News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion Columns

December 6, 2013

RONN MOTT: A friend celebrates his 90th

TERRE HAUTE — I went to Charlie Fox’s 90th birthday party Sunday last. He was standing greeting people as they came in the door. I never saw him sit down even one time. He looked more like a man celebrating his 60th rather than his 90th.

I remember his 80th birthday party also. I had a red hat that had WAXI blazened across the front in white. I told him I didn’t think anybody would wear this red hat and he said, “Well, I’ll wear it!” And he did. This past Sunday, his home was crowded with relatives, friends, associates and neighbors. Obviously, a man well liked and appreciated.

I didn’t know Charlie until he started winning my “Early Bird” prizes on the radio. Between Charlie Fox, Lou Savage and Liz Ciancone (you can read Liz’s column “Ms. Takes” every Tuesday in the Tribune-Star), they almost swept the board when it came to winning contests.

When I was at my peak griping about Eastern Standard Time as opposed to the time we should be on, Central Standard Time, it was Charlie Fox and his Rose-Poly training that told me we were one hour and 15 minutes off where the sun is.

(I thought being on Eastern Time was the dumbest political move I had ever seen, but since then I have come to the conclusion it is the destruction of the public school system that’s the dumbest thing I have ever seen.)

Charlie Fox served in the Navy in the big war (World War II) and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander. Not an easy task in the Navy even during war time.

I have known Charlie’s daughter, Beverly, for a long time and she was there with her son, Robert. And I ran into Gary Dick and his wife, Judy … old chums from Clinton High School, and a host of others in that crowded household of well wishers and friends.

One of the things about being in the media, you get to meet a lot of different people. I’ve always felt blessed by this circumstance and, certainly, when I get to meet people and get to know them as I have Charlie Fox and his wife, Micki.

Again, it’s another one of those valentines to living in Terre Haute.

So, Happy Birthday, Charlie Fox! I hope I’ll be around to help you celebrate birthday 100.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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