Charlie has enjoyed riding his bike for years
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 10:00 PM
An athletic family, but particularly the patriarch is this week's subject. Bike riding is this man's love, but skating and fishing are in the tally, too. Charlie Starnes seems to be a happy fellow with an upbeat attitude. I recently met him on Facebook when he went out of his way to find a lost town I was researching. We started-up a conversation about our recumbent bicycles and Charlie came down to look at ours.
Biking had been a sport he enjoyed for years. When his son, Gary, retired from the Navy, he wanted Charlie to start riding again but the bike spokes were rusted-out. Purchasing a cheap mountain bike, Charlie rode it until Labor Day of 2012 when he bought his recumbent. He had borrowed one for a couple of weeks so knew what he wanted. Charlie rides with several people, family and friends, including his wife, son, grandson, granddaughter and 78-year-old Billy Fulwider. Giving me a tally of over 16,000 miles in six years, I was amazed because in three years, I still haven't gotten out of Waveland on mine. He noted that he doesn't ride much compared to some, such as one Arizona woman who bikes 12,000 each year.
Trail riding is one form of biking Charlie enjoys. He rides The Cardinal Greenway Trail near Muncie, a 50-mile round trip, about once/month with several people. A bonus of riding is just that - meeting nice folks. Chicago's Lake-Front Trail is a once-a-year affair and is over a 40-mile round trip. Teddy Alfrey, Ron Adler and McGuires from Ladoga often attend this. Charlie enjoys going to Door County, Wisconsin, ferrying the bikes over to Washington Island and riding. Hope, Indiana's ride has great food and music at each stop. The live Blues Band plus the Boys Scouts' delicious ice cold Root Beer tops off a great ride.
Charlie's nephew just retired from the Xenia, Ohio Fire Department and he and Charlie have several rides planned. The Brownsburg to Montezuma B & O Trail is a good ride, as our own Sugar Creek Trail. "Biking is a wonderful experience," Charlie remarked. He also said, "Recumbent riders smile a lot, because they are oh, so comfy!"
Last year's Diabetes Ride with four-year-old granddaughter, Jessica, riding on her bike with no training wheels was the highlight of biking. A few weeks before the ride, she asked her dad if she could join him. When the answer was yes, she then told Dad she wanted to ride without training wheels. Some trips to the park in soft ground began it and once that little gal caught on she was off. Practicing diligently for the race, she rode 5 laps in 25 minutes per lap. One person tried to give her the finishing medal early and she refused, saying she'd not earned it yet! Being the youngest rider without stabilizing wheels, Jessica had quite a following of observers watching her cross the finish line. She's readying herself with mom, Barb's help, to ride this year as a 5-year-old. Good luck, kiddo!
Charlie was the youngest and tallest of the seven Starnes kids, having three brothers and three sisters. His parents, Harry T. and Mary V. sold honey and vegetables from a stand on 136. His father was a beekeeper and astronomer. After graduating from CHS in 1961, Charles David Starnes applied at Schloot's Furniture for a job and worked there for 25 years. Everyone had always known him by his middle name, David, but as he was accepting the job, he was asked if it was okay if they called him Charlie. Pausing, he answered, "Sure!" and has been known by just that ever since.
Not long after beginning his job at Schloot's Charlie met his love of over 50 years, Georgetta Foster from Wallace. Buzzing into her workplace, the Gin-Ger-Boo in his 1961 Robin-Egg-Blue-Beetle Bug, he must have wooed her as they were married September 29, 1963. At last year's anniversary they had planned nothing big except going out with friends to Applebees. Other plans took the anniversary couple to the Beef House where several people met them and it was definitely an official 50th Anniversary party. When I asked Charlie what he calls Georgetta, he said, "Oh, Georgie, most call her George, or sometimes just say, hey, you!"
After Schloot's closed, Charlie went to work at Crawford Industry for 20 years. Both Starnes' sons, Scott and Gary currently work there as well, Scott as lead operator in screening and Gary in the finishing department. Charlie drove trucks from the plant to the warehouse loading and unloading. He was on the move constantly and loved it.
George keeps busy sewing, having recently repaired and sewn robes and outfits for the Church Alive's Easter Pageant. Gary plays the guitar for church and they both visit and sing at the Ben Hur Nursing Home. Charlie called George, "A dofer & gofer!"
The Starnes family lives at Lake Holiday and all love to boat and fish. They were all skaters at Alfrey's for about a quarter of a century, even skating in the Christmas Parades. Scott has an even more interesting athletic prowess. He and wife Dee are professional archers. They have been in competition in Las Vegas, Kentucky, California, well, about everywhere. Recently, Scott was vying for a million dollars but his last shot was shy about 1/8". When Scott autographs, he asks the kids for their autographs, too. Love it!
Charlie is quite a jokester, even putting a funny on his FB site every day. He has over 100 hats, including archery, hunting, trucking hats and crazy ones, too. One thing he does not joke about, however, is his love of biking and how proud he is of his two sons and their wives, and three grandchildren's abilities in sports. Thanks for the interview, Charlie.