Continuing on about his teen years and years after graduating high school, one of the many great stories he has to tell was about the time he met Martin Luther King Jr. His mother had been an organist before his father had passed away and Charles opted not to go to college to stay and support his mother who had taken ill. Joel King, Dr. Martin Luther King’s uncle, asked Charles’ mother if she would come down to Mansfield, Ohio and become his organist for his church’s christening. The main speaker of which would be none other than Martin Luther King himself. Charles goes on to describe him and the speech he gave:
“Martin Luther King was escorted in by a phalanx of state troopers and sheriff’s deputies…they surrounded them because they had death threats. I had always envisioned him as stern looking, but he wasn’t stern looking at all. He was a tiny man with almost Asiatic features, slanted eyes, really truly yellowish skin color, and mild looking more than anything else…very determined looking man though. He gave a speech that was very memorable to me because he was talking about person having self awareness, and pride, and dignity in whatever you do in life. He said ‘try and be the best you can be at whatever you do, if you’re a street sweeper, sweep the best you can…’ He also said something that was very memorable to me ‘if people hate you that means they’re down in the ditch of hate, don’t get down in the ditch with them and get dirty. Stay on top, stay upright, because it isn’t going to do you any good to muddy yourself or dirty yourself with these people.’ Joel King brought Martin over to my mother and me after to introduce us and I remember seeing him and looking at him. He was such a smiling, kind guy, and I always say that he had an aura about him that was totally different. I knew I was shaking hands with greatness. He wasn’t a threatening person, he was a kind gentle soul, but there was strength about him that you could just feel. I can’t explain it but he had that demeanor of a man who was wise beyond his years. He had like an ancient wisdom to him, like something way back that had been pulled up and was instilled in him. You know how some people always want to shake the hand of a pop star? Well to me this was more than a pop star; this was history I was shaking hands with.”Charles continued on for quite some time explaining that they had no idea the events that would follow as this was only 1962 at the time.