Charlie Haldeman

The digital home of the genuine rural eclectic.

April 13, 2021

My grandma turns 92 today.

Anna Mae “Sucky” Tidwell

She’s a master gardener, a talented florist and has always been an animated personality in my life.


April 10, 2021

After Hattie Belle let me listen in on a podcast she’s doing for a school project, it reminded me that I used to have one of those. By the way, she’s REALLY good at them. Unfortunately, her podcast isn’t public. Mine is. Here’s a short one that was cut recently.


April 7, 2021

I was crowned today, but it’s only temporary.

You know that chunk of composite faux-rock that the dentist and his team will drill, saw, and plug into your head when an old tooth gives out?

King me.

What stood out about this particular visit is the immeasurable amount of angst that began to travel throughout my bones before the dentist ever got started.

He got through the series of Novocain shots alright. So did I, it seemed, though I was still shaking like Barney Fife discovering a bank hold-up.

In the end, they had to gas me.

I’m feeling much better now, though the nitrous oxide has worn off… I think.


April 4, 2021

Easter Sunday

“My father believed all events occurred simultaneously, as though in a dream inside the mind of God. I feel, as you, that there is a strong possibility that good works can alter the past, either through the grace generated by the act or by denunciation of evil and a determination to reclaim Eden,” – James Lee Burke

“They’re as blue as the deep, deep sea,
Their smiling faces bring gladness,
For they bloom for you and for me.”
– “Bluebonnets,” by Julia D. Booth and Lora C. Crockett


April 2, 2021

So this happened yesterday…

And who doesn’t like a cameo appearance from Charles Durning?


April 2, 2021

The second Texas writer that I was a fan of has died this week.

On Friday, we learned Larry McMurtry passed. McMurtry, the Archer City native who penned Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment, The Last Picture Show and many other well-known books and movies, was as much written about as he wrote.

Just today, word came that Houston newspaper columnist and author Leon Hale has died.

While I feel far from competent as a scribe, reading McMurtry and Hale have helped me improve over the years. Their words helped me find my own voice as I write for work or pleasure.

I don’t know if you call it an honor to write obituaries and memorial pieces for work, but the task has fallen to me while on the job quite a bit. Since arriving in Houston for my ‘second tour,’ I’ve typed up a few like Johnny Bush, Grady Gaines, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kenny Rogers, and now the latest pair.

Hale’s was a labor of love and therapy. I discovered his Houston Chronicle columns as a homesick 18-year-old freshman at Texas A&M. When I’d go to work at the radio station, I’d look for that day’s edition and immediately turn to the City & State section where Hale’s dispatches were prominent three days a week.

Instead of producing a video to go along with ABC13’s tribute, I found a most appropriate clip from his wife, Babette, who produced it 10 days ago.


February 17, 2021

Ash Wednesday was already going to be different across the country. The winter storm flipped the plans even more.


January 22, 2021

Here… you can drop “inauguration Bernie Sanders” into whichever image you choose by using free photo editing sites like Pixlr.


January 1, 2021

RIP 2020


Eat all the black-eyed peas you can now, ya hear?

December 20, 2020


While on a short vacation over the Thanksgiving break, I managed to do some ‘spring cleaning’ in the garage while watching reruns of The Andy Griffith Show & Gomer Pyle USMC on a rabbit-eared television. I also did some similar ‘spring cleaning’ to the old YouTube page. Can you believe it’s been active for more than 11 years now? Some of the first videos were recorded on a Motorola flip phone. They’re buried though. You’ll have to scroll way back through to see any of those.

Meanwhile, here are some recent videos. All work-related though.


November 21, 2020


November 3, 2020

Federal examiner C. A. Phillips administers the voter-registration oath to Joe Ella Moore on Aug. 25, 1965, at the Magnolia Motel in Prentiss, Miss., following passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Until then, racist provisions in Mississippi’s 1890 Constitution and in state law blocked most African Americans from voting in the state.

Photo: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Archives and Records Services Division, Moncrief Collection

Nobody in modern times knows more about voting and all of the privileges and liabilities that go along with it than the people of the state of Mississippi.


October 24, 2020

The Great Gonzo vagabond Jerry Jeff Walker has died.


October 19, 2020

My goodness. Have we not visited since July?

It appears so.

How have you been? Are you staying healthy and happy?

I hope you are.

Let’s see. What’s new?

Grandma calls me just about every day from her new home, a memory care facility, which we don’t acknowledge as such. As far as she’s concerned, she’s just waiting to go back home. She still loves drinking coffee, but she’s concerned they don’t give her as much of it as she’d like.

“Do you think they’re rationing it?” she asked me today.

“No, I think they are just looking out for you to make sure you don’t get the shakes and stay up late,” I replied.

“You’re probably right.”

I’ve not talked to her this often in more than 25 years. Even though she doesn’t remember talking to me the day before, I’m fine with it. I’ll keep answering when she calls.

What’s else is going on? Oh yeah, they let me back on the television the other day 😉

Ignore the anchorman’s introduction there because that was not accurate. They weren’t family. But they had a need and we treated them as such.


July 30, 2020

A great quote from CR1 on being diagnosed with Lymphoma…

(that’s a cancer for you and me who didn’t know)

Charles said this today:

“It’s like climbing up on to the high dive at Spring Lake Park swimming pool and not having Jimmy Postlethwaite up there to be able to climb on to his back before you jump off.”

