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Author Topic: Where is Charlie????  (Read 728 times)


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Where is Charlie????
« on: December 17, 2011, 06:55:46 PM »

I hesitate to tell this story because some of you may think it ''self gratifying '' or some sort of brag but I hope you people know me well enough that you will trust me for the truth and this is the truth as I remember it.

I spent fourteen years as a maintenance mechanic in a concrete plant after I got out of the Navy. There was two really great days on this job, the day I hired on and the day I quit. I quit back in 75 as I remember and they were paying me very good. They gave me 24 K per year and a pick up truck. I bummed around for about a year after I quit and finally wound up as partner in a furniture store. I did most of the heavy lifting and the ''go fetching''....
It was in February and I went over to pick up some end tables and then over to Carolina Bedding for some mattress sets. I picked up the tables first and as I was going over to Carolina bedding I took the ''short cut'' across ''Dragonfly'' hill. Now, Dragonfly hill was actually two hills with a bridge and a creek in the middle. What I would do was ''go flying down one side'' of the hill and go ''draggin'' up the other hill. I rounded the curve heading toward the downhill side and I noticed a car pulling out from the driveway beside the creek at the middle of the bottom. There was a trailer down there also. The car was going up the hill ahead of me so I hit the breaks to let him get way ahead of me. As I sat there waiting I saw a boy of about six or seven bail out of the passenger window of the car. Hummmm kids playing with a car. The car stopped and began rolling back down the hill. The further it went the faster it went. It hit the ditch and bounded over the drive way and did a ''back flip'' into the creek bed about 20 feet below the bridge. The kid that had jumped out of the car was now at the bridge about the same time that I got there in the truck.
Understand this,,,,,,, it was February, cold a whizz, in fact there was iced areas in the creek. I bounded out of the truck and this kid said ''Where's Charlie?''...... I figured he was talking about one of the other people in the car and I said ''I guess he is still in the car''...
I tossed my wallet in the seat of the truck and my ''ciggies'' and tumbled over the bank and down about 20 feet into the ice cold creek. The car was in water about three and a half feet deep and it was upside down. Lovely..... After some yanking and pulling I managed to get the drivers side door open and out popped a man. He gave me a blank stare and I propped him against the car. He was looking thru me instead of at me. I asked him his name and was there anyone else in the car. Again, he just looked at me like I was not there. He had a medical tag around his neck and I flipped it over. ''EPELEPCY''
The kid up on the embankment said ''that's my dad, that aint Charlie.........'' Where's Charlie?''
Again I reached into the darkness feeling around for someone else. I was about to give up when my hand touched something that felt like a rubber doll. I grabbed it and pulled out a little boy about one and a half years old. He had stopped breathing, he was cold as a frog and he was pretty much blue all over. My heart sank to my shoes......
''That's Charlie.''
I pressed his chest to my ear and heard nothing. I turned him upside down and held him against my chest and started ''pumping him out''.  Short, easy pumps, not too hard but steady. Snot, creek water and puke literally squeezed out of this baby mouth and nose. After about a minute I stopped and listened again ...NOTHING... I started over and on the third try when I put his chest up to my ear I could hear ''butter fly wings'' tapping in his chest. As I stood there in that creek I asked God to please let this child live. I told God that I would give five years of my life it He would let this baby live. I listened listened again and the heart beat was stronger and his color was coming back. He finally started screaming and crying and I screamed ''thank you God'' and I started to cry also. I finally turned his ''right side up'' and looked at his face. He was screaming his lungs out and it was the prettiest music I had ever heard in my life. He started to shiver and I put him on the car and ripped off his wet clothing. I took off my leather jacket and zipped him up inside the warm coat. His father was beginning to come around and he started asking why his car was in the creek and where were his ''ciggies''. He looked at me and asked how he was going to get his car out of the creek. I flipped out...... I told him I didnt give a ''ship'' how he got the ''flaking'' car out of the ''flaking'' creek and he should have his ''ash'' kicked over his shoulders for exposing these kids to such danger. I told him that me and ''Charlie'' was walkin' out and he could go where he pleased or go to ''Hell'' if he wanted. I was really mad. Charlie was warm now and he was cute as a doll. Big blue eyes and a shock of blond hair. He had wiggled up in the coat and he put his arms around my neck with a mighty ''baby hug''........ I thanked God again and the tears came back to my eyes again....... We walked about a quarter mile and found a flat place and walked out of the creek and back to my truck. I got everyone a furniture pad for warmth and went up to the mattress company and we all walked in. Bob, the owner took us in the office and turned the heat wide open. I told him what had happened and I tried to give Charlie to his wife and that was a ''no go''. When I handed him over he screamed like a banshee. He reached for me with both arms and screaming and kicking. I took him back and held him tight. Bob told me he would load my truck and he would take care of the ''situation'' so I could go back to my furniture store. When I got back to the store Bob had already called ahead and I simply walked in the office and stuck the electric heater between my feet and put my head on the desk. I reached in the bottom drawer and pulled out a fifth of J.D. Black Label and poured me two fingers in a paper cup. I tossed that down and put my head down and cried like a child. I thanked God for letting little Charlie live. If you have never had something like this happen to you, you have some ''living'' to do.......

Sometime later I learned that Little Charlie was dead. It seems that the trailer had caught fire and the only person to survive was the kid that had jumped out of the car. Little Charlie died in his crib. I had a really hard time with this. I talked to God and asked ''WHY''..... And no answer came. I lost all faith in God for a while.I challenged him to come down and we would have a man to man.  I told him that he had welched out on a deal and I wanted my five years back because he broke the deal.  Fortunately he just smiled and forgave me. My wife Linda helped me thru this hard time and I eventually got my faith back and my life back in order.
Believe it or not, sometimes I swear that I can feel his little arms around my neck hugging me. I can still see his blue eyes and his pink cheeks. Sometimes I still cry when I think of ''Little Charlie''......

Second generation U.S. Navy
Seajay the sailor man
God bless our troops and bring them home safe
God bless our veterans.... All gave some.. Some gave all that we might be free.....