Rob's Blog

Other Travels

April 7 & 8, 2009 – Arrival Germany!

by on Apr.20, 2009, under Caricatures, Cartooning, Other Travels, What's New?

The troupe for the USO lands in Frankfurt, Germany.

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Here’s Jack Davis and Jef Mallett coming off the plane in Frankfurt.

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We arrived at the Hotel Christine and settled in for a nights rest and get ready for a very busy next day.

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The next morning we were welcomed by the USO’s Konrad Braun who guided our visits. He’s at left and then Bill Hinds, Jack Davis and Dave Coverly.

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We were taken first to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center where we visited many troops and did our best to leave them with a smile as we had at Walter Reed Medical Center. Above is one of the surgeons.

2009-0408-uso-lunch My lunch. That is Pecan pie.

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At the USO Warrior Center we all gathered and drew away! Above is Jack Davis and below is Jeff Bacon.

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Above is Kyle at the Warrior Center and below is Colonel Harris who escorted us around the medical center grounds.

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The group photo at The Warrior Center. Jeff Bacon, myself, Bill Amend, Bill Hinds (in the back), Dave Coverly, Jef Mallett, Mike Ramierez and Jack Davis.

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My only time spent outside the itinerary was following a few of the guys to a place called The Tree Bar. The three drawings above and below were down there. Below that is an interior photo of the underground spot. Unfortunately for me, no milkshakes served there.

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April 5 & 6 2009 – The Honor to Entertain – Day 1!

by on Apr.14, 2009, under Caricatures, Cartooning, Editorials, Friends, Other Travels

It was a group of us that made our way from various locales across the country to meet in Washington, D.C.  Our objective was the military bases around Ramstein, Germany.  But first a stop at Walter Reed Medical Center to entertain the troops there and hopefully put a smile on the faces of our greatest American heroes.

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This is Sunday night at dinner after we all arrive in Washington, D.C. Bill Amend shows Jack Davis a photo. Bill Hinds &, our fearless leader who brought this all about, Jeff Bacon.

It was an early call Monday morning. We had Walter Reed to cover and then the flights to get to Germany.

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Here we go enteting Walter Reed Medical Center. That’s Jack Davis, Bill Hinds, Mike Ramierez, Jef Mallett,  Bill Amend and Dave Coverly.

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Here is a fuzzy photo of the amazing statue that greets you at the door of Walter Reed.

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Here we are drawing at the hospital. Jack Davis, Bill Amend, Mike Ramierez, Jef Mallett, Jeff Bacon and Dave Coverly.

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Here is Alexis, a USO volunteer, who has a niece and nephew that go to the same elementary school I did, Princeton Elementary in Orlando, Florida.

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Here is our guide William that lead our way through the corridors of the medical facility.

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June 7, 2008 – Batman in Arkansas!

by on Jun.07, 2008, under Other Travels, What\'s New?

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Our Saturday morning started with Mindy Bianca, public relations director of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, who had specially shipped for the SATW group the hot out of the Hershey chocolate ovens the above Reese’s bat shaped candy. It’s a promotional tie-in for the new Batman movie coming out in a month. Funny, they tasted nothing like a bat.

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The Saturday speaker was Shel Holtz, an expert on multi-media communication. This was an extremely good talk that spanned three hours. I was floored by the amount of travel writers not yet plugged in to the internet.

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Later we went on a culinary tour of Little Rock. Above is plant life in a restaurant named ‘So’.

We were up the next Sunday morning for a 4:30am bus ride for a 6am flight home.

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June 6, 2008 – Touring Hot Springs, Arkansas!

by on Jun.06, 2008, under Other Travels, What\'s New?

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The SATW chapter group was carted off to Garvan Gardens, an extention of the University of Arkansas, near Hot Springs. It’s quite an expanse of natural Arkansas. Loys of hiking trails and waterfalls. Above is a sketch of a smaller waterfall.

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We were next taken into Downtown Hot Springs. There we toured the Fordyce Bathhouse historic site of what we would call today ‘Spas’. A photo of it is above.

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Above is an early version of human steam cleaning. The head of the person would stick out of the hole on top. The sink beside it is to clean whatever someone wants to clean of ones self.

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Here is the men’s steam room. An elaborate place and quite the opposite of the ladie’s area. It seems men more used these places than women. Notice the elaborate statue that is a center piece of the room. The dolled up lady was our period guide.

