Home  |  Photo Gallery  |  Message Board  |  Address Book  | What's New  |  Search

  Archives  |  Sponsors  |  LinksWebmaster

The following article appeared in the Friday, September 17, 1971 Daily News. It was contributed by Bob Olson. Photos of Charlie appear elsewhere on this site.


A Sad Goodbye to Charley

by Joseph Kiernan and Henry Lee

Light Demanded at Hit-Run Site

In anger as well as sorrow, Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, yesterday said goodbye to Charlie the Midget--by blocking all traffic from Gerritsen Ave., the only access to the peninsula.

A one-time circus performer, a friendly, outgoing little man known to hundreds of schoolchildren and their parents throughout Gerritsen Beach, Charley the Midget was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver at 11 p.m. Monday on Gerritsen Ave. at Avenue W.

All day yesterday, a crowd of about 150, most of them women, barricaded the wide avenue. Some brought baby carriages, others had chairs and many carried placards demanding a traffic light at the intersection.

"Don't Let Charlie Die in Vain," read one poster.

"We Need a Light for Charley!" proclaimed another.

Active in Community

Charley the Midget--50-year-old Charles Geary--was active in civic affairs in Gerritsen Beach and an enthusiastic member of Rev. J. Mathews Council, K. of C., at 2882 Gerritsen Ave.

Monday night, he helped out at a bazaar there, remaining afterward to clean up. Then, he started for his home at 3194 Avenue W. A Bachelor, Charley the Midget lived with a sister, Mrs. Mary Cunningham.

Mrs. Adelaide Farrell, owner of the monthly Gerritsen Globe, and her husband, John, heard what sounded like an auto crash outside their home at 2469 Gerritsen Ave. and ran out. They found Charley the Midget lying in the street.

A priest from nearby Resurrection Church at 2325 Gerritsen Ave. gave Charley the Midget last rites, and he was rushed to Coney Island Hospital. He died there an hour and a half later.

Racing Along Avenue

Angry residents, many of whom had known and loved Charley the Midget for more than a quarter of a century, said they had complained to the Sheepshead Bay station about drag racing along the avenue. 

Detectives there, who were investigating the death, said that the hit-run car was believed to have been a 1963 Dodge sedan.

Today, Gerritsen Beach will say another, softer goodbye to Charley the Midget. There will be a Requiem Mass for him at Resurrection Church at 9:30 a.m. Then he will be buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Farmingdale, L.I.

Last changed: June 28, 2002

Click on the image for a larger version and the caption.