I have been informed by a reader of this blog that Charlie’s store was not located in Smelterville. His brother John’s store was the one located there. Here is the info on Charlie’s store location from reader Collin Dover:
“Charlie Dietiker’s store was in Milltown near the Leming sawmill. John Dietikers store was in Smelterville on South Sprigg Street. Charlie’s store was on the corner as you rounded the corner after turning by the White Cross building going south from downtown on Water Street or South Main Street…..”
Thank you, Collin, for correcting the record on the store location.
What I remember most about Charlie was that he drove an old panel truck with lots of room in the back. Every Sunday morning he would drive all over South Cape picking up any kids that wanted to go to church with him. We would all pile into that old truck and hang on. I don’t remember exactly what the inside of the truck looked like but I do recall that a lot of us sat in the floor. When he turned a corner we would slide to the other side of the truck. It was fun!
Charlie took us to Southside Baptist Church. We had Sunday School and then listened to Rev. Charles Marshall preach. There was lots of singing too, all those old Baptist hymns that still run through my mind sometimes. Last winter when my mom was so sick, I would go get the Baptist hymnal and sing those old hymns softly to her. She loved to sing but was unable to at the end. She left this world December 18, 2010, with all her kids and many of her grand-kids gathered around her bed. I sure do miss talking to her every day. Even though we lived far apart, we talked on the phone every day.
Back to Charlie, he probably planted more seeds in the South Cape’s kids hearts than he knew. He would sometimes lead the singing and I learned not to sit on the front row; he loved to sing the song “Trust & Obey”.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.
He really put the accent on the ‘T’ in Trust and, because his front teeth had a space between them, the spit would fly! I loved Charlie but I made sure that I was at least in the 2nd or 3rd row when he led the singing.
In looking through some of the archives of the Southeast Missourian I found many articles of Charlie and his brother John’s good deeds to their neighbors. I also found a picture from 1977 with my former classmate, Charles Taylor, in it. The article below features Charlie’s brother, John: