Thursday, April 10, 2014


One of my new routines is to drink coffee with a bunch of old timers at one of our local restaurants.  They meet twice a day, once at 7:30 and again at 2:00.  I took Kubota with me this morning.  We had misplaced Mrs ERJ's recipe for bowls of cereal.

While pulling into the parking lot we stopped so Charlie could cross in front of us.  He broke into a run.  I don't know if he was goofing around or did not recognize my wife's van....or maybe he did recognize the van and thought Belladonna was driving.  Who knows?

He took a tumble when he tried to leap up on the walkway that goes around the building.  At least I don't think his somersault was intentional.  Charlie is in his mid-80s.

Charlie identifies himself as "a common laborer, just like my dad."  Charlie is anything but common.

Charlie still does arbor (tree) work and this winter's ice storms were a bonanza for him.  He also does cement work and roofing.

Charlie's grammar is impeccable, his diction is clear and precise, his thoughts are fully formed and well presented.  He could pass for an English professor at a Division I university.

At one point Charlie was set financially.  But something came up.  I do not know any of the details but my guess is that a family member needed help with a mortgage.  And now Charlie needs to work.

But like all things Charlie touches he does it with elegance and grace.  Even tumbling on the sidewalk.

He was scuffed up a little bit and leaking a little bit.  His main concern seemed to be that I not worry.  He told me that he takes a tumble about once a month and it is a relief to have April's out of the way.  I just hope he does not time any of his tumbles to occur when he is roofing or up in a tree.

I like Charlie.

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