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"If the Lord decides that today is the day that I must leave this World...I will leave praying that I may have touched someones life in a positive way...and in some small way, helped make this world a better place for our Children of the future to grow and prosper"......


Personal Info

My name is Charley, I'm a 38 yr old Firefighter/EMT, I live in Kansas. I am divorced, and the father of a Daughter 19, and a Son 16...both of my children have lived with me since they were 6 and 3, which is how long I have been a single parent..(except for that brief marriage in 1993, that I wont go into detail about right now..lol)...I was born in Kansas, and lived here until 1970, then moved with my Parents to Illinois..which was right on the Missouri-Illinois boarder..just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis..I attended schools in Illinois and graduated from High School there..I met my Children's Mother in High School..I began working at a Steel Mill fresh out of H.S...doing various jobs there, including working on a locomotive crane, loading steel both inside the plant, and loading and unloading barges on the Mississippi River..In 1978, I married my H.S Sweetheart..7mo. later, we were the proud parents of a baby girl(no need to do your math..lol)...I worked at the Steel Mill for aprox. 2 yrs...overseas competition in the steel industry, caused a large layoff..and I was one of them..My next few jobs included working for a used car dealer..selling and delivering furniture...painting...selling records...helping my Buddy Sal open a restaurant..last I heard..he was still in business.. worked in a Video Arcade too...in 1981..we were blessed with a baby Boy...My Father, after 30 yrs., retired from Amoco Oil, and they decided to move back to Kansas...in December 1981, we went to visit my parents...My Wife soon saw that it was going to be quite a chore to convince me to leave Kansas...we spent a long night talking...end result was..we stay in Kansas...and make it our Home.  We rented a mobile home and both went to work at the local A&W Restaurant..this was in Feb. of 1982..and we worked there until Aug. of 1984..she went to work at JC Pennys..and I started my own lawn care business..we bought a house...I also, along with my Dad, formed a Small Engine Sales and Service Shop..In July of 1985, (a time that will forever be a sad moment in my life) The Kids Mom and I seperated, and in Sept., were divorced..the Kids remained with me..she remarried shortly after....we sold the house, after not being able to agree on who would live there..I bought a mobile home and the kids and I moved in and lived there until Oct. of 1986..heavy rains caused flooding in our area..we were forced out of our home..by the next morning, flood waters were level with the top of my mobile home roof...I found out quick, that my Insurance would not cover loss due to flood...This experience, would change the direction of my life forever,(I just didnt know it yet)..Almost everything I owned, was in that Mobile Home, and the storage building outside...(which was found aprox. 1 block away)..family pictures, clothes, my baseball card collection, furniture, appliances, "Poof" Total loss estimate was $30,000.00.....the next few weeks were a blur, the Kids and I moved in with my parents...we lived with them for a few weeks, during this time, people, many I did not even know, started contacting me, some from the Salvation Army, some from the Red Cross, local Churches, and some, just Citizens of my town....each with a different group, but all with a common purpose: "Charley, We are sorry for your loss...What can we do to help?"....over the next few days..these people, most all volunteers, practically led me by the hand..helped me with paperwork, took me to stores, took my kids to stores, when everything was said and done, I was in a rental house, new appliances, new wardrobes, beds, furnishings, oh, and $5000.00 in anomyous donations..plus groceries....when I asked each of these people how to repay all of this, the answer was the same..which was basically..."Awwww, We were just glad we could help"...I couldnt believe it!...I was suddenly ashamed..If that hadn't happened to me, would I have helped someone else?...sadly, the answer at the time was "No, not my problem".. Not being an overly religeous person, I found myself thanking God for all of these wonderful, caring, people....over time, I found a job at an aircraft overhaul facility..Dad had been getting tired easily and was not able to do much in the shop...soon he learned that he had lung cancer.. ...this was in July of 1987...Dad opted to try chemotherpy..several months passed..my dear father slowly slipping away..On June 2, 1988 at 10:04am, I got a call at work...already knowing, I picked up the phone.."Charley?..You better come home..your Mom needs you"...

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