THANK YOU ALL FOR SUCH WARM AND LOVING TRIBUTES TO THE MAN WE LOVE.  I WILL BE POSTING MY WRITINGS FROM THE ALTAR, INCLUDING THE DIGGINS FAMILY CREED, SOON.

Meghan and Chloe and Cole want to hear your stories.  Please.  We need them.  Please send stories or thoughts on your experience of Charlie to stories@charliediggins.net and we'll get them published here.

The Legacy of Charlie D.


kids


Updated 3:00 p.m., 5/5/07

I am starting to put new posts at the top, so people can see what's changed.  Thanks, everyone, for the stories.  They mean so much to us.

Its so weird how we all met not by planning but by chance…I first met Meghan after a women’s meeting, we hung out in the parking and talked until we figured our husbands and kids were going to worry about us.  I remember going home and telling my husband “I met this great woman tonight, she’s got a great program, I really loved talking to her and she’s married and they have two kids, one younger than ours and one older.”  That was the beginning…

 Bob was looking for a new electrician, and met this guy at the building supply, thinking he was Charlie Diggins, later when he had a job he needed done he looked the number up in the phone book or the local paper and called Charlie, thinking he was talking to the other electrician he had met in the building supply.  Wrong, guess who shows up on his job? Yep, you got it was Charlie big smile and funny jokes Charlie.

 So here I am with this blooming relationship with Meghan, and then there is Bob and Charlie working together, it took a while to put two and two together, it was one of those oh my god that’s that girl Meghan’s husband…too funny.  And that’s the beginning of a warm family friendship.

 Charlie loved his family, he had these nicknames for his kids he called Cole “Buddy” and Chloe “Boo.”  We last spent time with Charlie on Easter, he was in his element hiding eggs and watching and pointing out eggs for Cole to find, trying all the candy from the kids baskets.

 One of my last memories of Charlie was he and Bob shooting hoops out in the driveway like two teenagers.  

 He was such a goofous with the silly jokes, the last one he got me on was when our family went fishing together at Navigator’s Beach, Meghan and I were deep in conversation about god only know what, and Charlie walks up and looks down at his dog, who is licking himself and says to me “Do you know why Bo Bo is doing that?”  I fell for it hook, line and sinker and said “No, why?”  Charlie gets this big @#&*-eaten grin on his face, because he knows a sucker when he sees one, and Charlie said “Because he can.”  That was Charlie, he could make you fall for a dumb old joke without ever knowing it!

 That same day at the beach, Charlie stuck his fishing pole handle deep in the sand and walked over to Meghan and gave her the biggest “I Love You embracing hug” and then turned an went back to his fishing pole.  I remember thinking to myself that was such a sweet thing, and I was almost envious. 

 I remember Charlie showing us his and Meghan’s house plans for the Schooner Gulch property and pointing at the name on the plans and saying “hey look, these are the first set of plans I’ve ever seen with my last name on it.”  He was so excited about building his family a home.  I remember, it was a few days before escrow closed, I went to the property and met Charlie and Meghan, they were there to look for a building site in the middle of forty+ acres for their house.  I followed Charlie down this old skid road, where before I knew it he was climbing trees like a twelve-year-old looking at all the various views from here and there.  He was so stoked, so proud.

 Charlie and Meghan were our golf partners for our local charity event held for RCMS, our medical clinic.  Meghan asked me the other day if we could play it together this year. Meghan we will play just the three of us and we will leave a seat for Charlie right beside you in your cart. What sort of handicap should we give him?  Should we buy him some mulligan’s?  Who will I bid against in the live auctions at the golf dinner event?

 After Rosemary called me from the hospital to tell me that Charlie didn’t make it, life seemed unfair, mean, why Charlie?  What sort of God would take a young father and husband? All sorts of questions came to mind, probably the same ones everyone else has thought of.  But then, you have to look at what Charlie’s death and life has showed all of us…to hold the ones you love close, don’t sweat the small stuff, tell people who you care about that you love them, don’t take things too seriously, be a kid, be spontaneous, work hard and play hard, volunteer for things, be there for your child’s education, and smile whenever you can.

 The day after Charlie left us, Bob put on his “Diggins Electric” T-shirt, I think it was somehow honoring Charlie, and our daughter Shayla said “Dad, can you wear that shirt everyday for Charlie Diggins?”  Shayla never called Charlie, just Charlie, She always called him Charlie Diggins, and when she was excited about something it was Charlie Diggins, Charlie Diggins, look look and Charlie, no matter how busy, would stop and take a look.

 My husband reminded me of another thing.  Charlie was being goofy one day and was barking and growling at our new Dog JoDee, well after that when Charlie came over to our house, JoDee wouldn’t come near him. One day Charlie said “Why is she so skittish?”  I told him it was because he scared her when he barked and growled at her.  You know that bothered Charlie and so he spent the next twenty minutes making friends with her.  He got down on one knee and just talked her through the fear until they were buddies again. That is the kind of guy Charlie was. We are really going to miss him.  Meghan we are here for you, and we love you, Chloe, and Cole.  I wished I had a magic wand. (Darla Buechner)


Meg - Jack and I know  Charlie's Soul became a part of everyone he touched.  When Jack and I were housebound after our accident he would stop by -- just to sit and share part of his day with us.  We know that he lives on in you, Clhoe and Cole.  We wish you PEACE.  (Jack and Barbara McNulty)

Meg, Chloe and Cole~

I still don't want to believe it... I can only imagine how you feel.
You are all in my prayers, everyday...

