The Charlie Bravo Story

A little hope, even hopeless hope, never hurt anybody.

A little hope, even hopeless hope, never hurt anybody.-John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
Most followers of this page know the Message of the Crate; how Charlie was found starving in hers and was released, only to return to it when she was shown no better option. Well, at the time I found her, I was in confinement as well, but instead of plastic and steel, mine was constructed of a 401k, four weeks vacation and a company car.
My incarceration was commuted to “time served” after 27 years, and I was driven home in my own crate, unceremoniously dumped out on my front yard, and swatted on my nose with my termination papers. When Mom came home from work that night, she noticed the kompany kar was missing; had I parked it behind the Casa?
Was it in the shop?
Guess again.
You got canned!
Her response: THANK GOD!!!
That experience was a combined sensation of a body blow to the spleen and of a boot being removed from my neck. This involuntary freedom has allowed Charlie and I to make several cross country trips, Arkansas to California, north to the Canadian, then south to the Mexican border, Colorado, New Mexico, North Carolina, Idaho, Utah, even the Bonneville Salt Flats. It has also given me the inestimable honor of having time to spend serving He Who Must Be Obeyed, the Jude Bear.
But it also gave me the opportunity to shovel gravel, push concrete, cut hair, deliver cars, work for the Census, do construction, clear brush in the dead of summer anything to make a dollah. For someone unemployed, I’ve never worked harder, but at least I can go to sleep on Sunday night without fretting about what korporate kulture was going to throw at me on Monday morning.
During this time I started a home inspection business. In an effort to build this business, I would get up at 0400, drive Lyft or Uber until 0900 when the realtors began to show up for their sales meetings, then resume the ride sharing gig in the afternoon. If you want a job that simultaneously makes you appreciate and despise humanity, try your hand at ridesharing; for every person that uses it as a means to get by, there’s another that uses it to be, well, a user.
Then Covid hit, and everything, the jobs, the meeting with realtors to build the home inspection business, etc, came screeching to a halt; talk about bad timing. But things always seem to work out in the end; if it’s not working out, then it can’t be the end.
If I had known at 45 that at 55 I would have my corporate safety net repossessed and confiscated, I would have probably have just stroked out and died from history’s worst recorded anxiety attack. But it always seems that by the time that we all get to it, whatever “it” happens to be, we are provided with the skills to get through it. Worry is interest paid on a note that’s not yet due, but hope is sometimes the only currency the bank will accept. Then when hope bears fruit, as it always does, it transforms into credit as faith; if you made it through once, you can make it through again. And again.
We be of one blood, ye and I.

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