My old friend Charlie

Posted: May 3, 2009 in Personal


I didn’t know Charlie had been wondering about me.  He says I gave him the idea to take up karate.  I don’t remember if that is what happened, but if it did, I’m glad I could be of some service.  I remember having a crush on his sister Linda at the time, probably because she looked like Olivia Hussey:

I think I had just seen Romeo and Juliet when I met Charlie and Linda, and had already developed a crush on Olivia, and proceeded to project my interest in her onto Linda.  However, Linda was really too young for me, so the romance couldn’t last.  (A couple of years can make all the difference when you’re in high school).

In any case, I’m sure John Dowland has a lute song to cover that sort of forlorn love!

Charlie and I went down different paths in life, and fell out of touch.  We had different interests, and I’m sure my personality grated on Charlie.  It was W. Somerset Maugham who said, “It’s no good trying to keep up old friendships.  It’s painful for both sides.  The fact is, one grows out of people, and the only thing is to face it.”

I guess that’s a sad reality, and it’s pretty rare for anyone to keep friends from youth.  But I also think George Eliot was right when she said something to the effect that as the years pass by, and we grow increasingly unlovely to our contemporaries, the better our old long lost friends seem to us.
I remember Charlie was more interested in what could be called the aesthetics of karate (form, movement, etc.), while I was more interested in the fighting aspects of it, combining boxing with what I knew of kenpo.  That sort of thing was quite new at the time (in the 70s), but now it’s everywhere.  Oddly enough, I’m now actually more interested in the aesthetics of karate than I am in the fighting.  How things change….

I’m glad Charlie stuck with it, and kept true to his vision of karate as art rather than as mere technical science of fighting.  Best wishes to him and his family!


aka: Chris Crisler

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