I cannot speak for others, but hope I do: David's reminiscence is remarkably well done: well-written, with much enlightening detail, and with the sense that others likely had, that Charlie was a charming man of mystery.
It may not be appropriate to provide another long commentary, but I will. Something on the naming of family members may be in order. My mother Alida was close to her sisters Alma and Eva. I saw somewhere that Alida and Eva performed in a play (as did many others) written by Charlie's aunt, Corinne Rocheleau Rouleau.
Once, while visiting Anne Rocheleau, David's mother, at the Briarwood in Worcester, Anne showed me a book that Corinne had written. Corinne wrote in a style most definitely not influenced by Ernest Hemingway or journalism, with many complex sentences, as a quick look into the book indicated. That style suited the opening description of the St Lawrence River. As the sentence rolled, line after line, one concluded she had tried to recreate the steady, pulsing power of the river through the style of her periodic sentence. It must have gone on for 20 lines.
Anne said the book had been translated and showed me a copy. It is no pleasure to be critical, but the translation reflected nothing of Corinne's style. Its short, choppy, unadorned sentences seemed suited to a reader for students in the third grade of grammar school, or maybe earlier, but without the schoolbooks' charm.
I have looked for the French original and have failed to find it. I know the family has good writers. It should be a pleasure to translate the work, though time-consuming, and disseminate it privately, something like the Russian samizdat, since the translator, who dared to call herself the translation's co-author, apparently has the rights.
The Granger genealogy that my cousin Virginia Granger-Gagnon (granddaughter of Alma's brother Élie Théophile, a/k/a Tom) and her husband Richard Gagnon produced noted that Alma and her siblings had a brother, Alfred Louis, who died shortly after birth in 1884.
I have no doubt that Alma honored him by naming one of her sons Henri-Louis and another son, Charles Alfred Rocheleau. The first children of my parents were twins. Joseph E. Lemire Jr. was given to the older one (by a few minutes). On the other, my mother ruled, and she named him Louis Charles. The Louis? Well, her brother and her nephew. The Charles? The source of David Charles, too. I was the last in line of her children. I got the Alfred. I would have liked the Charles.
One hopes that further generations of the Rocheleaus continue the Charles name. I did not visit Charlie because I was busy with work, then was forced into retirement by a heart attack, and I hate to drive. But it is gratifying to know that many relatives did visit him, gaining from their visits, as he surely gained from the satisfaction of being an excellent, charming, and sophisticated host. He introduced me to créme de menthe at one of the places where he lived in Alexandria, back in the days, I think, shortly after my graduation from the University of Maryland. Did I mention sophisticated?
I wanted to see him again in West Virginia last year, but worried about the strain of the travel and the cost and an 18-yer-old car. Now, well, too late, but it was a great pleasure and a privilege to spend time with Charlie on many occasions over the years. Oh, one other thing.
Perhaps in 1939, when I was 5 years old, my mother and her family visited Alma and H. Oscar and their family, for a Thanksgiving dinner at the sheriff's residence. Everyone at the longest table I have ever seen was served a small glass of wine, except for me and perhaps Pierre, Charlie's brother. I said I wanted to try the wine. People said that I was too young. Bur I distinctly recall Charlie being present , sitting close by, and saying, “Let him try a little.” I did. I did not like it. Not one bit. And Charlie smiled, in a friendly way, when he noticed my reaction, which he alone had expected. My next glass of wine came when I visited Charlie, maybe 24 years later. That came with our meal together. The superior wine he chose? No wine, except for an Alsatian pinot noir, has tasted so good.