Hey, Mr. Charlie, you sure are looking good!
On Thursday, July 29, Charlie Dixon will celebrate his 103rd birthday at his home out near the Shivers community in Simpson County.
At 103 he needs a little help in the mornings, but other than a part-time helper and his nephew, Larry Williams, who checks on him regularly, Mr. Charlie lives on his own. Larry often provides his uncle’s favorite meal and one he is not going to miss--a catfish plate from Shivers Fish House. On occasion he may vary a bit and have fried oysters, but the staple on Saturday is catfish.
The rest of his routine has changed a bit since the early years but according to his help, Lorreta Berry, he likes to start the day off with bacon, eggs and grits. The next day he might enjoy sausage, eggs and grits. While visiting for this interview, he meticulously made ready his daily medication.
Mr. Charlie and his wife had three children, Shelia, Charlie and Eloise, all of whom reside in California. He has an adopted daughter, Kimberly Glenn Dixon, who lives nearby, and he was proud to add that he has seven grandchildren.
He considers himself fortunate in that he just had the chance to visit with his children. He said they are only able to visit once a year and they recently traveled to Mississippi.
With the exception of his service in the United States Army and a short stint in California, Dixon has spent most of his life in Simpson County.
During Mr. Charlie’s life time, the War to End All Wars, WWI, wound down and ended on November 11, 1918, Armistice Day.
Time would role over and on December 11, 1941, the United States would officially enter World War II. Prior to that the US had attempted to remain neutral. Mr. Charlie did his patriotic duty and served his county during the war as part of an engineering unit for four years. After his four year hitch was up, he returned to California and started working in a foundry. Later he went to work in a fish hatchery.
In 2015 Charlie was recognized for his service to the country by his alma mater, Monrovia-Duarte Black Alumni Association. The stated purpose of the organization is support peers and be a positive role model for youth.
During his lifetime he was known to be a “sharp” dresser and stayed up with current fashion accessories, according to Loretta Berry, his family assistant.
Lorretta said she comes daily and helps get Mr. Charlie’s meals together, then leaves a little later in the morning. She has been helping Mr. Charlie for the past three years.
For entertainment he enjoys watching television and gets tickled, he said, with the judge television shows as well as the news and sports.
His take on politics both locally and nationally is that “sometimes they do good things and sometimes they do bad things.” That really does sum up local and national politicians.
When he was a bit younger he was quite active in his church and even now has a strong Christian belief.