The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on November 17, 1987 · Page 16
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 16

Indianapolis, Indiana
Issue Date:
Tuesday, November 17, 1987
Page 16
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LifeStyle The Indianapolis Star TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1987 OFF E LEASE. Cartoonist stalks the human animal By KATHY WHYDE STAR STAFF WRITER In Off the Leash. W.B. Park uses animals to tell us what we're like as people. Characteristically, if you want to know about the cartoonist, listen to him talk about his dog: "If ever there was an animal who was truly off the leash, it was Larry. He was an English bulldog with a wild personality. He walked through screen doors. He once attacked a motorcycle that was going by the house he bit the front wheel. He was always digging out of the back yard. It became a battle of wills. I finally had to imbed the entire fence in cement. "One day when Larry was about 1 0, my wife called me at my studio. She said, 'Larry's dead.' I was very upset. I was in tears. Five minutes later she called back and said. 'Larry's alive!' Larry Is a very heavy sleeper. "My wife put up with him patiently all those years. When we got him. the vet told us an English bull had a life span of only eight or nine years. We finally had to put Larry to sleep at 13. "He was very sweet, but very difficult. I responded to his free-spirit approach to life. It's part of my personality." . ; First impressions hint that Park Is more mild-mannered than off the wall or off the leash. He wears wire-rimmed glasses, loafers and a pullover sweater. He speaks fondly of his wife of 25 years and their three children. He mentions that he still lives near the small town in central Florida where he was born. But Park has chosen the roller coaster life of a free-lance artist. Things have stabilized somewhat since the syndication of Off the Leash 2'a years ago. The one-panel cartoon appears in 60 newspapers, including The Indianapolis Star. "Now I know I have to do six drawings a week, and that I'll get a weekly paycheck. But It used to be there was no way to regulate my Income and flow of work. Very often, I'd be working through the night. Other times, I'd be sitting around, wondering If I'm still in business." Park was in town recently to speak to the Contemporary Club, a local literary group. Success didn't happen overnight Before Off the Leash, Park relied on other work drawings for Sports Illustrated, Travel and Leisure and Smithsonian magazines and cover drawings for Litigation, an American Bar Association quarterly Journal to keep him going. He has also had his work published In the New Yorker magazine, a showcase for cartoonists. "I've sold them 39 cartoons, but it took 13 rejections before I got accepted. It takes a while to get Into that inner circle. I'm not a regular yet, but they see me as an eventual contract artist." Off the Leash didn't exactly take off like a rocket. Park admits. "There was already someone into that genre Gary Larson." But while Larson's Far Side is a "zany, off-the-wall approach to humor, mine is more a reflection of human characteristics. I use the animal kingdom as a metaphor for what we do." The cartoon forces some structure for Park, who admits he's not a very methodical person. "I work in bursts of energy. I have different techniques for getting the Juices flowing. I look at work In another medium that excites me: I go to a fine art gallery or read a book. "One night I experimented by drawing with my left hand. All of a sudden I saw a line so different, like another person had drawn it. It was a mystical experience. To this day, when I'm having trouble creating. I draw a preliminary sketch with my left hand." Park, an art graduate of the University of Florida, lived for a while In New York City, where he studied at the School of Visual Art. He says his artistic influences include Goya. Lautrec, Daumler and Hogarth. His next goal is to get on the cover of the New Yorker. "I would like to make another assault on that mountain." His advice to would-be artists? "You have to be willing and able to sustain a tremendous amount of rejection. "Success and quality seem to have a problem getting together In our society. But I think I have done it, in a few cases." X j '-f"i ' "vfviMi!-1 t ..... - v w i mm i. . r t . " ,4 till n-fi k flit fs . , r 4, nil! 1H' 1VA r (4 ( s 1V k . iVjr -"v ,isf,i, fill "JFtJ'f 4! ft- tf . -.if t v i ! s, a 4 g ... .. -... J- .: " if 1 Cartoonist W.B. Park has found a way to combine his artistic freedom with financial security. "Harry, do you remember how dull our lives were before we got the cat?" "OK she cut off our tails she's not crazy about us are we gonna let that ruin our Ives?" Granny's name-calling upsets parents DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wonderful husband's name is Richard, although we call him "Rick." My adorable son's name is Richard, and we do not shorten the name. This arrangement was working fine, until my mother-in-law insisted on calling my adorable son "Rick," not "Richard." My poor adorable son is, needless to say. becoming very confused. How do we solve this problem without offending her forever and losing a valuable babysitter? GENTLE READER: One way is to think of her not as a baby sitter but as an adorable grandmother who makes her own pet names for her grandson, and as an adorable mother who naturally confuses her grandson with her son. This need not be a sign of dementia. All parents, at one time or another, call their descendants by the names of older relatives usually those of their own siblings or the child's siblings. A child who Is never called by the dog's or goldfish's name may consider himself lucky. Children, Miss Manners assures you, find their way through the confusion. ; Miss Manners By JUDITH MARTIN DEAR MISS MANNERS: A lovely female relative. 