Kevin has kindly posted the article that Ace Mason wrote for Disc Golf World
after Charlie's stellar performance at the 2004 Pro-Am Worlds, where he cashed. http://www.kcfdc.org/docs/charleydgwarticle2004.pdf
I'll miss Charlie a lot, not only for his courage, competitive fire, and his commitment to keeping fit, but his wonderful sense of humor. I'll never forget the first time I talked to him when he called me about the 2001 Rosedale Amateur Championships. He asked me if I had a division for blind guys over 55. Although I thought I was being put on, I played it straight, saying that if he could find two more blind 55-year olds, I'd be glad to open the division. We talked a while, with him telling me how his game was progressing, that he was starting to get some 3s on holes. I still thought he was putting me on, but it turned out to be our first of many conversations about his game. And yes, that was his first tournament in October where he finished close to, but not at the bottom of the novice division. (He couldn't get those other 2 blind old guys to make the blind amateur grandmaster division!)
Charlie was probably one of the most competitive people I've ever known. I was directing the Wide Open which I believe was Charlie's first PDGA event. He played Pro Grandmasters along with Peter Shive and couple of others. This was his nephew Billy's debut as his caddy (see the article). I remember talking to the group after the first round, commenting that they were playing quite a bit slower, and they needed to speed it up. I suggested that Billy should try to hustle more when giving Charlie distance and obstacle reports. (He would scramble up the fairway and then come back to advise.) Charlie was not pleased at all with my admonition, and the rest of the old guys were none too pleased with me either. However, Billy did hustle and they were in synch with the rest of the groups the rest of the way...and it was established that a nearly blind guy could play in major PDGA events.
I hadn't been keeping in touch with Charlie as much during the last year or longer, but we always had animated conversations about disc golf. He was always up to date on the national politics of the game, and had very strong opinions. Of course, as competitive and opinionated as he sometimes could be, he could take a put-down joke (and give as good as he got).
Charlie, who would have turned 63 in August, was only 3 years older than I. I think it was my own unresolved fear of dying that delayed my calling him after Annie let me know about his deteriorating condition less than 6 weeks ago. I feel real regret that I did take the opportunity to thank him for his inspiration and friendship, and to say good bye before now. Good bye dear friend.
I extend my condolences to his family and friends. I really believe his life in disc golf, albeit a brief one, made the game and all of us who knew him better.