We really don’t like goodbyes. Seriously, we hate them. Our beloved team member, Charlie, has retired from Oak Island Water Rescue. He gave us this gift at our Christmas party last month, and we won’t miss him at all. He is basically a bum, not good for anything really, and served mostly to slow us down and bore us with his stories of how things were back when John Adams was president.
And if you believe that, we have some oceanfront property in Arizona we’d like to sell you! The truth of the matter is that Charlie was one of the hardest working people on the team. He was in charge of maintenance and repair of our boats, trailers, trucks, and just about anything else you can imagine. He has an incredible amount of talent for all things mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and duct tape. He kept our old boats running and patched up, trailers able to safely carry them anywhere we needed, trucks maintained in great order so we could always trust them, and even helped out with building maintenance. Pretty much anything that needed fixed, bolted, screwed, taped, nailed, lubed, or shot, Charlie was our guy. He probably spent more time at the Water Rescue station than the rest of us combined, and was never at a loss for things to work on.
He is also the master of bad jokes. Most could be described as “Dad Jokes”, but only if Richard Pryor or Chris Rock were the ones telling them. His sense of humor would be the source of nightmares for HR managers across the nation, but well loved by everyone on the team.
And Charlie is the butt of, or maybe even the source of, an annual tradition within Oak Island Water Rescue. Each December, we skip our business meeting and have a Christmas party and dinner at the station. It’s always a great time, and the gift exchange is always, well, interesting… The ultimate gift you can receive is a framed picture of Charlie. It’s not a good picture. Heck, it’s not even in focus (see above), but if you are the lucky recipient of this gift, it is a valued honor. The only rule is you have to re-gift it the following year. I am quite certain this tradition will continue for decades, well after future members of OIWR, most who are not even born yet, have no idea who the old dude in the picture is!
Charlie is not on Facebook, he only recently started using parchment paper and quill pens his friend Thomas Jefferson gave him a while back. But if you see him around town, please make sure to thank him for his many, many, many, many, many years of hard work and dedication to Oak Island Water Rescue and the residents and visitors to our little slice of Heaven.
We love and will miss you Charlie!