In Which Charlie Attains His Majority

Happy Birthday to Charles Wilde Stewart, as fine a fellow as ever breathed, and gettin’ finer all the time. He asked for a copy of “Leaves of Grass” for his birthday — and that was as good as a birthday present for me! His college career begins in a matter of months and I have no doubt this serious-minded chap will pick up that ball and run with it. But though his childhood has technically (legally) ended he still has one last idyllic small town summer ahead of him. And we have these memories of the past 18 years to look back on:

As a small babe, with my mom, 1998
As a small babe, with my mom, 1998. His look seems to say, “Let me outta here!”
Charlie with skull tee0001
On the way to pre-school, Green Point, Brooklyn, age 4
Doing some crafts on a snowy day in Ithaca with dad and brother Cashel, circa 2003
Doing some crafts on a snowy day in Ithaca with dad and brother Cashel, circa 2003
7th birthday!
7th birthday!
With dad at grandma's house 2006
With dad at grandma’s house 2006
Getting a better view of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2007
Getting a better view of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2007
Goin' crazy with costumes, 2008
Goin’ crazy with costumes, 2008. Conquistador helmet, Santa Claus gloves, hippie shades, luger pistol. All dressed for some very conspicuous spy missions!
With dad at Met's game, 2009
With dad at Met’s (or Cyclones?) game, 2009
About to go for an airplane ride, Coney Island, 2010
About to go for an airplane ride, Coney Island, 2010
Competing in 2011 Ithaca "Duck Race"
Competing in 2011 Ithaca “Duck Race”
Middle school graduation with moi and the Mad Marchioness, 2012
Middle school graduation with moi and the Mad Marchioness, 2012
Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, 2013
Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, 2013
Ben Franklin photo bomb, Philly, 2014
Ben Franklin photo bomb, Philly, 2014
With brother Cashel, 2015. A certain corner has been turned, wouldn't you say?
With brother Cashel, 2015. A certain corner has been turned, wouldn’t you say? The grown up clothes help add “maturity”.
A contemplative moment at Ithaca Falls two days ago, hip hop on the headphones
A contemplative moment at Ithaca Falls two days ago, hip hop on the headphones

There are some addition memories of Charlie in his brother’s 18th birthday post here.

Now, I wrote Charlie a rap for his birthday, but I decided I wouldn’t embarrass us all by performing it on video. The text is safely in his hands: I imagine some day it will wind up in some vault like  Mr. Thatcher’s diary in Citizen Kane. But there are two excellent Charlie songs I always associate with the lad. There’s the old Gus KahnTed Fiorito tune “Charlie, My Boy” a hit for Eddie Cantor in 1924:

And the Choo Choo Charlie Good ‘n’ Plenty jingle from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s:

Happy Birthday, Charlie!

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