Steve Edwards'website
Home Page


No master of the whangle, but persistent

I met Charlie in Berkeley outside of his tiny Café. He hired me to work there, but it turned out that there were other odd jobs with him that proved more worthwhile.

Charlie liked to have his hands in a lot of deals. I wouldn't call him a master of the whangle, because he didn't appear especially good at it or extremely successful. But he was persistent. And he was unconcerned for others' opinions. He loved to walk barefoot, for example, a habit he had learned on a fishing boat off New Orleans. He'd carry his shoes with him, into the most unlikely of settings — talking business.

Seeing an opportunity to buy or sell, Charlie would pursue it.

He moved a bit of furniture, which was the most rewarding to myself. He always paid $10 per hour (cash, of course; you must be joking.)

He spoke of demolishing old buildings free of charge, by hand, for the valuable timber that he could sell. I'd always wish that we'd get into one of those jobs, but we never did.

His pet, the tiny "bistro" café, was an unimpressive venture. A lovely little storefront, its menu was unfocused, and Charlie himself no chef. His hygeine habits, to start with, were under par. He had a bleeding sore on his scalp, which I suppose was not his fault.

One time, Charlie employed myself, M_, and my friend J_ to push a huge safe about a mile through downtown Berkeley. We made it, in about four hours, to our profit of $40 each. When I left Berkeley, Charlie had still not been able to open the safe, which was still in his garage. I don't doubt he got it open, though, eventually.