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RENE  &  CHARLIE

Mobile, Alabama

Friday, November 12, 2004

While listen to Karaoke and drinking beer at the Cats Meow in New Orleans, LA on Bourbon Street, I have the fortune of meeting Rene and Charlie. From Mobile, AL, the couple is visiting New Orleans to attend a college football game. Rene tells me LSU and Alabama is playing this coming weekend, and many of the folks here at the bar are here to see the game. Rene has come to cheer for his alma mater, Alabama, having graduated from there in 1988.

After some chatting, I learn Rene is a stock broker and Charlie is a second grade school teacher. She used to teach kindergarden for years and now wishes she had made the move earlier because her job has since simplified, no more tying shoes and wiping runny noses. Rene figures in about 10 years, he can retire. Oh my God! Retire? He's younger than I am!

No kids now or in the future for Rene and Charlie. Ha! Rene says it gives him more time to pursue his passions for hunting and fishing and Charlie says she gets here due fill of children from her work. Well, that's assuming you don't count their canine kids. Certainly much less work than raising children, they have four critters now. Jackie, Lulu, Lily, and a big ole Rotweiller named Rocky. Their first two dogs came as a surprise one evening. Two fat puppies were sitting in their driveway when they returned home from dinner. Unable to find their owner, Rene and Charlie decide to adopt them, naming them Jackie and Lulu.

Sadly, Lulu gets hit by a car. Jackie soon becames sad and lonely so Rene and Charlie visit the local dog pound and end up returning with not one but two new dogs, Lilly (Yellow Lab) and Lulu (German Shepard/Rotweiller mix - named not so much after the old Lulu, rather, they had an unused dog tag with name Lulu written on it!). The Rotweiller came last, Rene taking on the responsibility of raising the 2-year-old dog from his nephew.

When asked about travel, Charlie enthusiastically pipes in about a trip she took more than 10 years ago in 1993 to Italy. During her sightseeing and touring of the country's many churches and museums, she somehow manages to acquire a taste for Italian wine and has retained it ever since. She really wants Rene to go someday, and from what I can tell, he appears to be more than interested.

Last summer they took an Alaskian cruise on their 10th wedding anniversary. Having a good measure of luck in the ship's casino enabled them to partake on a number of additional activities including whale watching, sighting flocks of bald eagles, and a helicopter ride to the top of a glacier where they witness a calving (creation of an iceberg). In the future they wish to visit Paris, perhaps as early as next summer. With luck, they may be able to squeeze in a trip to Italy as well, much to Charlie's satisfaction, I'm sure.

I really like taking with Rene and Charlie. I hope someday our paths cross once again.


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