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Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Under the Chinaberry Tree

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Monday, April 8
Fran Houser Adrian Midway Cafe
Tuesday, April 9
Peter Avila San Benito Conjunto Museum
Wednesday, April 10
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Friday, April 12
Troy Grusendorf Brownwood Harmonica
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In Print: On News Stands Now


by Tumbleweed Smith

I continually make a study of characters, people who live life to its fullest and have fun every day. Some people look like characters but are not. Some people don’t look like characters but are. Buddy Moody of Harlingen fits both categories; he looks like a character and is one.

Our visit started out at his real estate office. We got into a quiet place and he told me all kinds of stuff. He looks like a giant; 275 pounds and six and a half feet. He wears western hats with five and six inch brims, big belt buckles and boots that come up to his knees. Of course he tucks his pants legs into the boots.

The belt buckle he was wearing has what looks like the rear end of a cylinder on a fully loaded.38 caliber pistol embedded into it. When he turns the cylinder, it clicks.

“I own 28 pairs of boots,” says Buddy, “and 27 hats. Almost that many belt buckles. I dress like this every day except when I’m officiating a high school football game. On those days I wear low quarters.”

Every once in awhile a rambunctious player will accidentally collide with him on the field. After the play, someone will ask Buddy if he would like anything. His standard reply is “Bud Light.” When he goes into a steak place he tells the waitress to “just wipe its butt and cut off its horns and bring it to me.” Sometimes he orders a hindquarter. He started telling me about his house. “It’s got slot machines, crap tables, a wet bar and a fabulous stereo system. The walls are full of trophy animals.” Intrigued and curious, I asked him if we could continue the interview at his home. He said “yep” and off we went. Sure enough, it is a well-equipped party house. When we pulled into his driveway he opened the door of his pickup to show me the rosewood dashboard and ostrich quill seat covers.

Buddy is an auctioneer and stays busy doing all sorts of selling. Some time ago he had a band and wrote music. One of his songs reached number 35 on the top 100 list. He is also a reserve policeman. He is a dead ringer for Charlie Daniels. A picture on the wall of his house shows both Buddy and Charlie standing side by side. When I was asked to point to the real Charlie, I pointed to Buddy. “Everybody does that,” he says. “You really can’t tell us apart.”

Buddy has Charlie’s cell phone number and they are close friends. Occasionally Charlie will sneak into Harlingen, stay in Buddy’s house and shoot wild hogs on Buddy’s ranch. Onetime Charlie told Buddy, “You’re my twin. You look like me, talk like me and walk like me. I’ve heard that everybody on earth has a twin. I’ve found mine.”

Buddy ‘s real name is Bueford Charlie Moody. Sometimes he’ll walk into a place where Charlie Daniels is playing, go backstage and even the security people will think he’s the real Charlie Daniels. Maybe Charlie should see if he could pass for Buddy.

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