“It’s A Wonderful Life” is the title of a 1946 movie starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. It is a title that aptly fits the life story of Charles Aubrey Haire. “Wonderful” fits not by accident, but because Aubrey, as he is called, by his nature made it so. Key elements of Aubrey’s character include faith, preparedness, creativeness, a willingness to take on new challenges, a strong and loving family relationship and a sense of community with ample room left over for fun.
Big Creek is a hydroelectric power village in the Sierra National Forest. Aubrey came to Big Creek as a young family man and spent much of his life there working for the Southern California Edison Company. Many people who have experienced living in Big Creek consider it to be the most memorable time of their life. Aubrey’s story gives meaning to that feeling, and he exemplifies the prevailing, positive attitude that goes with that experience.
On June 3, 2003, the Central Sierra Historical Society was honored to meet with Aubrey at his home at San Joaquin Gardens, Fresno where he narrated his history. Aubrey was joined by his daughter, Ginny Burnham. He began with his family background.