Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In Memoriam: Charles R. Jr.

In Memoriam Charles R. Jr.

September 4, 1929-2010

Part One

It took me a long time to write this and you probably are not really wondering why. If you have lost a loved one, you must have a lot of empathy and realize how I must be feeling these many months. If not, you must find yourself blessed in the fact that a loved one hasn’t left you yet but then you’re one of the lucky one.s Soon the time must come to all that love that a loved one’s life must end. It is the way of things. It doesn’t make it any easier for me and others who have lost a loved one but at least it was expected. So this Memoriam is to give some comfort to those of Charles’ Family and friends who will miss him. Though it was expected, it is still a shock to learn that a man who has loved, learned, fought, and cared has died.

Charles was born in a small town outside of Houston, Texas. That is as much as I could learn from him while he was still with us. Even though he was a gregarious man, full of life, and some who didn’t know he very well would assume he was talkative; there was still some information that he kept to himself. One of which was the name of the town, the other was the name of his Mother and Father. Of all that he would say to me about one; his Mother was that she was deemed unfit to raise him due to the fact that she was mentally unfit. They didn’t have fancy medical names back then of all of the sorts of mental illnesses they had back then; Psychology being what it was they most probably misdiagnosed it anyway. So my father and his brother; (who also was not named to me or else I forgotten, it’s hard to say); was raised by his Aunt and Uncle. Again any names he may have mentioned were forgotten by me and by him. (So sorry Dad, should have paid more attention.)

At any rate from what he told me it was a tough childhood. The time he was born in was in the time of the Great Depression. So needless to say times were tough. As a child in the South of Texas he was deemed smart and loved to listen to the radio about current events of his times. Too poor to go to College my Father when he was about 18 or so decided to have a bit of an adventure. It sounded like an adventure to me when he told it but I’m sure the reality of being a bum riding on the rails was dangerous and fraught with peril. Tired of that life I’m guessing was what led him to go to New York and later join the army.

Charles used his smarts and charm to find himself just in time for the Harlem Renaissance. Where he made a lot of African-Americans and other races very much interested in the Black intelligentsia of that time in the 40’s. He also was on the scene to be pretty much recruited by the disaffected whites of that time. Members of the Communist party in America. (Talk about a life being fraught with danger!) In those times, people were worried about the damnest things, like a Communist take over, Socialism run amok, and a whole lot of stupidest that still runs over to this time today. But my Father found that these caring Whites were looking out for their fellow man and that included the Black Man. In his time those types of Whites were few and far between. So he found like minded companions who cared about where he was going in life and were in their own way trying to strive for a better life.

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