R.I.P., Charlie

I learned of the passing of Charlie Kinley, a neighbor of our family’s for as long as I can remember. I visited him last December with my aunt, and was astonished at his sharp memory at age 93. I tried to sketch his portrait from memory, after I returned to North Carolina after the holidays. Last week I got the great opportunity to once again visit Charlie, when my aunt insisted I show him the sketch. He sort of smiled briefly and mumbled something like “It don’t look much like me.” As I studied his weathered face, I realized just how far off I was in capturing its noble lines and form. Alas, I learned last evening that Charlie had passed away. Thus, I tried another sketch tonight in memory of the kind neighbor who once farmed the land that my great grandfather once owned. I still didn’t get it right, but I hope Charlie has finally found rest…

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