“Chef Charlie” 5201

Chef CharlieAs John and I were driving the backroads yesterday, we came across a hidden campground in the Hopkins Area. While driving through the campground, we passed this man. I couldn’t help myself and had John stop so I could get out and talk to him. His surroundings intrigued me. An old white Buick parked with junk hanging precariously out of the doors, leaves and food scattered on the picnic table – an electrical wire ran from a hut, across the dirt road and into the tent and then of course, the most intriguing,  was the man I saw as he leaned forward, playing with a stick he had in his hand while staring expressionless into a smoldering campfire.

As I got out of the jeep, I introduced myself and asked if He would allow me to take his photo. With a broad smile on his face, He jovially replied “Sure, that would make my day.”

He says his friends call him “Chef Charlie” and he has enjoyed a life that has allowed him to travel the world. He has One son that he chimes he adores.  Chef Charlie has been living in this tent for the last two months because he can’t find a place to live.

He told us that he gets up every morning at 5:00 AM to get ready for work at the Gun Lake Casino where he is currently working.  5:00 AM is signaled each morning by a wind up clock he keeps beside his air mattress in his tent. He explained he was just recently allowed to run an electrical wire to his tent to power a small heater to keep him warm as the nights are getting chillier.

His “7 Man Tent” is what he calls home…

Charlie says he is Happy. Happy to have a Job, friends he truly cherishes at the campground and as he took a deep breath added, ” How can you beat waking up every morning to this?”

“I am happy because I’m grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.” Will Arnett



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