Charlie Haldeman

The digital home of the genuine rural eclectic.

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.


October 11, 2019

He sounds like Waylon and the music sounds like it’s 40 years old. It’s current though and it’s good.

That’s the way it goes.

Life ain’t fair

and the world is mean.”


September 23, 2019

September 18, 2019

If you look real close, that’s a rainbow trying to appear southeast of the Upper Kirby neighborhood of Houston on an otherwise wet Wednesday evening.


September 7, 2019

I’m told it happens in threes.

I’m two for three so far.

Yesterday, while en route from San Antonio to Houston, my old truck lost all coolant and water pressure and a small boiling explosion occurred under my hood somewhere on Interstate 10. The prognosis?

The water pump decided to give up the ghost.

Fast forward to later that same evening.

While backing out of a spot in Galveston, I smashed the driver’s side mirror on my wife’s ride.

That’s two.

I’ll be walking everywhere today. Maybe we can break the curse of the three’s and just leave it at these.


September 2, 2019

Jim Leavelle turned 99 recently. He died late last week, just days after that milestone.

While most know him as the man in the light colored suit handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when he was shot, not many know Mr. Leavelle was born in Red River County and graduated from Detroit High School.

What even fewer realize, is Leavelle wasn’t the only Northeast Texas connection to JFK-Dallas-‘63.

Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit, who was killed in the line of duty the same day as President John Kennedy, was also from Red River County.

The two grew up less than 15 miles from each other.

J.D Tippit was born near Annona on September 18, 1924


September 1, 2019

A new page turned on the wall calendar has brought us to September.

There are several “holidays” in September worth noting. Let’s see here which ones are worth a mention.

Ah yes, this coming Tuesday is “Papa was a rolling stone” Day.

“It was the third of September. A day I’ll always remember.”

Read more here


August 31, 2019

The final day in the month named after the Roman Empire’s first emperor. The sultry days will soon fade into the autumn of the year.

How have you been? Are you ready to feel fall?

Usually around this time, I will catch the slight hint of air from the north that will creep down. It usually comes early in the morning or late at night while I’m outside alone in the silence. That tease of air comes even when that day’s temperature climbs to over 100 degrees. It will catch you at just the right time to remind you it’s coming in full force eventually.

Of course, I haven’t felt fall yet. I knew it would be late catching me when I packed a bag and relocated back down south of I-10. I’m living in two places at the moment. Weekends are still done in Waco. The rest of the days are in Houston. Eventually, it’ll be a permanent Houston address. Perhaps before fall comes at us in full force.


August 27, 2019

My new workplace has an amenity not common at television stations. There’s a long story behind it, but we’ll have to get to that later.

No, they don’t allow swimming at work. It’s exclusively a visual feature these days. Once upon a time though, I’m told it was the hangout spot for employees.


August 24, 2019

Do you keep a playlist?

We used to call them mix-tapes back when we could record on cassette tapes. Sometimes, those mix-tapes would include songs we recorded from a radio station.

We would wait for what seemed like hours for our desired song to come on, and then would jump at the radio and hit record really fast. It was a skill that required practice to get the very beginning of the song and the ending and stop the tape before the disc jockey started talking.

Long gone are the mix-tapes in favor of the playlists. I keep a few.

My most common go-to playlist resides on the Shazam app on the phone. The Shazam app will listen to music playing, usually on TV, and identify the title and artists. I find that I use it most while watching a movie or TV series and want to know what songs the creators used.

Another frequent use is when I’m listening to NPR’s Morning Edition and they play an instrumental between news stories. I have discovered the most unusual music through NPR from all over the world. Have you ever heard techno music from the Ukraine or bluegrass from South Africa? NPR has probably sampled one or two songs like that in its ~45 years on the air. They even have a page dedicated to what they call their musical interludes.

Here’s one that you might want to listen to while looking at the night sky out in the country. That is, if you can get cell service out there. After all, the best places to look at the stars are typically the worst places for good cell service. You’ll have to use an AM radio out there.

Another platform is the traditional YouTube. Oh sure, you can watch all the cat videos and shaky cell phone clips of people falling down on the Youtube, but I also use it to build playlists like this one:

Sometimes, a song gets stuck in your head. You’ll hum it all day. There are bad songs to get stuck in your head like Yellow Submarine and Henry the VIII. Yeah, man. Those are terrible. I don’t even wish those on an enemy. Wikipedia calls these ear worms and somebody wrote the equivalent of a masters thesis on the subject.

But then, there are good songs that get stuck in your head. I’ll leave you with this one that’s been lodged somewhere up in the cobwebs of my mind. Enjoy.


August 16, 2019

Overheard on West Alabama St in Houston regarding the weather…

“It feels like a mouth out here.”

If you’ve ever been outside in Houston, Texas on an August afternoon following a rain shower, you know exactly what they’re talking about.


August 5, 2019

Like any old codger who sits on the porch, we can talk about the weather. Or we can look at it.

This small clip was taken yesterday in the middle of a brief respite from the blazing August sun.


August 3, 2019

“Who you chasing, Sheriff? Is somebody chasing you?”

We should try to set aside some time to have lunch with old friends, even when we’re in a (******** ) hurry. However, there may not be time for “Hushpuppy’s, Daddy.”

A Diablo sandwich and a Dr Pepper aren’t meant to be enjoyed alone. Buford knows this.


August 2, 2019

There’s an old Texas Aggie saying, “Highway 6 runs both ways.”

That refers to folks who don’t like something. A sort of “Take it or leave it,” kind of attitude.

As for me, I’ll be running both ways on Highway 6 today. It’s even four lanes in most places now.


August 1, 2019

And a very happy August to you.

In honor of the month’s namesake, we’ll leave you with a quote to ponder.

Festina lente

That means make haste slowly.


Posts from previous months have been archived:

Posts from July 2019

Posts from June 2019

Posts from May 2019

Posts from April 2019

Posts from March 2019

Posts from February 2019

Posts from January 2019

Posts from December 2018

Posts from November 2018

Posts from October 2018

Posts from September 2018