Sid’s Rent-a-Truck Part 2

I’ve gotten so many emails, I want to say thank yo for all of them. I will answer them all, but it will take some time. Here is an example. Ted (by the way, his email address is one of my characters. I don’t want to tell you which one in order to protect his privacy) met me years ago.

I don’t know where to start but let’s start with you.  I hope all is well with you and your wife and while I’ll miss the Piranha Club immensely, I am happy for you and you getting to retire.

I’ve been a regular reader of the Piranha Club (and Ernie) for as long as I can remember.  It’s has brought great joy and countless laughs to me, my wife and friends.  Let me mention a few ways in which you have touched my life;

I met you years ago with a friend of mine in Washington DC at a fundraiser for the National Cartoon Museum.  I purchased one of your original Sunday comics that day (Elvis turning back a car’s odometer by driving it backwards around the used car lot).  You also drew me a picture of Enos holding a martini which you addressed to my wife (my friend and I were suppose to head back to Philadelphia that night but decided to spend the night instead in Georgetown, my wife was not happy but your drawing eased my pain.)

I once brewed a batch of beer that I called “Ernie’s Beer”.  The label featured Ernie as well as Earl and listed among its finest ingredients “water from the swamps of Bayonne”.  I think I actually gave you a bottle when we met that day (or at least a label, I like beer).

I also founded a chapter of the Piranha Club at my watering hole, the Chestnut Hill Athletic Bocce Club.  While the allure of the chapter has since faded at the club, I still have the chapter certificate hanging proudly in my office along with the art work mentioned above.  Call it my little shrine to all that is Ernie and the Piranha Club.  I also have a number of Earl lapel pins as well as a few of your books.

One of our favorite strips was when Zerblatt was looking for a part for his spaceship and found it in a hardware shop.  Zerblatt states in the last panel “You’ve got to love these mom & pop hardware stores”.  My wife has worked at a little mom & pop hardware store in Chestnut Hill, PA for 20 years and that strip is taped to the front of the register for everyone to see and get a laugh from it.  But your observation was spot on, those mom and pop stores carry things you’ll never find in a Home Depot or Lowes.

Damn, I could go on and on.  I’d love to get together for a beer sometime but not sure if I’ll be in the Tampa Bay area any time soon.  You and all your wonderful characters will be greatly missed be myself and many, many other fans.

Take care and good luck!

Ted B

Can you see why I’m so appreciative of all the mail you’ve sent? Thank you.

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4 Responses to Sid’s Rent-a-Truck Part 2

  1. Torsten Adair says:

    I, too, was a member of the Washington, DC, chapter.
    I paid my annual dues to get the certificate and pin, and in the great tradition of the Piranha Club, have not paid since.

    Enjoy your retirement, and I look forward to your collections! (How do we buy them?)
    You were one of the few gag-a-day/story-a-week cartoonists, and your work always read best in chapter form! (I still remember hyperventilating while reading your helper monkey storyline!)

    • budgra5_wp says:

      That monkey story was a long time ago. I actually drew an original version when I first started cartooning, several years before Ernie. I still have some pins and other Piranha Club stuff. I ought to make them available on my blog here. As for the collections, you can find me on Amazon, look for Bud Grace of Ernie and the Piranha Club. On my blog menu bar there is a link to Buy Stuff. I will have to update it because I’m having problems with the printer just now.

  2. John P. Lucas says:

    Mr. Grace –

    As a fan of your humor and amazing work over the last 30 years, I would like to purchase an Earl Lapel Pin, or any other Piranha Club Stuff from you. Even a quick pencil drawing of Earl or Uncle Sid & Ernie playing poker. The pin would have a coveted place in my meager collection. It would not be resold on eBay or Amazon (where I can’t find one – dang it….), and would be worn proudly every time I hit the poker tables, and take on the other Sharks & Piranhas (some are actually squirrels & donkeys but I digress….). Please email me if you are willing to part with any of your “stuff”.

    Also looking forward to the various collections (even the censored, unpublished strips) hitting the bookshelves. Will any of them be available in eBook / Kindle format? Thanks so much for taking time out of your retirement to get these out to your fans. It is much appreciated, and the acclaim they will bring will be late in coming but very much deserved.

    I don’t recall who said you should retire on top, and leave your fans wanting more, but you have truly pulled that off, and you can count me among the jealous masses who are wanting more, and trying like all hell to do the same thing. Job, no – Career well done sir. I wish you and your family well in your retirement – may it be long, blessed, joyful, and healthy. It too is well deserved.

    As a fan I was happy to see that my personal prediction was right – that you would manage in some way to fit an ”urk” into the final panel of the final strip. You’ve made me laugh countless times with that simple three letter word intertwined with the wackiness, and reality of your characters, your view of real life & events in our world, and your timeless sense of humor. Thank you for the risks you took to help make us all see the humor in life, and stop for a short while to laugh about it, and relish in it. It truly is the best medicine…

    John P. Lucas / Greenfield, WI / jplucasHOME@wi.rr.com

    • budgra5_wp says:

      Just now (March 9) found this in my comments. It had been buried in spam. I installed a spam filter, and that’s how I found it. Sorry it took me so long to answer.

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