Charlie was an amazing father, an incredible husband to Meg, and an
unforgettable friend. He will always be remembered.

I remember the first time I met Charlie & Meg, I was about 12-13. I
was coming to be a "mother's helper" Chloe was about 1 1/2. She looked
just like Charlie! Same glowing smile. Charlie came home that
afternoon from a hard day of work, he gave everyone a big, warm hug. I
could see how in love he was with Meghan, and Chloe was his gem.  As
time went on, I felt so welcome in their hearts and home. I consider
them part of my big, extended family. Then a few years later, Cole was
on the way! I remember his excitement when he would get home from
work, so happy to be with his family. I had so much fun, with all of
you! I always enjoyed it when you would invite me to stay for dinner,
and cook something scrumptious from TJ's.

One time when I was making the kiddos lunch,I was going through the
refridge when I saw some biscuits...in a can! This was  so out of
place, in their Organic kitchen, I had to ask. Meg responded "Oh,
those are Charlies White Trash biscuits." I was so shocked, seeing
those next to all the hearty foods : ) He could eat anything, and not
gain a pound! He and I had one particular thing in common, a sweet
tooth! He loved his ice cream.

I loved how Charlie and Meghan raised their children...Together, and
their effort to preserve the innocence. Chloe would call a
hippopotamus "hippo-mus-pauto-mus" There was another favorite, but I
can't remember now.??? They didn't try to correct her, because it was
so dang cute!!! She called it that for so long, because they would
mimic her. When I asked one time if she still called it that, they
told me in such a sad tone, that she had learned the correct way. I
hope that one day, I can be a comparable parent to my children.

Charlie always had a great sense of fashion...he would get these great
clothes, or shoes for Meg or the the kids. There was always something
I'd love, and Meghan would tell me, "Charlie got that, isn't that
great?!" I've never met a man who knew exactly what to get for a
woman!

I see so much of Charlie in Chloe and Cole. He will live on, forever,
within them. His love for them is never-ending. We can all only be
thankful for the time we had with him, and the things he taught each
and everyone of us...

He is all around us, in the sun that warms us, in the air we breath,
and in the rain that nourishes all that it touches. I will never
forget his positive outlook on life, and the way he loved his family
with everything he had. Angels be with you my friend...You will
forever be in our hearts...

(Elisha Schmidt )


I remember Charlie crying at his own wedding... a lot. It takes a real man to do that.

I remember watching my friend at incredible velocity, skiing down a very steep slope at Incline, absolutely free, perfectly happy.

I remember Charlie coming to my house in Belmont with his tools and creativity and skill, rebuilding an ancient landing on our rickety stairs... all he wanted in return was to go to a Giants game.

I remember Charlie's fierce political opinions.

I remember Charlie as one of that group of  amazing people who came together to save each others' lives 20 years ago... we carried each other through and my friend was a huge part of that time... always there... constant... never too serious.

I remember riding in Charlie's truck, ALWAYS hearing some music I'd never heard before.

I remember when Charlie met Meghan, and how he just knew she was the one he'd always been looking for, and how happy he was knowing that.

I remember my friend's love for his children and how much that changed him, how much he mellowed, how that huge heart of his really started showing.

I remember Charlie's voice on the phone during my relapse after 17 years clean. He was crying, and his words were a very important part of me coming back. Thank you my friend, I love you so much for that.

I remember Charlie's laughter, his quick smile, his wit.

My one word for Charlie Diggins: playful.  (Stacy Ringelspaugh)

One afternoon, Charlie and and I decided to play a late evening of golf at the Sea Ranch Links  We started late and were hurrying to finish as many holes as we could before it became too dark.  Hurrying didn't help our scores so we became more interested in trying to find more golf balls than we lost so our scores were at best average to poor.  We arrived at the par 3,  twelfth or thirteenth tee (I don't remember) without a lot of daylight left.  I hit first and was very pleased with myself because the ball went straight for the hole and ended up only a few yards short of the green.  Charlie then hit his on almost the same line but further and we lost sight of it when it went over a bump in the fairway.  We both believed it was a very good hit.  Charlie was very disappointed when we reached the area around the green because he couldn't see his ball.  We looked in the weeds, in the bushes, in the trees, in the fairway, in the sand traps, even paced back and forth in the bushes behind the green.  I'm sure everyone knows about Charlie's persistence and determination.  Those who played golf with him must also know how much he hated to lose a golf ball.  After searching for fifteen to twenty minutes, when it was a lot darker, we decided to give up the search.  I chipped up to about 10 feet from the hole.  Charlie dropped a ball close to the green and chipped up to within two feet.  He walked onto the green to pull the pin for me and found his ball.  CHARLIE HAD A HOLE IN ONE.  He got very excited and danced around the green for a number of minutes.  We headed back toward the clubhouse and played a few more holes along the way.  When we reached the clubhouse, it was closed.  Charlie's only comment was "Darn, I can't even buy the clubhouse a round of drinks".   What a terrific guy. (Bernie McGinnis)


