Our Neighbor, Charlie Rudd

Charlie Rudd
Charlie Rudd

Our neighbor Charlie Rudd was born in Sarasota Florida in 1929. He has lived in Huntley Hills for 44 years and was a charter member and long time treasurer of the Huntley Hills Neighborhood Association. He was especially helpful
during the traffic calming process – he was awesome at getting signatures and even took on some streets other than his portion of Admiral. He was one of the best volunteers.

Before he was born, his father was in charge of dredging mangrove-covered sandbars to create Longboat, Siesta and Lido Keys. They owned their home, had two cars and a telephone.

Then the Great Depression arrived. They sold one car and let go of the telephone. Instead of his steady job in Sarasota his father had to pick up small jobs working on flood control and the intercoastal waterway. They moved 24 times by the time he started second grade.

For a while they rented a room in Plaquemines LA from a retired schoolteacher. She was his first grade teacher right there in the same house. He remembers learning long division and addition and subtraction of fractions already in the first grade.

Then things started to stabilize and they resettled in Sarasota where he started second grade and grew up. There they still raised a lot of their own food, including chickens, ducks and rabbits.

He moved to the Atlanta area about 1955. He bought his house in Huntley Hills around 1970. He was the second owner. The house had been badly used – there were holes in the roof. But Charlie is a handy guy and he soon had it repaired.

He married, had a son who now lives in Gainesville, and daughter who still suffers from birth defects.

He owned Ad Prep, a company that prepared advertising material for printing. This involved setting type and retouching photographs (before Photoshop). He gradually retired from this about 16 years ago.

On Christmas Eve in 1996, a short or ground fault in his electrical entry cable started the house on fire. It was totaled but insurance covered most of it.

With a friend Bill Beazley who was an architect, they designed a new house and built it on the same lot. Some southwestern influence shows in the design as Bill was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright. The long pine mantle above the fireplace displays southwestern pots.

Charlie has memories of places and events that happened here, like the icy day that 17 cars piled up on Admiral Drive between Chamblee Dunwoody Road and Longview Drive. And the pink marble milking stalls at the Irvindale dairy. He is a longtime friend of Kay Packard, who was so active in the local Garden Club and promoted native plants and wildlife habitat.

Right now Charlie is still recovering from a fall that happened when he knocked over his alarm clock and fell out of bed trying to recover it. This led to a blood clot in his head and a sequence of small falls in his house. He spent 5 days in bed and started to develop pneumonia. That got him 15 days in the hospital. He is now up and walking around again – carefully – and is preparing to move.

The biggest job he has now is dealing with a basement full of tools and materials that have collected there over the years. He has already sold $455 worth of scrap metal.

Charlie Cooking Fish
Charlie Cooking Fish

In 1980 Charlie and a friend who was an IBM executive went on a fishing trip to Ray’s Millpond, near Ray City in South Georgia. Charlie suggested that his friend should try dropping a Hula Popper into a small quiet pool. The picture shows Charlie frying the 6 pound bass they caught.