68 years old and In good health, will be coming soon for a two-week visit, and I need advice on how to graciously handle what has been an awkward situation in the past. We have young school-age children. Our day begins with a bang before 6 a.m.. and we're all in bed by 9:30 p.m., or 10 at the latest. She Often brings up the time difference during her visits, and it appears we run the earliest-rising household of anyone she visits. She travels more often than we have guests, so maybe I am doing something wrong. I would love it if she would just live on our schedule, but I also want to show some consideration. She does have a private room in which to sleep, but I have to keep everyone on tiptoe in the morning, GENTLE READER: With all due respect to the hospitality, the older generation, and aunts. Miss Manners must point out that it is the duty of the house guest to conform to the household routine, rather than the other way around. You can expect a houseful of children to be polite and considerate, but you cannot expect them to adopt the routine of a 68-year-old. Miss Manners suggests that you send her an enthusiastic welcoming letter accompanied by an apology for the difficulty she has in adjusting to your household routine. Ask whether there might be anything that would help her taking an afternoon nap, for example or whether she would prefer to stay in a nearby hotel, which would disappoint you, but which you would understand in the interest of her health. DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have recently begun the practice of saying a silent grace before all meals. This short pause of reflection makes the meal seem less hurried, and I have found that it greatly increases my enjoyment of whatever I eat. When I have meals out or with friends, I do not want to impose my beliefs, but I certainly do not want to compromise that belief for the sake of "social convenience." What is the best way to say grace in public or social settings. So far I have simply bowed my head without warning or explanation. This seemed to work fine, until a co-worker thought I had lost a contact lens at a luncheon, thereby calling undue attention to me and making a commotion. I don't feel that excusing myself to say grace is appropriate, but. I am uncomfortable announcing that I am going to say grace before eating. GENTLE READER: Miss Manners understands what you mean about not wanting to excuse yourself for saying grace. Just go ahead and say it. She wonders if your reasons are better than the ones you have given here, which seem to be more digestive than devout. The contact lens caper is an isolated instance, and rather a funny one at that. - United Feature Syndicate Committee. ..... I works to ' involve parents By BARB ALBERT STAR STAFF WRITER '':) Methods to lure parents Into'' their children's schools were dis-' cussed In Indianapolis Monday ' during a congressional hearing " aimed at breaking down barriers' between the home and school. Diane G. Winters, a teacher' at Welsser Park Elementary"; School in Fort Wayne, irivftes ' her pupils' parents to "sn&rk' ; and chat" informal meetings so they can let off steam or compare notes. m"z She also makes "goodpe.wj phone calls" to parents so they won't just hear from her when something is wrong. -". :- "Too often, parents feel that 'going to school' Is an invasion of . 'hallowed ground.' They should", not be made to be on the defen- -' sive, nor should they feel the teacher is the enemy," Winters testified before the U.S. House Select Committee on Children. 1 Youth and Families. i Parent Elaine M. Amerson whose two children attend In-s.'f dlanapolis Public Schools, found t that her views as a member of the IPS Middle Schools Improve-, ( ment Project committee were, taken seriously. ' . : "I didn't feel like I was treat-' ed like I was just a parent," shi;, said after the hearing on ."Pari " ents: The Missing Link in Edu-, cation Reform." .' V "The result of this process Is'! that the stage is set for real and , fundamental reform in the mid- die grades." Amerson told Rep. ' Daniel Coats. R-Ind., the com-, mittee's ranking minority mem-', ber. who conducted the hearing" at IPS headquarters. Eleven parents, educators and citizens testified at the hear: ing. held in conjunction with the second national conference of, MAPP (Maintaining Active Parent Partnerships). It lasts until Wednesday at the Holiday Inn Union Station, and focuses on parents' role in education. ' During testimony. Winters also spoke of a 1 986 study by the U.S. Department of Educa-.' tion that found there is more of a'i correlation between students success and parental involvement than any other factor. Including race, socio-economic, background and parental educa' tlonal background. tli" "The key, I believe is emppw. ering people," said Chicago-parent Joan J. Slay, who told of her successes in directing an educa? . tlonal research and advocacy or-, ganization for parents of chile dren In the Chicago Public; Schools. "The parents must feet they can make a difference and then be encouraged and prev pared to do so effectively." - Several people who testified, said the federal government-should disseminate information about successful programs, provide seed money to start them and offer incentives to district' to beef up their efforts. , T' 'i':"Jt After the hearing, Coatssfd! the federal government shouldn't mandate programs to. increase parental involvement' because such programs need" Jo be tailored to each district of; state. But he added that the committee will issue a report de-'( tailing successful programs. ' Coach Leatherware INDIANA'S LARGEST SELECTION HANDBAGS No. 9455 Basic Bag' The Coach Bag that started a look. Soft, perfectly proportioned clutch swings off the hip onde-tachable shoulder strap pull. 4 We carry many styles in a large variety of colors. Biniiliiii,. .,111 niiiii" ASK FOR OUR CHRISTMAS CATALOG Luggage Leather Goods Gifts Glassware Repairs Handbags Business Cases Jewelry Travel Accessories BRIDAL T REGISTRY 1300 East 86th Street, Nora Plaza, Phone 844-7491 CHRISTMAS HOURS: START NOVEMBER !4th Free gift wrap, free embossing, free delivery in city.

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