Jimmy was a beloved older first cousin of CR1 and his 5 siblings. He was an AAU collegiate diving champion, a life guard, a teenage nephew who once wrecked Riley Haldeman’s only car that he borrowed, and in these moments… he was a lifeline, a big kid mentor for CR1. Probably second only to John Riley.

As Waymore’s blues sang of the Brakeman Jimmy Rodgers, ‘Jimmy, he’s dead, he’s been a long time gone. A long time gone.’

But not our memories of Rodgers. Nor Postlethwaite. Nor Haldeman. Definitely
Not Haldeman. Neither are our fears or baggage.

Daddy is diving from the high board by himself for the first time.

He’s as cool as the other side of your pillow though, and he’s acting as low key as the trains that roll though Sugar Land without having to blow the horn on the same run as the Midnight Special past the sugar mill and the Central Unit penitentiary.

He’s going on ahead and not backing up.

He appreciates you as you observe the dive. That long intimidating dive.


June 1, 2020

Leslie Earl Tidwell

Tank Tidwell has gone home. We are richer for his presence in our lives.

Leslie Earl Tidwell, 91, of De Kalb left this world on this fine morning of June 1, 2020.

Tank was born on March 20, 1929, in Siloam, Texas to Earl and Maude Proctor Tidwell.

He married Anna Mae Sucky Shumake on January, 29, 1949, south of Hubbard Chapel.

Tank was a U.S. Army veteran and an electronics expert for the Dept of Defense for more than 30 years, traveling the world in the nation’s Cold War effort. He was a member of the American Legion Doyle Williams Post 488 and a former member of John H. Moore Post. He was an Honorary Chapter Farmer of the De Kalb FFA.

He was also a rancher, a farmer, and a proud member of the James Bowie High School class of 1948.

He was an active member of First Baptist Church De Kalb, where he served as a deacon and was a former Sunday School superintendent and teacher.

He spent many years as a sponsor and counselor on youth choir trips to south Texas and Lakeview Baptist Assembly.

He later volunteered with the Kingdom Kids, serving them supper on Wednesday nights.

He was preceded in death by an infant son, Leslie Earl Tidwell Jr. in 1950, his parents, and his sister, Mildred “Sis” Lewis.

He’s survived by his wife of 71 years, Anna Mae “Sucky” Tidwell of De Kalb, 2 daughters and 1 son, Joni Tidwell Haldeman (Charles) of De Kalb, John L. Tidwell (Cathy) of Texarkana, and Jane Guyton (Jay) of Texarkana.

His 4 grandchildren: Charlie Haldeman (Amanda) of Sugar Land; Jackson Tidwell (Amelie) of Lafayette, Louisiana; Jordan Tidwell of Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Landry Guyton of Leonardtown, Maryland.

His 4 great-grandchildren: Hattie, Riley, Robb, and Will Haldeman of Sugar Land.

He’s also survived by his brother and sister, Henry Tidwell (Barbara) of Longview and Ann “Pud” McIntyre of Simms, and a multitude of cousins and friends.

He has waited for this day his entire life and his presence to us was God’s gift. For that, we rejoice through our sadness of his passing.


May 27, 2020


May 23, 2020

Would it be too cliche to say that 1918 was pandemonium?


April 28, 2020

When was the first time you heard the word ‘quarantine’?

I was 12 years old. The story has little to do with being shut off from others. Quite the opposite.



April 9, 2020


April 8, 2020

John Prine died.

I first heard John Prine in the early 90s when a record company was promoting his song “Let’s talk dirty in Hawaiian”

It was a silly tune and it wasn’t that great but hearing it led me to discover other Prine songs. I’d usually play “Jesus the missing years” around Christmas time.

The list is long. But a new discovery for me was this one. I love the video that goes along with it.

This is called “Long Monday”


April 7, 2020

My high school English III teacher, Mrs. Suzanne Farris, posted that picture on her Facebook page recently. That’s US Hwy 259 in southwest Bowie County, Texas.

April 3, 2020


“I’ll never get out of this world alive.” – Hank Williams


How have you been?

What’s the haps? What’s the good word? Have you been staying home?

Have you been outside much lately?

My mind keeps wandering back to that idea that I wanted to raise some chickens and grow a garden in my backyard.

It was a novel idea back then.

Here’s a random picture from back home, borrowed from Allen Phillips and taken some years back at his family’s sawmill in Oak Grove, Texas.


March 25, 2020

I’m attempting to learn how to navigate the new update that the good people of WordPress decided to roll out. Hence the lack of activity here. 

If I’m able to post this, and there’s some doubt in that, you’ll see a long, jumbled link below. It’s worth your time. WELL worth five minutes. I’m breaking a rule by not verifying its origin, but the claim is that Bill Gates wrote it. This is not confirmed. It’s still a beautiful read in some places, a little preach in others, but in all its thought provoking. That’s reason enough why I’m passing it along here. -ch

(Supposedly) Bill Gates’ words about the coronavirus global pandemic


February 11, 2020

It was a bad, bad day. 



February 4, 2020

“I’ve never written to please other people.” -Larry McMurtry


January 26, 2020

Looks like we missed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s in this space. Part of that was an unintentional sabbatical, I suppose. Another reason was that I couldn’t find my way into the website that allows me to update this space regularly. Laziness? That too.

So, I should say to you, Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy MLK Day to you. And you? Yes, you.

And especially you.


Previous posts have been archived:

Posts from 2019

Posts from 2018