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Char l esP or t ney 1916-2008

Phot os Eul ogi es Wor l dWarI I L og “ S ay i ngsofChai r manChar l i e”

Oct ober18,2009


Cha r l i e ’ sPa r e nt s Her manPor t ney

Bo r n1 8 8 2n e a rMo s c o w, Ru s s i a .Di e di nNe wY o r kCi t y , 1 9 2 0 . o we rEa s t Si d ee n t r e p r e n e u r , He r ma nd e v e l o p e dab u s i n e s sl e a s i n gp u s h AL c a r t s . At h i sd e a t hh eo wn e dmo r et h a nad o z e nc a r t s . Hed i e do f a ni n f e c t i o n , p o s s i b l yac o mp l i c a t i o no f d i a b e t e s . Hi sf a mi l yr e ma i n e di nRu s s i a . An e p h e w a l s on a me dCh a r l e sPo r t n e y , as u r g e o n , wa si n v o l v e di nt h e1 9 5 2“ Do c t o r s ’ Pl o t ” a g a i n s t St a l i n .

Hebr ew Nat i onal Yonker s ,

FannyPor t ney

Bo r nJ u n e1 8 , 1 8 8 3 , Bu d a p e s t , Hu n g a r y . Ar r i v e dU. S. 1 8 8 6 . Di e dNo v e mb e r 1 9 , 1 9 4 5 . Pa r e n t sFe i v a l Mo s k o wi t za n dGi t t e l Bi r n b a u m, b o t hb o r ni nAu s t r i a . o u n gwi d o wwi t hf o u rd a u g h t e r sa n da no b s t r e p e r o u ss o n , Fa n n ys a wn o Ay o p t i o nb u t t op l a c ey o u n gCh a r l e si na no r p h a n a g e , wh e r eh e ’ de n j o yma l e d i s c i p l i n e , c o u n t r ya i r , a n db e t t e re d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s . Th o u g hs h ea n dh i s s i s t e r sn e v e rwr o t et oh i mn o rv i s i t e d , i nl a t e rl i f eh es a i dh er e g r e t t e dn o t h a v i n g b e e nab e t t e rs o n .

Eul og ybyRobe r tEde l ma n Cha r l i e ’ sNe phe w Cha r l i eha df ours i s t e r sa ndabr ot he rwhodi e da t bi r t h. Hi sf a t he rwa sonl yi nhi s3 0 swhe nhedi e d. Thef a mi l ywa spoora ndl i v e dont heLowe rEa s t Si de . Cha r l i e ’ smot he r , myg r a ndmot he r , pl a c e d Cha r l i ei naJ e wi s hhomef oror pha nswhe ns he c oul dnol ong e rc a r ef orhi m. Ia l wa y st houg htt ha tt hi swa sag r e a ti nf l ue nc eon hi sl i f e . Thee x pe r i e nc ema dehi me x t r e me l y t oug h, bot hphy s i c a l l ya ndme nt a l l y , a ndIt hi nk s ha pe dhi sl i f e . Hewa swa r ma ndwonde r f ul but note a s yt og e tc l os et o.Hel a t e ra t t e nde dCor ne l l a ndt he nt ookof ft ot heg ol dmi ne sofBr i t i s h Guy a nawhe r ehewor ke df ors e v e r a l y e a r sbe f or e t hebe g i nni ngofWWI I . Att heout br e a koft hewa r , hee nl i s t e di nt hena v y , a ndj oi ne dane ws pe c i a l ope r a t i onsuni tc a l l e dt he UDTsorUnde r wa t e rDe mol i t i onTe a ms . He pa r t i c i pa t e di ns e v e ni nv a s i onsi nt hePa c i f i c . Hi s t oug hne s spa i dof f , a st het e a mswe nt , una r me d, t o t hebe a c he sbe f or et hei nv a s i onst oc l e a nout mi ne s , e qui ppe dwi t honl ys wi mt r unk s , ama s k a ndakni f e .Hel ov e dt or e c ounthowt he yl e f t s i g nsont hebe a c he ss a y i ng , “ We l c ome , Ma r i ne s ! Thi sbe a c hc l e a ne df ory ouc our t e s yofUDT Te a m6 . ”TheUDTsa f t e rt hewa rbe c a met he Na v ySe a l s . Cha r l i ewa sahe r ot ohi sc ount r ya nd hi sf a mi l y . Cha r l i es pe nthi se nt i r ec a r e e ra tBa c hea ndCo. Ba c hewe ntt houg hma nyna mec ha ng e s , but Cha r l i es t a y e dwi t ht hef i r mf ormor et ha n5 0 y e a r s . ( Cont i nue dov e r l e a f )

