04 June, 2011

R.I.P. Charlie Tuna

Charles Sittnick, better known as Charlie Tuna, tended bar and took cover for many, many shows that I attended at Howard‘s Club H. He was my go-to guy if I needed anything in that bar. But really, he took great care of all of his friends. I don’t even know why, really, but I felt a kinship between us, because since I was a young lad, I spent a decent amount of time with him. It was either Tuna or Annie that served me my first Virgin Screwdriver, at the blossoming age of fourteen, but in the memory, he’s there. Early Saturday mornings, while my brother did his laundry at the Wash House, Tuna was there to shoot the shit, and serve anyone who either needed some hair of the dog or was just out and about, stopping in to see what the happenings where for the day. And on Sunday mornings, Charlie put on a goddamned clinic on how to make real Bloody Mary. That’s how I met Tuna, some nine years ago and he’s been a constant fixture at Howard’s and around Bowling Green for me since then. He was always there to greet me at the door or say hi to me from across the bar. He was a personable guy, willing to talk to anyone, about just about anything, and when he spoke to you, it mattered. Well, honestly, sometimes it didn’t and he’d go off on a crazy tangent and take you to all sorts of different places before he came back and finished a story. But all in all he was a great speaker and entertainer. Tuna had been around more blocks than the local meter maids and he knew things that the CIA couldn’t tell you about life. He was energetic, joyous, and always a great person to have around. Never a bummer or a downer, and usually the life of the party. He was an institution, unto himself. He will truly be missed by many. Best hopes go out to him in the afterlife. I’m sure he’s having a ball.

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