - Budge, you were and always will be The Real Deal, The Main Man, The Deluxe Model. To whirlwinds of love and laughter, always and always.

Julia Brothers
juliabro@sbcglobal.net
Jun 20, 2005
Richmond, CA

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Dear Mildred and Gail and the Threlkeld Family,

I want you to know my prayers and heart are with you today. I am burning a sea of candles with flames, with flames in honor of Budge and his heart of fire and gold.
With deep sympathy,
Beth Henley

beth henley
Jun 20, 2005
los angeles, CA

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Budge and I were lovers. Not each others...

Layden Sadecky
Jun 20, 2005
North Hollywood, CA

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Dear Mildred and Gayle,

I am truly so sorry for the loss of your Budge. He loved you all so. He loved with wreckless abandon, lit up the room with those baby blues, was every man's man, gave us laughter and kindness and an angle on things that always made life just a little more bearable and beautiful. He gave me the love of baseball; he taught me to know the difference between a great stand burger and a great bar burger, completely different categories!; endless hours watching re-runs of the Great One in the Honeymooners; he could make you believe in yourself; he loved the talents and gifts of so many people, I mean really honored that in so many friends; he was generous to a fault and funny, God, he could make me laugh. And as deeply saddened and bereft as I may feel, I know that heaven is a better place with him in it.

He will always be in my heart.

I will remember you, Budge. You're one in a million, baby!

With love and deepest sympathy,
Michele Winding-Moses

Michele Winding-Moses
michelemoses@hotmail.com
Jun 20, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

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Budge or Ben Dover as he preferred to be billed at the Goldenrod Showboat was a "one-off" guy. On the several occasions that he worked for me he never failed to elicit laughter from me, his fellow cast members, and most importantly the audience. Despite his passing we will still be telling "Budge" stories for years to come. Whenever Opera House or Showboat people get together you always hear, "Remember when Budge..." Today I am sad at the news but tomorrow I will remember a Budge antic and smile.

My sympathy to Mrs. Threlkeld and Gail.

G. William Oakley

G. William Oakley
gwilliamoakley@wispertel.net
Jun 20, 2005
Georgetown, CO

5:25 PM  
Blogger GregTriggs said...

More entries from the funeral home webpage.


We'll miss Budge, aka Sam Diego aka Benny Boulder aka our friend. He made us laugh & made us cry. He touched us deeply with his kindness & richness of emotion. Budge, we love you.

Dave Gianas & Peggy Krause
gianas@thegrid.net
Jun 20, 2005
Atascadero, CA

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Budge was a generous man in all things. If he had it, he shared it - money, love, humor, friendship. His love for his friends and his family was immense. And while he was truly one of the funniest men I've ever met, he also had a profound well of emotion and soulfulness within him. It's what made him such a wonderful actor and such a wonderful friend to so many. The first year I was in Orlando, it was Budge who threw me a birthday party. It was Budge who would make me laugh, rolling his eyes and pointing at the palm of his hand, the object of his pointed finger some blowhard on the other side of the hand. It was Budge who showed me that even if you walked out on stage with nothing, if you committed to it, you could sell it, and the audience would love it. It's hard to believe that he is no longer here in body, but his spirit and his memory will live on and on, remembered by me and the countless others whose lives he touched. Here's to you, Budgie.

Mark Lainer
mahkee@aol.com
Jun 20, 2005
Orlando, FL

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How sad I was to hear of Budge’s passing. He was a unique soul who inhabited the world of both sinners and saints. A truly beautiful, kind and insightful man. Though I never met any of his family, he often talked of his mother and his love for his family was obvious. My condolences to his family that I never had the opportunity to meet. It has been comforting to me to be able to read the guestbook. In my mind, I alternate between having a beer in some “hidey hole” with the guru himself and being in the company of his innumerable friends recalling stories - funny, poignant, & absurd - laughing and grieving into the long night. I have it on good authority, that upon entry into heaven, Budge won.......”a new CAR!”

Michael Maher
mikemaher@adelphia.net
Jun 20, 2005
Linden, VA

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I knew Budge for more than 16 years and his family has always been extremely precious to me. In short, they have all felt like family from day one. I will deeply miss Budge, this precious member of my family. His incredible wit, imagination, intelligence and sincerity always made smile --- and always will. May an angel always look over you, Budge.

