Dustbury: Charles G. Hill (1953-2019)

I didn’t even know what blogging WAS in 1996

Charles Hill.Myspace
stolen from his MySpace page
Dustbury, a/k/a Charles G. Hill, had been blogging since 1996. I didn’t even know what blogging WAS in 1996. He had been posting every day since about 2002, usually two or three times daily.

It was therefore weird that when I visited his site on September 5, there hadn’t been a post since the 3rd. Then I see in the comments: “Terrible news: My friend and GOAT Oklahoma blogger @Charles G. Hill was in a terrible auto accident on Tuesday. He is in the trauma ICU … It appears he has paralysis from the neck down.”

This was dreadful news for a couple of reasons. He had been having serious physical limitations of late that were frankly ticking him off. Alive and paralyzed I suspect would have enraged him.

On September 8, his friend Dan wrote: “I’m very sorry to report that Charles has died of his injuries.” His post from September 2 has now frankly freaked me out, in retrospect.

I know quite a bit about popular music from the last half of the 20th century. Dustbury probably knew twice as much. In fact, I discovered him because I was interested in Warner Brothers Loss Leaders and I actually provided him some information he did not know.

Charles was the person most likely to comment on a piece I wrote about music. He would add an anecdote or an obscure detail. Or write about it himself.

He once asked me if I were annoyed by his insertions; the answer was always no. And he knew WAY more about current tunes, from Taylor Swift to Rebecca Black of Friday fame, than most sextagenarians.

He wrote about local (OKC) politics. He wasn’t exactly a liberal, but in the Sooner State, he clearly liked to pick the person rather than the political party.

Charles loved My Little Pony stuff and gave great analyses of Oklahoma City Thunder basketball games.

He helped me tremendously via email with finding me a new website provider, and subsequently answered technical questions I didn’t understand. Most notably, he told me about the Classic Editor plugin that overrode the awful WordPress 5 “improvements.”

Yet, I always felt he didn’t think he had done enough in this world.

Charles has participated heavily on Quora, dealing with the scammers that he put in their place. But one particular post from August 23 touched me greatly.

To the question Who among your blogging peers do you consider the best and why? He wrote: “Easy: Roger Green of rogerogreen.com. He is always thoughtful, never crass, and he has something new to say just about every day.”

Had I answered the question first, I would have said Dustbury. But I didn’t want it to look as though I were merely reciprocating. I DO feel bad that I never told him how much I appreciated his comment.

A POEM

Our friend fillyjonk wrote this about her father’s recent death. Charles liked it, as do I. It seems appropriate here:

Grief is like a garment of variable size.

At times, it is a heavy wool cloak, enveloping, engulfing, it weighs you down.

At others, it is that t-shirt with the annoying tag you cannot rip out and that only gets worse if you cut it

It is never light and comfortable

It is usually too hot and saps your energy

It is a flattering color on no one.

It cannot be removed, cannot be dropped by the side of the road.

Laundering does not help it, nor does washing it in tears.

It will not rip; you cannot remove it; it is as if it is the enchanted

Shoes from that fairy tale; it has molded to your body.

Aloha, Dustbury.