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#039;Kinky#039; fascination earns Huff mention in book

Ironton's Butch Huff isn't ashamed to admit that he likes all things "Kinky."

He's been a "Kinky" fan for years. He couldn't help but be attracted to Kink. What's not to love?

"It was probably 20 years ago. I was just looking through a bookstore and 'Elvis, Jesus and Coca-Cola' caught my eye," the 54-year-old Ironton man said, explaining the first time he stumbled upon a book by Texas author Kinky Friedman. "I picked it up and liked the book.

"He's completely unique in his genre," Huff said. "He's like Mickey Spillane on acid. He's really habit-forming."

Eventually, Huff was so impressed by the Texas wordsmith that he wrote Friedman a letter.

"One Feb. 14, he called and said, 'Butch, it's Kinky. Will you be my Valentine?'"

And so the mutual friendship began.

Whenever he was in Columbus or around the area at a booksigning, we'd meet up," Huff said. "He's a fascinating character.

"He toured with Dylan; he knows everybody."

Friedman's public fans include President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton. Throughout the 1970s, Friedman wrote and performed songs with his band, Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jew Boys.

And yet the anti-prude purveyor still makes time to keep up with old friends such as Huff.

"If the phone rings at 3 in the morning, I know who it is," Huff said.

A month ago, Huff was happily surprised when he found out Friedman had given Huff the ultimate honor - a literary legacy.

"It's considered some what of a dubious honor to be in one of Kinky's books," Huff said.

But included Huff was, mentioned by name in Friedman's latest novel, "Ten Little New Yorkers (Simon & Schuster, March 2005).

In the book, Huff is mentioned alongside some pretty interesting characters from both history and modern day.

Let's take a peek as the author (and narrator of the story) works through a list of possible suspects.

" … This included Washington Ratso, who had an alibi because he lived and worked in Washington, Will Hoover, who had an alibi because he lived and worked in Harvard, Kent Perkins, Dr. Jim Bone, Roscoe West, Billy Swan, the aforementioned Ted Mann, John Mankiewicz, Dylan Ferraro, Dwight Yoakam, Bob Dylan, Hitler, Jesus Christ and Butch Huff from Ashland, Kentucky."

Huff thinks Friedman got the "Ashland" connection from Huff's business cards that show his work address in Ashland.

That small detail isn't important to Huff. He's just tickled that his good friend chose to make his name immortal, as it were.

Friedman claims "Ten Little New Yorkers" will be his last book. He's published more than 16 books.

And, it could be if he manages to accomplish his next feat: Run for Texas governor in 2006.

"Kinky is about as politically incorrect as you can get," Huff said. "And that's probably what is interesting about him."

His unofficial campaign slogan is: Why the hell not?

"This year ought to be interesting," Huff said. "It would really be kind of neat if he were elected governor."

Interesting may be an understatement. Saying this year may be Kinky might be more appropriate.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445, ext. 12 or by e-mail to kevin.cooper@irontontribune.com.