|Charlie Herron lived life the right way|
Charles A. Herron wouldn't agree, or like, much of what follows . . . starting with the first three words, Charles A. Herron.
I found that out the first time I met him at Boots Bros. Oil Co. Phil Boots introduced me to "Charles Herron" and I made the mistake of shaking his hand and addressing him as Mr. Herron.
"Just call me Charlie," he said. "That's what most people do."
It was the first time he told me what to do. Wasn't the last. Not by a long shot.
Charlie passed away last week. Once again, he would disagree, but the world is poorer without him.
The world needs more Charlies. We're losing too many. Charlie was 80. A lot of good people like him are a similar age. Good, honest, hard-working people. Charlie said what he meant and meant what he said. Filters? Political correctness? Not even remotely.
"Good God, Timmy, how fat are you getting?"
Charlie said that to me a couple of years ago. He wasn't being mean. I weighed more than 300 pounds and wasn't shrinking.
"The only thing they care about is themselves," he said on another day. He was talking about a group of politicians. We'll leave it at that (but trust me, he was very specific on who he meant).
More often than not, he was right. Way more.
I never told him this, but a fair amount of the inspiration behind John Hammer came from him. The regular eight or nine of you who follow these babblings know the Hammer. If you don't, let's just describe him as a straight-talking man who doesn't put up with a lot of noise. When Hammer touched on a comment from President Obama, the lack of self-reliance in today's world and how our country's work ethic has changed for the worse . . . those topics all were born from a conversation with Charlie.
He knew of what he spoke. Charlie was a military veteran and qualified for his gold watch with Boots Bros. two years ago.
That's hard for young people to believe. But Charlie really did spend 52 years working for the same company. And was proud to do so. Didn't mind at all telling you that he worked for good people. He never said that he worked longer at Boots Bros. than anyone named Boots, but he did.
Sen. Phil Boots said it best. "You can't replace him. Charlie was special."
Loyalty. Honesty. Respect.
Far more than simple words - more than descriptions. Those were a way of life to the man. Unlike fads and passing fancies that catch some folks, Charlie wasn't changing the way he lived. He led his life the way he saw it. He did it his way. He was fair, but if you didn't like it, that wasn't going to be his problem.
He's gone. He'll be missed. The world would be far better if there were more people like him.
Nope, he wouldn't like all this babbling. But it's straight and it's honest. Charlie would have a tough time arguing with that.
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