Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chuck Elking

When I took mom to the dentist this morning I looked over to the guy beside me and said is that you Chuck Elking?

He looked up and down at me but said yes, like who are you?

Ed Winkle, remember me?

He burst into laughter and said yes! Ed, how are you doing, I think of you all the time! It has been years since we saw each other.

I met Chuck in the 80's when I was teaching ag at Blanchester and his steopson Shane enrolled in my class. I made sure I met all the parents of my students.

Shane was a hard case of divorce but thanks to Chuck, he turned out to be a real good man. Chuck said he just returned from his second tour in Iraq.

It was funny, we were going to church Sunday and drove past Chuck's old house in Midland. I told LuAnn the story of Chuck Elking again and how he helped so many kids, especially his stepkids.

Chuck is a German Catholic whose family farmed near Chickasaw Ohio in Mercer County. That is the county of Ohio where there is a Catholic Church every quarter mile or so.

Chuck befriended me when I was hurting in the late 80's and we took our kids to the Bowling Green tractor pulls and stayed in a tent all weekend while getting to know each other.

He will always be a dear friend and we let too many miles pass between us. He is like a sponsor, elder, role model to me. He looked good and I told him so. Three knee replacements in the right knee, one in left and both shoulders. He crawled under GM diesel truck for a lifetime for Norwood Auto Transit, then Complete Auto Transit. Best diesel mechanic I ever met, so meticulous.

He said he has 28 grandkids and 8 great grandkids. Now there is the salt of the earth for you.

That man is a saint, I guarantee you.

Wish I had a picture of our tent to show you, I know Matt still remembers.


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