Whitesburg KY
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Charlie Whitaker was everyone’s friend




Another giant tree has fallen. Another piece of the landscape is going, never to be renewed on this Earth.

The death angel came and took my good friend, Charlie Whitaker.

Charlie was not only my friend, he was everyone’s friend. He was well educated in more ways than one. He always tried to preserve what he believed in, our Appalachian heritage.

The dulcimers he made were handled with loving care, the same as the baskets he wove. He was widely known for his calling square dances, another of our cultures.

Like Charlie, I hate to see our Appalachian cultures pass from sight. Some people, who I might say are quite ignorant, like to look down their noses at the people of Appalachia, as if we were all illiterate.

But they don’t know the half of it. We have some of the smartest people you could ever hope to meet, and Charlie was one of them.

And so is his companion, Joyce, and their two daughters. They are proud of their Appalachian culture and proud to say that they are a product of Appalachia.

I, too, am proud to say I am from Appalachia. I really don’t know where this area, which encompasses a vast area, got its name, and I really don’t care. It is beauti- ful and I love it.

I have taught my children and grandchildren to love it as I do.

Charlie loved this area and it was his food when he was hungry. In fact, he loved to grow his own food. Those huge trees were like a flower garden to him. He loved what God has created and didn’t abuse it like many people do.

Some youngsters played music at his funeral. Youngsters who had learned from him. Youngsters who, I am sure, were honored to play their music to honor Charlie.

One youngster sang ‘Go Rest High on That Mountain,’ and also did a fine job.

The other four youngsters chose ‘Cripple Creek,’ and ‘I’ll Fly Away,’ with one on the guitar and the other two on fiddles.

I am sure Charlie would have been very proud of all of them. As for me, I will not soon forget Charlie.

That’s all from the funny farm until next time.


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