Those of us who have had the pleasure of working together with Chuck in various initiatives of local community development lovingly refer to him as the “Energizer Bunny,” for his seemingly endless inspiration and the energy his vision requires. I’ve witnessed his vitality and perseverance on numerous occasions as a fellow board member of Simply Living.
Coming up in Ironton, Ohio in an era when it was an autonomous, integral city of residents participating in a balanced local economy, Chuck had a parttime job in the family business at age 10. Fascinated by the unique “co-op” nature of Antioch College, he attended the hallmark of progressive education in Yellow Springs during its years of peak enrollment, also a period of change in most aspects of American culture and politics.
Travel and marriage ensued, Reed College, teaching in San Francisco, back to Yellow Springs, Albuquerque, New Mexico for seven years, a return to Ironton, studies in Information Science at the University of Kentucky and then his arrival in Columbus in 1976, where he has been since.
Having attended the large and wondrous celebration at Whetstone Park to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, Chuck joined a group of other community-minded residents and in 1992 the grassroots not-for-profit Simply Living was chartered. In various roles, he’s served as a vital catalyst and organizer ever since.
Chuck, tell us your CORE VALUES: “I put my energy where I want it to manifest.” Quoting Horace Mann, founder of Antioch College, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”
Current MISSION TO EFFECT CHANGE: Supporting local economies and advocating for local investment (ECDI, Kiva, Slow Money) including the establishment of local “city banks,” entirely owned & managed by a local government, city or state, citing the state of North Dakota as a long-working model.
Your EARLIEST MEMORY: “At age 4, basking in the family living room at Christmas season, staring up at the tall, fully-lit tree.”
Chuck’s TEXTURE OF EMOTIONAL CONNECTIVITY to people: “An intuitive feeling of being grounded; I need that physical closeness.”
On the SCARCITY/ABUNDANCE scale: “I’m happy with my own life of abundance.”
Chuck’s “BOX,” that proverbial thing we’re often encouraged to THINK OUTSIDE OF: “Over-commitment, I can’t say NO.” He continued by informing me he’s “manic without the depression phase.”
On UNCERTAINTY: Confident, as he’s always had a supportive family, he’s not felt trepidation at different instances of chaos.
Henceforth 2023/5-YEARS from now: “I’m optimistic…to quote Bernie, ‘Despair is not an option.'” He views our current national political crisis as just the catalyst Americans need to get us WOKE! Personally he plans to set up a studio in his basement and do more art.
How deeply back can Chuck name his ANCESTORS? “All grandparents and some great-grandparents.”
Finally, WHATCHA READIN’ Chuck? BLESSED UNREST and DRAWDOWN, both by Paul Hawken, guides to fostering social justice and restoring our environment.
Much THANKS to you, Chuck.
And THANKS, too, toward all readers of “CAFFEINE COMMUNION.”
Please add your comments in the box below; any review or critique is welcome.
Let me know if I may interview you, in the box below or directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 440-1445.
And don’t miss a single interview, by clicking the “Email Subscription” box up top.