I was so sad to hear about the passing of Charlie. He did quite a bit of electrical work for our house on Sea Ranch and through that I was able to get to know a little about him. I remember one of the first times he came to our house because I had tried to do some electrical work myself (which my wife advised against!). Anyway I was not injured but some of the cords and wires I was working on had sort of "welded" themselves together making a terrible mess. Well, Charlie asked where I had purchased these items and I told him Sears. He then suggested to my wife that Sears should post my picture with a red circle and line through it saying "DANGER DO NOT SELL ANY ELECTRICAL PARTS TO THIS MAN." Of course I was somewhat offended but he and my wife were laughing  so hard I couldn't help but start laughing along with them. It seemed like Charlie and Megan were always willing to help above what they were getting paid for. I remember them bringing their own portable heaters to my house to help when the other heaters went out. My wife and I would like to offer our deepest sympathy to the family. I know we will certainly miss him. Our prayers are with you. (Dan and Kathy Burk)


Charlie Diggin’s was the FOUNDER of the Burrito Run!!!!!! It was actually Charlie Diggins' idea on New Years Day (What the heck year was it 1982?) that we go get Burritos!  On new years eve we played poker all night at my dad’s (Crazy Mike Day house) in Redwood City as usual and when Mama Teri's chili ran out I guess it was time to enjoy the beautiful day and feed Charlie. The ride followed El Camino Real towards the south starting in Redwood City until we found the first open Restaurant for Burritos in Gilroy! That is why we went to the same Restaurant every year for the past 25 years. It started with only 10 people and look how it had grown in 25 years. Now every January 1st hundreds of clean and sober bikers meet up with members of the SF Survivors MC and proceed to Gilroy for a burrito.”  (Julie Day)





One of the gifts Charlie has left for me:  He showed me how to love wide open and taught me that I am worth the very best kind of love.  He would accept no less. (Meghan Diggins)

Charlie came to our house to do some work and Declan was crawling around outside.  Charlie went up to him and squatted next to him and said "Hi, man."  Declan sat quietly staring at him, and Charlie smiled.  They were like that for a bit and then Charlie looked at me and said "We're going to have a lot to talk about, he and I."  I'm sad they'll never get to have those conversations here, but they'll have them anyway -- Charlie wouldn't want to miss out, I'm sure!"  (Jill Hunter)

  I met Charlie about three and half years ago while my wife and I were building our house at Sea Ranch. He did all the electrical work on our house, and we were so pleased with the quality of his work and he was always the consummate professional.
    Over the last few years, I have run into Charlie in town and we would stop to say hello and chat. On a couple of those occasions, Charlie was with his daughter, Chloe. Being a Kindergarten teacher myself, I was very impressed with Charlie's interaction with Chloe. He always talked to her in a kind, gentle and loving way. As Father's Day soon approaches, I know Charlie will be thought about a lot by his family and friends, and I also believe that  the spirit of who Charlie was as a person will inspire all of us to live and love better in our own lives.
    My wife and I will miss him! ( Jon & Laura Harwood )
 
Thank you higher power for Charlie Diggins! A man with a beautiful smile and a beautiful soul.   A man who sponsored my best friend and husband, Dan Draper.  A man who stood up in our wedding, and who stood by us through thick and thin.  The man who introduced me to Face on Fire and the NA way.  Charlie is one of those people who, no matter how much time passed between visits, is a warm and friendly person to be around and made you feel that way about yourself.  Charlie is a true individual, a one of a kind.  I am sad that I will never get to see his smile again, hear his Charlie-ism's…. Please take care of him, HP, and we will make sure we always keep Charlie in our hearts and in our stories.  My life is richer for knowing you Charlie.  You will be missed.  (-Kerry Draper)


There are many things I remember about Charlie and You and Charlie and Charlie and Chloe and Jade, but what I have been able to share with my friends here in Oregon, that stands out in my mind, is how Charlie was a good one.  A rare soul who understood truth and the moment below: 
 
I was sitting outside in your garden fussing over something small that Jade was doing...worrying too much about other things.  I was there because we were having tea, you and I, discussing life and sharing our girls.  At the moment you were inside because Chloe needed you and I was enjoying the sun.  Charlie came out to check the garden and chop wood.  "How you doing Dawn", he asked.  I blurted something trivial (I know it had to be because I cannot remember what it was now), a gush of nonsense long resolved.  He looked at me, blinking...  "That's okay," he said, "Cause it's all here. This..." and he placed his hand across his heart.  I wondered at first if he had heard me, but the look on his face told me he had and I nodded.  "Yeah.  It is," I agreed.  Thank you Charlie for reminding me, "It's here."  With love,  Dawn Schiller.

 
My favorite Charlie story happened the Christmas that my daughter and I came out to California.  Meghan and I went thru some hard times many years earlier and sitting there watching our beautiful children play in the warm, beautify and serenity of their home was more that we ever dared to hope or wish for.  We shared some happy tears, grateful for the miracle.
 
