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