Ellen J. Ross
eross1@mindspring.com
Jun 20, 2005
Atlanta, GA

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To the Threlkeld family, I have no idea if you know how much Budge's Orlando family loved him but I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that he was well loved and well taken care of while he inhabited this physical plane. I am grateful for the many times his stories and antics made me laugh right out loud. He was one of a kind and I will miss him terribly. My thoughts are with you. Kath

Kathy Mullen
Jun 20, 2005
Winter Garden, FL

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My deepest sympathies. I had the great pleasure of working with Budge for 4 years at the Comedy Warehouse. Budge was the man who taught me how to look at life with a light heart. The light in my own heart is dimmed by his passing.

Allan Robuck
arobuck@cfl.rr.com
Jun 20, 2005
Orlando, FL

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Budge was a wonderful friend and a wonderful comedian. My wife, Carol, and I worked with him on several tv shows, an award winning short video, and a movie. He was a brilliant performer, warm and charming. We were great fans and went to see "The Bitter Brothers" and other shows he did in L.A. We stayed in touch when he moved to Florida. I am so sad that this sweet and unique man has died so young. We share your family's grief, wish you well, and thank you for giving us Budge. Carol and I treasure the memories of the times we spent with this funny, gentle, smart, affectionate man.

Lane Sarasohn
Jun 20, 2005
Desert Hot Springs, CA

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Our deepest condolences to you and your family. Budge was a dear friend for over 14 years and he will be truly missed. Thank you for bringing him into this world and allowing so many people to be blessed by your wonderful creation.

Ron, Debbie and Liam Kembro
Jun 19, 2005
El Paso, TX

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As one of Budgie's younger cousins, I didn't see him often or know him very well, and reading everyone else's memories makes me jealous of those of you who did. I missed out on a lot of fun.

My most vivid memory of Budgie took place about twenty years ago at a family picnic. He'd met my children, aged about ten and twelve, for the first time. As my sister Mary (anyone who knows her will tell you she's never seen without her camera slung around her neck) lined up my family for yet another photo, Budgie stood behind her, in full view of us. At the critical moment, he turned and mooned us. Whenever I look at the picture of our surprised and laughing faces, I get a happy glow thinking of Budgie.

Aunt Mil and Gail, I love you. And Uncle Budge and Budgie, I love you.

Georgianne
Jun 19, 2005
Washington, DC

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Dear Threlkeld Family, 10,000 words would not be enough to describe Budgie. He was the most lovable, frustrating, incorrigible, gentle, passionate and forgiving person I have ever known. I met Budge 25 years ago during the Sam Diego show when Budge got really sick and Steve hired me to be Budgie's nurse. I had no idea what I was in for! But it didn't take more than a couple of days for us to become best friends. He introduced me to Jimbo and he was the best man at our wedding eight years later. We visited him in Florida and after my mom came home from lung cancer surgery he drove over to Vero Beach and stayed for hours. We sat around the table with my mom and sister, drinking wine and telling stories. Budge recited all the old favorites, including the Face on the Barroom Floor. He had us laughing and crying. My mom said she didn't think she'd ever laugh like that again. I believe Budge made her want to live that night. He was never better on any stage, he glowed and he gave his heart to her. I saw him last in January when I stayed over night and spent a couple days with him. He was really very sick and suffering, but as usual he was taking care of me. He had his helper make me up a cold cuts and cheese plate and all kinds of stuff. He had bought me my favorite wine. We stayed up late and talked and watched TV and wished that Jimbo could have come on this trip. He was our best friend. Jim will be at the service and I will be there in spirit. We love you man.

Joan Probst & Jim Ives
Jun 19, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

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Dearest Threlkeld Family;
I am praying for you, and sending you much love during this difficult time. Budge Threlkeld touched so many lives, and I'm very grateful to have known him. I worked with Budge at Comedy Warehouse in 1989. I was astounded by his talent, his timing, his stories, his performances....he was blessed with a gift, a naturally funny, funny man!! Those memories of Budge keep me laughing, what a joy! Beneath all that talent, was a man with an amazing heart! Budge was so kind to me. It was a tough time in my life, and Budge seemed to understand. He was gentle, I never experienced judgement, he simply cared. I will always remember his kindness!
A few days before Budge passed away, he gave me a gift. He was speaking with a mutual friend, Phran, he asked her to pass this message on to me; “Please tell Lisa Curtis I love her”! I will hold on to those words forever!
Budge....I’m sure you and Leonard are catching up on old Comedy Warehouse days right now!!! I LOVE YOU BUDGE!!! You are in my heart always! I will see you again my friend! God Bless you and your family!
“Good Night, Sweet Prince; And Flights of Angels Sing Thee To Thy Rest”

Lisa Curtis
Jun 19, 2005
Orlando, FL

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Nobody ever made me laugh like Budge did. He always had a twinkle in his eye and being around him was always a joyful experience. I haven't seen him in years but think of him often and whenever outrageous stories of fun and mishief are being told, Budge's name invariably comes up. He was truly a gifted actor and I can honestly say that my life is richer for having seen him perform. Nobody will ever fill the space Budge has left in this world. I love you my friend.

Scott DeTurk
smdeturk@aol.com
Jun 19, 2005
San Rafael, CA

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I'm back - didn't realize we were doing LORE. As a cousin of Budge who is four years older than he, perhaps I can come up with something from our Las Animas County childhood. Budge fell in love for the first time (I think it was the first time) when he was ten years old and wanted to give the little girl a memento, so I took him to the Kress variety store in Trinidad, which was having a sale on tin heart necklaces. Cuz had his engraved to _________ (can't recall her name) from - and the engraver wrote "Buggie." He was furious, and I was too much of a whimp to do anything about the situation. So the ten-year-old marched back to the counter and made it right. My family lived in the small coal-mining town of Aguilar, Colorado, and we didn't have indoor plumbing. Needless to say, Budge was fascinated by our outhouse and one evening "accidentally" dropped his pajamas down the hole. He called me on Mothers' Day this year - said he was phoning all the mothers in the clan - and that was my last conversation with our special clown. Budge, at your service tomorrow, I will be holding onto the feather you gave me from your Orlando bird show. I suspect it has magical powers and will connect us. Like cousin Mike, I know you are SOMEWHERE entertaining all who have gone before. I just can't believe you're gone from this dimension.

Mary Leslie
Jun 19, 2005
Idaho Springs, CO

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Dear Therlkeld Family,

We are so very saddened by the passing of dear Budge. His spirit, soul & heart touched & enriched thousands of lives. His talent, comedy & timing was so respected and admired and his heart was huge!
Budge was always there when people needed him. He will be greatly missed as he was so loved.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours,

Phran and Don Roth

Phran & Don roth
Phrananddon@aol.com
Jun 19, 2005
Orlando, FL

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My Dearest Cousin Budgie,

Where do I start? We bonded as little kids in Trinidad and have been close ever since. We got in our fair share of trouble. When we were in high school I visited you in Alamosa during the summer. One night we decided to take your dad's car for a ride and were seen by friends of his and they told him. Your dad sat us down and asked us over and over, "Why did you have to steal the G.D. car?" The irony was that you got punished and Uncle Budge gave me a couple of dollars because I was homesick.
Budgie, you were not much for school but we attended SCSC together. One night you and I went to Dino's to have a beer. Soon we heard people talking about your dad and saying things that weren't very nice. You got up from your stool and told one of the guys to stand up. He did stand up - all 6'8" of him! The fight was on. We did OK but in the end we were pretty beat up. You were a lover - not a fighter but you protected the family honor. It turned out the guys were football players and had been suspended while your dad was dean.
In 1968 our grandma was in the hospital in Trinidad and we made the trip to see her. On the way he saw a hitchhiker and stopped to pick him up. You talked to him all the way and when we got there you gave him your last $5. You were always generous.
As a final thought I see Uncle Budge, Little Budge, my daughter Kathleen, who passed away in 1998, and all of our friends and family sitting around in heaven. Uncle Budge is telling stories, Little Budge is telling jokes, Kathleen and all are listening and having fun. To quote a recent country western song, "If this is what heaven is made of, then I am ready to die." I will miss you.

Your friend and cousin,
Mikey

Mike Buford
lanniemike@sbcglobal.net
Jun 18, 2005
Topeka, KS

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Miss you, Cuz.

