That Friday morning, the last day I spoke to Chuck, I was playing a Grateful Dead song in the background and I had Chuck on the speaker. Chuck was never what I would call "into" music. He was certainly not a fan of the Grateful Dead -- maybe Motown, but not the Grateful Dead. Surprisingly, in our early-morning talk, Chuck remarked how beautiful the song was. The song was "Box of Rain" -- and the lyrics captured the concept of how short life can be only days before the disaster.
Chuck's New York Times obituary is still taped to my stock monitor in my office as an ever reminder of his loss. The paper is now aged, yellowed and torn, but the scars still seem fresh.
Today, after writing this missive, I will again share Chuck's memories with his parents (Rabbi and Jane), his many friends (like Phil Marber) and with numerous longtime subscribers to TheStreet and Real Money Pro (like Don Gher), who were business associates, recipients of his wise advice or friends with Brown Bear and who, as they have every year, will pass on their day's thoughts to me in emails or phone calls, which I eagerly anticipate and will always cherish.
Last night, Real Money Pro subscriber Don Gher mailed me a classic story about Brown Bear. Don was thinking about Chuck and relayed that one of his pals, ex-Cantor (Los Angeles) and Dallas trader Eddie Weber, told him that one day he was at Cantor's NYC office, and he and Brown Bear walked out of the World Trade Center to grab lunch. There was a hot dog vendor there, and Chuck asked how many he had left. The guy said 12, and Chuck said, "Sold!" And then they proceeded to eat all of them. That was my brother, Chuck -- an original. Don lit a candle for him at Mass on Sunday as he has done in each of the last 11 years. (Thanks, Don.)I will never forget Mark Haines' report on CNBC of the first, second, third and fourth incidents that day, as I watched the horror on a television on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.