Boots Poffenberger and Charlie Farquharson a.k.a. Don Harron have one wonderful thing in common: They both never lost sight of the joy in the world. I’ll be talking about Boots next Wednesday from 6:00-7:00 at the Fletcher Library’s “Meet the Author” lecture series in Hagerstown. I’d love to see you if you’re in the area. It’s Charlie, however, that’s the subject of today’s post.
Charlie Farquharson, the bumpkin whose hilarious innocence produced subtle wisdom, was the creation of Don Harron, a multi-talented actor and writer who died last week at the age of 90. Harron developed cancer for which he refused treatment (which, come to think of it, Boots did as well.) Most Americans got to know Charlie as the KORN news reporter on Hee Haw.
I had written a story in 2012 based on Charlie’s penchant for malopropisms entitled, “The Radio Days of Charlie Hydes.” I wanted to secure Don Harron’s permission, blessing really, and to let him know that the story was a tribute to all the joy that he had brought to me through the character of Charlie. I found him on Facebook and, much to my surprise, he acknowledged my friend request immediately and said that I could send the story to him for his approval which he quickly gave. Shortly after I posted the story to his Facebook page I received in the mail an autographed copy of Olde Charlie Farquharson’s Testament. I should clarify that this was autographed by “Charlie” who had inscribed it “For Osstin, a reel riter from your revrent admirer.” What struck me the most, however, was the package to which was attached one of those familiar return address stickers. It was Don Harron’s address. It was as if we were old friends and he just happened to slip me something in the mail. This man with thousands of admirers acknowledged me for being one of them much to my delight.
That’s the thing about guys like Don Harron and Boots–they not only recognize the joy in the world, they create more of it. Hope this video brings a little joy to you, today.