Dierk and Mary Brown
Jun 18, 2005
Idaho Springs, CO

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Budge was one hell of a deal.Every time I saw or talked to Budge for the 25+ years I knew him it was the same greeting everytime.Budge would alway say"Have you ever,'...which was my cue to sing my little diddy...Have you ever been a fishing on a hot summer day.Sitting on the log and the log give away.Got you hands in your pocket and your pockets in your pants.And all the little fishes doing the hoochie coochie dance.There you go Budge thanks for the laughs I'll keep them safe in my heart.
Your pal,
Ritchie

Ritchie Montgomery
1catdaddy@sbcglobal.net
Jun 18, 2005
Hollywood, CA

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Budge was one hell of a deal.Every time I saw or talked to Budge for the 25+ years I knew him it was the same greeting everytime.Budge would alway say"Have you ever,'...which was my cue to sing my little diddy...Have you ever been a fishing on a hot summer day.Sitting on the log and the log give away.Got you hands in your pocket and your pockets in your pants.And all the little fishes doing the hoochie coochie dance.There you go Budge thanks for the laughs I'll keep them save in my heart.
Your pal,
Ritchie

Ritchie Montgomery
1catdaddy@sbcglobal.net
Jun 18, 2005
Hollywood, CA

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Mrs. Threlkeld -- I've thought of you so often since hearing that Budge passed away. Please know that you are in my prayers. This is of course a very sad time, but laughter certainly has been a comfort. I have many wonderful memories of performing with Budge at the Comedy Warehouse. He taught me so much while we worked together. I imagine in that regard he was very much like your husband. Knowing your son changed my life and I am very thankful for that. I only wish we had more time together.

Best wishes to you.

Greg Triggs

Greg Triggs
GregTriggs@aol.com
Jun 18, 2005
New York, NY

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Budge..Mr Sam Diego.. he made me laugh. I thank you.

Pat Proft
Jun 18, 2005
Orono, MN

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Budge was such an important part of my life in the 1980s when I met him and shared a wild and crazy life for a while. He was a true Soul Man. I have many fond and funny memories... Like the time we came out of my house one morning to find that his car had been impounded after the cops had sealed off the entire neighborhood while we slept. My neighbor told us they had found a bomb in the car. We looked at each other, knowing that it was that vest with the dynamite wrapped around it, along with the doorbell button he wore strapped to his forehead to detonate it in his comedy routine. He went off to the police station to explain it all while I was to go for a once in a lifetime ride on the Goodyear blimp that day. But before I got very far, I got a call from him that he was in jail and he needed me to get him out. I rounded up some "character" witnesses and someone who had a photo of him wearing the ridiculous contraption on stage. The police officers tried to keep a straight face as they explained to us the seriousness of wearing a "facsimile" device like that and that some bank robber a few years back had used a similar one to successfully rob some banks in Hollywood. (I always wondered if Budge had put that vest to use before). I missed my ride on the blimp, but Budge and I had more than a few drinks and laughs when he got out of the tank and he regaled me with stories of the guys he talked to there. I spoke with him late last year after many years of losing touch. I wish I had gone to see him in Florida.

I will miss you, Sweet Soul, as I know so many other will whose lives you touched.

My condolences to Budge's mother, sister, and family in Colorado. I, as so many others, will be with you in spirit as you send him off on Monday. A candle will be burning in my house

Love, Stevie

Stevie Anderson
stephanieladd@earthlink.net
Jun 17, 2005
Pine Mountain, CA

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Man, could Budge "throw face". That's what we called it at the Comedy Warehouse... and you can probably all remember those looks. Double takes. Triple takes. Eyes popping. Jowls wagging. And wow, was he funny. I will miss that harmless curmudgeon everyday. He had the heart of a lover, the mind of a scholar, and the soul of a clown. Everything he said to you, felt important - and stayed with you. Our friend Morgan, this week said that Budge gave her the best compliment she'd ever received. He found her after a comedy show and said, "Kid, you're Murder on the Orient Express." Pure Budge. I'm sure right now he's in some heavenly hofbrau, holding court. But, for the hole he left here...there's not enough spackle in the world.

Steve Purnick
Purnman@aol.com
Jun 17, 2005
Encino, CA

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Athough I only met Budge briefly back in New York I feel as though I knew him. For years I've seen the smiles on the faces of friends at the mere mention of his NAME. Beth Henley turning to a room full of people, "I spoke to Budge today!....I got a call from Budge!" had everyone's undivided attention and created a sudden atmospheric shift to glee. May you find comfort in the fact that his name will continue to be spoken and his spirit will live on in oh so many smiles.

