Preacher Keen

Charlie "Preacher" Keen

A hot summer night in Cedar Park, Texas. Preacher Keen has played through the planned break, finished the notebook page list of tunes he had planned for the evening and is asking the audience in the coffee house for suggestions on what to play next.

His request is greeted with suggestions that seem to be more from friendship than from musical taste. Maybe half of the people in that room had known each other for a generation. Preacher had coached some listeners on a basketball court and now they had their own teens gaining experience at the free throw line.

This page is the collected thoughts of the friends who listened and remembered.

Godfather Charlie

When I first met Charlie, I was eight months pregnant and feeling like a whale looking for a beach. We were just moving into the neighborhood and my husband was frequently off shore working. It seemed that between travel schedules and pregnancy all of the meeting of neighbors was done individually. That is why I introduced myself to Charlie by waddling over to his house to say hello.

I told him that I had seen him while driving by and was glad that I was able to come over and met him. Before he could respond, I then told him that I was concerned I might go into labor with no one home. In case that did happen I wanted to know if I could call on him to get me to the hospital.

I knew I had a lifelong friend when he never missed a beat and smiled "Absolutely!" I saw nothing in his eye that would have made me realize he only thought I was large and not pregnant!

It was many years later, after years of him coaching the child that I carried that day long ago, when he told this to me. Charlie gave hours and hours of time on the basketball court not just to our son Patrick, but our daughter Rachel too! He was the best neighbor to all our children, even Miles, who never really found the love of basketball. Charlie was always someone we all could count on in a pinch or for conversation.

On that day back when Charlie told me of his thought at our first meeting we shared a laugh….. One of many shared moments of friendship!

Aimee Whitley-George
Cedar Park, Tx 2009

Coach Keen

How many grey hairs did our kids give the coach?! He volunteered to coach my son Chris, Patrick(Chris's best buddy) and his own son, Dexter, among others. What a rag tag team they often were. Trying to get them all focused was like herding butterflies. Short attention spans, but all wanting to be the STARS of the team. Charlie was often at wits end in his attempt to explain plays and stratiegies to the group. At times his patiencce ran thin as the guys decided they knew better than the coach and did it "their" way. Some games they won and of course some not, but in the end they (thanks to Charlie) learned a bit about basketball and a lot about teamwork. Chris stilll loves to play pick up ball —-Thanks Charlie —you will always have a special place in our hearts.

Ron, Gay & Chris Klinger

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