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Old 12-10-2010, 03:57 PM   #1
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Fleetwood Owners Club
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Location: Granite Falls, NC
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''where is charlie''


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''. 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. 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''......

Such is life I guess but I still dont understand......

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Old 12-10-2010, 04:31 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Northeast PA
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A bittersweet experience, without question.
No need to worry about anybody considering it for less than it is; a Heroic performance.

You took control when God allowed it so you must let it go now as beyond your influence.

Evidently, Charlie's in a place better than he was when here.

Kudos, Cj.............KUDOS.

Bob (Squidly Down Under) & Peg - 2013 Ford Focus pushing a 2011 Phoenix Cruiser 2552S
"In God we trust" to preserve our country and bring our Troops safely home.
Carry on, regardless..................
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:53 PM   #3
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Location: Back in Philly for the fall heading to Sunshine before the snow flies
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Seajay, you have lived one amazing life. God has his reasons for things which we don't understand. But there was a purpose in all of that, we just have to hope that someday we can figure out what it is.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:53 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hogg, Tx
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Seajay I belive God orders our life if we let him. I belive you did just that. Little Charley give you a life lesson them went to play around the throne of God. These life lessons made you Seajay the Sailorman, the kind of man who Willa loves, the man who writes storys that lifts us up and brings tears to our eyes.
Seajay, the Sailorman I salute you. Semper Fi
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:21 PM   #5
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I am not going to try and console you as.. Well.. I know the futility of that.

I will say this.... I was at work one day,, Working the #5 phone positoin, nobody on Phone 4.. Suddenly the kid on phone 3 jumped up and hollered THE BABY's TURNING BLUE. (I should mention the office phone number was 9-1-1, well one of them)

The young lady on Radio 3 was an EMT and an EMT Instructor. She left her radio (Serious breach of policy) and stood beside Phone3 person, who at that point was basically useless.. He looked around in a panic, And seeing here handed her the phone.. I slid over to Radio 3 to cover her ... actions... for her.

Well.... The Sgt played the tape of that phone call once it was over and EMS on the scene (I think I called them too, or someone else did)

And I can tell you that one sentence in your post is absolutly beyond a doubt true.. That child's cry.. The sweetest sound I have every head and that goes for all the others in the room too.

A couple of years later that same EMT/Instructor needed time off for some medical treatment.. However since she had just come back from long term medical leave due to another issue the boss said "NO".. She was in tears. The union stweard was tearing his hair out and finally I taped him on the shoulder and whispered something in his ear. She not only got the 2 weeks off she needed but with pay and benefits as a direct result of that whisper.

She never quite figured out why I did that.. You see.. She and I were not exactly the best of friends on the floor.. In fact. more or less the other extreme.. But I still saved her job for her. Cause I was not there to serve her.. I was there to serve the citizens "out there" and.. I felt that was best done by saving her job.. Cause she was very good at it.

But when that blue baby started crying..... Not a dry eye in the house.

Cause one thing we know about a crying child.. THEY ARE NOT TURNING BLUE.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:12 PM   #6
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Relating this again brings back memories for me. Strange as it may seem, I do not even know ''Charlies'' last name. Bob is the person that told me about the fire when I made another run over for mattresses a month of so later. I didnt take the ''short cut'' down Dragonfly any more and I didnt see anything about the fire on TV. I went down to see the trailer and there was nothing but the burned wheels and some of the chassis left of it. It really got to me. Hit me like a hammer between the eyes. I can tell you that our God is a forgiving God and he had every reason to zap my sorry butt with a lighting bolt for what I said to Him concerning what had happened to ''Charlie''. I have never been back down there but I might go back now just to look around. I'll do that when we get home maybe. I still re-live the incident and I can still see ''Charlie'' with a snottie nose and big tears in his eyes. I guess I took it so seriously because Linda and I never had children. We were God parents to a couple but we never had our own. It just seemed like such a waste to lose such a cute little boy to something as stupid as a fire. I suppose his father may have been smokin' and had an attack and dropped his ''ciggie'' in his recliner or something.
Gettin sad thinking about it ............ Tks for the comments ....... Be safe ...

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