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We ended the day taking a ride on the Arkansas Queen, which provided food and music. Above is a sketch I did at the top of the Queen of a bridge we went by. While there a nearby table had the last members of a WWII group of  Navy veterans. There were three of the naval USS CAPPS reunion. Apparently there are five left of this submarine crew who, according to member Al Saunders, had eight missions and saw plenty of action. The action is subsiding now that time is taking the crew away. Saunder’s commander was there across from him. Appearing to be in his 90s, you could still see the seaman in him. I did a drawing of the two with Saunders, who has a great sense of humor, bumbling in front of his commander on a sub. They loved it! I’m sorry i didn’t get a phot of the drawing or them. The commander’s wife told me this would be the last gathering of this CAPPS group. They were getting to old to travel so far to meet. They are a tribute to our country and all should be better educated to understand the importance of our military and their maintenance of our liberty.

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Above was our entertainment for the evening. That rounder fellow sure can play a banjo!

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June 5, 2008 – Touring the Clinton Presidential Library!

by on Jun.05, 2008, under Other Travels, What\'s New?

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The Society of American Travel Writers had a big soiree at the Clinton library in Little Rock. Obviously not one of my favorite places to be, but I got lots of reference material out of the trip. This is the only location, besides the White House, with an exact replica of the Oval Office. Above is one of many photos I took of that.

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Above is a photo of a fractions of the Clinton papers kept at the library. All of the papers at the library is a fraction of all of Clinton’s papers.

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Art: Chilhuly original in the library.

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June 4, 2008 – More Arkansas touring!

by on Jun.04, 2008, under Other Travels, What\'s New?

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We awike to the roar of lions and tigers in our little cottage in Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. We had heard the day before of the baby tigers born in the last two weeks. We were the first people outside of staff to see the little fellers. There they are above.

Kerry Krauss, of the State of Arkansas tourism was all prepared to take me, Sandra and St. Petersburg Times, Bob Jenkins, around again. Sandra and I had a request for a stop. A doctors office. Kerry took us to the best place she knew of minutes away. What a place! Eureka Springs Hospital. We’ve never been seen so fast. Sandra was first. She was seen within FIVE MINUTES! Out again within halk an hour. WOW! The attentiveness and thoroughness was staggering. Even the connecting pharmacy was careful to go over each medicine. We had six medicines each to take. The diagnosis: Sinusitis. Sandra’s is determined to be severe.

We contined the tour with Kerry and Bob. We made our way back to Little Rock. We stopped at Neighbors Mill Bakery and Cafe. Below is a sketch I drew there. I picked up a loaf of bread for my youthful 100 year old friend, Lucile Fair, a bread connoisseur.

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Soon we were back at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock.

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June 3, 2008 – Touring northwest Arkansas!

by on Jun.03, 2008, under Cartooning, Other Travels, What\'s New?

By Tuesday I rejoin Sandra for the Eureka Springs familiarity tour. We’re both still sick. I’m feeling better but thinking Sandra needs to see a doctor.Since Sunday a great lady with the State of Arkansas, Kerry Krauss, is our tour guide. We had a lot of fun with her.

We were taken everywhere in the area. One stop was a boat ride. I pulled out the sketch pad and the watercolors. I guess it was sickness that got me thinking that I should be watercoloring on a boat. To the right is one watercolor sketch I did. By teh way, the water I used for the paint was the water that had splashed onto the deck. 

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2008-00603-ark-tiger.jpg Our last stop of the day is at Turpentine Springs where critter preservation is maintained. Click here to leran more about them. We toured around and saw plenty of tigers (Like the one above), lions and bears. I did a ton of sketching as quick as I could and keep up with the tour.That night we stayed in the camping type cottages they have there.

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June 1 – 2, 2008 – Sick and Color in Arkansas!

by on Jun.01, 2008, under Cartooning, Other Travels, What\'s New?

2008-00601-ark-crescenthote.jpg Sunday we were taken up to Eureka Springs, in northwest Arkansas. To the right is a photo of the Crescent Hotel we stayed for the next three days.2008-00602-monkeyart.jpg

By this time Sandra and I realize the plane ride has greatly enhanced our illness. Sandra goes on the familiarity tours around the area for the next two days. I hold back for the next two days for two reasons: 1) To get rest and drink endless fluids. 2) To finish a project that is due. I never thought that the illness I had already had had for a week would get worse. Especially after the doctors visit last Wednesday. I was feeling awful. I still got the project finished. The last part of the project was coloring lots of illustrations. It was tough coloring such a happy monkey as the one above.

