Sitting on the subway after dinner I couldn't help feeling how sorely I still miss Charles. Others at the table had given voice to the same sentiment. Several of us recounted stories of having close encounters with Red-tailed Hawks in recent days and were all happy to believe that the encounters represented Charles's spirit affirming the success and brilliance of the film. Life can be so sweet and beautiful and sorrowful––all at once and so perfectly.
So, as my dear niece, Jill, and I prepare to head into Manhattan to help staff the grand opening of The Legend of Pale Male, I'll post the most poignant (for me, anyway) of Charles's stories from his book Pale Male and Family.
This is the bird/father part. Pale Male, our hero who, in fact, had caught the pigeon for his son, arrived not at the bottom of the cedar tree where his young one was chowing down, but on the lightning-rod top, immediately drawing off the fisticuffing birds who, no doubt, had nestlings in the area. Pale Male chose to sit passively at the top of the tree and let the locals fly by and ineffectively attack, while his progeny sat directly beneath him eating its porridge. The pigeon feather is the last evidence of the pigeon that junior ate under the protection of Dad. Ah, dads.
I wonder if Whitey Groatwald was a good father. Maybe. Mine was.