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"Lend me my sword, ho!"--Shakespear

December 26, 2003

"People of the Philippines, I have returned." I apologize for my extended leave of absence, but, quite frankly, both my funny and my rant ability were temporarily disabled by the sudden death of a man who at age 48 had accomplished more than many people do in much longer spans of time. I met Charlie Wilson like I did a lot of people, through my Dad and his connections in the landscape/nursery world. He was an absolute nut, and one of the truest friends anyone could know. I remember sitting in a general store in Bagdad, Kentucky, with my dad and Charlie, and Charlie looking me right in the eye (He knew no other way) and asking me "Have you really thought about this? You don't look anything like your dad! I mean, I haven't met your mom, but he's awful short, and you still have a full head of hair...". That was just Charlie's humor. Always outrageous, but never more than a person could take. He never failed to elicit peals of laughter when he wanted to, and was often guilty of making himself the butt of the joke. He was a devoted father, as well, raising his two daughters by himself before remarrying, and having two more. He was intensely proud of them, but at the same time, intensely protective. He was, in a word, daddy. But for the wonderful qualities he had, I'll still know him for his infectious smile and laugh, and his total lack of shame. The last time I saw Charlie, we were driving side by side down U.S. 60 in Shelbyville, KY, shouting out our windows at each other at the top of our lungs. And grinning like idiots the whole way. I'll miss him, but if God needs him, I can understand. Things are probably a lot funnier in Heaven now than they were just over a week ago, and we're learning how to laugh again here, too.