Former Lawmaker and Byrd Principal Buddy Shaw Dies
Buddy Shaw, a longtime educator and legislator has died. Dr. Shaw was a member of the Louisiana State Senate for Caddo and Bossier parishes.
He defeated fellow Republican Billy Montgomery in the 2007 general election to win the District 37 seat vacated by the term-limited Senator Max Malone of Shreveport.
Shaw received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and later got his Ed.D. degree from LSU in Baton Rouge. He was also an Army veteran.
Prior to his service in the legislature, Dr. Shaw was a teacher and principal of Byrd High School in Shreveport. He also served on the Caddo School. He was inducted into the Byrd High School Hall of Fame in 2000.
I considered Buddy a friend and he was always honest with me anytime I asked him a tough question. He was funny and so very friendly. He will be dearly missed by so many.
My favorite Buddy Shaw story comes from legendary author Bill Joyce. I want to share that story in its entirety.
Freshman year in high school, I was bored. We were reading Poe in freshman English, and that ignited a lot of things in my head. I took a couple of my friends aside and said, “I’ve got this idea. We’re going to make a sticker that says ‘The Raven,’ and get a bunch of them printed up, and stick them everywhere, and see what happens.” I had ten thousand of these black circular stickers, with white gothic print that said “The Raven,” and a crummy little silhouette of a raven. We’d stick them on lockers, or go to somebody’s house at night and cover their entire front door. Put them on all the cars in the teachers’ parking lot. We would leave a burnt-edged note that said, “The raven has struck.” The next day everyone would say, “The raven struck my house last night. What does this mean?” This went on for like four months.
I started getting more brazen. I went to the principal’s office and put one on the seat of his chair, and one right inside his desk. The day before Christmas break, the principal offered a five-hundred-dollar reward to anyone supplying information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons defacing the school in the name of The Raven. There are certain phrases that you hear once, but they burn into your memory forever, especially if they’re directed at your possible imprisonment.
My dad told me I should turn myself in. When we got back from Christmas, I was called to the office. Every scoundrel in school was there, all the usual suspects. They called me in first. I sat down with the principal and the vice-principal. The principal said, “Okay, what is this?”
“It seemed like a fun idea,” I said.
“Wait, really? You’re not some terrorist organization?”
“No,” I said, “it’s just to give people something to talk about. And I like Edgar Allan Poe.”
The principal sat there and thought about this for a second, and instead of doing anything damaging like calling the police, he said, “You will be allowed back in the school if you clean off every one of those stickers.” Which I did after school for weeks.
The principal’s name was B. L. “Buddy” Shaw. When I graduated from high school, Dr. Shaw gave me my diploma and he said, “So long, Raven.” Years later, he became a state representative and then a state senator, and in both of those houses of government, he proclaimed a “William Joyce Day” in Louisiana. Twice I appeared at the state capital, and both times he told that story of the Raven on the floor of the legislature. What kind of state does that, except Louisiana?
Rest in Peace, Buddy.