An Open Letter From Jeannie Blue

Charles Everett Blue, Jr. was raised in Chardon, Ohio. The oldest of three boys, he was known as Charlie Blue to those of us who loved him. Charlie taught himself to play guitar at a young age. He loved to listen to Segovia and Gordon Lightfoot and he became a skilled finger-style guitarist. That, and the tremolo in his voice, were his trademarks from his days at the Wrong Place Saloon in New Orleans in the early 70’s to all the local taverns in and around Roslyn, Washington during the 1980’s.

I met Charlie in Fort Worth, Texas in 1980. I knew the minute we met that he was special. We went to coffee. We became almost inseparable shortly after that and so it goes. My best friend, my champion, my love.

Charlie & Joel Wray

Charlie regaled me with stories of the Wrong Place for years and years. I felt I knew many of the people from those stories even though I wasn’t physically there. In October of 1980, Joel Wray came down to Texas to visit Charlie. His talk of Roslyn mesmerized us both and we went back to Roslyn with Joel. The fairy tale began.

Roslyn during those years was a magical place and ‘Charlie Blue’ was the resident celebrity. He was always known by both names, and I was quite often greeted with, “Oh, you’re Charlie Blue’s wife.” I was always proud to say, "Yes!"

Charlie & Jeannie Blue
December 1981

Charlie & Jeannie Blue
October 1981

Charlie played and sang in most, if not all, of the taverns, Fraternal Organization meeting halls, and old folks homes in the area. On Christmas he would always take his guitar and play Christmas songs for the residents of the Care Center where many of the older residents from the Roslyn area lived. His caring was seen and felt by the residents and he always left them happier than before he came.

Charlie was well known and much loved by all the kids in town, too. Just before Christmas every year, the Roslyn Café would close for a night and we would have a Christmas Party for all the children in town. Charlie always volunteered to be the entertainment and would get all the kids, young and old, involved in the songs of the season.

standing: Jeannie & Charlie Blue, Larry & Cathy Lucas, Janice & Joel Wray
Hilary Blue, Bodie Wagner
September 1981

Anyone who ever traveled through Roslyn in the 80s and stopped by the A&J Tavern was likely to see Joel Wray and Charlie picking and singing. Often other players would bring their guitars and join in. The music filled the night and our hearts. Music was so much a part of his life. Not too many people know this, but Charlie was really very shy. I remember him telling me that his greatest fear was that one day people would figure out he was a fake, that he wasn’t that good. We all know that wasn’t true, but it was like him to underrate himself while building everyone else up. He did not have an inflated ego and was always happy to share the stage with others. He had as much fun watching their licks and backing them up and he did being in the spot light.

Somewhere lost in the basement are more pictures, but I haven't been able to find them. I really want to find our wedding picture. Joel gave me away. We married in the woods. It was wonderful. So wonderful in fact, we skipped our own reception. Those were magical days.

Charlie & Molly Blue

Hilary, Charlie, & Molly Blue

Our daughter, Molly had a wonderful baby boy in September of 2006. Griffin is one of the happiest souls to ever walk the earth. He lights up a room when he enters it, just like his Grandpa Charlie always did. Hilary, his older daughter is expecting a baby girl at the end of 2007 and we all know how Charlie liked the ladies.

Charlie & Hilary Blue

I still go back to Roslyn to visit old friends and ‘Charlie Blue’ is still loved and remembered for his kind heart fifteen years after he moved away. He cared about others above and beyond himself every single day that I knew him. He was always there to aid anyone in need of help. He loved being a ‘mountain man’, carpenter and singer in Roslyn. Several of the things he built are still a part of the scenery of Roslyn and he lives on in his work as well as his songs.

The diabetes finally took his body on August 29, 2003, exactly twenty-three years to the day from when we met. But, Charlie will live forever in the hearts and minds of all who loved him. He left behind a legacy for all of us. His kind words, his ability to make a person smile, his unpretentious spirit, and his love for his family and friends are the things for which he will always be remembered.

Every day he is with me in all I do. His kindness, caring, and love will last through the ages. Because of the love so many had for him, I have been accepted into the Wrong Place Congregation by proxy. See, he is still taking care of me. He was my best friend and the most wonderful man I have ever known. I am proud to still carry his name.

We all miss you, Charlie. You can never be replaced in our hearts and minds. Sleep well. It’s hard to carry on without you, but I know that is what you would want us to do. Thank you so much for gracing our existence with your wonderful and kind spirit. You will forever be the best part of me and of all who knew and loved you. I will forever be grateful to you for all your love and caring. As was written on the reunion T-shirts, “I wish a simple song could do you justice.”

- Jeannie Blue

Jeannie Blue
September 2007