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In 1953, Evelyn and Charles agreed to build a small building in the back yard of their home on East Fisher Street in Salisbury. Their son, Charles (Buddy), richly blessed with artistic ability, needed more elbow room to develop and express his talent.
Buddy was excited and happy with his art studio and spent long hours there designing, drawing, and painting while listening to his favorite music (mostly big band era) on his stereo. Soon, his sister Patsy, six years younger, expressed her desire to share occupancy of the building, especially after school hours and on weekends. Together, she and her brother came up with an idea to establish a youth club so that all their friends would have a place to gather and socialize periodically. Thus, the “Forest Club” was born, though some time later, the “Forest” name was dropped and it became known just as “The Club.” Buddy was president and Patsy, secretary-treasurer.
Over the next 15 or so years, like a chain reaction, friends brought their friends, who brought their friends to visit and enjoy fellowship and good clean fun. Some lived in Salisbury and others came from China Grove, Concord, Spencer, Kannapolis, Rockwell, Lexington and other nearby towns.
We listened to music, danced, laughed, gossiped, went to movies, had treasure hunts and other adventure trips, played pranks on each other and even enjoyed an occasional game of “spin the bottle.” We enjoyed life as we knew it during the fifties and up to the seventies.
Recently, Patsy and I, in a nostalgic mood, recorded the names of more than 200 people who at one time had visited “The Club” of Fisher Street. Of the ones we could gain knowledge of, we discovered that some had died, and that of the living, most have moved to other states. Some are married, some divorced and many have children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Most all have retired from working ó from the postal service, the military, FBI agency, highway patrol, railroad, retail, industrial and many other occupations.
A few are still working at various jobs, some are devoted to volunteer positions, and at least one is presently a colorful Rowan County Commissioner.
The club era sadly ended as everyone went their separate ways, Buddy and Patsy’s parents died, Patsy married and moved and Buddy purchased his dream house outside the city limits.
Everyone always loved, admired, and respected our friend Buddy. He had a wonderful personality and possessed many God-given talents. He was the “Jerry Lewis” of the Martin and Lewis team. His sense of humor and unrehearsed antics kept everyone entertained and begging for more on many occasion. He was kind and generous.
On Dec. 23, 2007, after a 10-month battle with cancer, our club president and cherished friend was recruited by God and immediately assigned to entertain all the angels in heaven, including his parents, beloved sister Doris, and friends and acquaintances who crossed over before him.
We love you, Buddy, and will dearly miss you here on earth. We thank you with all our hearts for all the joy, happiness, and good times you shared with so many people in you 69 years of life. Farewell, Mr. President. We salute you, our dear friend.
Margaret Shumate lives in Salisbury.

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