Charlie GillI said, gosh, no, as over the years I’ve been called Chas, Charlie, Chuck, Charles, Chick and Charley.

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‘Cardinal Charlie’: Recently in a conversation with a friend, Roger Staley, he asked me if I minded if he called me “Chuck?”

Published 4:53pm Monday, September 6, 2010

Also, I remember my classmate Rolland Ash used to call me “Blimp” because of my weight enormity in my early school days.

I got even with Rolly, as I used to call him “Jack Ash.”

Way back in the 1930s my young neighborhood boy friend Eugene Biek lived just across the street from my house.

As little kids used to do after we had a small disagreement, we would end up being mad at each other.

The thought of this brought back a memory of the word “Chuck.”

Gene would stand on the sidewalk of his side of Orchard and me on our sidewalk across the street from him. And we would yell at each other.

Eugene would yell at me, how much wood would a wood- chuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

He’d chuck all the wood a woodchuck could if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

I remember how mad that used to make me, but I can’t remember what my yell back at him was, maybe something like Gene bird Biek (beak).

Next time I write him I’ll have to ask if he remembers.

But you know what? Here it is seventysome years later, and if Gene came to see me and called me Chuck, I’d probably give him a big hug, as we are still good friends for all these many years.

And have stayed in touch with letter writing and his several visits over the years.

Here is something I haven’t heard in a while.

“If Chuck chucked wood, would Dan Hack-ett?”

Here is something I’ve missed, the sound of those old crop dusting and seeding planes one used to hear in the early morning.

Some of the fields had to be pretty close to Dowagiac.

As I sat in the living room with the door open, you could hear the roar of the plane’s engine as he pulled up at the end of the field.

I used to park and watch those guys do their work.

Is this now an outdated thing around here?

I remember they had a field and hangar out past Seven-Mile Corner on M-51 North.

July 2, 1985: A fire that could be seen miles away swept through a cardboard box manufacturing plan in Dowagiac Saturday night, destroying the buildings and its contents.

Loss from the blaze at Container Service Corp., 108 Colby St., was placed at $1 million by Cass Sheriff James Northrop and firm owner David Harrison.

Four firemen were injured.

Harrison said we are going to rebuild.

“Cardinal Charlie” Gill writes a nostalgic weekly column about growing up in the Grand Old City. E-mail him at

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