Charles Fritts was a young musician from Kentucky traveling the country with the likes of Peggy Sue and Barbara Mandrell. This was 44 years ago when he was a young man of 25. Charles was performing at a country music show in Arkansas when a young woman named Betty caught his eye from the crowd. She bought him a soda pop and stole his heart. In true rock and roll fashion they married quickly and moved together to Nashville.
Betty’s health began to suffer after the birth of their first son Ricky and they decided to move back to Kentucky. Charles would still travel to Dallas, Memphis and Nashville to back big name country acts at legendary venues like the Grand Ole Opry. His music even led him to meet the likes of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. But none of that was as important to Charles as Ricky and Betty were.
“One time when I was leaving for Memphis when Ricky was a little tiny thing, he could barely sit up. And when I came back from our show he crawled to the door to see me on his little knees! I looked at Betty and said it’s time to stop,” Charles says.
It is clear when you speak to Charles and Betty how grateful they are for everything they have, but they have a particular glow about them when they speak about their son Ricky and their grandsons Justin and Nathan. In fact, it was their son Ricky who researched Habitat for Humanity and got the application for his parents to fill out. When they applied to Habitat they were living in an apartment where their utility bills would reach over $500 and they would still be left cold in their home. Because this wiped out their savings they are especially excited about the energy efficiency of Habitat homes. In order to save up money for the down payment on their Habitat home they moved into their son’s garage where they currently reside. Their son and grandsons have been spending a lot of time on the construction of Charles and Betty’s new home because they are concerned about their current living situation. They are out there working alongside the crew almost every week.
Charles and Betty have not even moved into their Habitat house and they are already beaming with pride.
“When I visit our house as it’s being built, even though it’s just lumber right now I just stare at it. It’s just so beautiful; I just love looking at it. Even though it’s not a house yet I already don’t want to leave it. And all the volunteers who don’t know us but they come out to make our dreams come true. I just can’t believe it. It’s all so beautiful,” says Betty. Charles has plans for a garden and Betty is excited about being able to enjoy her porch in a safe neighborhood while she hosts her family over for dinners.