I nt h ed a y sb e f o r ef o s t e rc a r ewa sc o mmo n , h a l f o r p h a n sa swe l l a sf u l l o r p h a n so f t e nl i v e di nf a c i l i t i e sl i k et h i s . Ch a r l i es a i dt h a t o n c eh eg o t u s e dt oi t ( i . e . , q u i t r u n n i n ga wa y ) , i t wa s n ’ t h a l f b a d .


Or phans ’Home NY

Eul ogybyRonal dN.Ol l st ei n,MD Char l i e’ sFi r stCousi nOnceRemoved I wi l l a l wa y sL OVECh a r l i ePo r t n e y .I p l e d g et or e me mb e rh i m.I p l e d g et or e me mb e rh i ma n dREMEMBRANCEi so u ru l t i ma t eg i f t , o u rc o mmi t me n t a swef a c et h es a d n e s so f l o s s .

—t Ch a r l i ea n dI me t i n1 9 4 5a f t e rh i swa r h eg o o dwa r , t h er i g h t wa r , t h a t i s , i f wec a na c c e p t t h er e a l i t ya n dt h ei n e v i t a b i l i t yo f wa ri t s e l f . I wa sawe l l i n f o r me d , p a t r i o t i c1 1 y e a r o l db o y …c o l l e c t i n gr u b b e r b a n d s , t i n f o i l , l a r d , o l dp o t sa n dp a n s , s e l l i n gwa rb o n d s . An dCh a r l i e wa smyh e r or e t u r n i n ga t a g e2 9 , t a l l , p o we r f u l , s l i m, ma t u r ea n da s h ewo u l dr e ma i n , c o mf o r t a b l ewi t ha l l h eh a df a c e da n da l l h eh a d d o n e .Hee n j o y e db e i n gwi t hb o t hmymo t h e rMi r i a m, I b e l i e v eh i s f a v o r i t ec o u s i n , a n dmyf a t h e rDr . Ph i l , af a mi l yd o c t o rwh owo u l dl o o k a f t e rCh a r l i ea n dh i sf i r s t wi f e , I n aBe r k o wi t z , f o rt h en e x t n e a r l y2 0 y e a r s .Th emu t u a l a f f e c t i o n swe r ep o we r f u l a n da l wa y saj o y . Ev e nwh e nDa dd i e di n1 9 7 9 , wea l l h a ds u c hp o we r f u l me mo r i e st o s u s t a i nu s …a g a i nt h er e me mb r a n c e st oh o l dd e a r .Byt h e nI wa sa p r a c t i c i n gp h y s i c i a na n dCh a r l i emys u p p o r t i v ef r i e n da n dg u i d e . Ac t u a l l yCh a r l i ec o n s i d e r e dh i ms e l f myc o l l e a g u e …a n di nf a c t h ewa s r e ma r k a b l ywe l l i n f o r me do nh e a l t hi s s u e s .Hec l a i me dt ob ea“ b r a i n s u r g e o n s e l f t a u g h t . ”I n e v e rq u e s t i o n e dt h e“ b r a i n ”p a r t o f t h e c l a i m…o n l yt h e“ s u r g e o n ”p a r t . Re me mb e r i n gi ss oe a s ywi t hCh a r l i e , h i si ma g ea n dh i ss t r e n g t hs o