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Farewell, Butzie, and thanks

August 24, 2009 - Kevin Sweeney
The death of Robert “Butz” Palmer last week is a loss not only to his family, but to fans of the Concord Singers and those who have felt his hospitality.

“Butzie” could always be seen in the front row of the Concord Singers show, and for good reason. He was a crowd favorite. He always seemed to be enjoying himself just a little bit more than the rest of the singers, rocking back and forth with a little more animation, waving his hands, a big smile on his face as he sang.

Over the years, he hosted some visiting musicians here for Heritagefest, and he obviously showed them a good time. A few years ago I was the beneficiary of Butzie’s hospitality when I accompanied the New Ulm Municipal Band and city officials on a trip to Germany for the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the Hermann Monument near Detmold.

We stayed with several host families, including a young German tax lawyer who was also a member of the Herbrechtigen city band that had played in New Ulm. “I stayed with Butzie Palmer,” he told my son and me. “I want to show you as good a time as Butzie showed me.”

And I can only guess that Butzie showed him a heck of a time, because that’s what we had.

Later, while the band was playing at a beer festival in Neu Ulm, people would come up to me and say, “You’re from New Ulm? Say hello to Butzie Palmer for me.”

I did pass the greetings along, and I can only say thanks again to Butzie for the enjoyment he gave to so many people.


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