By Ben Hulsey ’22
Mr. Bobby Busick, from Gordonsville, Virginia, is the head painter at the Forest. Some of his responsibilities include assigning work to different people, painting dorms and houses, learning the color preferences of the faculty, ordering paint, and lining up and completing the work orders issued on campus. He learned about Woodberry from his father, who brought him over in 1975 as a paint contractor. Mr. Busick worked here as a self-employed painter later on. He officially joined the Woodberry Forest staff in 2006. He says he took the job because he saw Woodberry as a wonderful place with great people.
“I love to paint, and I love the people I work with,” Mr. Busick said.
He especially likes the early mornings in the office where the maintenance department gathers before they set off to work. He told me he arrives to work before anybody stirs, listening to the birds and enjoying the quiet. The combination of people and painting seem to give him happiness and a sense of pride in his work. Mr. Busick claims his least favorite part of the job is painting handrails and roofs. He is also not a fan of purposely dented walls by students. He said that if students were more careful and attentive while living in their rooms, then life would be easier for everybody, including painters, maintenance workers, and the future students who will be living in those rooms.
Mr. Busick is an avid foxhunter, and sometimes hunts with fellow painter Mr. Robert Lillard, a Bengal football coach, and head wrestling coach. Their faces light up at any mention of the hunt. Mr. Busick loves foxhunting because of the “thrill of the chase and seeing the dogs run a fox while knowing that they aren’t going to catch it.” He raises the dogs he hunts with and seems to have a very meaningful connection with them.
Mr. Busick can be very quiet at times and is always humble. But he also knows when to crack a joke and has the ability to give Mr. Reimers a toothy grin after a long day of painting. That is an accomplishment. One of his favorite recent memories is watching Reimers scowl and growl after he took a sharp turn in the Kubota, causing the gallon paint bucket to spill over and turn the gray road into a ghostly white. Over the summer, I can remember his smile as he exclaimed, “Good luck Ben!” as Reimers carted us to work each morning.
So, as you traverse through Woodberry, take a look at the paint job. I know you will be impressed by the works of Mr. Busick and Mr. Lillard. I feel as though they deserve more credit than they get, as they preserve the tidiness and paint jobs over our massive campus. The maintenance crew is just as vital as any student or faculty, so next time you see them, say a quick thank you.