Later we were gathered around the dinner table and the girls were being wacky when Charlie joined us.  It was so amazing the way he jumped right in quickly becoming fully engaged in their wacky, wonderful world.  He didn't try to change or lead or guide, he became a part of it, completely immersed in their play, joyfully adding his loving presence.
 
When I think of Charlie, I remember him as a "fully engaged loving presence".  Whether he was playing with the children, chopping wood, putting around the house (he is a great putter), or driving thru Atlanta, he was THERE with every part of his being.
 
Another precious memory is the first time I saw Meghan and Charlie together.  There was this amazing light in her eyes and his, a Radiance born of joy.  Over time that radiance would grow, evolve and expand to include their world - their children their home and everyone who had the honor of spending time with them.
 
It is my prayer that the Radiance of Charlie continues to grow, evolve and expand in us.  He is a part of Us as We are all a part of each other.  As my Dearest Sister Ocean once said, "where there is Love, there can be no separation."
 
Meghan, Chloe and Cole, our hearts are with you.  Take the time you need to feel your loss but please Know that you WILL heal.  Charlie wouldn't have it any other way.  All Our Love, Aurora Borealis and Alena
 
I think Charlie wants me to share this:
I AM
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004)  (Alena Alasdar)


Warning:  Proceed at your own risk.  There will likely be off color humor, adult language, general weirdness, and strangely wondrous stories to follow.  Welcome to my relationship with Charlie (AKA – The Great and Holy Chandi)

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How do you start with stories about Charlie?  Everyday around Charlie was a story unto itself.  Sometimes they were good stories and sometimes not so good, but they were always interesting.  Charlie was my brother, mentor, and one of those few people you call friend through your entire life.  He selflessly sponsored me for about 15 years.  I met him in 1984 while I was enjoying an extended vacation at Serenity Adolescent Rehab in Redwood City.  He pulled up on his Yamaha Virago (or something like that) and came in to chair an H&I meeting  for us.  I saw him around for a couple of years and eventually he started sponsoring my sponsor (Todd E.).  When Todd moved to WA I was passed to Charlie as a door prize.  I had 3 years clean, just got out of jail, and hadn’t yet worked the steps.  My nick-name from Todd was Depressed Dan and I carried with me all of the drama you would expect from an emotionally stunted 19 year old.  Helluva prize I’d say.

  The first thing I thought of when Doug told me Charlie had died was there will never be someone who will accept me for who I am the way Charlie did.  I never had to pretend or put up fronts around him.  He took me in and just let me rant.  There was never judgment or fear of abandonment with him.  I was totally comfortable just being an awkward kid around him.  He may have gently prodded me in the direction I should go, but he was always coming from a place of Love.  He was so totally unpredictable, much like Socrates in “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman (plug for a great book).  I would be whining about some Earth shattering problem and he would (choose the most applicable):

A.      Spontaneously jump up and start dancing

B.      Listen caringly

C.      Make faces at me

D.      Make up some dumb-ass song that would piss me off until I finally lightened up and started laughing

E.       Throw me in his old Chevy truck and go for a ride with the dog (Madelin, Cappy, etc)

F.       Make me go work in his yard with him

The correct answer is all of the above.  Nothing was ever predictable about Charlie.  Every time I tried to build him into a box he would turn it into a ball or a parallelogram.  When I stopped trying to figure him out I realized that he was just Charlie and that I should hang on for the ride. 

  I remember sitting in front of his fireplace in 1988 in Redwood City just feeling like the world was coming to an end.  A relationship he told me was not a good idea (practicing Alcoholic + Recovering Alcoholic = Bad News) was coming to an end.  I was so serious and depressed.  He was married to Lo at the time, and Little John and Pear were over at the house.  I was just oozing bummer at astounding rates and all of the sudden the whole house broke into a rendition of “You’re going to lose that girl”.  I was shocked.  How callous!!  Then I started laughing because he had made me see how small the problem was in the big picture.  He was a master at letting me know I would be OK, no matter what.  The real gift was being able to send some of that back to him when he and Lo split up.  Those were very dark years for him in some ways, but as he taught me, there were currents at work under the surface.  Those currents led him to Meg and two beautiful little Charlies.

  The Redwood City house had many good memories for me.  When I had 7 years, my wife Kerry (and no, thank god not the girl from the paragraph above) and Charlie threw a surprise party for me.  It was one of my all time favorite memories.  All of our friends from the bay area gang were there and it was just a good time.  There were many such parties for any reason that could be thought up.  We had step workshops with many guys that are still clean and still close friends.  Fish fry parties after fishing, slide show parties after vacations, etc.  Lots of good memories.

  I remember running around Redwood City on 4th of July with boxes of fireworks, lighting them off, and running like hell.  But this was a Charlie event!!!  We couldn’t just light a bottle rocket and run.  Oh no, these were roman candles, mortars, and cakes of the China Town variety that he and I had scored and a few bundles of detonation cord for good measure.  He liked to do things big.  Even if it was something as benign as putting a couple of candles on a pair of sunglasses and singing Rawhide for someone’s birthday.  Just a few years later it was motorcycle helmets covered with bottle rockets, roman candles, and god knows what else.  I used to make fun of his addiction of the day.  Whether it was golf, surfing, fishing, motorcycles, music, etc., he was balls to the wall until he was done.  Then overnight it was on to the next one. 