i mp r i n t e d …h i sg i v i n ga n dh i sc a r i n g , h i sp o l i t e n e s sa n dh i si n t e r e s t s . Wea l l h e a ro f t h es o u l , t h a t t r a n s c e n d e n t a l p a r t o f u st h a t d i s t i n g u i s h e su so n ef r o mt h eo t h e r , t h ep a r t t h a t ma k e su sc a r ea b o u t h o wwel i v e da n dl o v e ds ot h a t i t a l l ma t t e r e d .Ch a r l i ewi t ha l l h i s i n n a t eh e a r t a n dv i g o ra n de f f e c t i v e n e s sa n dc o n c e r nh a dag i a n t s o u l —enoughf o re a c ho f u st os h a r e . Ch a r l i ewa smyme n t o ri nl i f e …n o t , h o we v e r , i nme d i c i n e , a n dI s t i l l s o v i v i d l yr e me mb e ra f t e ro n eo f o u rl o n g e ra n dh a r d e r e d g e d d i s c u s s i o n sCh a r l i ef i n a l l ys a y i n gi nc o n c l u s i o n , “ Ro n n i e , I l o v ey o u ” …e n do f d i s c u s s i o n .Ag i f t wh i c hI f o r t u n a t e l yr e c o g n i z e da t t h et i me f o ra l l t i me . Hi ss e c u l a rp a s s a g ef r o my o u t ht od e c o r a t e dh e r o , Ch i e f Pe t t yOf f i c e r , U. S. Na v y , f i e l dc o mma n d e ro f UDT6wa sn ol e s sp o we r f u l . Bo r ni n1 9 1 6i n t oal a r g eJ e wi s hL o we rEa s t Si d ef a mi l y , Ch a r l i ewa s a p p a r e n t l ymo r et h a nh i smo t h e rb a r g a i n e df o r .I np o l i t ec i r c l e so n e mi g h t s a yh ec o u l dn o t b ed i r e c t e d …h es a wh i so wns o l u t i o n s , h i s o wnp a t h s .Th ed e c i s i o nwa sma d et op l a c eCh a r l i ei nt h eHe b r e w Na t i o n a l Or p h a nHo mei nY o n k e r s , N. Y .Hewa sa c t u a l l yo n l y h a l f o r p h a n , b u t t h a t wa sme r e l ya c a d e mi c . Ch a r l i et h r i v e da t t h e h o me , p r o v e das c h o l a r , a no u t s t a n d i n ga t h l e t e , ab e h a v i o r a l mo d e l t o h i sma n yf r i e n d s( mo s t o f wh o ms t a y e dc l o s et oCh a r l i et h r o u g h o u t t h e i rl i f e t i me s ) .Hee v e nwa sa b l et oe a r nh i so wnf u n d sb ywo r k i n gi n t h eHo meBu s i n e s sOf f i c e .Hi sa c c o mp l i s h me n t se a r n e dh i mt h e p r i v i l e g eo f a t t e n d i n gCo mme r c eHi g hSc h o o l , a n dd u r i n gi t a l l h e Hi sg i r l f r i e n di nh i g hs c h o o l wa sh i so f f i c ec o wo r k e rI n aBe r k o wi t z .

( Cont i nuedover l eaf )