Colleen Dodson-Baker
Jun 17, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

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Dear Aunt Millie,

If ever I am tempted to take myself too seriously, I will think of that delightful scamp of yours, poking fun at his own expense, touching and teaching us all through laughter.
If ever I forget the importance of family, I will recall young Budge's absolute devotion to his tribe. No man more worshiped the memory of his late father, more loved his mom, more treasured his sister, or more appreciated his cousins and other relatives.
If ever I take Pueblo for granted, I will recall the talented artist who departed to entertain the world but left his heart at home. However glorious the stage or great the accomplishment, there truly is nothing like a beer shared with friends at the Irish Pub or local green chili on the tongue.
If ever I lose courage, I will borrow some from the legacy of Budge, who despite certain knowledge of the end kept on living, giving, and loving. No slings and arrows of life, it seems, are more powerful than innate human dignity and grace.
And if ever I need proof of the essential worth and goodness of existence, I will find it, as Budge did, everywhere around me--in smiles and twinkling eyes.
Thank you and the Creator for the gift of this extraordinary life.

I love you,

Len

Len Gregory
Jun 17, 2005
Pueblo West, CO

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Dear Threlkeld Family,
I would like to extend my deepset sympathy on the loss of Budge! He was an amazing man who always inspired and amazed me every time I was with him. I was lucky enough to be friends with Budge for 15 years, being one of the Orlando gang that marveled at his stories,laughed at his antics and was blown away by his talent. I just saw Budgey a few weeks ago and he was still fiesty, hilarious and kind. He always had great advice for me and was constantly encouraging me to do better in my career as well as life! His love and support will be missed but will live on through us all. God Bless you Budge and behave yourself in Heaven!!
Peter Allen Vogt.

Peter A Vogt
Jun 17, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

5:26 PM  
Blogger GregTriggs said...

Not too long ago Budge called to say he loved me- he was calling all his cousins, just to let them know how much he loved them. And then he said he knew I would take care of his mom if anything would happen to him. He never ever complained about his situation. He made me laugh everytime I talked to him, and he would rather talk about anything else besides himself. I'm going to miss his generous spirit. But I know he will be put to work helping everyone down here on earth to laugh a little more often.

Lori Gregory
Jun 17, 2005
Pueblo West, CO

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Budge was the most alive person I ever new. When I was with him the world shimmered and colors bounced. I was inspired by his brilliance and courage as a stand up philosopher. There will never be anyone like him again in my life. I love him and my heart is broken. Generous man, beloved, beloved.

Beth Henley
Jun 16, 2005
los angeles, CA

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Dear Mildred & Gail,
I was so sorry to read about Budge's death. I remember him from when you lived in Alamosa. He had such a sense of humor even then and must have been much like his father. I send sympathies to you from my Mother, Madeline Bradshaw, also. May the peace of our Lord help you through this difficult time.

Beverly (Bradshaw) Scanga
Jun 16, 2005
Salida, CO

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Hi. Terribly sorry to hear of his passing, yes his bright star will shine in the heavens.
Anyone remember Budge from OJC? I was a piano playing nerd in those days, down in the Kiva, pounding out some Jerry Lee music and he says WHOS MAKING ALL THAT NOISE?
Around the corner he walks and smiles at me, YOU GOT TALENT SON, SHOW ME MORE. I wont forget it and he was cracking me up with jokes.
I told him he would go far too, he says YES FAR FAR AWAY. we waved at one another many times on campus.
He was one of a kind. God Bless you Budge. Thanks for being you.
silverhawk442002@yahoo.com

gerald b carpenter
silverhawk442002@yahoo.com
Jun 16, 2005
lakewood, CO

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Sorry to hear about Budge. He was a classmate of mine at Alamosa High School. I will always remember his humor and fun personality. Budge was a class behind me, but a person I will always remember, and will always be glad to have known.
Bless you all, Bertie Lou

Bertie Lou (Andre) Smith
Jun 16, 2005
Alamosa, CO

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He was a man well loved by those that knew him and marveled at by those who saw him perform.He spread joy in a world of apathy and united people ,if for moments at a time,by using his greatest gift,the gift to make people laugh.Budge will be missed but not ever forgotten by anyone who saw him on or off the stage.

