Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ode to a True Bad Ass

I've lost one great friend.

Dr. Charles Leighton was a mentor, inspiration, and a fucking BAD ASS.

I will expound upon this subject at greater length in a future post. I'm still in shock. Charlie Leighton was a man who grew up in the nastiest part of South Boston during the Great Depression in a dirt poor family. He seemed destined for failure by social class alone. He ended up, through fucking HARD WORK, getting into Harvard University on a full scholarship. He got his masters and his Phd at Harvard as well. Charlie Leighton truly beat all the odds he had stacked against him.

Unlike all of the "professional" IVORY TOWER academics these days, he took his first teaching job at the University of New Hampshire in 1954. AND HE NEVER LEFT.

He preferred the company of BLUE COLLAR working stiffs to the supposed defenders of the "working class" that were his "colleagues". You know the type, those who will talk about the working class but shudder at the thought of having to actually be anywhere near the working class.

Over the last ten years there were countless nights spent at the bar with me, Charlie, Captain Leech, and all of our buddies. There was only one rule: NO EGGHEADS talking all smarmy and shit about lofty subjects. If a stranger came in and tried, Charlie was the first one to say, and I quote verbatim, "YOU'RE A FUCKING ASSHOLE!"

If the egghead was too dumb to take the advice, Charlie, literal genius he was, would debate the fucker into the ground in mere minutes. Oftentimes he would take the side of argument he personally didn't agree with. (Sorry Charlie, I know you'd kill me for leaving a dangling preposition, but I am drunk after all. I know, I know, that's not a good excuse. I'm sorry.)

I have been to many a biker-party with roasting pigs on spits, half naked women, and stumbling drunk tattooed freaks with Charlie. There he would always stand, with his big ass cigar in mouth, big white bushy beard and long hair, looking like the least likely person to hold a Harvard Phd.

He was never hanging out at stuffy black tie affiars with Merlot dripped into tiny glasses where those academics engaged (in Charlie's own words) "fucking circle jerks talking about how smart they are".

I tell ya, faithful readers. This loss hurts. A lot.

3 Comments:

At 12:44 PM, Blogger BurN said...

That is terrible news.

Charlie was a great person. I loved his "fucking asshole" comments, and those things he used to put up on that board at Benji's. He was the "NORM" of Durham. Whenever he walked into the bar he got the "CHARLIE" greeting, and the hugs from the girls. His drink was always waiting for him at his spot even before he got his jacket off.

I lived in the apartment below him for a year or so at Park Court, and he never complained once about the parties, illegal substances, or freaks that were a constant occurance. Hell, i was playing my drums right below his bedroom. Not one complaint.

My family will be doing shots in his honor tonight.

Sad Sad News

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger CptLeech said...

Here is one for you Charlie.

Charlie will be missed every day
But I'm really not sure what to say
So I'll be at the bar
with a beer and cigar
And with each drink I'll think "Fuckin' A"

 
At 4:23 PM, Anonymous CT said...

Well I'm a bit of a latecomer - Charlie's daughter here. Great to read your thoughts. I miss him a lot!

 

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