  When Charlie and Meg had Chloe and then Cole, I remember the change that came over him.  He would constantly tell me that I would never really know what love was until I looked at my kid.  I would tell him “ya that’s real nice, whatever, blah blah blah” as I thought “not for me”.  He gently whittled away at my defenses without my knowing it.  When Kerry started hinting about wanting to have a kid I was receptive because of him.  I remembered what he said and I trusted him.  He was not wrong.  He would ask “have you ever loved something so much it hurts?”  I would answer him now YES.  Thanks for your influence here Charlie, and I am sure Kerry agrees.  The life I have today, the person I am today, and the values I have today were heavily influenced by Charlie and his selfless friendship to me.  He was one of the 3 most influential people I looked up to in recovery, and modeled the type of man I was going to be after.  Hard to believe “Young Dan” will be Forty next week.

  Meghan and I talked yesterday and the “saintly” Charlie came up.  That is, how some may perceive him as walking on water (which based on things I’ve seen with him would not surprise me) particularly in hindsight.  Charlie was very human.  I’ve seen him in road rage, I’ve seen him broken, and I’ve seen him be rude.  I mention this because I don’t want to paint a halo above his memory.  He was very much human and that is one of the reasons I loved him so much.  He embraced that “humanness” and really lived his life.  He didn’t hold back.  And he accepted that humanness in his friends.  He taught me to embrace mine, though I still forget to do that.  He was my brother and I miss him.

  As a side note, right after I called Meghan on Wednesday, my phone kept ringing over and over again at work.  Each time I looked down it was Charlie and Megs home number.  I would answer it and the line was silent.  Some may say it was a technological glitch, but I like to think Charlie was F-----g with me.  You gotta think if he could figure a way to make a crank call from the other side he would do it.  He always liked a good joke.  As much as I will miss him, He clearly is not gone.  He once gave me a book called THE BOOK, by Alan Watts.  In it, he told me to read a story of what to tell children about God.  The text follows and I think it is very relevant:

  “God also likes to play hide-and-seek, but because there is nothing outside God, He has no one but himself to play with. But He gets over this difficulty by pretending that He is not Himself. This is His way of hiding from Himself. He pretends that He is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, all the plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way He has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when He wakes up they will disappear.

Now when God plays hide and pretends that He is you and I, He does it so well that it takes Him a long time to remember where and how He hid Himself. But that’s the whole fun of it-just what He wanted to do. He doesn’t want to find Himself out too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be Himself. But when the game has gone on long enough, all of us will wake up, stop pretending, and remember that we are all one single Self-the God who is all that there is and who lives for ever and ever.”

  Charlie knows the truth now and I will remember that Charlie is with me now as much as he ever was (or more).  These stories could go on a long time(and I will add more), but I think you know the Charlie I knew.  The stories may differ, but “The Almighty Chandi” lives on in us all.  : )

  Much love to all,

  Dan Draper (AKA – Young Dan)


Dear Chandhi,

          Yes it’s Kevin and no I didn’t forget to call you back. It’s beyond words how you influenced people you came in contact with, myself in particular. With Dan being my sponsor I was assured that your wisdom would trickle down to me in time. We called you Chandhi because the name Gandhi was already taken. Our journey together started in 1987 when you welcomed me into my first step workshop at your house. Actually it was Dougie that answered the door and I almost peed my pants seeing this huge biker filling the doorframe. I was introduced to you and thought “So this is the guy that runs the show, hell he’s smaller than me”. I learned from you that my perception of what a man is was wrong. Thank you for teaching me it is ok to feel sad and cry. Thank you for teaching me that Joy was more than my ex girlfriends name. Thank you for teaching me what a huge impact a simple smile can do (especially your smile). Thank you for the “Men’s Meeting” on Wednesday night. You’d be happy to know that it is now about 80 men strong. Thank you for including me in your foursome at the golf course every year. I hope that Doug, Dan and I will continue that legacy. Maybe some day we will be blessed to have Cole or Chloe join us.

 I remember the snowball fights on Donner Pass with complete strangers.

I remember the many birthday parties with ‘face on fire’. (You adhere a cake candle to the bridge of your sunglasses, light it and sing the theme song to Rawhide)

I remember you talking me into having “Whipping Post” as my wedding song to my first wife and giggling about it when you saw the look on everyone’s face.

I remember the food fights almost every time our gang went out to dinner. You were the instigator.

I remember the dirt bike you sold me and neither one of us could touch the ground. We needed a stool of some kind to get on it.

I remember the hardcore heart to heart talks we had in the back of Gil’s shop.

I remember your favorite place to eat with us, Harry’s Hofbrau.

I remember you always called a stranger by their name if they were wearing a nametag, like in a restaurant.

