Ol’ Charles Could Sum It Up (Retread From 12 Dec 2001)

Published 4:55 pm Saturday, June 3, 2023

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I’ve known some fellows in my day who could talk on, and never get a dang thing said you could hang your hat on. Then, there have been folks like Ol’ Charles McCray. I sho miss seeing him stopping me on the street to tell me something I’d be mighty interested in hearing.

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I’ve written a few things about Charles before, but his long time buddy, Bobby Kidd, got to telling me some funny stuff I feel like I oughter share with y’all.

Bobby said he and Charles were selling cars down at Allen-Cowling Chevrolet, where Loyd Jones used to be. In came an irate upset car buyer, pointed his finger at three of ‘em standing around, and exclaimed, “I want to see you, Charles, you, Bobby, and you, Caldwell Allen!!”

With that, Bobby related they all went in one of the little offices to await the next event.

The customer narrowed his already squinty eyes, twisted his mouth up real tight, took a deep breath, and bellowed out, “I’m going to sue you, Charles McCray, you, Bobby Kidd, you, Caldwell Allen, and General Motors!!”

Ol’ Charles sorta reared back up against the wall, grinning a little bit, and came out with a piece of his wisdom when he replied, “Hoss, you might better just stick with General Motors, cause ain’t none of the rest of us got a durn thing for you to get.”

The fellow looked kinda startled, glanced around the room, and before you knew what was what, he started laughing. Bobby seems to recollect the fellow had him a cup of coffee, and Ol’ Charles walked him out the door, happy as the day is long.

Now, John Northcutt was sitting there when Bobby told this next piece of wisdom that came out of Charles’ mouth, and John verified this story. Charles was sitting in the bank waiting on Bill Moman when the main man, John Northcutt, came up after seeing Charles sitting there awhile, and offered to help, to which Charles thanked him, but said he’d just wait on Bill.

John came back by a while later, and Charles was still waiting on Bill, who must have been in the midst of some other big business deal or something. Anyhow, John said, “Charles, Bill may be tied up a little longer. I believe I can handle anything for you if you want me to.”

Charles stood up, looked around, and replied, “Well, I tell you, Hoss. The reason I’m waiting on Bill is ‘cause if he turns me down, I can still come to you, and might get a loan, but if I went to you first, there wouldn’t be anywhere else to go.”

Now, how you gon beat logic like that? Thing about Ol McCray was he weren’t stingy with his wisdom and advice. He’d share it with you in a minute. He knew a heap of stuff, and he was known to enlighten many a soul right there on the street corner.

Now, when you stop what cha’ doing a minute or two, and ponder on back to where it is you came from, I betcha you can conjure up some characters around town who could tell you what was what and when about old timey stuff in days gone bye, sorta like Ol’ Charles McCray.