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Charles Bird - Author on this site


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I was born in 1937 on a farm in California. Yes, ON the farm, not a hospital. I grew up like most farm boys and graduated from a small county High School. In order to pay for college, I spent two years working on Tug Boats on San Francisco Bay, before heading to college, where I went the year around in order to finish in three years.


My working career began as a Licensed Engineer in the Merchant Marine until that was cut short by Uncle Sam's needs in the Navy. I spent my Navy time as Engineer Officer on a broken down destroyer trying my best to keep it on top of the water. After completing my military time, I bummed around various paper mills as either Chief Engineer or Plant Engineer until I saw the light and started my own business. Along the way, I found enough time to earn my Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Professional Registration in a number of states and several foreign countries


That career came to a crashing end in 1997 when my wife was rushing me to the hospital - I had suffered a heart attack. I sold the business in 1999 and we moved to Arizona, where we already owned a home. It was a good move, I love the high mountain desert and the tiny village where I live. We have no traffic, no street lights and, so far. no crime. The downside however, is groceries are a 27 mile drive, one way!



My wife passed away in 2003 and I have lived here along ever since. It is a peaceful life, despite needing to be careful about my heart, I lead a fairly active life with a small travel trailer and a large Ford 4 wheel drive truck. The little trailer has everything I need, including a generator and air conditioning and I frequently go out on the desert and hide from humanity. Much of Arizona is public land and old mining roads cover the state like a spiderweb. The desert is not barren and without water like many people believe, there are springs, willow groves and magnificent views if one knows where to look for them. It bothers my friends that I go out alone, they know about my heart condition. I remind them that it is unlikely I will survive another heart attack, even if it took place in my own bed, so I might just as well enjoy myself doing something I like rather than sit in the living room waiting to die!


Charles Bird


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Charles, very interesting. My father also started out in the Merchant Marine and graduated from Kings Point. When WWII started he joined the Navy. He was passed over for Captain partly due to him not graduating from Annapolis. We moved from the Seattle area where we spent 30 years, to Tucson. We lived just north of Oro Valley in an over 55 development. I volunteered at the Oracle library, an all volunteer library for the little town near us. I agree the desert is not barren but people have to learn what to look for. I thought I could handle the summers and after four years, the summers decided we were going to be "absent summer people" but instead because we don't know the future (your heart attack is perfect example), we decided to sell the house and travel. We are now in our "gypsy" phase. We have friends in England and can stay in their vacation place north of Lancaster for 6 months. We winter in wamer climates and will be in Tucson for Jan. and Feb. Ultimately, when we settle down once again, I think the plan is to stay in AZ for winter and the rest of the year in Seattle area. Where are you in AZ?

I understand your friend's worry for you but you have to live your life for you and the quality of life is important. If you spend the rest of your life just sitting at home, in case something happens, is that a life? Some would choose that bit I like your attitude. I wish you well, condolences on losing your wife and I hope we keep in touch here or elsewhere.


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I live in ORACLE! My next door neighbor volunteers in the library and has for years. you might know her, Jeannette Vallier.


I can understand about your Father being passed over, while I enjoyed my time in the Navy, I recognized that it was a very snobbish organization and, if you are not a Naval Academy Graduate, you will not likely progress very far, if at all. The Navy looses a lot of talent with that attitude that would benefit an otherwise fine organization.


I don't mind the summers here, at least it is a "dry heat"! I spent many years in South Carolina, where I had located my business, - Florence, SC. It got just as hot there with a near 100% humidity and it got very much colder in the winter! All in all, I would choose Oracle over Florence! I had a VERY DEAR friend from my Navy Days, who lived just over the mountains from Seattle, in Cashmere. Unfortunately, he was murdered a couple of years ago in his own kitchen, the crime has never been solved. I am his two daughters' God Father, much to the irritation of my own children. I used to go there in the summers, with just a touch of madness, right at cherry time!



When you do settle down, back in Arizona, keep my e-mail address and give me a jingle, I would like to meet you. This is my first experience in writing for a group like Castle Roland, although I have been writing for a less expansive website for a number of years now. My writings are not as sophisticated as some, my intent is to present a story that a younger person can read in a relatively short period of time and the message I am conveying reaches out and grabs him. - I will explain-  We had six children of our own and we took in two more boys as Foster Sons. One of those boys was gay and, in the deep south, THAT was very dangerous! I broke a few heads getting Steven raised and not all of them were his fellow students. I want a gay boy to be able to read a story that does NOT put him down and make him feel unwanted. My own children were very resentful, but fortunately, all except one of them were much older than the two Foster Sons. That resentment has carried over to present day and, since my wife passed away, my "blood" children have completely abandoned me. Not so the two foster Boys.


Well, Happy New Year and I hope to hear from you again, if you prefer, you may used my e-mail address - thehomeplace1@earthlink.net in place of this more public venue.


Charles Bird


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