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Sunday, May 07, 2006

on charlie

posted this on sujatha's review


good write up...reminded me of my neighbour charlie

canada did not fare better than the US...the japanese were interned here too...but back to charlie...he is wiry, active, always smiling (sans a few teeth), and though the eyes have dulled somewhat they still gleam with deliberate in movement...

charlie is 91 years young!

still rides his bicycle everyday...snow or rain.... is very active and his front yard is a veritable junkyard where all day he always tinkers with something to keep busy...fixing a neighbour's lawnmower or sprinkler or creating an art-deco piece out of junk

charlie has a cottage up north...about 6 hours drive...and in the summer he drives (yes he drives!)...that in itself is a sight...takes him a few days to pile up his van with supplies and odd assortments he needs...(we bump into him most nights...our walk route takes us right past his garage...and we take a break to chat up)

he talks about the 'internment'...the difficulties his family faced...but one thing that stands out...(and this is where i return to your book review)...he does not harbour any resentment against the canadian government for their incarceration and loss of time in the prime of his life...

has a great sense of humour

last summer as we approached his house and saw him I asked 'how are you charlie?' pointing heaven-ward with a twinkle in his eyes he replied, 'still waiting for a call-up.'

the first time we met he was scribbling on the back of a flyer...i asked him what was he writing...oh am checking me things to do list...then he proudly shared it with me...

-water front lawn
-seed bald patch
-remove geranium to big pot
-take dog (poodle) for walk
-nail frame
-coffee and sandwich

the list was a long one...and he had scratched off most of the list...the ones not scratched he would add to the next day's list...M looked at me...her look said volumes...


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