Robe r tEde l ma n’ sEul og y , Cont i nue d

Br i t i s hGuyana

Hewa sag r e a tbr ok e r , abr i l l i a nta na l y s t , a nd e x t r e me l yl oy a l t ohi sc l i e nt s . Thi st r a i tofl oy a l t ye x t e nde dt ohi sf r i e ndsa nd f a mi l yt oo.Al t houg hCha r l i ewoul dnotl e t a ny oneg e tv e r yc l os e , y oua l wa y sk ne wt ha ti fy ou r e a l l yne e de dhi m, hewa st he r e . Thi smy s t e r i ous ma nwa sapa r tofmyl i f et ha tIwi l l a l wa y sc he r i s h a ndr e me mbe r . Hewa smyf a v or i t eunc l e . Thos es umme r swe r es omeofmyf onde s t me mor i e sg r owi ngup. Ca ny oui ma g i newha ta n e i g ht y e a r ol df r om Te x a swhoha dne v e rs e e nt he oc e a nt houg htwhe nCha r l i es a i d, “ Ge ti n, boy ! ”I wa ss c a r e doutofmywi t sbutIf e l ts a f ewi t ht hi st a l l ma nwhot a ug htmet os wi m. AsIr e me mbe rs omeof t hos es umme r s , t he r ewe r e s e v e r a l e v e nt st ha ta l wa y s c omet omi nd. Onei n pa r t i c ul a rt ha ta l wa y ss t uc k wi t hmewa st ha twewe r ei n hi sc a r( a tt ha tt i mehedr ov e t hebi g g e s tChr y s l e ry oue v e r Ch a r l i ea n dRo b e r t , c a . 1 9 5 4 s a w) , a ndwewe r ede a dl os t . Be i ngf r om t heSout h, wet hi nki tpe r f e c t l y a ppr opr i a t et os t opa nda s kdi r e c t i ons . Whe nI s ug g e s t e dt oCha r l i et ha twedot ha t , hel ook e da t mel i ker oa dki l l a nds a i d, “ Ne v e ra s kf or di r e c t i ons ! ”Hewe ntont oa dd: “ Ne v e ra s kf or a ny t hi ng . I ts howswe a kne s s . ” I nhi ss pe c i a l wa yhet a ug htmewha tma depe opl e s uc c e s s f ul . Ones umme rwewe r es t a y i nga tahot e l onLongI s l a ndt ha twa sj us tbe i ngc ompl e t e d. The f i r s tda ywewe r et he r e , wewe ntout s i det og ot ot he be a c h. Guy swe r el a y i ngg r a s si nt her e a rpa t i o. Cha r l i ea s ke dmet owa t c honepa r t i c ul a rma nwho wa sonhi skne e spl a c i ngg r a s s . Hewa sv e r ys we a t y , ha dg r a s sa nddi r ta l l ov e rhi sc l ot he s . Cha r l i ewe nt ov e rt ohi m, s hookha ndsa ndt ol dhi m howg r e a t t hepl a c el ooke d. Aswewa l ke da wa yt owa r dt he ( Cont i nue dov e r l e a f )

Ch a r l i e ’ sg i r l f r i e n dwa sab e a u t i f u l Po r t u g e s ai nGe o r g e t o wn .


UDT Team 6

Ronal dOl l st ei n’ sEul ogy ,Cont i nued p a s s e dt h eNYSRe g e n t sEx a ms .Ev e na t t h i st i me , I wo n d e ri f a n y o n ec o u l de v e ra g a i nb es u r p r i s e db yh i sa c c o mp l i s h me n t s . Ch a r l i ei nt h el a t e1 9 3 0 ’ sg a i n e da d mi s s i o nt oCo r n e l l ( Th e Ag r i c u l t u r a l Co l l e g e …t h eb e s t b u yi nt h ee n t i r eu n i v e r s i t y ) , b u t e v e n h ec o u l d n ’ t s wi n gh i sj u n i o ry e a rwi t ht h et a i l e n do f t h eDe p r e s s i o n a n dwa rs t a r i n gu sb o l d l yi nt h ef a c e .J a p a nh a dp r o g r e s s e di t s s l a u g h t e ri nCh i n aa n dNa z i Ge r ma n ywa sg o b b l i n g u pEu r o p ewi t h l i t t l eo t h e rt h a nt a l ka n dt h r e a t s . By1 9 4 1Ch a r l i eh a dj o i n e dt h eJ a me sSt u a r t Co mp a n y , a c o n s t r u c t i o nc o r p o r a t i o n , o n eo f t h en a v y ’ sf i r s t Se eBe eUn i t s , c o n t r a c t e dt ob u i l dami l i t a r yb a s ei nBr i t i s hGu y a n a , So u t hAme r i c a . Na t i v ewo r k e r sma n a g e d , b u t mo s t o f t h ewh i t e sd i e do f t r o p i c a l d i s e a s e si n c l u d i n gma l a r i a .Ch a r l i et h r i v e d .Wh e nt h eU. S. f i n a l l y e n t e r e dt h ewa ra f t e rPe a r l Ha r b o r , Ch a r l i ee n l i s t e di nt h eU. S. Na v y a n d , l u r e db yap r o mi s et ot r a i ni nt h eSo u t h , v o l u n t e e r e di nan e w p r o g r a mc a l l e dUn d e r wa t e rDe mo l i t i o n( UDT) .T o d a ys u c hme na r e c a l l e dSe a l sa n da r ec o n s i d e r e da mo n gt h ewo r l d ’ smo s t e l i t ea n d s u c c e s s f u l mi l i t a r yo p e r a t i v e s . Bu t l o s s e si nt h ee a r l yPa c i f i cWa r we r ei n t o l e r a b l e .An dt h eUDTMi s s i o nwa sI MPOSSI BL E: Cl e a rt h e Be a c hBEFOREt h eI n v a s i o n .

