Over the weekend I received news that Charlie (pictured right) had passed the week before.
I liked Charlie a lot. He was a colorful fixture around the Tower District… mostly at Tom’s Trains and at the Revue Cafe.
It was at the latter place that I socialized with him the most. This is where Charlie would hold court regaling those of us sitting around with numerous stories.
Many were often repeated but we didn’t mind. It was the delivery.
Here is a reposting from 2005 in his honor.
Coffee at the Revue.
Its been awhile since I had coffee at the Revue. This use to be my daily ritual. I would waltz in at 7 ish in the morning and leave by 9:30 for work. Those were the good old days when my schedule wasn’t as stringent as it has been in the last year. Sure there is a Statbucks only a 2 minute walk away but I have always had a soft spot for the locally owned joint.
The little alcove where the “patio al fresco” is situated was my hang of choice. This is where the “Revue Heads” held court just about every day. There was Charlie, the model train store owner and proud Vietnam Vet. Jim, the retired mailman who began each conversation with “You know…” and who was tolerated because he had a cute dog. Bill, the cop from Madera and computer nerd who never took off his shades.
Sure there were others but these were the regulars… and they all had opinions and they made sure that these opinions were voiced. When the caffeine kicked in, these opinions would fly fast and furious along with the volume level. On many a morning we would be in stitches when a balloon of seriousness would be incisvely popped by the quick witted and sarcastic jab by one of the patio crowd.
There was also the obligaory moment of silence whenever a sweet young thing with a bodacious bod would saunter into the cafe. Heck, she didn’t have to be sweet or young… but a bodacious bod always stopped everyone in their tracks. Even Charlie, who tells very involved and animated stories would suddenly fall silent. He usually managed to recover to continue the tale in all its gory splendor and have us all chuckling within minutes.
I’ve only known of 2 occasions when he actually lost complete train of thought… aand so did the rest of us… and silence reigned on the patio for at least 10 minutes. After the distraction had long gone, from one corner a voice meekly piped up, “Breeder?”
“Oh yeah.” “Breeder for sure.” Everyone throwing confirmation into the ring… and magically everything went back to normal.
This morning Charlie was there. I was happy to see him. No breeders came by but it’s nice to know that some things don’t change.