Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Legends, Memories, and Life Well Lived

A month or so ago, I wrote in a blog titled Zillbilly Losing Battle to Cancer,  that the usher who had created a unique persona at Orioles games to entertain the fans, was afflicted with stage four lung cancer.

Charlie Zill, that man who served the fans as an usher at Orioles games for 17 years, died over the weekend as reported by the Baltimore Sun. I also received a personal note from a family member as a comment to my blog about Charlie to let me know the news.

I was honored to have witnessed Charlie's rendition of Zillbilly. If you remember, the Orioles suffered through some 14 losing seasons and so often, his antics during the seventh inning stretch were the only thing to enjoy during some of those long losses that mounted against the Orioles during those years.

I remember looking over to section 244 from wherever I was in the stadium to see Charlie bring Zillbilly to life. I always smiled at his enthusiasm and creativity.

I was fortunate to be at Charlie's last game last week when the Orioles honored him. I remembered that he had wanted to see one more game and I enjoyed the seventh inning during John Denver's Country Boy when he reprised Zillbilly for the last time. Many in the stadium did not fully understand the legend of the man being honored that evening--but I did. And I was happy for him to be able to attend one last Orioles game.

Charlie--thanks for the memories.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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