We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Life seemed somehow to rest more lightly on him than on most of us. I wanted to know the why and the how. As our friendship grew, those questions deepened, for I learned that life had dealt Charlie some heavy blows: grief, victimhood, helplessness, disruption.
I came to realize Charlie was not a survivor. He was a thriver. He did not just live. He lived joyfully. He was like a magnet, pulling me across the street and into his confidences, where I discovered something about life’s essentials. The sort of something one wants to pass on to one’s children.