To Remember Charlie By
Not that you could blame him for going off his head. It was tough enough to be pinned to a wheelchair without being able to wiggle so much as a toe. But to lose his dog in the bargain....
I was on my third beer when Doc Shull rolled in with a big package under his arm. Doc was stone sober, which surprised me, and he was hot and tired from a shopping trip to Tampa, which surprised me more. It was when he ripped the paper off his package, though, that I thought he'd lost his mind.
"Books for Joey," Doc said. "Ethel and I agreed this morning that the boy needs another interest to occupy his time now, and since he can't go to school I'm going to teach him here."
He went on to explain that Ethel hadn't had the heart the night before, desperate as she was, to tell the kid the whole truth. She'd told him instead, quoting an imaginary customer at the Sea Shell Diner, that a tourist car with Michigan license pla