Charlie Haldeman

The digital home of the genuine rural eclectic.

June 2023


February 22, 2022

Looking through images on the phone, and I ran across this one from our delayed Christmas last month.

My aunt Jane gifted me these priceless items that came from my grandparents flower shop.


February 12, 2022

My boy needed a coat. I had one. I could have bought him a new one, but he needed it the next morning, so I gave him mine. It’s decades old, and my daddy gave it to me.

He was smiling, but his sister was really disappointed that she didn’t inherit it. 🤷🏻‍♂️😂

Despite the angst from his sibling, I sure do enjoy seeing that wide smile.

“It’s spelled with two B’s because one would have been boring.” -Betty Bates, February 1979 (So we made sure CRIII’s nickname was spelled just like that.)


Sweeping out the bus

Last week, I spent a few days in the old hometown helping with a few parental errands. 

While there, the high school football team headed south to Carthage, Texas to face a rough opponent in the playoffs. After much success this fall, the De Kalb Bears’ season came to …

Read more here


9 cents made last month

Thanks to the hundreds of clicks on this happy little virtual space (most of them mine while testing to see if it works), the good people over at WordPress tell me that I earned 9 cents last month.

Last month, we earned around $2 thanks to Ben Terry over in Lake Charles. His story went far and wide.

By the way, Ben is back home from Houston and his recovery is going well. He’s even set to return to work and on-the-air on KPLC-TV. That is expected to happen Monday, Oct. 25.

As ol’ Ed and Frank in those Bartles & Jaymes commercials used to say…

Thank you for your support.


About that milk crate challenge…

If you’re not familiar with it, we mentioned in a story below that grocery stores would likely see a spike in crate theft due to this internet fad.

Sure enough, this stack of milk crates behind a Kroger has a handwritten warning sign attached to the shrink wrap.



Houston South Freeway landmark as seen from low altitude

Some of the sculptures have been there for years. You can see the low-altitude video below and read more about the story behind the park here.


Milk crate challenge trends on social media

The videos are generating clicks and laughs. They’re also alarming doctors and grocery store staff.

Milk crates, those plastic cubical webbed containers made to deliver gallons of dairy products to your grocer’s coolers are getting their 15 minutes of fame.

The #milkcratechallenge is a trending topic on social media where videos are recorded of brave (or not-too-bright) participants who step up on a series of pyramid-like stacks of milk crates.



East End barbecue joint owner plans to fight city over portable sign

The Harris County General Store Barbecue Juke Joint may be a new occupant in its building on Lawndale Street, but the sign in question isn’t.

Houston Public Works inspectors notified owner Daniel Hinojosa earlier this year that the double-sided roadside sign was a violation of the city’s … (MORE)


Cane’s-inspired beer unveiled by Louisiana brewery

“No slaw. Extra toast.” That’s the name of it?

It’s actually lemonade-inspired beer, not chicken.

A south Louisiana microbrewery has rolled out another specialty beer into the market of unique flavors, but no, it’s not supposed to taste like chicken.

It’s hard to not have a bitter beer face with an IPA like that.

At least it’s not flavored like the tangy sauce.



Car Talk: ‘Click and Clack’ brothers still grace the airwaves long after sign-off

60 Minutes profiled the brothers back in 1995.

Public radio listeners may well remember the bluegrass music, Boston accents and gut-bending laughter coming from their devices when Tom and Ray Magliozzi came on the air to shine some insight on all-things-automobiles.

The Magliozzi brothers introduced themselves as “Click” and “Clack,” the “Tappet Brothers.” While I was a listener for years…



Houston Heights 4-year-old makes smiles happen with free toy garage

You’ve probably seen those little free libraries pop up around the city. They inspired Beau Roessler to offer a free service for friends and strangers alike.

Beau Roessler, a 4-and-a-half-year-old, has taken the free library concept and turned it into a garage to house miniature cars like Hotwheels and Matchbox cars outside the Heights home he shares with his parents and little sister.

“I don’t know much about toys, but I know much about cars because I love cars,” Beau said as he showed off his garage.

