I’m too old to know better, but too young to resist.” That’s the first thing this feisty 78 year old said to me the minute we sat down. Thus far, Chuck has led an exciting life of servitude. Chuck moved to Hawaii in the territory days of 1959. He’s lived in Hawaii, and other islands in the Pacific ocean (American Samoa, Western Samoa and Tahiti) more than he’s lived in North Carolina, (his home) yet, as the son of a North Carolina farmer and Southern Baptist deacon, who honored God his entire life, Chuck lived by his father’s words, his entire life. “Chuck, my boy, if you live in a community, you contribute to that community.” Chuck made carrying on his Dad’s legacy of doing positive things for his community, the most important part of his life.
When Chuck got to Waikiki, he noticed three things: Waikiki beach wasn’t that big; Polynesian girls were beautiful; and there were lots of gangs and drugs. So, he surfed the beach, married two Polynesian girls (one at a time), and fought the war on drugs. Chuck embraced the culture and loved every minute.
Chuck was a police officer in North Carolina; was one of the guardian angels of New York; He practiced the ancient Chinese martial arts; He worked with HPD, the weed and seed program, and the FBI, Crime Reduction Unit. Over a period of 7 years, the unit where he served took 31 drug dealers off the street. When I asked him, was there anything else that kept driving you to help others, with that type of fervor? He shared a story, “When he was little, my son David became paralyzed with Bell’s Palsy. It took away the whole right side of his body. We lived by the old Chinese cemetery in Punchbowl. One day, two girls, I didn’t know, knocked on my door telling me spirits told them my son needed help. The church of Latter Day Saints Elders came the next day. The Bishop asked me, “Chuck if we lay our hands on this boy, and God heals this boy, what will you do for God?” I told him, if God heals my first born son I’ll do anything. The Bishop asked me if I was living a good life. I said no. My wife was an exotic dancer, and I worked in that world. I also drank. Te Bishop asked me if I’d be willing to give it up for God. I will, and I will never drink alcohol again, is what I said. The bishop told me I had a covenant with God. When the Bishop put his hands on my boy, I saw my boy lift up and change. It scared me straight. I never even heard of the Mormon church, but I went to church that Sunday. I gave up my old life, but “I lost my first wife because she didn’t want to change her lifestyle.”
In Chuck’s quest to serve, he became a member of Waipahu community coalition. He was re-elected 3 times to the Waipahu neighborhood board. He’s a board of director of the WCCHC. He has an extensive knowledge of Hawaiian history and knows la’au lapa’au from his second wife Emma, who happens to be a direct descendant of Kamehameha. He’s helped on numerous community clean ups, parades, and neighborhood watches. “You name it and I’ll do it,” is Chuck’s mantra. Chuck spent his whole life doing positive for others. “When you do for others, the strangest thing happens; it comes back to you in the kindest gentlest way. If others choose different from you, it’s okay. We are only here to be friends. God does the judging.” Chuck smiles. Mahalo Chuck, for contributing your entire life to both our communities, Wai’anae and Waipahu.