Charles Fink, a resident of The Village at Palmerton, celebrated his 86th birthday April 22. Born in Lakemont (near Altoona), he enlisted in the Navy out of high school and was stationed in Hawaii. By the end of World War II, he was sent to Japan.

After the war ended, Chuck went to work as a truck driver for Eastern Express, taking tractor trailer loads across the East Coast on 10-hour trips. He worked for the company for 24 years and later for PIE Trucking Company.

When asked how he met his wife he said, "Norma's friend was dating my best buddy. She told Norma to come out with all of us one evening and that's how we met."

He said she was a bit reluctant going on a blind date, as most girls are, but it worked out very well. The couple married in August of 1954 and stayed in Lakemont for the next 11 years.

Chuck continued driving big rigs, and in 1965 the company relocated him to the Northampton area, foreseeing the completion of Interstate 80, thus opening a line from east to west.

Chuck retired in 1989, and they decided to travel.

"Camping was our thing," said Chuck. "We traveled a lot to places like Canada, Nova Scotia, Las Vegas, and all over the Smoky Mountains, but our favorite times were spent in Cape Hatteras, N.C. on the Outer Banks. We visited there the most, even when the kids were small. It's beautiful and peaceful."

Chuck and his wife Norma have three children. Richard is retired from the Army and lives in Illinois; Denver lives in Cementon (Lehigh County); and Edward lives in Jim Thorpe.

They have four grandchildren. Richard's son Michael is a West Point graduate stationed in Fort Knox, Ky. His son Frank still has a year to complete his studies at West Point. Edward's daughters Autumn and Kerri live in Walnutport.