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Today is the first day to the rest of your life…


We are now broadcasting live from command post, buried deep beneath the foundation of the Casa del Whackos, impervious to enemy fire, telemarketers, and even those white- shirted door to door dastardly duos on bikes.

For those that say that we have lost our way and seen our best days as a nation, that there is no hope for the youth of today, I would say that these people have not met the the young men of Step ministries.

thecharliebravostory_step_program25Dad was honored to be invited to tell the story of the crate at a recent campout for this group; judging by the way he hemmed and hawed, stammering around, I think he should stick to piloting the Bravomobile and leave the talking to me.

Step is a mentoring program for “inner city” “at risk” youth, but that is where I will draw the line at labeling anyone, for aren’t we all “at risk”? Let’s just say that I would be honored to call any one of these guys a friend; street smart but respectful, obviously out of their element way up in the Ozarks, but still comfortable enough in their own skins to appreciate the difference.

Dad was initially concerned at how I would respond to being around people of color, but shouldn’t have wasted the brain space; doesn’t he know that dogs are color blind? I was comfortable enough around my brothers that, when dad started getting a little too greedy with the space inside the sleeping bag, I decided that I would seek accommodations elsewhere, but I don’t think that Deion was ready for the intrusion of a pushy black dog at 0300. In his defense, he didn’t get too upset, although he did banish me from the premises. And a word about the mentors themselves; although the program is obviously faith based, I have absolutely no idea as to what particular denomination, and I really don’t care, these are MEN doing a great work, and we were blessed just by spending time with them.

thecharliebravostory_step_program22Dad usually has to pry me out of the sleeping bag in the morning, but this time the smell of grilling onions and sausage had me leaving him snoring in the bag like a noisy burrito while I went in search of grub; as she that would make friends must show herself friendly, I hung out with the guys and performed my Christian duty of relieving them of the remains their scrambled eggs. I know, it’s a rough job, but somebody has to do it.

We broke camp and the boys headed down to float the Buffalo River and dad and I headed farther back up into the mountains to see what we could see; although solitude is what we sometimes crave, the company of good friends is sometimes what we need; I can’t wait to make another trip with the guys from Step… you guys absolutely rock.

What should I describe next? The herds of elk? The turkeys? The deer? The swan? The waterfalls? Flouncing like a complete idiot in the icy waters of the Buffalo?

thecharliebravostory_step_program35 thecharliebravostory_step_program29I would love to, but you’ll just have to trust me and check out the pictures; I’m too busy drowsing in the warmth of the sunshine streaming through the windshield as we careen through the Ozarks towards the Casa,  dad disturbing my slumber by bouncing between the rumble strips like some sort of four-wheeled pinball.

I may have to find a different chauffer, someone better suited to transporting royalty; applications may be submitted at!

Join the discussion

  1. Claudia Burris

    You have an amazing story to share and we all can learn from you what our crates are. I am excited for this new venture on the web. Share your story Charlie and those of others !

    • Dad

      Thank you very much; this is all very new to us, but what isn’t these days? It’s always a party at the Casa!

  2. Heather Shaw

    yaaaahoooo!!! how exciting! 😀

  3. Diane Keech

    Great work Charlie.

  4. Kim Barden

    We should all be as colorblind as Charlie. Be more like Charlie. Charlie is smart.

  5. Sherri Crimmings Vincent

    Finally! Been looking forward to this site for quite some time. Great job.

  6. Sherry Jadrnak

    I love the way you flounce, Charlie!

  7. Jamie Merritt Sims

    Great job on the new website, but hope we can still get updates on Facebook!!

  8. Jimmie James

    Would love to hear more about the Step ministry also. Sounds like a very worthwhile project. As usual, it’s all in the story telling Charlie. Love the site !

  9. Catseye

    Charlie Bravo, YOU GO, GIRL! Oh, and take it easy on Dad, okay? ;o)

  10. Fran Scott

    CB, could you get an audio recording of the noisy burrito? …or, even better, how about a video? 🙂

  11. Beverly

    Wow you did a great job with this website. I have been following since the beginning. Very inspiring. We all matter. Peace

  12. Marcy Oliver

    Your donate part on the new site doesn’t say how to donate and i am computer illiterate so the new site can we get updates on it or still here or both thanks

  13. Linda Wright

    Interesting story. Grace and peace to all at the Casa del Wackos! ✝

  14. Bonny Brown

    Love this,,, is on my desktop….. love you Charlie………

  15. Ruth Thayer

    Sounds like a great trip was had as always, and as far as a new chauffeur CB, you know I got your back, or butt, or whatever part of your body needs covered, I’ll be there

  16. Carrie

    Always enjoy a good story

  17. Linda Leahy

    Look great Congratulations guys 🙂

  18. Patricia McDaid

    I just cant get enough of Charlie x

  19. Vicky Guth

    she has really blossomed into a wonderful pup! i still cannot fathom, WHY, someone would throw away a P.E.R.F.E.C.T.L.Y. fabulous dog!! God bless!!

  20. Annette Eakins

    Great job and very easy to follow!

  21. Mollie

    Charlie you make this worn out woman who is about at her wits end see a glimmer of hope. Keep it up! What you are doing is amazing.

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