What happened there Charley?


Ok… so some days you hit pay dirt and some days you just hit dirt. On those days in my
case, it generally rains and I just end up muddy! Thus, my efforts on the literary end of things have produced much the same. I know you are scratching your head and saying to yourself… ‘Now what is she talking about?’ and that’s ok. Just know that today I got muddy- without pay and we shall move on. Or, maybe I am premature in my assessments and Charley has something else up his sleeve I have yet to divine! I look at his face for clues.

So my gray eyed wonder… what have you got brewing in your little brain now? I can feel it in the air, swirling about your 8×10 head on my desk. Your Mona Lisa smile is making mischief in the cosmos- I can feel it and it makes me unnerved.

Charley is up to something and I am curious to see what he has in store for me. Why? Because a cardinal passed in font of me this morning and I have not seen one in weeks. A small feather fell before me the afternoon before and another black cat (who did not cross- but sat anxious) crouched at the bend in the road as I drove by on my way home from work last night. Waiting… waiting…warning. Maybe it was the black cat from Julie’s Halloween story. Anyway…as Mercury is about to go retrograde on me again, I feel as though I spin wheels and produce no yarn to warrant such effort. Each day, I write, I read and each day I wait for
confirmations. Exhausted both emotionally and psychically the other night, I opted just to write a short blog and not to work on the book. The very next morning on my way to work, I passed a church whose sign read:

“What are
you waiting for? They need you now!”

Now, while hundreds of people I am certain passed that very same sign that morning… I am equally as certain that it did not scream at them in the same way it had at me! Let me translate for you dear reader…“Get back to work T. A.! Charley,
Jessica, Roxanne and the Mot need you now!” So at the risk of alienating family and losing sleep, I returned to my template that night and tried to move forward.  As you know, I have been diligent in my daily exercise of literary muscles and kept pace to the best of my human ability… but to what end?

Why can’t
the sign scream at me, “Hey you-Good job! Keep going. I got your back and you are ten seconds from liberations meant to ease your stress and further your dreams!”

Now that’s a freaking sign I can get into!

Instead, like rotting carrots dangling in the wind before the waning rabbit- Charley baits me with cryptic quotes and
prognostications that I know he understands, but I in my primitive intellect cannot always translate with absolute understanding and conviction. So let me think aloud and let’s see what comes through.


“…the 19th
by the river…”

I read the line over and over. I look into those eyes and I can feel him telling me, “Come on kiddo. You know what this means. Think… think! The 19th– get it?” and so I try.

“Is this
back in 1966?” I ask.

He smiles,
but doesn’t say a ____________ thing. I hate that about him sometimes!

I repeat it
over and over– out loud this time.

“The 19th by the river… the 19th by the river… the 19th…”

“OK. Let’s assume it was the 19th of… what? September maybe? September 19th,
1966?” I ask. He ignores me and allows me to process.

Something happened on the 19th by the river. There is only one river in this equation. The river that separates Brooks County from Lowndes County. The river where Charley’s body was found…the Withlacoochee River which acted as border between their equal corruption. What happened there that night, Charley? Who was there with you? Tell me Charley! Who was there?

My muse bids me to think about such an ethereal calendar and then I remember Hazel. God love
that lady!

Curious now, I scramble to get  her journal and then jump between Hazel’s journal and this
blog. She mentions a day later in September where several women whose husband’s worked with Charley had come to her house to visit and stayed for coffee. She wondered after the fact if they had originally come to tell her about Charley
and G, but chickened out.  There is also the mention of Charley telling Hazel he had coffee with several folks that
day… G being one of them!

So again I ask the 8×10 again to talk to me.  “The 19th by the river…huh?” Hmmmm. Next in Hazel’s journal she writes about Charley’s Birthday being on September 21st and what she had given him for his Birthday- but in that same vein of information she writes about the lighter that appeared with him days before! The lighter that the Federal officer’s claimed G gave to him. Is this where and when you met her for the lighter Charley???? Or did someone else give you another lighter, because on October 6th you bought another lighter from the Morris Pawn shop for $3.00? And that lighter was in a bag that the Regional Supervisor of ATTD
(ATF at the time) was frantic to get back from Hazel. Infact he demanded she return it to him! Odd, huh? Why would a man who works in Moultrie worry about a lighter bought from a pawn shop in Valdosta?? Had he been there recently… or maybe somebody else had been to Valdosta who lost a lighter that was exactly the same as the one Charley bought… for evidence???

Hmmmm……This lighter just keeps coming back into vogue!

I remember the river and the areas just beside and below the bridge. I went there searching for something that might render a clue or an impression. Julie and I actually drove down to the river’s edge and got out and walked. There is a trail that you can drive your car down on. Rutted with the tracks of too many redneck Cadillac’s, it boasts little more than pockets of muddied gravel and obstacles of larger stones…lying hidden beneath the tree line and bridge… it is mostly out of view.

What happened there Charley?

 Tell me… I cannot process without more information.

The day has now turned as gray as your yes, my coffee is hot and the music inside my headset mellow and inviting and though I would rather curl up like a small kitten on my couch and purr beneath a comfortable blanket… you bait with those eyes and I
am recommitted to you once again. Dear friend, occasionally I must remind you that I on the other side of your veil frustrate at broken words and faded photographs. I do not understand it all and try as I might to keep both faith and head above such troubled waters- I reach for a lifeline I can hold onto and feel solid about.

Talk to me
Charley… talk to me!

2 Responses to “What happened there Charley?”

  1. Ada Loggains Says:

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