One of the best friends I've ever had and one of the best men I've ever had the fortune of knowing passed away on March 13. He was known to the online world as Taxula, to others he was Charles E. Perry, but to those who knew him, he was simply Charlie.
A man of many interests, there were a few things Charlie could be counted on to do. Write brilliant pieces on the Constitution and political and social issues. Be as rock-ribbed a conservative as they come. Come up with a great joke with the timing of a master. Rhetorically throttle anyone who advanced a weak argument for an even weaker cause.
Charlie meant more to me not because of his politics, but because of his influence on me as a person and me as a writer. He was someone who made me believe that I what it took to write a column for CommonConservative.com back when it was just The Common Conservative. He saw in me something I didn't see in myself and he never let me forget it. For that, I will be eternally grateful.
He and I didn't always see eye to eye. Like brothers, we fought and wound up on opposite sides of a couple of conflicts we shouldn't have even had, but I never lost my respect for Charlie.
Near the end of his life, he moved to Las Vegas to be with his sister. We didn't talk much after that, but when we did, it was as though nothing had changed. But we knew something had changed. He wasn't getting any younger and his health was failing him. But it never mattered. To me, he was always Charlie.
In what could be termed a final gesture of good will before he died, I donated money so my friend Resa Laru Kirkland (also known as Warchick) could go to the Gathering Of Eagles. I donated $25 for me, and chipped in an extra $25 on Charlie's behalf. Being a veteran, I knew Charlie would appreciate it. Even though Warchick didn't get to go, the gesture was worth it. I know he'd have approved.
Charles Perry was an amazing man, one who touched the lives of many around him just by being himself. Words fail me when I try to express just how much I appreciated his honesty and his encouragement. Even when we disagreed, he was always a gentleman to me, and even when I didn't return the favor, I knew he was right to take me to task for it. And I'm a far better man for it.
Thank you, Charlie. For everything.