Golden’s ‘Buffalo Bill’ dies

Entertainer Al Huffman remembered fondly

Posted 10/10/16

According to his brother Clayton, Al Huffman would have been happy being outdoors, chasing buffalo and interacting with Native Americans.

Just like Buffalo Bill did.

“I like to say he was born 100 years too late,” Clayton Huffman of …

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Golden’s ‘Buffalo Bill’ dies

Entertainer Al Huffman remembered fondly

Posted

According to his brother Clayton, Al Huffman would have been happy being outdoors, chasing buffalo and interacting with Native Americans.

Just like Buffalo Bill did.

“I like to say he was born 100 years too late,” Clayton Huffman of Conifer said.

Earl `Al’ Albert Huffman of Evergreen, known for being a Buffalo Bill impersonator, died on Sept. 20 at age 84.

“He knew everybody,” Clayton Huffman said. And “he brought a lot of attention to the Evergreen community — he was recognized all over the world.”

He shook hands with presidents and befriended many famous movie stars, said Cathy Elliot who plays Annie Oakley with Monarch Productions. He knew Roy Rogers, 1911-1998, an American singer and cowboy actor, and his wife Dale Evans, 1912-2001, also an American singer-songwriter and actress, pretty well, Clayton Huffman added. In fact, Clayton Huffman got to accompany his brother to the 1998 Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California, when Al Huffman rode in the parade with the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum’s Congress of Fancy Range Riders.

“He was quite the guy,” Elliot said, who noted she met Al Huffman in 1989 or 1990. “He had a gift about him that allowed him to spread out his love to everybody.”

The Buffalo Bill impersonating started about 40 years ago, Clayton Huffman said, when Al Huffman entered a Buffalo Bill look-alike contest and won.

And that turned into him travelling all over the world as Buffalo Bill, Elliot said. He even became the brand promoter for Buffalo Bill Tortilla Chips, Clayton Huffman added.

Locally, Al Huffman entertained regularly at the Buffalo Bill Museum on Lookout Mountain, for the Golden Chamber of Commerce and functions at the Rock Rest Lodge in Golden. He participated in Evergreen Rodeo parades and at least 10 or 12 annual Buffalo Bill Days parades in Golden, Clayton Huffman said.

At about 75 years old, because of two or three back surgeries over the years, Clayton Huffman said, Al Huffman was no longer able to ride a horse. But that didn’t stop him from participating in community events. This past July, Clayton Huffman added, he rode in a buggy in the Evergreen parade.

Al Huffman probably enjoyed the children the most, Elliot said.

“He gave his heart and listened to every kid,” she said. “He could make any kid feel so special.”

One piece of advice he would always pass along to other Buffalo Bill impersonators, Clayton Huffman said, was “don’t let the kids see you do anything outside of the Buffalo Bill character.”

“He wanted to pass on the Buffalo Bill legacy as best he could,” Clayton Huffman added.

Al Huffman had a love for the Old West, but also a love for his community, Clayton Huffman said. He had a hand in developing the Evergreen Rodeo Grounds and starting the Buffalo Bill Saddle Club. He was a charter member of the Evergreen Elks Lodge, which will be celebrating 50 years this April, Clayton Huffman said.

Al Huffman was born and raised in Grand Island, Nebraska. He moved to Colorado when he was 25, and lived in Denver for a little while, but eventually settled in Evergreen where he lived for about 50 years, Clayton Huffman said.

He and his wife Sherrie, who preceded him in death at age 65 on Sept. 15, 2001, raised two daughters.

“Al leaves behind a world he touched in kindness and through the life he lived,” said Leslie Klane the Golden Chamber of Commerce’s CEO/president. “He brought joy to those around the world who knew him as Buffalo Bill.”

But Klane mentioned her father was a childhood friend of his, and fondly referred to him as Huffy. His memory will live “on in our hearts, in moments treasured and through lovely photos,” she added.

Al Huffman always had a story to tell, Elliot said, but added among her favorite memories are the dances they shared and his whistles.

“It was the happiest whistle you’d ever heard,” she said.

And she, along with many others who knew him, will now say farewell with a “happy trails,” she said, which was Al Huffman’s signature way of saying goodbye.

Al Huffman , Golden, Buffalo Bill

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