I remember ‘WWCD’ = “what would Charlie do?”  ß Lo’s

There are many, many more and some day I hope to have a chance to share more.

 I’ll always love you Charlie,

 (Kevin Arends)

Charlie had a beautiful presence about him. I have two memories I would like to share that stay in my mind when I think of Charlie. The first would be at our cousin Kelly's wedding. I remember Charlie, Meghan And little baby Chloe all dancing together to several songs. The harmonous group of them circled together dancing together as one, and the love surrounding them has always stood out to me and you could always feel his unjudgemental love. I watched them and noted. The other was this past Thanksgiving. He sat and played with all the great grandkids gosh there had to be 9 or 10 kids out there and he interacted with them all afternoon. They all were drawn to Charlie and he played and played with them, the energy he had for them and the individual attention he gave them. I have never seen anyone interact with them with such love and attention for such a long period of time. I was in true amazement and knew that Meghan had a truly special man at her side. He was definitely one in a million.
(Lynda Weathersbee (Lynda Chittenden))

I cannot begin to express my grief over Charlie's passing. I have SO many stories, that I am going to have to talk with Kevin this weekend and narrow it down!  Charlie was an Angel on Earth.  You can see the love in him in his pictures. For now, does anyone remember ZIMBABWE!!!!!? Or how about...MUMBA BUMBA!?  I cannot wait to celebrate his life, for what a life it was!  Charlie and I remained close after our divorce, for we divorced out of love.  Even though he never said anything, I knew he wanted children, and I knew there was someone special out there for him. And how right I was.  When Charlie met Meg, he told me about how much he liked her and how "fluffy" she was. =)  And I remember at his 20 year birthday party, we were talking about that day, and I looked at him, and the love in his eyes when he spoke of "Megs" and Chloe...well, it was unbelievable. I think it was the only time I got to tell him..."I told you I was right." 
More stories to come, but that is my favorite.  Love you, Meghan.  We are all here for you.

Hi, my name is Lynn and I am an addict. I first met Charlie in Jan 1990, he was chairing a NA H&I meeting at Sequoia Hospital with Robert. Charlie told me “girl, you are an addict and don’t ever forget that.” Charlie also told me I don’t ever have to live like I did, and if I wanted to do something about it, when I got out of the hospital to go to Saturday night NA at Birch and Hopkins in Redwood City. I showed up at that meeting and he said “Hey girl” I thought he forgot my name but he called me that for years. At that meeting Charlie introduced me to three of his friends, we will call them “The Road Dogs.” There was Charlie, Dennis, Steve and Jed. They all sat on the side of the room. They were so cool, and they accepted me for who I was, an addict wanting recovery. Nothing else, they were all a big part of my early recovery. Thanks guys. Charlie and I would hit NA conventions in different states and even went to a World NA convention in 1993, he would take me to crazy places and we would do the silliest things, I have seen Charlie love a few good women in my time but I have never seen him “in love” until he met Meghan. I can remember as clear a day when he met her. Charlie came over to my house and told me he was at a wedding and he saw “the most beautiful girl in the world”, all of a sudden out of nowhere Charlie and I started singing…….Hey, did you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world? Tell her I love her tell her I need my baby…….He told me all about this Meghan girl. You see one thing Charlie taught me is “Follow Your Dreams” I had never ever seen him so “in love” before. He had a dream and he was going to marry this Meghan girl and they would have beautiful children together. You see, Charlie’s dream came true. I had the honor of being in Meghan’s and Charlie’s wedding. I can remember looking over at Charlie during the ceremony and seeing him cry, he was so happy, so in love with this woman. I am sure that those of you that were there remember how beautiful it was. I will forever be grateful for Charlie, you have helped me change my life and I have followed my dreams. I love you Charlie and I love you Meghan.

(Lynn Valencia)

Meghan, I don't know you and really did not know Charlie but just wanted to let you know that when we had an electrical problem and called all the numbers in the blue book Charlie was the one who responded. He came and quickly understood and advised us on our problem and then helped with several small issues that we had. He was really special in a way that I can not really explain. He was very kind and so open and left a lasting impression on my husband and me. I just want you to know that we felt so happy to have met him and felt a sense of loss seeing his picture and knowing that we could not call him again. That is so small compared to the loss you must feel. You and your children are in our hearts. (Ann and Bob Weaver)

Once, back around 1998 when Charlie was DJ’ing a weekly radio show for KFJC, 89.7 FM, Los Altos Hills (plug), he and his friend, Tommy, (where are you, Tommy?) – decided to do a special on … David Cassidy.  Tommy was way into it, but Charlie worried they wouldn’t get enough interesting news about – well, you know -- The Partridge Family, for God’s sake.  Tommy convinced him, though, and they got the whole thing going, had some trivia bits, like the news that Shirlee Jones was miffed that David got so much press.  After all, she was the star.  I’m sure it’s taped somewhere, and I’ll look into getting it.  In fact, I have a lot of his shows taped, for those interested maybe we’ll get them up here.  He also had a lovely bit part as a Santa Claus in Armistead Maupin’s: Tales From the City.

