Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Charlie, the Bug Guy

In Stories, secrets & dreams, Who, where, how? on August 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm


You meet a lot of interesting and friendly people, both among the other volunteers and our guests, when volunteering at Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen. They come from all walks of life and many have fascinating stories to tell.

One such person is my friend, Charlie (we’re not real big on last names at HASK). He’s a six foot three ex-school teacher with bushy white hair and mustache a great smile and terrific sense of humor. One of other volunteers says she thinks he resembles Tom Selleck. Maybe, but I don’t really see it. I met Charlie at lunch one Friday and we quickly became friends. He usually works the outside door and it’s allowed him to get to know many of our visitors by their first names, their lives and their hardships. He participates in the HASK Writers Workshop and I recently attended one of their readings. After listening to heir readings it helped to get to know many of them better as well.

Early on at lunch on Friday we were discussing our plans for the weekend. I didn’t have anything in particular planned but Charlie said he was planning on attending the bug and reptile show at the Westchester Center in White Plains. This quickly got all of the people at the table very interested and we all questioned “Why?” Charlie proceeded to tell us that one of his hobbies was collecting and raising tarantulas, scorpions and giant centipedes which he keeps in his basement. He told us of their eating habits and the fact that, contrary to popular belief, their bite isn’t lethal although the bite of a giant centipede can be very painful. I’ll take his word on this since I have no desire to find out for myself. Needless to say this hobby of Charlie’s quickly became the talk of the table and, after that, he became know as the bug guy to a number of people.

One Friday Sister Cecilia came and sat with us and we enlightened her about Charlie’s hobby. Ever since when she sits with us she refers to Charlie as “tarantula man” and questions him about their latest exploits. He’s brought in pictures of one his prized tarantulas, one of which is easily the size of a dinner plate and he gladly shares tales of any pregnancies, new additions and any recent purchases.

Yes, we all have interesting hobbies and Charlie’s is certainly an unusual one but hey, I always say to each his own. Charlie may be bug guy to some and tarantula man to Sister Cecilia but to me he is a friend and so much more.

By Joe


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