Andrew Clark
andrew_clark@bellsouth.net
Jun 16, 2005
orlando, FL

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One Budge story I have to share. In 1978 we taped “The Sam Diego Show” in Hollywood, with Budge starring as sleazy game show host, Sam Diego. Free studio audience tickets were distributed on Hollywood Blvd. Part of “Sam’s” routine was distributing tiny sums of cash for answers to questions like “Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?” A group of young, homeless runaway boys realized they could collect a few bucks by spending the day laughing at Budge’s antics. He made sure to take care of them, especially one boy, 13-14 years old, rail thin, shoulder-length hair who had run away from his family in rural Nebraska. Budge always talked to him on and off camera, and gave him a few bucks. After the last show, there was 3-400 dollars in excess prize money. Budge pressed the cash into the kid’s hands, making him promise to use it to return home. Several days later the boy’s tearful mother called from Nebraska to thank “Mr. Diego” for the return of her son. Well, now I’m crying again.

Tom Sherohman
tshero@comcast.net
Jun 16, 2005
Columbia Heights, MN

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When I was 18 and barely out of high school I worked with Budge at Bob Young's Cabaret in Cascade, CO. No one will ever do a rendition of "The Face On the Bar Room Floor" as he did. I know he brought you all joy.

God's peace be with you all.

Shelley Medina

Shelley Medina
Jun 16, 2005
Pueblo, CO

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A long-awaited meeting.
A wink, a hug, and a smile.
A song at the top of your lungs.
A sincere, "I love ya, man."
A straight hour of non-stop laughter.
A "Presidente" Margarita.
A seat in the front row at Comedy Warehouse.
The funniest game of trivial pursuit ever played.

My cousin Budge was the type of guy that seemed to make all of your problems fade. I remember going to visit him in Florida with two of my friends and just looking forward to it so much because I knew how much fun we would have with him. He was the most non-judgmental, funniest, and most welcoming person I have ever known in real life. I also remember going to Chili's with him and being amazed at how he knew every single waitress, waiter, and bartender in the place on a first name basis and how they all lit up when he walked in. One by one, they all visited our table because it was Budge and he had a magnetic personality. People just wanted to be around him because he made them feel important and he made them laugh and they knew that he didn't want anything from them in return. I'll miss you, man.

Christopher Macchietto
Jun 16, 2005
Fort Collins, CO

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When Beth Henley returned to SMU, she talked about Budge. Miss Firecracker was a one shot playwright but Budge was a many shot talent. Father Budge did many good things with a minutia of talent in the Pueblo drama community (can a water board barrister play Richard Burton?) but Budge Jr. was the real deal.

David Becker
d.Becker@tcu.edu
Jun 16, 2005
Foat wuth, TX ('tis a Whole Different Country)

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I did not know Budge, but I remember Gail very well. I am very sorry for your loss, and may God bless you all.

Rick Hatfield
Jun 16, 2005
Aurora, CO

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Oh dear Budge- the sweetest funniest guy in the green room!! I was so priveleged to work with such an amazing talent and a wonderful human being! You will be missed.
I send your family gentle comfort and peace and may the Angels greet you in Heaven with great Love and rip-roaring Laughter!!

from my heart,
Sandy Fox
Disney entertainer & friend

Sandy Fox
sandy@sandyfoxworld.com
Jun 15, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

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Budge, you were loved by many people and you had a gift to make people laugh, what a wonderful gift that was. Its been a long time since the Comedy Warehouse days, but I never forget you and your zest for life. You will be missed.

Andrew Parness
aparness@cfl.rr.com
Jun 15, 2005
Orlando, FL

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One day many years ago, in exchange for giving him a ride, Budge took me to a local eatery, where we nursed a beer or two and snacked at the bar. I forget what we talked about, but Budge filled my ear with stories and jokes as we ate and drank, and I smiled and laughed so much that my face ached later. During the few hours we were eating and drinking together, Budge occasionally looked and me and gave me a sly wink, as if to say, "Isn't this the best thing in the world?" Yes, Budge, it was.

Philip Nolen
Jun 15, 2005
Orlando, FL

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Dear Mildred,
Your son, Budge, was a gift to our family. Our daughter, Anne, worked with him in Animal Kingdom. He was a ray of sunshine for her as she adjusted to being so far from home. We had the joy of meeting him at Steve Martin's Earth Day celebration last year. I told stories, and Budge ate them up. We pray that the love of his many friends and the love of God will be a comfort for you.

Fred & Nancy Shaw
Jun 15, 2005
Milford, OH

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Oh, Budge..it's been so long since I've seen you but could never think of you as anything other than my friend. Times go way back to the 70's--fun in Denver, the melodramas in Cascade and Manitou.I have such fond memories..and was just thinking of you the other day. Shine on.

