A Tribute to 'Cg' Charles, the BloggerThis past November, Charles, aka Cg transitioned into the Light.
He was a long time Rocky Top Brigade Blogger from Memphis. He and I had been blogger buds for quite some time. He was articulate, bright, funny and so enjoyable.
In December his wife and soul mate, Frankie wrote to me to ask help in how to post to his blog to let everyone know what had happened b/c his last post had described the complications of his surgery.
Several people tried to help, Doug, Cathy, Barry, Joe, and others I'm sure I don't know about, but Blogger ignored us and we weren't able to get anywhere w/ it. So, nicely Barry posted a notice on the RTB main page. And I see he posted this as well, thanks! and so has Janie, a close West Memphis blogger friend of everyones! Frankie sent me this email this week and I wanted to post it as a tribute for those of you who knew him, and those who weren't so fortunate enough.
As you can read, he was a blessing to the world. (I wasn't bright enough to be able to transfer the pictures, but you can see them at RTB page and Janie's page)
The Man Behind the Blog
Cg – Mother Said There’d Be Days Like This
Charles Grace June 12, 1949 - November 3, 2005
Since there are several of you that regularly read Mama Said…, I thought you might like to know a little about the man behind the blog.
His name was Charles Grace. He was a native Memphian; lived here all his life except for a year and a half while he was in grad school at AU in Atlanta. He was a 5th grade teacher for thirty years. That’s a lot of years to “warp little minds” as Cg would always say. He loved teaching and thirty years worth of 5th graders loved him. Charles was very soft spoken; he never yelled at his students, he just looked at them with THAT look that just made them want to disappear into the woodwork. It worked on our kids, too.
When Charles and I married (in 1984), he wound up with a 13 year old boy and a 16 year old girl (AKA the son and the daughter). From almost the beginning, the daughter (Heather) called him Papa Bear. When he asked her why she called him that she replied,”What else would you call someone big and brown and fuzzy?” (He had lots of hair back then.). Through all the trials of raising teenagers, he loved “his” kids. Even the son (Philip) when he wrecked Charles’ 79 TransAm…gold…with a chicken on the hood. I guess the fact that both the son and the daughter had the courage to marry into ready-made families says a lot about the job Charles did as a role model.
Another side of Charles’ life that I’m not sure he wrote about was the theatre life we had.
Although we met while we were both working at Collierville Elementary School, my real job was as a working musician (string bass and keyboards). During a show I was doing early in our life together, Charles just stood around backstage shifting from one foot to the other, kinda like most men when they’ve been dragged to a ladies’ store. I told the director to paleeeeze give him something to do! He taught Charles how to run a soundboard and with that, another theatre rat was born. Charles used to say you could tell when he was having a bad school year by the number of shows he did. He wasn’t satisfied just to run someone else’s sound design, he learned how to do his own designs and became a much sought after designer in Memphis community theatre. Before he retired from theatre he not only did sound designs, but stage managed, ran props, was a dresser and even did makeup. Never could get him onstage. Oh, and did I mention this was all on a volunteer basis?
The last few years, Charles worked extensively in the South Memphis community with neighborhood associations. Members of the Memphis City Council and other city officials referred to him as a Community Activist. After completing the nine-week Citizens Police Academy, he became an Ambassador to the Southeast Precinct.
During 2005, the highlight of Charles’ week was the time he spent coaching a Destination Imagination team from Campus School. He took over a team last January and took “his girls” to regional finals. They worked so hard for him.
This gentle man will be sorely missed by the teaching community, the theatre community, the neighborhood community and his DI kids. The loss for his family and friends is unspeakable. Charles marched to his own drum and true to form, he didn’t want a “traditional” funeral. He wanted to be cremated and then to have one hell of a party at the P & H. And party we did!
So, the next time you hear a Jimmy Buffett tune, raise a glass to Charles