The Street Vendors community lost one of our own this weekend. Melvin “Buzzy” Bryant passed away quietly in his sleep over the Christmas Holiday. He sold the Cleveland Street newspaper for around 20 years and in doing so touched many people’s lives. His smile and eagerness to greet people made him one of the most loved vendors at the West Side Market.
He was an incredible person with an amazing story. He was homeless for 10 years, spent time in prison and became a community activist and educator. His lived experience taught him deeply about politics and the need for a deeper sense of community. He brought a deep wisdom to every conversation. He was always looking out for other vendors. When our meetings got tense, Buzzy would step in and mediate disagreements and seek resolutions. His presence will be missed by so many. Buzzy, thank you for wisdom shared.
Buzzy was scheduled to sell the paper outside the West side Market on Saturday, December 30th from 10 to noon. In honor of him, Angelo Anderson will sell the paper to raise money for his family in this time of need.
Memories of Buzzy from The Vendors
“He was an amazing person, friend and co-worker and I am really going to miss him. My heart is still broke that he is gone. It is not going to be the same without him.” - Tammy Hobbs
“I am going to miss Buzzy a lot without him being at the Westside Market and NEOCH offices things will not be the same because he was part of the crew.” - Mike Owens
“Buzzy was a good friend and he would do a lot to help a person out. He was a lot of fun to be around. I have known him for a long time and I will miss him. “ - Kim “Supermutt” Goodman
“I’ll never forget Buzzy, we did a lot of things together. Nobody could have been a bigger Indians fan than he was. He went to many games a year down at the stadium. He was my friend for 30 years. I am totally going to miss him, I was to go before him. We harassed each other all the time." - Raymond Jacobs
"He had a winning smile, a great attitude and he would give you the shirt off of his back. That is one thing people didn’t realize about him. Damn, I am going to miss him." - Angelo Anderson
"I lost a dear friend on Christmas Day. His name was Melvin 'Buzzy' Bryant. August 17, 1947-December 25, 2017. Buzzy was a sweet man. He never had a bad word against me or anyone else. I went to his funeral adn his family treated me like a human being. The vendors at West Side Market came to See him. There was a dinner for Buzzy after the services. I went with his neice to the gathering. Buzzy only got flowers for his casket. Buzzy was cremated. Buzzy, you will be missed by me especially." - Delores Manley
Words from NEOCH's Staff:
"I am going to miss Buzzy. He was fun, flirty and in his mind, a Lady’s Man! He always had a smile on his face as well as a quick wit. I’m going to miss reading his wonderfully informative articles and just miss his presence.” Joyce Robinson
“He always had an amazing smile and a genuine greeting. He always enjoyed people and made everyone feel like you were his best friend. He was full of wisdom and always looked at things with a mature perspective and he tried to learn from everything. He will be truly missed.” - Denise Moore
"Buzzy one of our leaders at The Street Chronicle. He taught so many of us how to live through the hardships of life. His heart was for his people and his wisdom was shared with everyone." - Chris Knestrick
Below is Buzzy's last article which was published in the November 2017 issue of The Street Chronicle
The State of the Country
Well the election is over and we have a new president, Donald Trump. Let’s review these first 100 days and the state of the country since he has become president of these UNITED STATES. The Dow is still going up, there are a few more people working, we don’t have a new Health Plan, poor people are expecting to become poorer, he still has Russia hanging over his head, and he has hired most of the people close to him and they are now FIRED. It’s like watching The Apprentice in real life, but it’s happening at the White House.
His popularity has gone down. So it really hasn’t been a great 100 days for President Trump. I as an American citizen feel upset. Not because I didn’t vote for him, but because from my observation he is running the country like he ran his TV show, The Apprentice. He doesn’t have a clue about how to run a country. I hate to think of the future after Trump. He’s hired all these people with no experience in public service, but all were put in positions that can cripple the United States. They are learning secrets about this country that the average citizen doesn’t know. Who knows what they will use it for once they leave their positions. We already have Bannon saying he can help the president more by his dismissal because of what he has learned being by his side. Now we have a White Nationalist who has obtained secrets about the United States back on the air stirring up more trouble and the United States being torn apart at the seam.
Trump supporters are distancing themselves from the president. The country is in disarray. What is it as Americans that we can do or say? Where do we go from here? Can we ever get back to being America? Are we headed down the road of no return? America what will our future hold for our children? These are questions we must begin to answer for ourselves and our children. Something positive has to be done to get America back on the right track. I ask all Americans to stand up for what is right. Let’s get America back to where America needs to be, on top; a country where people want to come, because most of us still believe in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
I just hope that we don’t get into war with North Korea, because more middle to low income people will die for America while upper middle class and rich people stay home and tell the returning soldiers, “Thanks for your service.” Let’s bring back the draft so those who weren’t around can witness how people dodge serving this country in the Armed Forces.
As I remember, during the campaign for President Donald Trump’s message was, “Let’s Make America Great Again.” Well how great has he made America? Stand up America. We deserve better; not with force, but with Peace. Until next time, keep the faith.