My best to you, Mildred and Gail. Sandy Hunter

Sandy Hunter
Jun 15, 2005
Pueblo, CO

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Budge was a dear friend of mine in Denver, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Orlando. Some highlights for me: the "Sam Diego Show" (L.A. 1978) - with Budge as Sam, the sleazy game show host; those hour-long, off the top of his head, rambling monologues he would deliver at the Ala Carte in Hollywood when opening for Ricky Lee Jones; High Street (in Denver and L.A.); The Third Eye, in Denver; The Limbo Lounge with Budge, Stucker, Billy, Chris and the gang; Good Lord, he was funny! But he was also kind, intelligent, understanding, courageous - and a whole lot of other things that have their origins in the heart. I wish I could be in Pueblo with you to share some of the stories that have come rushing to mind since I heard the news. Budgie came from a wonderful, loving family whom he cherished. Mildred and Gail, all my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Tom Sherohman
tshero@comcast.net
Jun 15, 2005
Columbia Heights, MN

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We knew Budge as a kind, gentle and generous man. He was also very funny. We knew him from Los Angeles and Katherine and I were both saddened to hear of his death. We will remember him with perhaps a chuckle, but always with a smile.

Dennis and Katherine Kincaid

Dennis Kincaid
marsrise@earthlink.net
Jun 15, 2005
Seattle, WA

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I worked with Budge at Flights of Wonder at Disney's Animal Kingdom. His spirit and humor always brightened my day. He remained a friend even after I left the show. Budge lives on in the memories of those he touched.

Bill Willard
wwillard@tampabay.rr.com
Jun 15, 2005
Davenport, FL

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6:30 PM  
Blogger GregTriggs said...

Tom Bleecker -
email: tbleecker@gmail.com



I knew Budge over 30 years ago, back when I worked at the Third Eye
Theatre in Denver, and where Budge was always a brilliant light. He
had years of performing, including as the Indian in the long running
Fantasticks, Bob Crachit in Christmas Carol, Ishmael in Moby Dick,
Rehearsed, and many others. His performances were hypnotic - for me,
Budge was always the definition of excellence in his acting in serious
plays, and the definition of fun in his comedy.

Budge was a trickster and a force of nature who sometimes seemed to
know deep secrets of the universe. He was a brilliant actor,
comedian, improviser, mystic, radio disc jockey, and friend.

I guess he seemed eternal in some way - I'm so sad that I didn't look
around to try to find him more recently. I count myself fortunate
that I knew him. I'll never forget him.

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1:29 PM  
Blogger Jay Bilotti said...

I'm coming here late. I hadn't seen Budge for over 30 years and have just discovered he passed last year. I happened to be looking at pictures on Dan Fong's web site and remembering all the great old times we had back in the 70's in Denver when I came across a picture of the High Street
comedy troupe.

To tell the truth I hadn't thought about High Street for years and just looking at the picture made me laugh. I wondered what ever became of Budge so I googled him and ended up here.

I just finished reading everyone's comments--tears running down my cheeks again and again reading about how much people loved and missed that wonderful and whacky guy--and realized how much I missed him, too.

I met Budge through Dan who, I think, was their business manager at the time. Dan and I were catering most of the rock concerts that came to Denver in those days (we put food in the dressing rooms and also catered parties for bands such as the Stones and the Dead) and he got me to sponsor High Street's weekly movie improv program on KFML, Denver's hippest radio station (ever).

High Street would provide an alternate dialog and soundtrack for whatever movie was on and they would work in advertisements for my restaurant, Bilotti's Pizza, during the movie, typically by ordering a pizza whenever anyone in the movie picked up a phone.

Somehow, I also got talked into dragging my TV set down to the radio studio every week because the studio didn't have one and so I got to be friends with Budge, Clancey and the others by hanging out in the studio during the show, sometimes joining in to make noise by manning one of the numerous devices they used to simulate the sounds of doors, etc.

The radio station wasn't making a lot of money and it wasn't paying the troupe much, if anything, so Dan worked out a deal where I paid the station something for the ad (but not much since it wasn't a 'real' spot) and then also gave the troupe a food credit at my restaurant. That worked for me since I didn't have a lot of money either.

What that meant, of course, was that at least once a week my restaurant would be invaded by Budge and the rest of the troupe who were always welcomed for the cheer and laughter that they brought with them.

