Farewell to Captain Butch

Farewell to Captain Butch

Few people  knew  his real name. He was the last person I knew that still carried a bag phone, that is until it broke, just a few short years ago. He preferred this to the new because it worked better in the mangroves and he could carry a pistol in it as well.  The only reason I know his real name is because of a transaction involving his boat many years ago.  Butch was selling his boat because he had a new one lined up. Some guys came down from Boca Grande and wanted to buy it. Of course he had them meet him while he was on a shelling trip. They wanted the boat and had a cashiers check. Butch said, “he wanted cash.” I happened to be in the marina that day, so by default or just plain marina luck, I took the prospective buyers by jeep down to Sanibel to the bank to cash their cashiers check. I happened to notice the check was written out to someone other than Butch. I took them back to Captiva where they got in their boat and went back up to where Butch was shelling and gave him the cash. One of the many stories with Butch .  He was an excellent story teller. He guided on Captiva since the 1970’s. Butch  had his own little cogerisims,  at the marina we called them ” Butchisms”. Things like “when in doubt chicken out” when talking about the weather. There were many, and they always “hit the nail on the head”. I always enjoyed listening to his stories whether it was his observations on smuggling in the 70’s, the late nights  at Cabbage Key or Captiva in the 70’s  It was all good. He has been  a part of Captiva and Sanibel since the 1970’s. He always took the good with the bad. But he would ALWAYS be there to help. Like when I was a young guide, he let me use his boat trailer. Sounds simple, but there are a few things guides really don’t let people borrow, one a boat trailer the other an  ice bucket.  He let me use both. Thanks for all the Butchisims and advice old friend.  I ‘ll see you on the other side- Wade.

Brian Holaway

I have been a Shelling Guide to Cayo Costa State Park since 1995. Many people know me as the Shelling Guide and Captain with Captiva Cruises over the past 20 years. In 2016 I began solely offering private small boat charters to the islands of Pine Island Sound including Cayo Costa State Park, Cabbage Key, Useppa Island, Pine Island and North Captiva. I am a certified Florida Master Naturalist, licensed USCG Captain, avocational photographer, seashell enthusiast and passionate about the history, people and culture of Southwest Florida, especially Cayo Costa. I volunteer as a member of Friends of Cayo Costa State Park and have great respect for the heritage of Cayo Costa. My goal is to provide guests with an overall experience and appreciation for the waters, islands, shells, plants, marine life, wildlife, history and people of this unique area of Southwest Florida.

  • Jen S.
    Posted at 12:42h, 02 September

    Sounds like Butch was an awesome guy! Reading about the "Butchisms" really made me smile…like "when in doubt chicken out". Although I've never met him, hearing about him was a breath of fresh air. Sounds like one heck of a man and the meaning of a true friend.
    May you RIP Butch.

  • Kim@Snug Harbor
    Posted at 15:04h, 02 September

    That was a very fitting tribute. He sounded like a pretty cool guy. I understand the boat trailer thing, but you'll have to explain the ice bucket to me. Is that because it's full of your guiding stuff?

  • Kaybe
    Posted at 01:15h, 03 September

    You have really been given the gift of knowing & befriending some of Captiva/Sanibel's finest. I personally think you have the makings for an awesome novel between Butch & the Captiva shell lady. Have you ever read "Daisy Fay & the Miracle Man" by Fannie Flagg? I hope when I am gone people tell crazy stories about me & laugh. What a legacy.

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 01:32h, 03 September

    I have been given the gift many times. Butch's stories could make War and Peace look like cliff notes I will find Fanny's book. Thank you. I enjoy your stories, Your book has started . Thanks again

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 01:42h, 03 September

    P.S, The shell lady we talked about is the One and only Nancy Darling.

  • Suwannee Refugee
    Posted at 11:04h, 06 September

    I never met Captain Butch but I've met a few fisherman that fit that profile. "Captain Butches" are hard to come by.