unassuming building with the antique Chrysler parked out front and
the ExecutiveBooks.Com sign is not what one would assume from the
outside. It was, in fact, the personal library of my dear, long-time
friend, the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. I write this in the
past tense because Charlie died October 16, 2008. I took these photos
on my next to the last visit I had with my friend about two months
before he passed away.
you can see from the other interior photos, this building held a
treasure in old and antique books and other memorabilia. There is
nothing new in this room. There are no new or current books. There
are no new or current recordings. There are no new or current
paintings, photos or graphic works. Even the fliers, brochures and
booklets on the tables are vintage or antique.
That is a real, working player piano with a large selection of piano
rolls. You can see one threaded in the window on the piano. Over near
the windows there is a wax cylinder player. I believe it was an
Edison unit. There was a large selection of historic wax cylinders
including some important speeches. There was also an old Victrola
from the Victor Talking Machine Company with a collection of historic
78 rpm phonograph records.
was an aura about this room. Over the years I knew Charlie, I had
been in the library on several occasions. The building stood adjacent
to the guest house Charlie maintained on his small farm in
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. For many years during some of the
tougher times and the start-up days of his publishing business and
his international speaking career, this guest house was his
headquarters. The building where the library was housed was the
warehouse. Charlie had his personal, private office in the guest
house where it remained until his death. Yes! There was a sizable
library of books there, too. Some of those were more contemporary.
Charlie and I spent many hours in conversation in that comfortable
you look around the library you'll see all kinds of books. Charlie
loved books, all books. There were many first editions. He would be
speaking to a huge audience and he'd hold up a book and kiss it to
get his point across. I don't recall a lot about Charlie's childhood
or education. I know he was originally from Alabama. I don't recall
if he attended college. He became an insurance salesman for one of
the largest U.S. insurance companies at age 22. By age 23 he was
winning major sales awards. By 30 he was one of the most successful
insurance sales people in the U.S.
room is the essence of Charlie Jones' love of books, learning and
sharing the books and the knowledge gained from them. During his
lifetime he published countless books for, at the time, lesser known
or unknown authors, several of his own books, supplied millions of
books to individuals and businesses and spoke to over 5,000 audiences
around the world. To say I cherish these photos and the photos I have
with Charlie, is an understatement.
building still exists. It's now owned, along with the guest house, by
one of Charlie's daughters and her husband. I haven't been in either
building since the ownership changed. I do know the library, and
everything it represented to Charlie, to me and the countless others
who visited it, is gone. Charlie had made arrangements to donate all
of its contents prior to his death. So, being in that room in the
past and now looking at these photos is definitely a “blast from
the past” for me. However, while the library is gone, it will never
be forgotten, nor will my friend, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones.