Charlie Langdon was an imp. OK, maybe not an imp so much as a hobbit. Didn’t he name his bookstore The Hobbit Hole? You would walk into the store and Charlie would be sitting on a stool behind the counter reading a book. He probably didn’t look up and acknowledge your presence until you faced him and said something. He was one intense reader and he read relentlessly.
I first met Charlie when he came to work at Purgatory. I was the lodge manager and Charlie was a lift operator, albeit a misguided one. Oh, he knew how to work the controls and such, but he wasn’t very attentive – especially when he was at the controls at the top of Lift 1. He’d have his nose in a book as skiers off-loaded, fell down or failed to get off and rode the bull wheel around. Someone would yell and get Charlie’s attention. As far as I know, Charlie didn’t kill anybody, but there were some hairy moments.
When my first book, Which Way is West was published in 2002, I asked Charlie to read it and The DurangoHerald published his review. When Barnes & Noble selected the book for “Author of the Month” and asked me to do book signings, Charlie called me and said, “You see? I told you it was a good story.” Discussion with Charlie on a diversity of subjects could be long, but always interesting and frequently insightful. He had a way with words and, by golly, he knew how to use them. Reading his column every Sunday was, in my view, one of the more enjoyable moments spent with the Herald.
As an aside, I had a very smart horse many years ago and I named him “Charlie” because, as Charlie Langdon, he could think faster than I could.
We’re going to miss Charlie, that little imp!