I knew Charlie Alsheimer before I’d ever met him. Though we’d never shaken hands or nodded hello, I thought of him as a friend and kindred spirit. I was a deer hunter and Charlie spoke my language because he knew me, too. We became acquainted through the magazines I read each month—he wrote about deer and deer hunting and I couldn’t get enough of him. You just knew Charlie was a real deal kind of guy, the sort you would share a campfire with, somebody you would hunt with (more than once), and somebody you should listen to when he had something to say. Above all else, Charlie was my friend. When I learned of his death a few days after Christmas, it shook me to the core. I went back to listen to his unreturned phone message from a few days earlier. Heck, I’d get back to him in a day or so—no different than any other week. It was too late.