Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

10 Second Memory: Charlie the House Spider

Hercules the Spider
I grew up in a home built in 1927 in Wenonah, NJ. I have fond memories of that house: it's creaking floors and stairs; the great big trees in the yard surrounding the house; the large wooden front door; the steep staircase and elegant wooden oak banister; the 70's style kitchen. There are just too many to list. Curiously, we also had a bunch of house spiders. Not too many, just here and there. They would hide out in the room corners of the 10 foot ceilings.

The other evening I was in my current home in Lake Wynonah, PA , (yes basically same name, pretty ironic, huh?) and came across a VERY LARGE furry wolf spider. I was fascinated by it. He was by far the largest spider I have seen in the last couple years. This sucker was a good 1 1/2 inches across if not larger! He was pretty bold and didn't try to get away until actually went after him. And so I named the brave spider Hercules.

I called to John who was in the next room to come and see this huge tarantula! He exclaimed WHAT??? I said, OK OK, it's not that big, but big enough! He wanted no part of it but I convinced him to get me a cup and beer coaster so that I could scoop him up and deposit him outside ... the spider, not John.

I am a catch-and-release type guy wherever possible. Bugs, spiders, and creepy crawlies don't bother me. In my eyes, they are G-d's creatures and deserve to live, just not in my house but perhaps in the woods out back?

I moved in to scoop up Hercules the Spider and he knew I was coming after him. After a tense moment or two, I gently flicked him with the coaster into the cup and took him outside but not before snapping a pic or two and spying on the little furry beastie. He was a beautiful specimen I have to say.

With it being one of the most holy days of the Jewish faith, Yom Kippur, AND with Pope Francis visiting the US on a historic trip, I chose to follow through with my catch-and-release mantra and release him out behind the house. I released him onto the base of a large tree while balancing a flashlight on the little beastie. He turned around, paused and looked at me before quickly scurrying down the trunk into the dewy grass.

I remembered back to those house spiders in my home on 205 East Maple Street. We would see one once or twice a month and get scared by it. Dad came up with this ingenious idea of naming it Charlie rather than trying to perform a balancing act on a ladder to try and get it. So every time we saw a spider way up in the corner of the ceiling, we would just say "Oh, it's just Charlie! Hi Charlie!" We came to see those house spiders as a good luck symbol of sorts.

When we were out on the road on vacation in an unfamiliar hotel and would see one, we'd just say it was Charlie's cousin from down South or from the West depending on where we were. Dad would then dispose of it as we went about our business going through souvenirs or writing postcards. Haha. :)  I love my Dad because he took the fear out of spiders for us. Whenever I see one, I think of Charlie. And now if I see a really BIG spider, I'll name him Hercules.


  1. This is a great story about Charlie and Hercules Memories are fun things at time and sad things at other times. Keep up the writing. Tell John hi.

  2. No matter how or why you name them...your Dad had the right idea...dispose of them...quickly and quietly. I don't know a safe one from a poisonous one. All I know is get rid of them...they are fugly! Jack Ross Sr.