Charles, the milkshake man

art by Ava Hughes

art by Ava Hughes


Izzy Colón, copy editor

How many milkshakes does someone have to drink before growing tired of them? For Charles, that number does not exist. Minutes before the store closes, Baskin Robbin’s employees can always expect Charles to walk in the door eager to get his hands on a milkshake.

To the couple chatting in the corner and the group of teenagers laughing loudly outside, Charles is just an older man strolling in for some ice cream. They may not even notice the Marines baseball cap which is always planted on his head. Or the book he carries with dozens of papers protruding from the pages.

They do not know that he is not here for the same reason they are. Most people come to Baskin Robbins for the occasional ice cream, and that’s how Charles started out coming too. Until he began treatment for cancer.

Charles stopped getting shakes for a year and half simply because he could not taste them anymore. He describes his cancer treatment as sitting in a really comfortable chair and having poison pumped into him.

A gritty personality and 30 years spent in the Marine Corps, Charles has adopted a mindset of solving every problem put in front of him. Cancer was no exception.

Charles may have beat cancer, but there was a new problem set in front of him. He desperately needed to gain back the over 100 pounds he had lost, so with his tastebuds finally back he returned to the place he knew best: Baskin Robbins. And he comes back twice a day for a large milkshake, his book in one hand and his shake in the other.