Lil' Chucky Charley is the title song of the album and just happens to be the name of Ron Surrey's eight year old character who discovers his jug jar, bug friends, and talent for playing the guitar in an unexpected, magical way. He lives in a little shotgun house in the country side of Wilkinson County, Georgia (1957). The oldest of three siblings born to Mother Mary and Charlie aka Slim.
Our country boy enjoys shooting marbles, swimming, climbing pecan and black walnut trees, picking pears, mulberries, black berries, wild plums and grapes. His favorite color is blue like the sky and a faded pair of overalls with a missing medal button. Throw in a pair of worn-out army boots or bare feet, wool Knickers, or an oversized, dark blue with pinstripe old man’s suit and his ensemble is complete for any singing recital.
In school, Lil’ Chucky Charley is a natural history enthusiast. He often day dreams about life outside of his school books and chores of rounding up pigs, catching chickens, and chopping wood. Little Charley desires to travel the world like Huckleberry Finn. His guitar and bug friends are an escape from reality to explore his adventures.
In 1963, the lad left Macon, Georgia with less than $3.00 in his pocket.
While in Atlanta, he would travel to school with the other children. They would go to the classroom; he would go to the cafeteria to work. They got academic knowledge. He got life experience. Life informed him that his name was not legally Charles, but Roni (this is not a typo) Eugene Surrey. That was a life-changing experience. Little Charles, now known as Roni, always had a vision of a better life so once again, after saving a little money, he took advantage of an invitation from a friend who had moved to New York. He made his way to the streets of New York, New York where "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere." Roni probably could have made it there, but his friend’s family were not teetotalers; they would rather drink than eat. They didn’t feed him. It didn’t take him long to realize this was not the place for him, so he bid his friends farewell and took a bus to New Britain, Connecticut where his mother and baby sister were.
Always looking for ways to better himself, he left New Britain for a short period of time to attend the Job Corps in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Upon completion of his training he returned to New Britain. On Christmas Day, 1968 he proposed to Versie Tomberlin, who accepted. The engagement didn’t last long because in January of 1969, Uncle Sam needed him. He was drafted at the age of 19. Because of the draft and the Vietnam War, Ron and Versie married on February 8, 1969 and on February 19 he boarded a bus to New Haven, Connecticut and later that evening found himself in Fort Dix, New Jersey, his station for basic training. He was in the Army now! He served in the Army from 1969–1971 and did a tour of duty stationed in Vinh Long, Vietnam for one year, (1969–1970). In February 1971 Ron, having received an honorable discharge, walked out of the military barracks in Neptune, New Jersey and re-entered civilian life.
The young man dropped out of school at an early age, but after his Army experience returned to Connecticut to complete his high school education in the Hartford public school system. He continued his secondary education at Tunxis Community College, receiving his Associates degree, and later matriculated at Central Connecticut State University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Social Work in 1986. He received his Masters and Ph.D in Theology from International Seminary, Plymouth, Florida in 1990 and 2007, respectively.
Chris founded PaintBox Laboratories, LLC in 2006, after 14 years of multicultural and general market experience. A creative visionary and strategist, he has focused his creative talents on integration of new, interactive and entertainment media. His vision of a cross-cultural team of strategist is realized in PaintBox Laboratories.
Prior experience includes stints at Digitas, Momentum Worldwide, MRM Partners/McCann-Erickson, Ogilvy & Mather, Euro RSCG, TBWA, and UniWorld. As a Senior Creative at Deutsch, he co-created a national campaign for Domino’s Pizza called “Bad Andy. Good Pizza” which landed the account. His extensive experience in the viral and guerrilla marketing world included crafting non-traditional marketing for such clients as American Express, Intel, Cadillac, 1-800-Collect, GNC, Volvo, Burger King, 3Musketeers, Budget Truck Rental, A&W Root Beer, New Balance, PCH, Ford, MCI and Bank of America.