One character trait often praised in people is trustworthiness. It’s an excellent trait, for sure.
But what I admired in Charlie VanHoy was not that he could be trusted but that he could trust.
Charlie and I developed a professional relationship built on that trust.
Mainly, it was him trusting me.
He hadn’t had a particularly good relationship with some in our business before I arrived in Shelby in 1997, but former City Manager Dee Freeman facilitated a meeting between us. During that meeting, I could see it churning through his brain — "I need to give this kid a chance."
I’m glad he did, mainly because I had no idea what I was doing and what I could do to improve the newspaper’s relationship with the police department.
As time wore on, Charlie and I would talk just to talk – about the issues of the day, foreign and domestic, state and local, city and county.
He had plenty of opinions. There were things about "the system" that he loathed and wished he could change. There were people in the county who frustrated him.
As I came to find out, trusting others was a halmark of Charlie’s.