Born 1951 in Alabama – USA.
Charlie was one of fourteen children, and perhaps because he was such a creative child, his brothers and sisters had a hard time understanding him. “They did not understand why I was always building stuff. It made me play a lot by myself. I tried to fit in, but I was the black sheep….I’ve been making toys since I was a kid. It is toys to me, if I called them anything else I wouldn’t know what I was talking about.” Charlie’s grandfather, Melvin Jordan, was a gun smith and chair caner, and his great-grandfather, Cane Jackson was a blacksmith. “My great-grandfather Jackson was the gentlest man I ever knew,’ Charlie related, “I would go and watch him work. He never did anything too fast or too slow. He would say, ‘I’m going to do this today,’ and he would do it. He always put God in his work and through him, I put God in my work.”
At fourteen, Charlie left home and took to the streets. ‘I stayed with friends and worked construction. I always found a job. All I needed was a bucket and a painting brush, that’s all I needed. I would go to different towns, knock on doors and ask people if they needed work done. People would give me jobs to do. I would do a good job and they would recommend me to somebody else. I didn’t get tired of traveling. I went to Florida because I wanted to see new things. I worked on a dock there.
In 1971, Charlie came back home to Autauga County. Charlie’s inspiration for coming back was his love for Annie (Lykes). “I grew up with Annie. I always told her that I would come back and get her when I got an apartment. In 1971 I came home and got her. Here we are twenty years later.”
Charlie and Annie made their home in Autauga County and had six children, but a serious back injury put Charlie in bed for almost a year. “That’s when I started working in metal.” Charlie remembers, “I asked God to let me do something that nobody else can do. I called myself the Tin Man because I only had ten dollars in my pocket.”