Archived Story

Remembering good friends Chuck, Bob and Bill

Published 11:16pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I met Chuck Trevathan when Bob Stuedell invited me to join the Columbus Lions Club. After we served our terms as president, Chuck became treasurer and I have been secretary ever since. His illness finally forced him to give up the office and then attendance at our meetings.
We did a lot of things together as Lions – litter pick up from the streets and highways of Columbus, selling carnations in the hot suns of May and brooms in those of July, attending district meetings, visiting our VIPs (Visually Impaired Persons), gathering empty soda cans and hauling them to the scrap metal yard in Spartanburg, planning fundraisers, even offering our engineering expertise when needed (actually seldom).
Someone once asked Chuck how much he got paid for picking up trash along the road, and the man had difficulty understanding that a former NASA manager was doing it as a public service. We finally gave that up when we decided our Lions were no longer nimble enough to dodge traffic!
We also stopped collecting cans when the price dropped precipitously. We were using Chuck’s trailer and several Lions who decided that we were working too many hours to earn only two pairs of eyeglasses per year instead of four for our VIPs.
Chuck turned his home at the other end of our street into a horticultural showplace. I feel sure his trailer hauled a lot more mulch than aluminum cans!
One day Chuck picked up a new Lion and me for a foray into the countryside to find the headwaters of the Green River. We also drove up and across Pinnacle Mountain, a Henderson County landmark as beloved as Polk’s Tryon Peak.
On many other occasions we used his utility vehicle to negotiate the primitive road up Tryon Peak to help the electricians repair the Lions’ lighted cross on one of the towers.
Chuck was an inspired and inspiring Lion who did a Lion’s share while he was able toward assuring the continued success of our club. He was pleased that our Lions Club voted to accept women Lions on his watch as president. We walked with him and for him in the Relay for Life. We honored him with the highest award Lions can give, the Melvin Jones (founder of Lions International) Fellowship. He surely fought the good fight; now rest in peace, Chuck.
I met Bob Richardson at his Blue Ridge Weavers gift shop in Tryon when it was one of the sales outlets for tickets for the Polk County Historical Association’s scenic tours of Polk County. They were always sold out and he had the money ready for me, but we would still visit a while to enjoy the view of Tryon Peak from his office window.
Later his wife, Ann, became a good customer and friend of Fran and Mary’s Yarn Shop in Columbus. One Ann Richards was then making a name for herself as governor of Fran’s home state of Texas, so naturally I always addressed our Ann Richardson as “Governor.” Still later when I had to do an unexpected repair on the piano at the Tryon Little Theater workshop, Bob stopped his set building long enough to lend me his cordless drill motor for a few minutes. He even found a very small drill bit in his toolbox for me.
I met James William “Bill” Wilson when he came down to let me into the Pacolet Baptist Church on Skyuka Road to tune the piano. We never visited much on those occasions because we both had work to do. When I learned that he was father of one of my favorite people, guitar and piano-playing Sue Wilson, we had more to talk about. Later, if I saw Bill enter McDonald’s I would go up to the counter and visit with him while he waited for his take-out.
He never joined us other geezers at our oval table, though I always invited him to do so. Guess he did not want to eat with a bunch of kids!
When I learned that Bill was 98 years old, I told him to let me know where he would celebrate his 100th birthday so I could attend his party. He grinned and promised to do that.

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