The Bash started many years ago when Bill Hoest, creator of the Lockhorns comic panel, wanted to show his cartoonist buddies the house he had designed and was in the process of building. He invited over members of the Long Island chapter of the National Cartoonists Society (a.k.a. “Berndt Toast Gang” named in honor of Walter Berndt, the cartoonist of “Smitty”) for lunch and a tour of the construction. After Bill passed away in 1988 his wife Bunny continued to host this annual gathering.
My wife Patti and I made the trip down last week. It was quite a long trip, but well worth it. Bunny’s home, the grounds and the ocean made an amazing backdrop for the event. Everyone was very welcoming to us newcomers. When we first arrived the skies were looking ominous, but after a very brief shower and wind storm, the sun broke through the clouds and conversations carried on, never missing a beat. We found out later that this storm produced a tornado which touched down in Bridgeport, CT creating all kinds of damage and sending 25 people to the hospital.
This is a picture taken from the back of the house. The house is constructed of old cobblestones that used to pave the New York City streets. Some of them still have the actual tar on them. The place is right on the water and is simply beautiful.
Above is a photo of me and cartoonist Mike Lynch who drove down from New Hampshire. Mike was the first person we met at the party and he had us laughing from the very start of the conversation.
We then met Ray Alma (Cartoonist Survey #124) and his wife Caryn who couldn’t have been more friendly to us. Ed Steckley (Cartoonist Survey #108) and his wife Heather showed up a little bit later and upon arrival Ed took Patti and I on a quick tour of the studio. On the way up to the studio, I took the above picture of legendary MAD magazine cartoonist and caricaturist Mort Drucker relaxing on the couch.
Here is Ed looking pensive while sitting at the drawing board. Note the original Lockhorns panels on the left hand wall.
Here I am sitting at the same drawing board.
It was such a treat to meet Mort Drucker, who was nice enough to pose with me.
I also had the honor to speak with long time New Yorker magazine cartoonist George Booth.