Ch a r l i ea n dh i sb e s t f r i e n d , Si gBe r g e s s o n , i nf r o n t o f t h ea mmob o x e swh e r et h e y p l a y e dc h e s s .No t et h ef r e s hb u l l e t h o l e so v e r h e a d .

Ch a r l i e ’ su n i t c u t t h e i rt e e t ha t Sa i p a ne me r g i n gf r o mt h e i rs u b ma r i n e i n t or u b b e rb o a t s , as i l e n t p r o g r e s s i o nt ot h ei s l a n d , t h e na l l h e l l , “ t o t a l c o n f u s i o n ”Ch a r l i ewo u l dc a l l i t ;e x p l o d eb a r b e dwi r ea n dc o n c r e t e b l o c k s ; e l i mi n a t ee n e myt r o o p sa se n c o u n t e r e d ; d e t e r mi n eb e a c h c a p a c i t yt op e r mi t me c h a n i z e de q u i p me n t , t a n k sa n db u l l d o z e r st o p r o g r e s si n l a n di ns u p p o r t o f t h ema r i n e s ; s wi mt oad a r ko c e a n r e n d e z v o u sa t ap r e c i s emo me n t ; g r a bt h er o p ef r o mt h ePTBo a t a n d h e a df o rt h eh o mes h i p .I f y o umi s s e dt h ep i c k u py o uwe r eo ny o u r o wn .Nos e c o n dc h a n c e s . Ch a r l i e , a sh es u mme di t a l l u p , “ s u r v i v e ds e v e ni n v a s i o n s ” …” Wi l d , ” h ewo u l dc a l l i t , b u t t h e yd i di t a g a i na n da g a i no nt h ei s l a n d so f T i n i a n , Gu a m, Pe l e l i u , An g u a r , Gn e s e b i u sa n dL e y t ei nt h e Ph i l i p p i n e s .Hewo u l dl o v et ot e l l meh o wh ewa t c h e dMa c Ar t h u r wa d ea s h o r ei nt h ePh i l i p p i n e s , f u l f i l l i n gh i sp r o mi s e“ t or e t u r na n d l i b e r a t e ”t h e s ei s l a n d s .Of c o u r s e , a f t e rt h eUDT , t h eMa r i n e sa n dt h e Ar myh a ds e c u r e dt h ea r e a . Th i ss o f t s p o k e nma n , f a c i n ga l l t h eo b s t a c l e so f y o u t ho n ec o u l d i ma g i n e , h a db yt h ea g eo f 2 9 , d o n ei t a l l .Her e c a l l e dT i n i a n e s p e c i a l l y , s i n c ei t wo u l db et h et a k e o f f p o i n t f o rt h eEn o l aGa ya n d Bo c h ’ sCa rB2 9 si nAu g u s t 1 9 4 5 .

Pe r s o n a l p h o t o g r a p h so f Sa i p a na c t i o n .

