September 12, 2010 1:26:00 AM
Jan Swoope - email@example.com
When Charles Waldron came to Mitchell Engineering Co. (later CECO Corp.) in Columbus in 1965 as general sales manager, he had no way of knowing some of the colleagues he met that year would be helping him blow out birthday candles 45 years later.
On Sept. 1, a group of about 20 of Waldron''s former employees treated him to a luncheon, returning a favor he had begun decades earlier.
When Waldron was elevated to the position of president after the death of company founder C.L. Mitchell in 1971, he started a tradition of treating the female office employees to lunch every Christmas. The group became known as "Charlie''s Angels," named for the popular TV show. Even after his retirement in 1982, he has had several luncheons for the ''Angels,'' with the help of his longtime secretary at CECO, Chris Harmon.
"This year, in honor of Mr. Charlie''s 96th birthday Sept. 9, the ''Angels'' are treating him to lunch," Harmon said.
Still active at 96, Waldron continues to be on the move.
"He spent his actual birthday in San Francisco, meeting up with his daughter, Sandra, and son-in-law, Ron Yates, there," Harmon said.
Waldron has also made several trips this year to Colorado for family visits, Harmon continued. And he goes to Biloxi regularly, where his youngest daughter, Martha, and her husband, Zon Geiselman, live.
"It''s not uncommon to see Mr. Charlie in the grocery store on any given day, as he still enjoys his gourmet food -- or even by himself at a restaurant late at night," Harmon smiled. "With a mischievous grin on his face, he told me, ''I keep my Lincoln Town car for highway traveling and my small, two-door red Lexus to zip around town.'' ... He doesn''t let a little thing like age keep him home."
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.