Charlie Haldeman

The digital home of the genuine rural eclectic.

2020 Archives

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

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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.

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June 1, 2020

Leslie Earl Tidwell

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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