—t Ch a r l i er e t u r n e dwi t hl i t t l eo rn od i s p l a yo f h i sh e r o i c s h es a me q u i e t , s t r o n g , i n t e l l i g e n t , c a r i n gUDTb e me d a l e dma n , an a v ywa r h e r o . Th eG. I . Bi l l f o re d u c a t i o na n dt h eV ASy s t e mf o rh e a l t hc a r e h e l p e d , b u t ma n yo f t h eWWI I Ve t e r a n ss t i l l s u f f e r e du p o nr e t u r n . Th e ye v e nma d emo v i e sa b o u t i t , b u t Ch a r l i es a wh i sa p p r e c i a t e d s u r v i v a l a ss i mp l yo n emo r emo u n t a i nt oc l i mb .Hea s k e df o rn oh e l p , a n dq u i e t l ya f t e raf e wd i v e r s i o n swo u n du pwi t ha no r g a n i z a t i o n ( Cont i nuedover l eaf )


Robe r tEde l ma n’ sEul og y , Cont i nue d be a c h, Cha r l i es t oppe d, l ooke da tmea nds a i d, “ Tha tg uyi st heowne r . ”Iha v ene v e rf or g ot t e n t ha tl e s s on. AsIg r e wol de r , Iwoul da s khi ma boutt he e c onomyorhowhev i e we dt hema r ke t s . Cha r l i e woul ds pe a kf orhour sont hes ubj e c t . Hek ne w mor ea boutt hee c onomi chi s t or yoft heUSt ha n a ny oneIha v ee v e rr e a dorhe a r d. Mywi f ea ndI woul dc a l l hi ma ndl i s t e nf oral ongpe r i odsoft i me di s c us s i ngma c r oa ndmi c r oe c onomi c s . Af t e rwe hungup, Di a nawoul da l wa y sa s kmewha thes a i d a ndwha theme a nt . Thes t a nda r dj okewa s , a f t e r t hi r t ymi nut e swha ther e a l l ys a i dwa sbuyl ow&s e l l hi g h. Ic a l l e dhi ma f t e rhour soft r y i ngt og e tt houg hon 9 1 1 . Iofc our s ewa nt e dt of i ndouti fhewa sOK a ndg e thi st houg ht sonwha tha ppe ne d. Whe nhe a ns we r e dt hephonea ndIs a i dhi sna me , hi sonl y r e s pons ewa s“ Ic a n’ tt a l k , weha v eas i t ua t i on he r e . ”Het he nhungup. Ot he rt i me sIwoul dc a l l , a ndhewoul ds a y , “ Ic a n’ tt a l know, Iha v epe opl e he r e . ”Tot hi sda y , Ine v e rkne wwhot he ywe r e , butt hec omme nta ndt hewa yhes a i di ta l wa y s ma demel a ug h. Iwa sa l wa y sha ppi e s ta f t e r ac onv e r s a t i onwi t hhi m, whe nj us tbe f or ehehung uphewoul ds a y , “ Goodby e , myboy . ”Ikne wt ha twa sa s c l os et oa f f e c t i ona sCha r l i e c oul de v e rc ome .Cha r l i e Ch a r l i e , Ro b e r t a n dRo b e r t ’ smo m, wa st hel a s tofmya unt sa nd Ch a r l i e ’ ss i s t e rCl a i r e . unc l e s . Iha v enomor e . I l ov e dhi ma ndt hes a dde s tpa r tt omei st ha t s ome oneIt a l ke dt oa l l t het i mea ndt houg hta bout a l l t het i mea ndl ov e da l l t het i mewi l l nol ong e rbe phy s i c a l l yi nmyl i f e . Cha r l i el ov e dNe wYor k, t hes t oc kma r k e t s , ba s e ba l l , Ta ma , a ndIhopeme , be c a us eIs ur e l ov e dhi m.

