Ena Busby portrays positivity at its finest

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By Shanin Thomas
Old Town Lansing Times staff writer

OLD TOWN LANSING – Ena Busby has repeatedly reminded herself and Old Town residents that a positive attitude can push through anything.

Cry at the End of the Day


Ena Busby (Provided by Ena Busby)

Old Town’s “mayor,” Robert Busby, was  murdered 7 years ago on Feb. 27. He was known for not only rebuilding a broken community but revitalizing its open and artistic spirit.

“We’re not going to be sad,” Ena Busby said. “We have things to do. You can cry at the end of the day.”

Ena Busby, the only child of Robert Busby, is exceptionally positive, friends said.

Filling the Shoes


Ena’s daughters (from left to right) Gabrielle, Destiny and Mone’t. (Provided by Ena Busby)

Ena inherited her father’s gallery and other properties after his death. As a single mother of three, she raises her daughters to be strong and figure things out, the same way Robert raised her, she said.

Not only that, Louise Gradwohl, executive director of the Old Town Commercial Association, said Ena would bend over backwards to help a friend.

Brittney Hoszkiw, who met Ena Busby while volunteering for Old Town, said, “In a neighborhood full of creative minds and big personalities, Ena is not like that until you get to know her.”

The shoes Robert Busby left Ena to fill may have been large, but she was not over shadowed, friends said. Ena Busby may seem quiet and reserved, however her passionate, caring personality is an unbreakable mask to her silent suffering.


Photos in memory of Robert Busby in the window of Creole Gallery. (Taken by Shanin Thomas)

Jamie Schriner-Hooper, a friend of Ena Busby, said she had a big gap to fill when her father passed away because of his presence in Old Town. Taking on his legacy was an immense responsibility, she said.

Ena said her biggest accomplishment is keeping the gallery running. “It has been a whirlwind,” she said.

Nevertheless, Ena originally drove the idea of the Robert Busby Memorial Garden. Although it may be the last thing made in his memory, it is not finished, she said.

“Her dad would be proud. I certainly am and I am just her friend,” Schriner-Hooper said.


Comment? Contact Shanin Thomas thoma955@msu.edu

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