Remembering J. Joseph Garrahy

I was so sorry to hear about J. Joseph Garrahy’s death today. He was the former Governor of Rhode Island. Back in 1977, when I was 10, I won an art contest and got to meet him at the State House. It was a big moment for Little Me. It was one of the first times that art had made things happen for me, if you know what I mean.

Then, the next year, Garrahy was the hero of the Blizzard of ’78! Everyone here remembers him as the guy in the plaid shirt and the “take charge” demeanor that helped us all dig out of the mountains of snow and problems.

I drew this portrait of him in 1982. He was Governor from ’77-85.

(NOT a great portrait, but then, I never was a realist!)

I had met him again in recent years, and he was still a smart, friendly and excellent guy.

He will be missed. Perhaps he will be hanging out with Salty now, sharing a heavenly Del’s, and looking over Little Rhody!

New Year, New Book!

The ol’ Chat Rabbit has been largely silent for a number of weeks due to holiday happenings… but I have a new book that just came out on New Year’s Day. It’s all about everyone’s favorite President, Abe Lincoln! Words by the incomparable Marion Dane Bauer, pictures by me, and published by Scholastic.

Get yourself an copy and witness… Abe as a boy!

Abe debating stuff!

Abe at war!

Honestly, so to speak, this book is intended to be a first look at Lincoln for the preschool set. I had to do a lot of research to make sure things were portrayed as accurately as possible, but still readable and visually interesting for very young children. It was a challenge! This is a companion book of sorts to the Christopher Columbus book I illustrated a couple of years ago. Here’s hoping this book finds it’s way into many kids’ hands!