My last memory of Budge was one night when he came in alone to eat. It was a slow night so when he finished we shared a bowl and then, duly inspired, decided to do something neither of us had done for a long while--go ride a roller coaster.

We went to the old Elitch Gardens to ride the Twister, one of the great roller coasters of all time and maybe the best anywhere in those days. We had an awkward moment at the gate--they had a policy about keeping 'bad elements' out and, with our long hair, outlandish clothes, and bloodshot eyes, we no doubt qualified, but Budge made them laugh and we were in.

We rode the coaster three or four times, till our legs were wobbly, and then wandered around the park, Budge making my side hurt from laughing too much, until we came upon the famous Elitch Gardens Ballroom, which had featured the likes of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and many other famous bands in its heyday.

Thee wasn't much demand for ballroom dancing--this must have been about '73 or '74--and it was slated for demolition. While lamenting this terrible prospect for such a beautiful venue--something that Budge as a showman could probably appreciate more than I--we came up with a fantastic plan to save it by getting the Grateful Dead to play there. We spent some time running and dancing around the empty dance floor laughing and planning this 'great idea'--the band will be there, dancing here, and we'll set up speakers all over the park so the music can be heard while riding the rides and, of course, High Street, would open the show. There would be this whole series of concerts, a kind of never-ending Woodstock. We were sure we could save the building.

But, alas, it was an absurd (chemically absurd!) plan--the ballroom was way too small for the Dead, who were filling stadiums then, and Elitch's management would never have signed up for an invasion of thousands of Deadheads(!)--but we had fun planning it.

Well, that building passed on and and now so has Budge. I let Budge slip out of my life as our life paths diverged (he to LA, NYC and Orlando and I to Japan), but the world was a better place with Budge in it and he's one guy I'm definitely going to look up when I'm gone, too.

Jimmie Jenkins, a.k.a. Jay Bilotti,
Ashiya, Japan

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9:57 PM  
Blogger Abbie said...

I knew Budge in the early '80s in Manhattan. I would travel down to 42nd St. around midnight every weekend to sit at the feet of the great Sam Diego in one of the late-night comedy clubs. He was a truth teller and a humanist. He was wise. And he always made me laugh.
I didn't know until today that Budge had passed away. Even though I hadn't seen him in over 20 years, I feel a tremendous sense of loss. My deepest sympathy to his family and all his friends.

6:01 PM  
Blogger ...e... said...

i didn't know, and here it is five years later. i guess tom bleecker and i are the earliest on here, and i see no other names i knew then--i wonder where are david and joe, where's juney and dino and...now budge is off with joey. Tom(my) and i were both in high school when we worked at the third eye in denver where we knew budge. Budge was the big brother who taught me how to drink tequila shots as some dive next door--it must have been 1969. we listened to Abbey Road. i seem to remember Easy Rider, and i KNOW i remember The Wild Ones at some picture palace in downtown denver. we all had something to do with Hello Dolly! at the Denver Post Opera outdoors the night of the moon landing...and we all used to eat late night japanese food after the fantasticks, etc., when budge used to have to get back to pueblo. "the crosstown busses run all night?" he'd suddenly jerked up and say to no one, to which joey provided the only possible answer: "doo-dah, doo dah..."

sometime in the 80s Budge and i ran into each other again in nyc--maybe dino connected us? i remember meeting him at some oyster dive near south street seaport, and i was in my 30s by then. "are you SURE i was just your brother?" he'd say. yes, budge, in your 20s you were The Old Actor, and even though i'm nearing 60 you will always be my big brother.

Hey, Jude, don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better...

3:50 PM  
Blogger DJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:39 AM  
Blogger DJ said...

I knew Budge from the Third Eye Theatre in downtown Denver when I was a kid about 16. My family went to see “The Fantasticks”, a hilarious comedy wherein the parents play matchmaker by forbidding their children to see each other, calculating correctly that this will make them want each other the more. It was a great production that night, with Budge as Mortimer, I'd even declare it to be the best comedy performance of all time, anywhere. One of Budge's lines was “they’d always shout die again, Mortimer, die again!!”, at which point my father, from the audience, stood up and shouted “DIE AGAIN!!!”--and Budge looked out smiling and with a finger wag and a scold said, slowly, “I never did!”. Well, you did, Budge, and the world is lesser for it.

9:45 AM  

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