Thursday, March 7, 2013


Ya gotta feel sorry for good old Charlie Duffy......

After a hitch in the Navy as a "dog robber", Charles Duffy sought a career at sea as an officer aboard ocean liners. But on his terms, with as little work as possible. This didn't sit too well with one of his employers and he found himself branded as employment poison.

Stranded in his native Bronx with nowhere to turn, Charles turned to drink. Around the police precinct house of his old neighborhood (the 53rd Precinct near Tremont), he became known as Charlie the Drunk.

But eventually, Charlie Duffy was able to pull himself out of the slump he was in and, with a falsified resume and a newfound swaggering confidence, he was able to land a job aboard the cruise liner Amsterdam Queen as the junior officer.

Everything was smooth sailing (Sorry about that, Chief Petty Officer!) for several years, even if J.O. Duffy had to circumnavigate the suspicions of First Officer Nelson about the various con games he was running.

However, the owners of the Amsterdam Queen announced in the late 1960's that they wanted to sell the old lady of the sea for scrap metal. It took all of Duffy's bluffing to keep it afloat for as long as he did, but eventually there was no dissuading the owners.*

By the mid-1970's, opportunities aboard ocean liners were once again impossible to get - probably because Oliver Nelson had spread the word about him and his gambling among other vices.

So Charles Duffy eventually found himself near the San Diego Naval Base, and once again back on the sauce. There he encountered Chief Petty Officer Otto Sharkey and his crew.

It's a good bet that Charles Duffy may be still alive today in Toobworld. He'd be about 90 years of age (just like the actor who played him in three different series - Larry Storch.) But will we ever see him again? Who knows?

Perhaps he changed his name and sought a job in a new field.....

"Car 54, Where Are You"
2.That's Show Business (4 November 1962) - Charlie the Drunk
3.Pretzel Mary (2 December 1962) - Charlie the Drunk
4.Here Comes Charlie (24 February 1963) - Charlie the Drunk

"The Queen and I" 
1.Duffy's Cruise (16 January 1969) - Charles Duffy
2.The No-Cruise Cruise (23 January 1969) - Charles Duffy
3.The Promotion (30 January 1969) - Charles Duffy
4.Requiem for Becker (6 February 1969) - Charles Duffy
5.Who's Holding the Bag? (13 February 1969) - Charles Duffy
6.Duffy Against the Computer (27 February 1969) - Charles Duffy
7.Who Am I Talking To? (6 March 1969) - Charles Duffy
8.My Karate Lies Over the Ocean (13 March 1969) - Charles Duffy
9.Hossfeathers (20 March 1969) - Charles Duffy
10.But to a Captain, Is He a Captain? (27 March 1969) - Charles Duffy
11.The Trousseau (3 April 1969) - Charles Duffy
12.Don't Make Big Waves (10 April 1969) - Charles Duffy
13.Kowalski of Harvard (24 April 1969) - Charles Duffy

"CPO Sharkey"
1.A Wino Is Loose (23 March 1977) - The Wino

Sorry, Charlie....


* In my Toobworld novel, the Amsterdam Queen was sunk by the villain of the story - a one-armed man named Kimball......

No comments: