Charles Nickless turns 50.
California, MD – Reaching the lofty age of 50 might be something some people might want to keep a secret. For Charles Nickless of St. Mary’s County, there really wasn’t a choice. He was outnumbered by his siblings. According to his sister, Virginia Richardson, on Nickless’ 50th birthday Friday, April 7 there were 50 signs scattered throughout a portion of St. Mary’s.

The signs said things like “Relax, Charles…turning 50 doesn’t mean you’re an old geezer!” “Happy 50th birthday, Uncle Charlie! You’re the Best!” and “Hey, Uncle Charlie Rocks.”

So how did Charles handle all this? “It turns out he drove up on my sister Theresa when she and a nephew were posting one of the signs at the end of Trapp Road,” said Richardson. “He was driving another nephew’s truck that had tinted windows, so she didn’t realize it was him at first. When he finally put down the window, he looked at her and told her ‘busted!’ My nephew was laughing and it really was quite funny. He [Charles] did agree not to take down any signs that night.”

Richardson said later when Charles arrived home “he parked the trailer he was pulling, up against the guardrails at the end of the street. When he did that he noticed what he thought was a guy out in the field behind the townhouse where he lives. He said he then went to the truck and got a baseball bat. He proceeded to walk over to the ‘guy’ he saw. But he said as he got closer ‘he seemed to disappear. Then as I looked closer he seemed to disappear. Then as I looked closer, I realized it was a damned sign.’ ”

According to Richardson, the 50 signs were spread from Scotland Beach to St. Andrews Church Road along Route 5 and Route 235, and out to Budds Creek.

The family reports Charles took all the signs down himself. Instead of a birthday party family members gathered for dinner Friday evening, April 7 at the local Golden Corral.
“I am glad he had a good time turning 50,” said Richardson. “It was a lot of work to make the signs and such, but as a group effort, it was a lot of fun.”

Contact Marty Madden at