Poem by Romie Reynolds
In 1935, Romie Reynolds, a friend of Charlie wrote a poem to commemorate his 65th birthday. The poem reflects on many aspects of Charlie's life from the origin of the hamburger to Charlie opening a costume shop in Appleton.
Way back in 1885 Seymour had a fair
A young man out of Hortonville drove his oxen over there
took along some lumber and put up a little shack
In the center of the fair grounds, over near the track.
He had a couple of frying pans, some coffee and some bread
And a lot of beef all chopped up, fine hamburger he said.
He had an awful lingo about the young and old.
He said the sandwiches were hot, and the lemonade was cold.
He never was in a hurry and he always wore a smile.
It just seemed like everyone was hungry all the while.
When he dumped the old cigar box, he had thirty dollars clear,
But he lost it on the highway between there and DePere.
So he borrowed twenty dollars and continued on his way.
He kept right on a going and he's going yet today.
A stranger, Jimmy Christianson. found the six five dollar bills
And returned then to the owner when he met him in the hills.
He then went up to Wausau and learned the candy trade.
There he raised a little family with the money that he made.
He used to play for dances and he always made the fairs.
From there he went to Appleton and put a store in there.
He made some ice cream and candy and handled Christmas trees
He sold some firecrackers and a little cottage cheese.
In 1935 he's at the Seymour fair again
With fifty years of service in the sunshine and in the rain.
The people of Wisconsin who have met him on the way
All gathered there to celebrate his anniversary.
They presented him with a fine bouquet it says "Efficiency".
His hair is white, but the smile is still there just as it used to be
He told us on the side one day - and we never doubted his word
If he had his meat all on the hoof he would have quite a herd.
At one place the water works gave out and they almost died of thirst
And the cook who made the coffee had to wash the dishes first.
Another time the wind came up and it got under the tent
He left me there to watch it, but I don't know where it went.
Once Charlie caught a-fire and a woman saved his life
We all knew how she did it but we never told his wife.
Not because she ever questioned what he might or might not do
For no matter what he started, she was there to see him through.
We have read about so many trades-the painter and the poet
There will always be a trade to build but it takes a man to do it.
Now he lives on Memorial Drive with his daughter and his wife.
He will be renting masquerade costumes for the balance of his life.
So many birthdays to this man whom all of us have seen.
He is called "Hamburger Charlie" or Charles R. Nagreen.