What Ever Happened to Charlie Brown?
Brown is possibly the best football player to come out of Jefferson City. He never lost a game for legendary coach Pete Adkins.
But, one day after leaving school, Brown wasn't allowed to eat in a local restaurant because he is black. His parents lived on the east side of town, until the new expressway forced them to move.
"I remember, on one occasion, some social workers brought some food by the house. And my dad had too much pride, and said, 'No.' And I said to my mom, 'What's wrong with him? I'm hungry,' Brown recalled. "We survived. There were good times and bad times."
But for the past 23 years, Brown's life has been remarkably different. He earned his doctorate, but regrets his parents were unable to see him do so.
"If they could have seen me," Brown reminisced.
After retiring as deputy superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools, the Capital City called and asked him to be assistant commissioner of the Missouri Department of Education.
"You think kids come to school because they love history or love algebra? What they love is the arts, music, sports," Brown explained. "If kids have those activities, then they're going to do well in their academic endeavors. They cut those things first, but those are the [things] that get kids to come to school."
If state lawmakers agree, Brown said legislation should follow to implement his Foundation Plan, which would better fund education and help keep extra-curricular activities.
"I hope that I'm a role model and an image for young people," Brown said.
He lives with his wife, Shirley, and their two children in St. Louis. The family also owns a 100-acre farm outside Jefferson City. Brown, a country boy at heart, said they should be moving back to Jefferson City soon, if he can convince his wife.