Sunday, April 27, 2008


Dateline: Thursday, April 17, 2008
Location: deep inside a prison cell in Florida

Some things have been happening lately that caused me to do a lot of thinking about the past, my life, & some of the people in it.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend, Daniel Faulkner, sent me a copy of a photo he took in Atlanta in 1974. It was a picture of a 24 year old Charlie Norman with his wife, Chriselle Wilkinson Norman, 22 years old at the time. I'm writing that as from the third person because I'm so far removed now from that fellow that I had to look at the photo again to recognize it as myself.

Dan & I went to the University of South Florida together in the 1970's, & were involved in Martial Arts Institute, Inc., a taekwondo school on Busch Boulevard in Tampa. A number of us had gone to Atlanta to represent our school & attend Joe Corley's "Battle of Atlanta" karate tournament at the Georgia Tech Coliseum. I was on the board of directors of MAI, Inc., the treasurer, in charge of personnel, & one of my reasons for going there was to hire some black belt instructors for the chain of karate schools we were opening. That's where I met & became friends with Chuck Norris, Texas karate mogul, Allen Steen, some of the stars of the movie, "Enter The Dragon," (Bruce Lee was dead by then), & several other highly-ranked martial arts stars.

I see that young guy in the tailored suit, with his beautiful wife, by his Mazda rotary engine car, successful & fairly happy, smiling, & it hit me how much I've lost these past 34 years: everything but my corporeal life, & that was what they all wanted to take from me. I am the ghost looking back at the past, wondering where time went so quickly.

Dan does much of the work on the Free Charlie Now web site, & perhaps he'll post that photo so you can take a look at it. When I see that photo, & look in the mirror, I wonder if certain people who have abused their power for their own ambition & political gain realize how badly wrongfully convicting someone of a murder they did not commit can damage & destroy so many innocent lives. The ripples are far-reaching, & continue on.

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