Anyway, I’m listening to this bizarre and entertaining show, when a caller calls in from the East Bay.  It’s the grown man who used to play the drummer on the tv show!  I can’t remember his name, or his profession, but he either sold insurance or cars.  Charlie would know. And what a riot, to get this guy calling in.  For a minute, Tommy and Charlie didn’t believe him, but then he started telling all these stories.  It was a hoot. Charlie was so pleased he smiled from ear to ear for days.  He wasn’t always in the right place at the right time, but he sure was there more than anyone else I’ve ever known.

 It was a great ride, Charlie.  I love you endlessly.  (Meghan)

THE NARDINI'S ARE SADDENED BUT FOREVER GRATEFUL TO HAVE HAD CHARLIE DIGGINS IN OUR LIVES. HE OPENED HIS HOME TO US WHEN WE HAD NO WHERE ELSE TO GO. HE TOOK US US TO ALL HIS FAVORITE FISHING SPOTS AND GAVE US SOMETHING WE STILL SHARE TODAY. MY BOYS STILL REMEMBER ALL THE TRIPS WE TOOK TO ROPE BEACH AND SEAL ROCK, THEY STILL RECALL  WAKING UP TO JOHNNY CASH ON SATURDAY MORNINGS, FISH FRIES AT NIGHT AND JUST BEING KID SILLY WITH THE BIGGEST KID IN THE HOUSE-CHARLIE. 
              CHARLIE WAS A SPONSOR, ROOM-MATE, FISHING BUDDY BUT MOST OF ALL A GREAT FRIEND WHO WAS NOT AFRAID OF HURTING MY FEELINGS FOR MY BETTER GOOD. HE WAS THERE TO HOLD MY HAND AS I WALKED THROUGH THE PAIN OF MANY LIFE ADVENTURES AND ALWAYS ASSURED ME I WOULD BE BETTER BECAUSE OF THEM. HE WAS THE GREAT ENCOURAGER.  
             WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THE WILD AND ZANY MAN WHO MADE EVERY EVENT SOMEHOW SPECIAL, RARELY A MUNDANE MOMENT WHEN CHARLIE WAS AROUND. THE GIFTS THAT CHARLIE BESTOWED UPON ME AND MY SONS ARE ALIVE TODAY IN THE WAY WE LIVE. THANK YOU FOR BEING SO MUCH A PART OF OUR LIVES.       
              LOVE, STEVE, MICHAEL, NICHOLAS AND DANIEL NARDINI


What I remember most about Charlie is that never-ending smile...that picture captures him exactly.  I know Charlie from NA and will always be grateful for his unassuming, common sense, funny, funny shares.  He never judged, never responded to a share with advice (he was too smart to know we all have to make our own way), always made us laugh and helped us remember not to take ourselves too damn seriously.  The last time I saw Charlie was at Pay-n-Take where he'd picked up some "bargain" there, showing it to me as though he'd found gold, knowing only a fellow tinkerer could appreciate the score he'd made.   Whenever I'd see his truck in town, I'd always hope that I'd run into him so I could be graced with that beautiful smile.  Let's all remember to smile for Charlie and pass it on.
Namaste
>^..^<
Cyndy C.

I met Charlie when he became part of Meghan’s life.  Little did I know that I too would be lucky enough to have him become part of my life as well.  I knew Meg loved him and that was good enough for me….and fortunately, since Meg loved me, that was good enough for Charlie….and I became his Cousin Susan as well.

One of my favorite stories is about the roof on my house.  About 12 years ago, Meg and Charlie came to visit me in Grass Valley and Charlie noticed a stain on my ceiling.  I explained my roof had leaked in a couple of places and was worried as I didn’t know how I would be able to afford getting a new roof put on.  The next thing I knew, Charlie was insisting he could put a new roof on for me.  When I asked if he had any experience in roofing he looked at me dumbfounded and said ever so confidently – “No, but I can figure it out, it can’t be that difficult” - so like the renaissance man he was.  Our visit went on and as they were leaving Charlie again mentioned his willingness to do my roof for me.  I of course agreed but immediately put it out of my mind as one of those “wouldn’t it be nice” offers and continued to worry about my roof – for I had never been the receiver of a Diggins commitment.  About a week or two later I received a call from Charlie saying he was coming over that next weekend and that I just needed to get the supplies delivered in time.  Needless to say I hurried and secured the supplies – hoping they would meet his need and worrying if I got the right length of nails. I wondered how he would manage to pull this off.  Well, he shows up late Friday evening with two day laborers he picked up somewhere between his place and mine and a new English to Spanish dictionary so he could communicate with them.  Oh, what a weekend that turned out to be.  Charlie looking up words and shouting out orders in Spanish, Dan Draper joining Charlie the next day to help out his friend, me making multiple trips to the store and cooking endlessly trying to keep up with the feeding needs of four hungry men, shingles flying and new ones being hammered in, strange men sleeping on the floor of my living room, me borrowing the dictionary so I could talk to them as well – and by Sunday….a brand new roof on my house that hasn’t leaked in all these years.  

And the nails…they were the right length except for the porch area.  I smile every day as I pass through my front porch….thinking of Charlie as I see all those little nails poking through, reminding me of how, since Meg loved me, that was good enough for Charlie….and I became his Cousin Susan as well.   