The small shelter in front of his Heights-area home was built in-part by his dad, who’s hobby as a woodworker shows through the craftsmanship. It even has a retractable garage door.

People are able to take a car, leave a car or both.



Louisiana meteorologist rings the radiation bell as colon cancer battle continues

After weeks of temporarily living in Houston, Ben Terry rang the radiation bell and gets to go home.

Last month, we caught up with our friend, Ben Terry. Ben works as a meteorologist at KPLC-TV in Lake Charles.

As he fights colon cancer, daily radiation doses in Houston prompted him and the TV crew to get creative about how to continue working from 2.5 hours away. Today, he rang the bell after finishing what he hopes is his last round of radiation. But he’s far from being finished with the battle.

“The radiation has to be done five days a week and it has to be done here in Houston,” Terry said last month. “I live in Lake Charles. I can’t physically drive back and forth. If you’ve ever been to Lake Charles from Houston, it’s not a fun trip to do once a week, let alone once a day.”

Open for more of his story


‘Any friend of Bumpy Ware is a friend of mine’ – Edwin Edwards remembered

Monday morning’s passing of former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards reminded me of the second and final time I met him.

Edwin Edwards is probably catching up on Smiley Anders’ column here in this 2015 image from John Georges.

When the Kinder, Louisiana, Chamber of Commerce invited him to speak at its annual banquet in 2013, he was enjoying quite a renaissance of sorts after his release from federal prison and his recent marriage to Trina. They met as pen pals while he worked in the prison library at FCI Oakdale.



Mothership used in space travel named for founder’s mother

July 11, 2021

While you’ll likely read more about Sunday morning’s space launch with some wealthy travelers, here’s some backstory and useless trivia.

When Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson blasts off into the wild blue yonder, he’ll get there via a two-stage process. There will be the

The spaceship will be launched from an aircraft known as VMS Eve. VMS stands for Virgin MotherShip, by the way.

Eve was named after Branson’s mother, Evette.

She lived 96 years until COVID-19 complications took her in January. Branson said that his immense success is because of an unusual discovery his mother made.

He explained that Eve had found a necklace in the 1960s and after the police let her keep the jewelry because nobody had claimed it, she sold it and gave him the funds. 

“Without that £100 ($135), I could never have started Virgin,” Branson said.

VMS Eve (Virgin Mother Ship) carries VSS Unity (Virgin Spaceship) for its first flight ever over Mojave, CA on Thursday September 8, 2016.



Family behind Houston Mexican candy tradition hopes for revival

July 9, 2021

For decades, Jesse Bocanegra and his family made leche quemada, the milk candy famous at restaurants like Monterey House. Now, another generation is working on its return.

Houstonians of a certain age may remember restaurants that have long since closed for good, including the Monterey House chain of Mexican food restaurants.

While the food was memorable, the complimentary Mexican milk candy known as leche quemada may have been most sought after. Restaurant workers would place the candy inside wax paper and tuck it beneath the corn chips served to each table.

The only Monterey House left is located in Beaumont. The man behind La Colmena is 84 years old now.

Jesse Bocanegra remembers his family’s company fondly.



Crowds return to Battleship Texas, San Jacinto Monument observation deck closes

July 4, 2021

This past weekend would qualify for one of those “There’s good news, and then there’s bad news” categories for the San Jacinto historic area east of Houston.

While the bucket of U.S. wartime bolts (that helped save the free world more than once) known as USS Texas was opened to visitors for the first time in two years, its historical icon neighbor across the old Crosby-Lynchburg Road didn’t have such good news.

The San Jacinto Monument’s observation deck has been closed indefinitely due to elevator issues.

Here are two short clips from the weekend that shows visitors still flocked to the area, despite the weather.

Battleship Texas visitors return for the weekend after two years.
If the tourists at the old San Jac knew about the lack of access to top-side, you couldn’t tell.
The base of a monument dedicated to the contributions of men who also belonged to the fraternal organization known to practice what’s called Freemasonry.
A friend of mine once repeated a famous phrase years ago to me, “There are no secrets in Freemasonry… only mysteries.” 😏



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