Buckle Up God. Here comes Charlie!

January31/ 2014

It’s not like God will be caught by surprise. I’m sure Claudia Rogers has warned Him “about Charlie Gregory”. Claudia took occupancy of her heavenly condo about six months and now “here comes Charlie the old precinct grunt”. Heaven just tilted a bit more “to the Right” than it already did.

This thing that I do has many benefits. High on that list are “the colorful characters” I get acquainted with. Claudia Rogers and Charlie Gregory were many things to many people. I appreciated the heck outta both of’em. Two of the most colorful right-wing warriors I’ve had the pleasure to stand side-by-side with against the eeeeevil left-wing loonies.

Charlie Gregory died Tuesday at the age of 84. “Cause of death” could have been either (1) embarrassment over the UNC scandal or (2) Obama’s re-election. Both of those occurrences troubled my friend Charlie Gregory to no end.

I met Charlie Gregory a dozen or so years ago thru a column I wrote. We met on occasions at various GOP / Conservative gatherings and communicated A LOT via e-mails. Charlie Gregory’s e-mails….. Yeeeee Haa!

Unlike many “of his generation” Charlie embraced cyber communication and utilized it extensively. Don’t believe me? Ask Molly Broad or Erskine Bowles or John Drescher or any of various Drescher / N&O lackeys. Charlie had his favorite targets and he harassed’em to no end.

It’s said that if a snapping turtle ever bites you, he won’t let go til it thunders. Not even thunder would cause Charlie to let go of those he felt were ideologically confused. UNC Systems Presidents and Chancellors and local media dilettantes met that criteria.

It wasn’t so much his persistence as it was his writing style. If you were on Charlie’s hit list you knew he did not agree with you but he expressed that adversarial POV in his most unique fashion. It was a form of Gregory “pig latin” or Charlie-speak as I once termed it.

He wasn’t long-winded as some can be. He definitely was not obscene or vulgar. Charlie Gregory was a gentleman of the old school. His persistent salvos “ripped his opponents a new one” on whatever was the issue of the day and usually leave them totally bumfuzzled over what Charlie had said.

His “Dear President (Molly) Broad….” missives were classic. The Unthinkable Molly Broad shared nuthin’ with “the old precinct grunt” but a species so, unless she used a translator there’s no way she ever knew what Charlie was so upset about.

Charlie dearly loved his alma mater in Chapel Hill although, like so many of us, he knew his alma mater did NOT love “folks liked him”…. aka Conservatives. As the current Unpleasantness lingered, Charlie would ask BobLee and me “Is it true? Is it as bad as they say it is?” …. “Yes Charlie. It is. Maybe even worse”. A tear rolled down Charlie’s cheek like Iron Eyes Cody in that commercial.

Charlie had worked in the Holshouser administration in some communications capacity. He knew how to communicate effectively (I’m sure) but chose to employ Charlie-speak with his adversaries. I eventually got where I could sorta get his point de jour but not really. I asked him about that strategy and he would just grin and shrug his shoulders.

My #1 pet peeve is strongly opinionated people who take themselves seriously. It is at the core of why I don’t much care for liberals in general. Charlie would just grin and keep on sending out his unique missives.

Charlie had developed quite a data base of like-minded pals and I was honored to be among’em. If we all had a reunion I’m sure the question on everyone’s mind would be “could you ever break Charlie’s secret code?” Not even the Navahos could.

I can imagine God opening His first e-mail from Charlie…. turning to St Peter and saying “Lord luv a duck, what in Heaven’s name is this guy saying?” Heaven will never be quite the same from now on. Charlie just sitting on a cloud and grinning.

“Just a Republican precinct grunt” was his tag-line. He earned that sobriquet by working the polls and the “war rooms” and doing all that behind-the-scenes “grunt work” that is the heart and soul of political campaigns.

He lasted long enough to see the NC General Assembly go “Right”.
It was folks like Charlie Gregory “in the trenches” that finally made that happen.

Charlie Gregory talked the talk AND he walked the walk. Now may he rest in peace.

God Bless You Old Friend.


So did US Marine Claudia Rogers….. who lost her long fight with cancer about six months ago. I’m not sure how to spell that “Uh-Rah grunt” that Marines do, nor have I earned the right to do it….. but Claudia had.

I met Claudia about the time I met Charlie. There was 40 years difference between’em but I tended to think of them together. Butch & Sundance On The Right….. Both were tenacious in their dogged Conservatism.

Claudia despised “the left-wing lunatics” AND there were a few R’s that she wasn’t too fond of either. Claudia Rogers HATED RINOs. More than a few high profile Jones Streeters felt her wrath. Whoever checks Speaker Tillis’ in-box got to know Claudia Rogers. Yousaaa.

The “C” had hit Claudia several years ago and her final 2-3 years were occupied with fighting that evil. She still hit the keyboard with regularity but her presence on Jones Street was limited.

I’da loved to have seen Claudia go toe-to-toe with BullyBarber and his mangy mini-mob. One flatulent clown and a busload of old hippies versus one steely-eyed Right-wing Marine. Ten minutes max and she’d be the only one still standing in Halifax Mall.

If a Conservative Leonidas was gathering 300 warriors to hold off the beady-eyed liberal hordes at a modern day Thermopylae…. he would not have to ask Charlie & Claudia.

Charlie Gregory & Claudia Rogers would already be on the front line, swords drawn…. and standing tall.

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