(Susan King)


My heart is full of tears hearing about what happened to Charlie.  Most all the stories I've read, I remember them well.  I've known Charlie since 1985.  One of Charlie's closest friend then was Lil" John.  I was John's girlfriend at that time, then 3 years later we married and decided to move from San Diego back to the Bay Area.  There was no hesitation in Charlie's voice when we asked him to help us.  Charlie and I developed a brother/sister relationship.  My brother died in 1986 from the nasty disease of alcoholism, so Charlie took his place. We had a "convoy", moving from SD to SF.  I was in one car, Charlie was driving the truck, and John was in the 24 foot U-Haul with and car on a tow bed.  We slept in the cheapest motels, and ate at "Bob's Big Boy.  We would do the silliest things like make animals from the napkins, playing with the salt/pepper shakers, etc.  And he had this thing about calling the waitress's by there first name.  On our way to SF, we were going over the Grapevine (near LA) and the governor broke in the U-Haul.  We were all so happy that we could drive now 75 miles per hour instead of 50.  That was one of many road trips we took together.
 
I will never forget the day when Lil' John and Charlie did another gig, at a wedding in San Jose.  I wasn't there that day for whatever reason.  But Charlie told me what happened.  He stated that he wanted to meet the most gorgeous girl in the world (Meghan) but he was very shy, go figure!!!  So John went up to her and he introduced her to him.  It was so awesome to see Charlie, with love in his eyes!!!  I remember meeting Meghan soon after that.  She told me the first date they when on the following day. They went to San Francisco to an "underground" music place, watched this band that was just insane, with insane people all around.  Charlie did like listening "different" music so he didn't think much of where he was taking her.  Meghan specifically told him that if they do that again, they won't be dating anymore.  Of coarse, the next date was much different. It was such a blessing to see Charlie so happy again!!
 
What I remember of Charlie:
 
Was Face of Fire with Rawhide playing in the background
 
Zimbabwe Coffee
 
Playing Nintendo all night long (Zelda)
 
Going on spontaneous bike rides, getting lost in the Santa Cruz mountains.  Taking our bikes to places that bikes are not allowed to go.
 
Standing up on the seat of the bike, while cruising 40 miles per hour. 
 
Taking a road trip to San Diego for a few days. And of coarse, all the bike runs.
 
And the incredible love he had his program (NA/AA) and his friends.
   
I am so blessed to know a man who honors his family and the commitment he vowed to Meghan the day they were married.  Up in the hills at the Winery.  I remember when Meghan and I were fabric shopping for our dresses.  The day of the wedding, in the Limo.  It was such a spiritual moment in time. Meghan, Chloe, and Cole, I pray for your healing everyday. I love you all very much. 
 Petra (AKA Pear)

This is one of those things that I think about sometimes yet I neglected to
add as a story to be read to the Diggins family in years to come....

Charlie and Meghan's Wedding; A VERY special day. It was beautiful. It was
at a winery on the coast off of highway 35 (if I remember correctly). It was
an overcast day/late morning. The ceremony started with and almost ended
with clouds....except....just when Charlie was saying his vows to
Meghan......a hole in the cloud's broke and a ray of sun shown through and
over Charlie and Meghan. I began to cry as I never seen anything so
spiritual or meant to be as it was, before. I looked around me to see if I
was the only one feeling what I was seeing, behind me sat Jimmy Hummel, the
biggest and roughest of biker dude's. His eye's where full of tears, he
didn't even look at me, he just shook his head "YES", to let me know
that, as Charlie has always made us all feel, I was not alone in what I was
seeing and feeling. It was a special moment that I have ALWAYS remembered
and think about at any and every wedding I have attended since then.

(Carol Strickland)


We didn't have long to be with Charlie...
but it was long enough to know that he was someone special, someone
genuine.  From the first day of T-Ball practice we could see that Charlie
had a way with kids...a great teacher with a kind and gentle soul.  He
quietly put them through their paces and we could see how much respect the kids
had for him by the way they paid attention and how they responded.  Every
child was praised and made to feel successful in their attempts.  The last
practice we had with Charlie was a good one,as all were, and the kids
were really starting to understand the plays and how to work together as a
team.  Charlie made sure they knew how happy he was with their
progress and we could see how happy it was making him to tell them. 
What a generous spirit, what a beautiful smile and all with a
twinkle in his eye!  Meghan, your family has a golden glow around you-we
noticed it right away when we met you.  To have such great love
in an ""every day is a special day"" kind of way is a great gift-but
the best gift is that you obviously both knew how wonderful and true your life
together has been.  That and what you two have given your
children is something of substance and the essence of that is eternal.  Our
hearts go out to you and Chloe and Cole as you struggle to say goodbye to such a
fine man.  We believe that our spirits are never apart as long as there is
love and that Charlie is surrounding you and your children with his love and
strength.  Matthew would like you to know that he loved Coach Charlie very
much. Emma says, I love you Charlie.  Thank you for sharing him with

us. With prayers and love, Gary and Mary (Eidenberger family)

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