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Ronal dOl l st ei n’ sEul ogy ,Cont i nued c a l l e dBa c h e&Co . Ba c h ei ss o me wh e r ei nt h eWa c h o v i af a mi l yn o w, a n dmyg u e s si st h a t a l l t h eCh a r l i e s , a n dt h e r ewe r eo t h e r s , a r eb y n o wa l mo s t c e r t a i n l yg o n e . I n1 9 8 0 , I n a , h i sc o mp a n i o ni nh i smo s t f o r ma t i v ey e a r sd i e d .I wa s f r e q u e n t l yi nt h e i rh o mei nt h emo n t h sl e a d i n gt oh e rd e a t hf r o m c a n c e r .I wa t c h e dCh a r l i ec a r ef o rI n awi t hag l o r i o u st e n d e r n e s s , wi t hp a t i e n c ea n dwi t han e v e r d i mi n i s h e dl o v e .Th e yh a db e e n p a r t n e r si nt h eb e s t a n dwo r s t o f t i me sa n dwe r en o t s e p a r a t e df o ra mo me n t i nt h es a d d e s t . Ch a r l i es e e me dq u i e t e ra f t e rI n a ’ sd e a t h , b u t h i swa r ma n dc a r i n g n a t u r en e v e rd i mme d . Hes i mp l yd i dn o t l o o kb a c k .Hewa sn o t o n e f o rr e g r e t s . Her e t u r n e dt oa ne v e r i n c r e a s i n gwo r kl o a da n dh e h o n o r e dmeb yr e c e i v i n gmea so f t e na sp o s s i b l e .Hed i n e do u t l e s s , s oweo f t e nc a l l e d o u t f o rd i n n e ra n dc h a t t e da n do f c o u r s ewa t c h e d t h eY a n k e e s . Ou t mu t u a l l ya f f e c t i o n a t es t y l e so f d e c l a r i n gt h eo b v i o u s r e t u r n e d , a sd i dt h eh e a t g e n e r a t e db yo u rc o n v e r s a t i o n s . Byt h e ni t wa so b v i o u st omeh eh a dd o n emo s t o f h i st r a v e l i n g .He l i k e dr e a d i n g , o f t e nwa t c h e dt h en e wso nmu t e , a t t e n d e daf e w o p e r a sa n db a l l e t sa n ds u p p o r t e dmewh e n e v e rh ek n e wt h a t I n e e d e dh i sp r e s e n c e . An dt h e nh eme t T a maSt a r r , s h eo f t h e“ l i g h t so nBr o a d wa y ”a n dNe w Y e a r s ’ Ev ei nT i me sSq u a r e , a ss h ec o u n t e dt h es e c o n d sa n dt h e wo r l dwa t c h e d .T a mawa sb yn o wc e n t r a l t oh i sl i f e , a n dI s e n s e dh i s e n o r mo u sp r i d ei nh e rma n ya c c o mp l i s h me n t s , e s p e c i a l l yh e rwr i t i n g . Th e yc o n t i n u e dt ol i v ei nMa n h a t t a nb u t t o g e t h e rb u i l t ah o mei nNe w Mi l f o r d , CT , ah o met h e ys h a r e dwi t hf r i e n d sa n do no c c a s i o nwi t h L o u i s ea n dme . Y e t a n o t h e rt i meo f j o ywa sf e l t b ya l l wh ok n e wt h e m. Bu t n o wCh a r l i eh a db e g u nt oe x p r e s sh i swo n d e r me n t a t t h es p a no f h i sl i f e …” Wi l d ”h ewo u l dc a l l i t a t 8 5 , a n d“ wi l d ”a g a i na t 9 0y e a r s . An dh eb e g a nt oe x p r e s st oT a maa n dt oo t h e r sc l o s et oh i sh e a r t t h a t h ea wa i t e da n dwi s h e df o raq u i e t , p e a c e f u l d e a t hi nh i sb e da t h o me . Hewa n t e dn ot r i p st ot h eh o s p i t a l , n os u r g e r i e s , n oh e r o i c s .An da s L o u i s ea n dI wa t c h e dT a maa c c o mp l i s hh i swi s h e s , I c o u l do n l y ma r v e l a t t h e i rt o g e t h e r n e s sa n da t t h e i rd e e p l yc a r i n gc o mmu n i c a t i o n a n dac e r t a i n t yi nt h eg o o ds e n s eo f i t a l l .T a mawa se x q u i s i t ei n f u l f i l l i n gCh a r l i e ’ sf i n a l wi s h e sa ss h es o f t l ye x p r e s s e dh e rp r e s e n c e a n dc o n t i n u i n gl o v ed u r i n gh i sl a s t d a y s .I ’ ms u r eh a dCh a r l i eb e e n a wa k ei nh i sl a s t h o u r s , h ewo u l dh a v ea g a i ns a i d , “ wi l d ”a sh e g r a n t e dT a mae t e r n a l t h a n k s .Bu t t h e na g a i nt h e yh a de x c h a n g e d t h o s ev o wss owi s e l ys oo f t e nb e f o r e . I l o v eCh a r l i ePo r t n e ya n dI t h a n kT a maSt a r rwi t hmyf o n d e s t wi s h e s a n dd e e p e s t r e s p e c t .I wi l l AL WA YSREMEMBERCHARL I E PORTNEY .I wi l l a l wa y sl o v emyc o u s i nCh a r l i ea n dmy r e me mb r a n c ea n dl o v ef o rh i mwi l l l a s t f o r e v e r .


