Picking Up Cans and Chasing Women: Charlie’s Story

Although we generally reserve the category of Prominent Local Figures to historic figures, one can’t argue the prominence of Charlie/Billy in the Oregon District.


We’ve known him for 7 years, but many who have spent countless nights meandering through 5th Street have known him longer. Known as Charlie to some, and Billy to others, many have taken time out of their drinking nights to stop and talk to him. How many stories has he told over the years?

We sat down and asked him to tell us another story: his life.

Charlie was born in Tennessee on February 12, 1961, in a family of many children. He spent his young years there, before moving to Detroit. In 1992, Charlie walked from Detroit to his mother’s hometown of Dayton. It was a trek that took him 6 weeks, and Charlie has stayed in the Dayton area since.

Here are a few snippets from our conversation with Charlie:

Sara: What do you like about the Oregon District?
Women, money, booze, and more women. I get more money than women, but I’ll take both.

Bethany: If anyone wanted to help you, what can they do for you?
Charlie: House…car…and as many women as I can handle!
Sara: How many women do you think you can handle, Charlie?
Charlie: I don’t know! I’ll just start at one end, and I’ll probably be dead after the fifth!

We asked Charlie to tell us a little more about his life so here are a few more facts:

  • Charlie’s real name is Billy. People call him Charlie because of his resemblance to Charles Manson. He said he answers to both, and has no preference for which to call him.
  • Charlie spoke of having triplet daughters; one deceased, one in the Air Force, and one in the Army.
  • Charlie is an excellent pool player.
  • The only bar he is allowed to be inside is Tumbleweed Connection. So it is an excellent place to have a drink or two with him!


One thought on “Picking Up Cans and Chasing Women: Charlie’s Story

  1. I think about him every time I pass the Wendy’s on Wayne. The first time I met Charlie I was with Sara and he’d been mia for a while because he’d been shot right outside of that Wendy’s and Sara was really excited that we’d run into him and he was alive and for the most part okay.

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