Farmer hopes to find love with sign in pickup


The "Girlfriend Wanted" message in his pickup truck window has been there for seven years, without a reply who could be a match for a lonely farmer who spends much of his free time helping churches distribute food, clothing and toys to needy families.

But Charles Langdon remains hopeful.

"I just figured it was more a way of direct advertising," he said.

It has been a struggle for Langdon, who stands just an inch over 5 feet tall and suffers from a severe hearing loss.

Langdon farms 1,700 acres with his father and brother, producing grass seed they ship as far away as Argentina and China.

But he lives alone in a house on the farm. He graduated from Harrisburg High School in 1982 without ever dating.

Langdon blames his short stature partly on the Vitamin D-resistant rickets that afflicted him as a child. And his hearing loss has worsened since high school, thanks to a bout with an inner ear disorder called Meniere's disease and a lifetime of exposure to noisy farm machinery.

"I missed a lot of things back in school that I didn't realize I'd missed until later," Langdon said.

Even with the hearing aid he wears now, social interaction can be difficult, Langdon said.

"If I'm always asking you to repeat yourself, that makes it hard to meet people in an everyday setting," he said.

Now, at 44, he spends most of his time working or helping out at God's Storehouse, a nonprofit agency operated by several Harrisburg churches.

"We love Charlie," said volunteer Mary Helms. "He's our biggest donor of school supplies. He brings things in all the time boxes of new paper, pencils, pens and scissors. He's very faithful."

Storehouse director Mary Huffman agreed, pulling out her Charlie folder, stuffed several inches thick with records of his past donations of new items. If not for Charlie, a lot of families would go without, she said.

During the holiday season, Huffman said, Langdon goes out and buys news things for children.

"I enjoy shopping for bargains in my free time," he said with a modest shrug. "I know kids need school supplies, and it's something to keep me busy."

Langdon said he tried personal ads, then online dating services without success.

When he tried the sign in his pickup with his phone number, he got quite a few calls, "although I could never be sure if it was someone serious or just joking around," Langdon said.

He even had a few dates. "Some were fun, but no one was really what I was looking for," he said.

Andrea Cabral, president of the Hearing Loss Association of Lane County, said that Langdon &

a devoted member of the group &

would make a good catch for some woman.

"I'd call him a prince," she said.

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