E ul ogybyT amaS t ar r Char l i e’ swi f e WhenI f i r s tmetChar l i es ome30y ear sago—hewasj us t aboutt heageI am now—I wasdaz z l edbyhi sbr i l l i ance. I ' v emetmanyi nt el l i gentpeopl ei nmyl i f e,andqui t ea f ewofs mar tpeopl e,butChar l i ewasr ar ei nbei ngbot h s mar t —t hati s ,under s t andi ngpeopl e—and i nt el l i gent —t hati s ,under s t andi ngi deas .Cl ear l y ,hehada uni queabi l i t yt os ee,andunder s t and,andex pl ai nhow t hewor l dwor k s . I s oonl ear nedhi sr emar k abl ei ns i ghtwasonl yt het i pof t hei ceber g.Mor ees s ent i al t ohi snat ur ewashi squal i t yof k i ndnes s .I nal l ourt i met oget herI nev erhear dhi ms aya r udeoranunk i ndwor d.T hi scomboofk i ndnes sand i nt el l ectaddsupt owi s dom:t het r eas ur eKi ngS ol omon s ai dwasmor ev al uabl et hanal l t hewor l d' sr i ches . T her e' ss t i l l mor e.Char l i ewasamanofcour age.And wheny ouaddcour aget owi s dom,y ougett her ar es t qual i t yofal l :char act er . Char l i ewasanor i gi nal .Andhedi edashel i v ed: i ndependent ,gener ous ,t hought f ul ,r at i onal ,l ov i ng.He washappy ,opt i mi s t i c,andcheer f ul —qual i t i est hatdon' t al way saccompanybr i l l i ance.Hi sl es s onf orusi st hat t her ear enol i mi t st owhaty oucandoorbe,i fy ou' r e unaf r ai dt oex pr es sy ourpot ent i al ,andi fy ouex er ci s ei t wi t hwi s dom. I ' dl i k et oconcl udewi t hs omel i nesf r om apl ay ,Rama' s L as tAct ,byBhav abhut i ,an8t hcent ur yS ans k r i tpoet .I na s ads cenet heher o,Rama,bi dsf ar ewel l t ohi sbel ov ed cons or t ,S i t a,whom hei sf or cedt os endi nt oex i l e.He obs er v es : T hats t at ewhent wobecomeone i nj oyasi ns or r ow, wher ey ouf i ndr es tt oget her andf eel i ngsnev erage butdeepenandr i penasy oumov e t hr ought hel ay er soft i me, t hatr ar es t at eofhumanf ul l nes s i sr eal .Y oumayf i ndi t ,once, i nl i f e.


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Charlie Portney