Archive for March, 2012

Don’t Murder Me

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


You may be wondering how my comic self is dealing with all this drawing energy being devoted to my new project (illustrating a childrens’ book). Obviously if I’m drawing kitties and piggies, chimps, rabbits, kangaroos and ducks, not to mention a supporting cast of humans, there will be a lot less time for Grandpa Mongrel and Aldo. I received this graphic statement from my alter-ego late last night, so I feel obligated to publish it to validate my inner weirdness.

Saul Fernau, Moe Leyder

Thursday mornings are my times to visit Angie’s Day Care. I read stories, sing songs, do fingerplays and movement activities. But first I’ve got to drive up a steep hill and go down into the valley where she lives. Coming down the driveway I have to drive slowly and obey the “Turkey Crossing” sign.

Come on, ya bunch of turkeys. Cross already!

Then I use my heat sensors to locate the gigantic dogs guarding the porch.

The readings are off the charts for this one.

Boy ballonista.

Girl balloonista.

After our indoor activities are finished we put on shoes and jackets for an outdoor activity. Today we launched rocket balloons. We were fortunate that Angie’s son, James, was around today to help us get our balloons out of trees and off the roof. Overall things went smoothly and it didn’t rain.

After leaving Angie and the kids I decided to make a quick stop in nearby Armstrong Woods State Park, home to some of the planet’s tallest trees. It was a little dark, damp and gloomy, but there are definitely some sights to be seen, even on a day like this. And I wanted to see how much water was in the creek.

The Creek.

Half of a big one.

If you start early enough you can have a lot of fun and still get home before lunch.

After a good soaking like we’ve had the last day or so the river can rise pretty fast. Look back at some of my earlier blog entries to compare similar views.

Russian River view toward Guerneville.

Just in case you want to know where the lost balls from Monte Rio School gather.

The Highland Dell looking a good deal lower. This is actually further from flooding than it looks.

We’re okay now, but another couple days of solid , hard rain would begin to flood low-lying areas and a few homes.

By the time I was ready to take off for my appointment with Bob Nichols the sun had come out with a little more confidence, and I was feeling a little more confident as well. I took it easy on the Bohemian Highway to Occidental, keeping an eye out for downed branches or mudslides, but the road was in fine shape. The salmon steps in Dutchbill Creek looked like mini-rapids from the brisk runoff. On the way I saw cattle on the hillside. You can often spot a deer or two trying to pass for cows in the mix.

Can you spot a deer?

I also saw the fire station cat staring back at me as I took her picture. I’m always looking for cat models these days.

Not even a meow hello.

When I got to Bob and Jen’s they made me feel right at home with coffee, pastry and smiles. Jen went forher daily walk around their delightfully woodsy neighborhood, and Bob and I got busy exchanging ideas and anecdotes. He showed me a book which documented his time at a theater in London where he performed with a “family” of vaudeville troopers. It was in England that he met director, Howard Hawks, and got his first film role, or should I say roles, in the hilarious screwball comedy, “I Was A Male War Bride”. In the film, which starred Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan, Robert actually appeared three different times, in different uniforms, with and withhout a mustache. When he appeared to be nervous about his first scene as an army motorcycle mechanic, Cary Grant took him aside and tried to put him at ease and bolster his confidence. Robert says he spent a good deal of that film at Grant’s side learning screen technique on the job. Robert described Ann Sheridan as a “wonderful person with a great sense of humor”. When he came to Hollywood at the bequest of director Hawks (for a part in “The Thing”) Sheridan threw a party for him to welcome him to the “neighborhood”. I could have gone on in this vein forever but didn’t want to wear out my welcome. I look forward to more visits as I produce more art and get further along with the real business at hand, illustrating Bob’s story. I did take a couple of pictures outside their beautiful home.

Bob did the shingles on the outside of the house himself.



Not A Rainy Day!

Posted: March 28, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

After getting about five inches of rain in the last thirty-six hours we are treated to a break in the preponderous percipitation. I actually thought I saw some sunlight, ran outside to get a photo, but it disappeared before I could turn my camera on. At least I don’t have to drive in the rain when I go to see Robert Nichols. As you may recall, he’s the actor/singer/dancer/playwrite who wrote the story I’m trying to illustrate. This will be my first visit to his home and I’m a little nervous about (a) finding the place and (b) showing him what I’ve done so far. I emailed him a drawing of Rosie, the protagonist in this Vaudevillian tale. He “loved” it. That was encouraging, but I am still a bit apprehensive about the scope of the story. There are a lot of characters.

Here’s a picture I tricked out with Picasa effects. It is a reverse of the quasi sunny day that met my eyes when I stepped out of the mobile mansion this morning.

Not my beautiful sun.

Here are the purple flowers that are usually alive with bees or hummingbirds. Not happening yet.


Here is a birdbath full to the brim with rain. Five minutes after I came back inside I saw three birds splashing around in it. You would think they’ve had enough water by now.

Splish splash.


Mulligan is a portly gentleman of fifty, sporting an impressive mustache. He is always in a stew in times of crisis, which is always. He is the impresario of the not so famous Rialto Theatre of Omaha, Nebraska, where Rosie was born.


This is a preliminary sketch of one of the main human characters in the childrens’ book that I am working on with author, actor, playwrite, Mr. Bob Nichols. The working title is “Rosie of the Rialto”.