Feb. 1, 2000
The telltale signs were in place. Comfortably arranged couches, plenty of candy, an anxious Jessica Love pacing in a cozy corner of the Hippodrome. The Program Board had another night of off-beat entertainment in store.
Awaiting the arrival of Charlie Noodles, the main event of Monday evening’s Story Hour, senior Anthony Rizzuto said a few words about how the Story Hour originated. He said the programs came together when Love, arts chair of the PB, convinced him to share some of his humorous personal experiences in the Thurston Hall Piano Lounge. A subsequent Story Hour featured GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg.
This gives us a time to just sit down and think about things we don’t normally think about, Rizzuto said.
And unless GW students are thinking about the homeless in the midst of clubs and fraternity parties, Rizzuto’s words ring true.
Theresa Saccardi is one of many GW students to befriend Charlie over the years. The smiling sophomore read an article for the more than 60 gathered, written for the Office of Community Service’s publication, Et Cetera, two years ago. Entitled A Man Named Noodles, the piece described Charlie in the ways that students still know him today: the ambassador of the homeless, and a friend and teacher to many students.
Junior Jeff Marootian fondly recalled that Charlie was the first person he met at GW, while participating in a Community Building Community program before beginning his freshman year. He introduced Charlie as one of the best friends I’ve ever had at GW.
Taking the floor, Charlie immediately began to narrate animated stories about his life and times around GW and beyond. Often they involved members of the crowd to the delighted embarrassment of his subjects.
First in the hot seat were sophomores Ayanna Jackson, Charisse Green, Galen Gregor and Alison Kram, giggling as Charlie recounted a mysterious incident with a sweet potato pie.
Charlie had a story for every occasion, from any part of the nation. A Jewish Story, and tales from Boston to the University of Maryland delighted all.
When I grew up in New York, it was very, very rough, he said, with all of the spunk and determination that has no doubt served as his lifeline throughout the years. Some of you walk around and call yourself a player. I put the `P’ in player back in 1956.
Charlie spoke fondly about the GW community and the friends he has made here.
I created what I called the Whiz Kids, he said. At the very last moment, they always come through to be winners.
Charlie explained his special love for GW students.
These kids are essentially different from the Georgetown University kids, the American University kids, he said. They’re out in the city. You’ve got some crazy people to deal with out there.
And GW loves him too. Many stayed well after the Story Hour just to chat with their longtime friend or intriguing new acquaintance.
Marootian described his friendship with Charlie.
It’s special because it’s based on genuine, unconditional love and respect, he said, adding that these attributes are difficult to find in the political climate at GW. Charlie is the kind of person who will do anything for you, no matter who you are.