Sunday, April 26, 2015

RIP Charlie

Our friend Charlie Watts died this weekend. I've talked about him before. He's had many close calls, but he always managed to cheat death and come back strong.

He was a radio announcer in the 1950s and he interviewed Elvis, along with his mother, Gladys and father Vernon Presley.

Later he landed the job on Congressman Tom Bevill's staff and in that position, ran in the elite circles of power in Washington D.C.

I met him when I was a staff photographer for the local newspaper in 1973. He was kind to me, but our friendship did not take root until about five years ago.

Since that time, we've spent hours visiting. He, his wife Yvonne, and their son Randall dined with us one summer evening. As we sat in the great room and chatted, the birds outside the front windows put on a show, with hummingbirds hovering as if posing for a snapshot.

Just after we sat down at the table to eat, I heart Charlie exclaim, Look!  When I followed his pointing finger, there were deer just beyond the fence in the garden playing tag.

The conversation paused while we watched the deer play for a long while. When they scampered off into the woods, Charlie said, "We're in Shangri-La."

We swore upon parting that we'd have them back over, but his health steadily declined, and unfortunately it never happened.

When I saw him last week, I knew he would not be here much longer.

Yvonne asked us to play a few songs at his funeral tomorrow. I know it will be hard, but Jilda and I were both humbled and honored to be asked.

Rest in peace my friend.

Charlie Watts, second from the left wearing the hat.


  1. He would have been proud, sweet memories and tribute. I am glad to hear the friendship clicked, even late. Some people are really worth remembering. I really like the way you can put me in the room with you guys. Thanks. I could see the smile and honesty on his face when he said: "We're in Shangri-La." What a sweet thing for him to say also. I am sure a man of his caliber knew what real friends were. Good entry.Tomorrow will be bitter-sweet I am sure.

  2. My condolences on the loss of your friend. So sorry.

  3. So sorry for the loss of your friend. It's good that you do have a wonderful memory of the time you shared together. I always like to think we really never loose those we care about as they remain close to us in our hearts.

  4. This is a nice tribute to your friend. I love the deer story. You will do well tomorrow in honouring your friend

  5. It always hurts to lose a beloved person. My condolences.

  6. My sincere condolences, Rick. Friends who recognize Shangri-La where and whenever it touches our lives are true treasures.

  7. Anonymous12:02 PM

    My sympathies on the loss of your friend. I, too, lost a good friend recently--I know how it feels!!

  8. I was thinking of y'all a couple times today - yours was certainly not an enviable task, but one I'm sure that was carried out with love. May Charlie's memory be a blessing.

  9. Such a wonderful tribute to him I am sure he would like it

  10. :-(

    I'm so sorry for your loss, Rick.

  11. My condolences on the loss of your friend Charie.
    May he rest in peace,

    1. Opps, it should read Charlie.


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