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May 31, 2008 – Little Rock, Arkansas!

by on May.31, 2008, under Other Travels

2008-0531-ark-trolley.jpg We arived in Little Rock , Arkansas Saturday afternoon. We settled into The Peabody there. We made a trip to ‘The Hop’. A hamburger place a couple blocks from The Peabody.
There we had some magnificent burgers. While there I opened the sketch book and looked out the window of the restaurant and drew. Since seeing cartoonist/ illustrator Bob rich’s sketchbook in New Orleans the week before. It inspired me to fill up the sketchbook.

Above is the Downtown streetcar. To the right is a building across the street. Below are an assortment of people passing by.

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May 25, 2008 – National Cartoonists Society!

by on May.25, 2008, under Cartooning, Other Travels, What\'s New?

2008-0525-ncsbrkfst-tomstan.jpg Sunday morning started with brunch. Here’s Archie comics cartoonist Stan Goldberg (seated) speaking to a fan. Behind him is cartoonist Tom  Stemmle asking when the Reuben Awards start. Tom and
I spent most nights talkin’ Sinatra and cartooning until the wee small hours throughout the event. We were both pretty bleary eyed each morning.
2008-0525-neworlpalacerest.jpg Sandra, ‘Dick Tracy’ artist and with the ‘Dick Tracy Museum’, Richard Pietrzyk, cartoonist Ann E. Sabo and myself made our way to the Garden District of New Orleans. There we strolled the rich architecture of the residential neighborhood, got coffee at ‘Just Perkin’ and books at the Garden District Bookstore’. The sketch to the left is of a restaurant in the neighborhood.
There were, of course, the neigborhood cemetery. The sketch is looking in the gated ‘Lafayette Cemetary No. 1’.We had a great time at the 2008 N.C.S. Reuben Award dinner and look forward to next year in Hollywood, California. 2008-0525-lafayettecemetary.jpg
2008-0525-ncs-josedelbo.jpg That Sunday evening we had a Mardi Gras parade. Here’s comic book artist and former teacher of mine, Jose Delbo dancing. Actually I’m still learning plenty from Jose, so he’s a continuing teacher.
Joe Wos, cartoonist and of the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, and Mike Peters think they are twins. That’s my fedora Mike has swiped.The parade from the Ritz-Carlton to the restaurant and dinner afterward was terrific fun!I was pretty exhausted by then and unknowingly getting really sick by then. Nevertheless had a great conversation on the future of the future, a favorite subject, with Sam Viviano at dinner.Later Tom Stemmle shut everything down again, with help from editorial cartoonist Paul Fell. 2008-0525-ncs-joewospeters.jpg
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MAy 24, 2008 – NCS Reuben Weekend!

by on May.24, 2008, under Cartooning, Other Travels

As usual there were many seminars and meetings at the annual Natioonal Cartoonists Society Reuben Weekend. Here’s a sketch of the back of of cartoonings greatest enthusiasts and such a kind man, Bill Wilson, at one of those meetings.  2008-0524-ncsbizmeetbwilson.jpg

That night was the annual Reuben Awards.

Here is the big winner: Al Jaffee of Mad Magazine won the ‘Cartoonist of the Year’ award. He has been creating art for the mag for nearly fifty years. His fold-ins are as great as ever.With his was the Master of Ceremonies: Mike Peters of ‘Mother Goose and Grimm’. 2008-0524-ncs-jaffeepeters.jpg 
The next big winner was cartoonist Sandra Boynton with receiving the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. 2008-0524-ncs-sandraboynton.jpg 
2008-0524-ncs-reestom.jpg Two other big winners: Cartoonists attorney, Stu Rees, who received the Silver T-Square Award for volunteerism. With Stu is best Advertising Illustration award winner Tom Richmond.
Here is New Yorker gag cartoonist and author, Mort Gerberg with his award for best Gag Cartoon. He was also part of our Habitat for Humanity crew. I can only hope that I will have as much energy next year as Gerberg does now.  2008-0524-ncs-gerberg.jpg
2008-0524-ncs-billschorr.jpg Bill Schorr won for best Editorial Cartoonist.
2008-0524-ncs-norton.jpg After the awards it became a room full of crazies in tuxedos. Here’s cartoonist and scientific illustrator, John Norton. 
Cartoonist and great influence on me with his ‘101 Pickle Jokes’ many years ago, Don Orehek wears his chapeau.  2008-0524-ncs-donorehek.jpg
2008-0524-ncs-kovalesky.jpg Finally we find cartoonist John Kovalesky declaring himself the Best Dressed Dude of the evening.

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