This is one of those stories that is supposed to make you cry. If you read it and you don’t cry, you’re a better man than I am, Charlie Brown! This is a short story, but it tags all the bases. It deals with the “big stuff’. It deals with life, love, morality, sex, death, religion, friendship, boys and girls, growing up, home, neighborhood and country. For me it is a trip down memory lane. It’s the old days, the old places and the old “gang”. Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, it is a story of memories, youth and laughter. I feel like a scientist observing the universe in this book. I can tell you about the planets and the stars. I can theorize and analyze. I can tell you a lot of things. I can explain to you a lot of stuff. I can describe events in detail. I can tell you how. I can tell you where. I can tell you when. But I can’t tell you why. When I was young, I thought of love as a passion. It was a drive, a compulsion, even, in some strange ways, a duty. Now that I am old, I don’t know what it is. I don’t know why it is. I observe it once again like the scientist observing the planets. I don’t know why it happens. I don’t know where it comes from. I have no explanation for “that” look in a girl or boy’s eye; for all those mysterious feelings. I once thought that it was all about hormones. All my hormones have pretty much dried up and have now turned into liver spots; yet I still love. I still have love. I realize now that life is, as the philosophers say, a phenomenon. Death is the same. I recently read a book by a man who had lived through both World Wars. He saw a lot of men and women executed. He wrote a section on observing how they reacted to the experience. How some went off kicking and screaming; how some were defiant; how some fell to their knees and begged. Instead of naming this book, “A Summer with Charlie”, it could just as well have been called, “Watching Charlie Die”. In my life, I have watched a lot of friends, relatives and loved ones die. I have witnessed them turn like the leaves of autumn. I have seen them change from living, laughing, vibrant things, into cold, lifeless phenomena. It is a sad thing, but a happenstance that we will each experience very personally. Once again, I can describe the how, the where, and the when, but I can not tell you why. And if the truth be known, nobody can. Not your priest, not your rabbi, not your preacher. They have been trying for centuries. They are all guessing. No matter how confident they may seem, it is all conjecture. No one knows why. Maybe there is no why. In fact, there is no science that deals with the why of anything. We don’t know why the tree, the bug, the ant, the human, the universe. We can only deal with the how, the when and the where of it all. Ever since it happened, I promised myself that I would write this story if I ever had the time, the money and, hopefully, the talent. Well, I’ve found the time and the money; the talent has been illusive. I finally had to give up waiting for it to come and take matters into my own hands. This story is a description of the time ... my time; the place ... my place, my hometown, my growing up; and events - the events of my life and those of some of my buddies. It is what happened. I hope you all enjoy this book. And strangely enough, I hope that it makes you cry. I hope it makes you laugh also. This is not a new story. People have been dying for a long, long time; even youngsters like Charlie. You may not be planning for it right at this moment, but your plans could be interrupted; mine also. Death is not something that we like to dwell upon but it does one well to think about it every now and then. What makes this story unique is that it happened to me and some of my teenage friends. It was an experience that affected all of us, and for the rest of our lives. None of us would ever be the same. Each of us was marked and bound together. The memory of our experience with Charlie that summer would be forever a part of our being. Charlie was one of us. He was one of the guys, one of the old gang. He was our buddy. He wasn’t old enough to be dying. But he did ... and we watched. Charlie said that he didn’t know how. He didn’t know how to die. We all watched Charlie die and we learned how to do it with grace and style. I can only hope to do it as well myself when my turn comes along.
[For more information about my books “A Summer with Charlie” and “Hobo-ing America” e-mail me!]
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.