Saturday, April 5, 2008

Characters of Natchez, MS: Buzz Harper


Antiques magnate and interior designer Buzz Harper works every room like a politician. And decorates every room like he's French nobility. This is his favorite room in the Prentiss Club, a turn-of-the-century gentlemen’s club in downtown Natchez that was in complete disrepair when he bought it. Buzz renovated and decorated the entire building and even lived here for a while before selling it in a deal that was too good to refuse. He calls the Prentiss Club his masterpiece. His zenith.

As a side note, before I met Buzz, I was warned that he was a vampire. He lived in New Orleans for years, and was the neighbor and close friend of Anne Rice. He is almost 80 years old, but he’s in great shape and looks at least 20 years younger. He eats all his beef raw. Not rare. Straight out of the fridge with a little salt and garlic. (I know, but stick with me.)

So, in one of my conversations with Buzz, he told me that he once loved collecting antiques. He realized that they were just things, though. Now he collects people. “I am a vampire,” he said. I have witnesses. Of course, what he meant was that he feeds on the energy of creativity of his friends who surround him. But those words still came out of his mouth.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello

Myself & 3 other girls are coming to Natez next week. We would like to see some of Mr. Harpers work.

How could we get in touch with him?

thanks
Brenda

Tanner said...

Thanks for the comment, Brenda. I hope you have a great trip.

My recommendation: Contact the Eola Hotel in downtown Natchez before you go. The owner of the Eola also owns the Prentiss Club, which is the old building that Buzz renovated and what he considers his masterpiece. (This room he's standing in is the dining room of the Prentiss Club.)

Just ask the hotel manager if you can get a tour of the club.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Great article & such an Interesting individual. So sad that he recently passed away. He leaves behind such a wonderful legacy..

Anonymous said...

Did he have any children?

tafrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tafrick said...

Hi, not that it's important, but that golden figure is not Buddha, it is Luang Phor Toh, a very important Monk in Thailand's history.

Frank Mccall said...

Buzz was one of my best friends, and he was THE ONE AND ONLY. I miss him terribly